Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Kitchen Remodeling: Learning the Basics

In the world of kitchen remodeling, mistakes are often the result of poor planning or poor communication. Ideally, you will work with a kitchen remodeling company who understands your personality and unique needs. Ideally, you and your kitchen designer will see eye-to-eye on the crucial layout questions. Ideally, your remodeling staff will be courteous and clean.

By easing communication, a great kitchen remodeling company can limit the stress of the experience. Who knows, with the right company, you might even find the entire experience--from planning to demolition to the actual remodeling--pleasurable.

On the other hand, the wrong remodeling company can increase the stress of the experience. And by "wrong" we simply we mean a remodeling company that does not communicate well. Often, the results of poor communication are not obvious until the work is complete. You told your designer you wanted  to ease traffic flow in your kitchen; in practice, however, you find yourself continually bumping into your spouse. You thought you chose a certain specific stain for your cabinets, but upon completion you dislike the color--and maybe even the cabinets, too! 

Of course, communication is a two-way street. The first key is finding an intelligent, thoughtful, and communicative remodeling company. The second key is articulating your vision as precisely as possible.

Every detail in this MKBD project, from the built-in warming drawer to high-grade kitchen hardware, is a precise articulation of the client's vision. Warm wall colors complement the glazed maple cabinets and pink granite countertops. Red exotic hardwood floors provide the  luxury the client desired. 
The problem many homeowners face is the vision itself. So many people just don't have enough experience to understand the ins-and-outs of kitchen remodeling--and the potential pitfalls. The best solution? Learn as much as possible. 

The Internet is a great place to research answers--you just have to be careful about the source. Make sure the information is coming from a professional. Better to seek This Old House than some remodeling forum rife with "horror stories." 

Our blog, Kitchen and Bathroom Remodeling Tips and Tricks, is full of informative articles. To get started, check out our kitchen remodeling articles. Or better yet, get specific: learn a little bit about each topic below and you'll be on your way to a successful experience. 

Learn Kitchen Design

Perhaps the most important element of any kitchen remodeling project is the design itself. To acquaint yourself with the basics of kitchen design, you might perform a basic Google search for "kitchen design"--or better yet, "kitchen layout." Kitchen "design" and "layout" refer to basically the same idea: the architectural plan for your space; but "layout" is, perhaps, a better layman's term for the novice.

In researching layouts, look for the information that makes most sense to you. Some people are visually-minded, and can easily "see" the way they want their kitchen to look. If this is you, do not let yourself be distracted by tired notions of the "kitchen triangle." Today's kitchens emphasize new traffic patterns. Allow yourself to visualize your perfect kitchen--you can always refine that vision with your remodeling company.

Others might find it hard to visualize the space. If this is true for you, try to define exactly how you would like to use your kitchen. Would you like your kitchen to be an entertainment hub? Are you a serious cook?

Read Kitchen Remodeling Tips for the Serious Cook I and II.

Read Kitchen Design for Entertaining.

In you know you're the entertaining type, articulate this idea to your remodeling company up-front. In this MKBD remodeling wonder, the kitchen island doubles as a table, perfect for entertaining.

Learn About Kitchen Cabinet Materials

You might think kitchen cabinets are pretty straightforward. Well, they're not, so a little knowledge goes a long way. Instead of wasting your time learning about specs and design, though, learn about colors and materials. If you can articulate the type of cabinet you want, your remodeling company will be able to guide you through the more arcane design and installation decisions.

Read: Kitchen Cabinet Materials: Learn What's Best for Your Kitchen Remodeling Project.

Learn About Kitchen Floor Materials: Tile and Wood

Like kitchen cabinets, a lot of the information about kitchen floor installation and design can seem arcane. On the other hand, the choices for kitchen flooring are enough to make your head spin. We suggest learning about the basics: tile and wood. A majority of homeowners will choose one of these two materials. If neither suit your vision, then by all means, research other options.

Read: Wood Floors & Cabinets: A Kitchen Remodeling Lookbook.

In this Glenside project, the customer knew the exact material and stain they preferred: Brazilian redwood, stained a lovely cherry red. 

Learn About Kitchen Appliances

Here's where most people go overboard. It's not necessary to research every last model of oven on the Internet, but it is important to have a working knowledge of brands. Try to figure out an appliance budget, and do not allow yourself to research appliances that go over budget. This is a common mistake that has sidetracked many an industrious homeowner.

Read: How to Choose the Best Oven.

FREE In-Home Remodeling Estimate

If you have any questions about your next remodeling project, please feel free to call MKBD for an individualized consultation. Let's talk the kitchen backsplash and more! Call now! 215-355-4747. Better yet, check out our Free In-Home Remodeling Estimate on this very blog!

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