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.
Home remodeling superstores carry a great selection of door hardware.  Choose knobs and pulls that complement your architectural style, and don’t cut corners. This is what I call a brooch – an added touch that makes the whole room work! Also, remove and replace any old painted-over hinges with shiny new ones. It is time consuming, but very inexpensive. And it makes a huge difference.

The average cost of kitchen fixtures, appliances, and labor differs by U.S. region. Remodeling projects in the Southern United States are generally cheaper than identical projects completed in Northern and Western areas. For instance, a major kitchen overhaul with midrange materials could cost $56,639 in Titusville, FL and rise to $77,460 if completed in San Francisco, CA.
Pull-down racks give you instant access to kitchen essentials without the clutter of spice racks or knife holders. When the cooking is done, the rack swings up against the underside of the cabinet. You can buy ready-made racks or buy a pair of hinges and make your own wooden rack to hold knives, spices or other small items that take up counter space. You’ll find a variety of racks and hardware at ikea.com, wwhardware.com and other online retailers.

If you’re thinking about updating appliances or adding new ones, a kitchen remodel is the perfect time to do so, as your cabinet design will be built around your appliance specs. New appliances can give your kitchen a fresh look, but it’s important to choose the right appliances for your needs. If you don’t spend a lot of time in the kitchen, standard appliances might be sufficient. If you enjoy cooking, baking and entertaining, top-of-the-line appliances may be essential.


Make your kitchen as safe and family-friendly as possible by planning for good visibility to backyard and indoor play areas from the cooking area, suggests Dorothy Bell, a home safety expert. Also consider such safety-conscious elements as rounded countertops, slip-resistant flooring and ovens located at adult height to minimize the chances of accidental burns. (For more tips, visit usa.safekids.org.)
If you want more counter and storage space, then adding a center island may be worth the cost. But an island can limit the number of people working in the kitchen, reduce traffic flow to one-way with no passing, and make for cramped quarters. Try out an island before committing to one. Slap together a full-scale model out of cardboard or plywood and live with it for a few days. Make sure you can open your stove and refrigerator doors. No space for an island? Consider a kitchen trolley instead.
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