Measure your installed base cabinets to determine the countertop dimensions—don’t use the ones on your plans. The row of cabinets may have a different dimension after installation due to out-of-square walls. Place a carpenter’s square in the corner over the end cabinet. The corner might be narrower than the rest of the wall because of layers of joint compound. Measure to the farthest point on the wall over the cabinets to avoid an ugly gap between the countertop and the wall after the countertops are installed.
If you believe that a kitchen renovation should focus most on a) the look and b) the feel of new products, then choosing new cabinets is one of the best ways to go about it. Kitchen cabinets take a lot of abuse on a daily basis and are often seen to be loose on their hinges which gives the whole kitchen a dated and ignored look. Also, remember that when it comes to the cabinet, the choices are plenty even if you are on a tight budget and have the basic tooling expertise (in short, tighten screws properly!).
“The biggest mistake people make at the planning stage is not allowing for enough storage,” Jacqui says. “Use every nook and cranny. Put overhead cabinets right up to the ceiling, rather than leaving a gap on top that collects dust.” Consider deep drawers for easier access to pots and pans, and include enough storage for appliances that otherwise would clutter up countertops.
Keeping your existing kitchen appliances can save you money in the short-term. If your stove, oven, dishwasher or fridge isn't Energy Star-certified, however, you should consider upgrading them. Energy-efficient appliances pay for themselves over time by lowering your utility bills, and they help to preserve the environment, too. Additional electrical rewiring may be required to accommodate Energy Star appliances.
Oak and walnut are two of the most common hardwood choices and for good reason. Oak is durable and stains well while giving an appealing natural grain and is reasonably priced. Hickory, maple, ash, cherry are also good choices too so take your time and decide accordingly. If you prefer a light-colored hardwood floor, ash is an ideal option, while people who expect a lot of foot traffic should consider hickory as an option.
In general, remember the latest appliances are not only more efficient, but they are also more ‘beautiful’ to look at. That said, do not prioritize form over function. Remember, appliances are long-term investments. If you are planning to sell the property, check with local property agents to confirm whether investing in new appliances will fetch you a higher price for the property. Of course, if you plan to continue staying at the house, then the investments made in appliances will improve the kitchen’s efficiency and performance.
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