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Assessing your needs

Assessing your needs

If you determine that you don't have enough counter space in the right locations, ask yourself if the problem can be remedied with a Level 2 or a Level 3 rearrangement. If not, or if you clearly don't have enough room to work, consider adding to the size of your kitchen with a Level 4 or Level 5 expansion. In some cases, the problem isn't really a lack of counter space; it's a lack of storage space that results in cluttered counters.

If small appliances are taking up too much workspace on your countertops, consider installing a cabinet that's specially designed to store these items.

Cabinets & Storage

Adding, replacing or resurfacing kitchen cabinets is another relatively simple way to make a kitchen look brand new. To assess the changes your cabinets might need, ask yourself Does the kitchen have adequate storage space for all the food, dishes and utensils? Are the food, tools and equipment stored near their points of first use? Are the frequently used items stored within easy reach, 2% to 5 ft. above the floor? Also, is all of the space, including the corners and the spaces above appliances, being used well? If there are problems with your existing cabinets, determine if you can solve them by organising the cabinets more efficiently, or by adding features such as a lazy Susan and slide-out shelves. If not, you may need to redesign your cabinetry or expand your kitchen to add more storage space. If you have more cabinet space than you need, consider replacing some cabinets with a countertop desk area or a built-in appliance, such as a microwave oven.

Electrical & Lighting

Do you blow a fuse or trip a circuit breaker every time you turn on the toaster and the coffee maker at the same time? If you have a typical older kitchen, you probably don't have enough amperage or electrical circuits to power all your appliances and a remodelling project is the ideal time to address this problem. Another common problem is insufficient light- ing, especially task lighting for work areas. Without it, you're typically working in your own shadow.

kitchen needs

Poor task lighting can be improved by adding recessed ceiling lights, track lighting or under-cabinet light fixtures. Poor background lighting can be remedied by adding light fixtures, skylights or windows. Another lighting project that can dramatically improve the appearance of a kitchen is simply replacing outdated lighting fixtures with new ones. In most cases, this is a small job that doesn't require extensive rewiring.

Appliances & Plumbing Fixtures

Think about your major appliances and plumbing fixtures. Are any of them more than fifteen years old? If so, they're probably at the end of their useful lives and should be replaced during your remodelling project. Even if your appliances aren't old, it may still be worthwhile to upgrade them. During your planning process, research current models to determine if an investment in more energy-efficient appliances would g save you money in the long run. Common plumbing and appliance improvements include upgrading faucets, adding a water purifier and replacing a countertop microwave with a model that fits into a custom cabinet. Many homeowners replace plumbing fixtures and appliances simply for cosmetic reasons. However, if you have an energy-efficient, high-quality appliance that's only a few years old, you might consider simply refinishing it to match your new decorating scheme.