Kitchen renovations continue to top the list of home remodeling projects that give the best payoff in resale value. While there are some time-tested rules for a bringing an old kitchen into the modern era, there are also many new ideas that add both functionality and beauty to this heart and soul of a home. Better still, there are ways to push the envelope of the tested rules in order to add even more value to the project.
Time Tested Rules For Renovating The Kitchen
The first rule of any kitchen renovation is to leave the plumbing in place. This also applies to bathroom remodeling. Plumbing is a challenge for even the experienced do-it-yourselfer, and professional plumbers can significantly add to the total cost of the job. Leaving water lines and drain lines in place is a great shortcut to maximizing the renovation value by minimizing the cost.
The second rule is to critically evaluate the “work triangle” that is formed by the sink, stove and refrigerator. Each leg of this triangle should be between 4 and 9 feet if possible, but the most important rule is that each leg should be intact. This means it should not be broken by an island or peninsula countertop or by a major traffic flow area.
New Kitchen Renovation Ideas
Modern kitchen ideas start at the top and work their way down. The top, in this case, is the ceiling, and that is where you will typically find the kitchen lighting. Replacing a standard since lighting fixture with track lighting adds as much light to a kitchen as necessary while providing an incredible amount of flexibility in where that light can be directed. Low voltage systems also throw energy costs into to the mix.
Racks for hanging pots and pans can be suspended from the ceiling inside or outside the track lighting system. Because these take up a significant amount of storage space – always at a premium in a kitchen – putting them in the air can be a remarkable space saving strategy. Just keep in mind that while pots and pans hang easily by their handles, covers and lids do not. Kitchen designs should allow for keeping these important cooking utensils together and next to the stove or cook top.
New Time Tested Rules
A modern update of the work triangle is the concept of the grouped work area. This has been developed to recognize that kitchens include more than just three appliances anymore. For example, “stoves” now include microwave ovens, specialty grills and stand-alone ovens. Furthermore, cooking has become a communal activity so more work areas are being added to kitchen designs. Modern kitchen designs group these work areas and locate them strategically.
Communal work areas can mean adding a second sink, such as a specialty sink for washing vegetables. At a minimum this requires extending existing plumbing and can mean cutting into existing lines. However, for a larger kitchen a second sink in an island is a major improvement. The added functionality may very well make the expense worthwhile.