Planning Out Your Next Kitchen Remodel

Few projects are more difficult or rewarding than home construction. When you’re approaching a remodeling project, it can be difficult to know where to start. Fortunately, there are a few quick tips to make your kitchen remodel run more smoothly and efficiently than ever before.

1. List the elements you need to remember in your floor plan.

A quick cheat sheet to kitchen elements:

  • Appliances
  • Counter space
  • Cabinet space
  • Island (or lack thereof)
  • Floor space

When you remember that all five of these elements need to work in harmony, you’ll be well on your way to constructing a floor plan that covers all of your needs.

2. Know your needs.

You have your elements in mind. Now you need to personalize those elements in a way that fits your unique kitchen needs.

What is your cooking and nutrition style? This will determine the types of appliances you need, as well as the amount of space that you should allocate for them. If you store a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables, you might want to invest in a spacious refrigerator. If you cook a lot of frozen food, you’ll want a large freezer. If you spend a lot of time cooking, you’ll want to invest in a high quality oven that suits the type of food you often cook.

Meanwhile, you may not spend so much time picking out the perfect oven if you don’t cook at all. If you don’t store a lot of frozen food, a small freezer will free up space in the kitchen. A simple microwave and toaster are the best appliances for quick, no-fuss meals.

You should also think about the amount of counter and cabinet space you need. What will you be using your cabinets for? How much food will you store in them? Do you have a walk-in pantry, or will your cabinets be used to store all of your non-perishable food? How much counter space will you need for food preparation? Do you intend to use the counters for things unrelated to food (storing paperwork, use as a workspace, etc.)?

If you understand how much cabinet and counter space you require, you’ll avoid accidentally over- or under-budgeting resources. The same principle applies to the kitchen island. Do you need the extra counter and storage space? What’s more important: the island, or the floor space you’d free up by forgoing a kitchen island?

3. Know how you want to use the space.

You’ve analyzed the types of appliances and the storage space that you need. Now it’s time to analyze how you want to use your kitchen’s physical space.

Do you often do your cooking with friends or family members? Or are you often the only individual in a kitchen? If you intend to have several people in the kitchen at once, you’ll need far more floor space to ensure everyone’s comfort.

Do you want the kitchen to be open to other areas of the home? Should it be a closed-off space, or would you rather have the ability to see into the dining room or living room? Will you often be chatting with company while you’re cooking?

4. Understand basic kitchen guidelines.

All kitchens need to adhere to state and local codes. These codes will vary place to place, so be sure to contact your town hall to find out about building codes. The National Kitchen and Bath Association also creates guiding principles for the use of your space.

5. Decide whether to use a “triangle” or “work station” approach.

For kitchens with one main cook, the sink, stove, and refrigerator are usually arranged in a “triangle” formation for ease of access. But individualized “work stations” are a better approach for larger kitchens or kitchens with multiple cooks.

6. Prioritize lighting.

Make sure that all the important areas of the kitchen are well lit. To cook effectively, you need to be able to see.

With all of these principles in mind, it’s easy to structure a kitchen floor plan that suits your unique needs. Be sure to collaborate with your contractor regarding your plan.

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