A kitchen renovation is a massive undertaking without the problems encountered if you are planning to continue to live in the home whilst doing the new kitchen. Even if that is not the case, and you are fortunate enough to have alternate living quarters, you still want to make every effort to plan each step so the time-frame may be kept to a minimum and therefore probably save a good amount of money in the process.
Lasertron would like to offer a few planning tips to facilitate easing into your kitchen project. Most of these points are pertinent to either indoor or outdoor kitchens but they were primarily designed for indoor kitchen planning.
- Are you a cook of necessity or do you consider yourself a quasi-professional chef? This will determine what features you incorporate into your design. If just cooking to feed the family you may not need a pizza oven or heavy-duty dough machine – plan accordingly
- What type of range/oven do you prefer. Many of the areas of the U.S. have natural gas available and this is the preferred fueling for most professional chefs. Electric is available everywhere there are lights. As an alternative most appliances can use, or be converted to use, liquefied petroleum (propane) which will give an even hotter flame than “normal” natural gas. Be sure whichever is your choice the necessary electric breaker amperage and wire size is planned or the correct piping diameter for gas to feed your stove choice is in your plans. I you are choosing one of the “professional” ovens/stoves they often require oversize piping as well as extra fireproofing surrounds so all that also must be planned. And from a personal experience be sure your oversize professional unit will fit through the doors and halls.
- Most people tend to fill the space they have and that may be one of the primary reasons for a kitchen remodel. Be sure you are allowing for over-adequate storage space. Custom designed kitchens can give you exact size cabinets for your needs – not just the standard 6-inch increment widths and a choice of 12/30/42 inches high. Using a custom kitchen manufacturer eliminates those annoying and unattractive “filler” panels to make your kitchen cabinets fit into the available space. A custom kitchen is designed to make the optimum use of the space you have available.
- Choose you counter-tops with your intended use in-mind. Granite will stand up to most uses but if you are a baker you may want a section in marble for dough handling. Conversely the most durable and stain resistant is always stainless steel which is highly desirable for its modern look, ease of cleaning, and virtual indestructibility.
- Plan your lighting well. Task lighting for work surfaces and under cabinet for mood and general illumination. Remember you can never have enough outlets in a kitchen and each major appliance – stove, refrigerator, dishwasher, wine cooler, ice machine – may need its own breaker in the electrical panel. Because of new government regulations many older electrical services may not be adequate to handle an upgraded home kitchen – or outdoor kitchen which may have its own individual requirements – so a new 200/300/400-amp service may have to be installed. This becomes even more important if you have added additions to you home such as a pool/hot tub, stand-alone freezer, or one of the new electrically powered cars that needs a charging station.
- Understand the general personality of your family. Do you sit down to formal dinners in a dining room, or fan out in front of the TV to eat. This situation may determine whether you have a breakfast table, counter eating space or no allowance for eating space.
- Understand your grocery buying habits. Do you shop for a few days at a time or go to one of the clubs – BJ’s, Sam’s, etc. – and buy in-bulk. Proper allowance must be made in your plan for whichever type of storage, and for how long, you will need. This also applies if you’re a fresh produce shopper. A well-designed kitchen will be able to accommodate whatever your storage needs may be.
- Design according to your personality. If you’re a collector you may want some type of hutch, etc., to display your collection. Maybe you have a antique set of copper pots that should be hung in views rather than hidden in one of the cabinets. This is the time to decide what exactly you would like to live with in your kitchen.
Once you have your wishes and needs completely worked out the best idea is to sit down with your architect or kitchen designer to put your ideas “on paper” and to a rendering to better visualize your concept. Make any changes or additions at this step so the cost won’t be driven up when construction starts.
You or your designer can interact with Lasertron to give you the indoor or outdoor kitchen of your dreams at the best cost.