Before you start planning, consider the market and decide whether a low-, medium-, or high-end kitchen remodel makes the most sense. Costs can run the gamut from $2,000 for a simple paint-and-hardware upgrade to $50,000 if you’re installing expensive countertops and luxury appliances. Knowing your neighborhood will help keep from overspending – you may not get your investment back installing travertine in your tiny starter – or worse, underspending. Let’s face it, you’ll never see Formica in a high-end home, and in fact, it may become a barrier to your sale.
For starters, plan your kitchen accordingly. By this we mean take some time to consider your family's needs and your lifestyle. This will help ensure everyone can get the most out of the space. Ask yourself how often you cook, what appliances you would like to dedicate extra time (and money) investing in, and how much storage you consider essential. Perhaps the kitchen is your family's main space for socializing and entertaining, and sometimes even doubles as an after-school homework zone. In this case, you may want to pay extra attention to your seating choices and counter space, or maybe dedicate certain areas to serve more than one purpose.
If you do have the budget to rearrange appliances, make sure to keep your floor plan in mind. Does it follow the natural triangular traffic pattern between the refrigerator, stove, and oven? Is the dishwasher next to the sink? It should be, because otherwise, you create a mess every time you walk across the room with a dripping dish in your hand. To save money, I once put a dishwasher in the counter opposite the sink – and as a result, I cleaned up drips on the floor for years.