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12 Questions You Need to Ask for the Perfect Kitchen Remodel

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There are few projects that are more exciting—and more overwhelming—than a kitchen remodel, and this large-scale home improvement task is a job that requires immense planning and preparation. While a few of the decisions that you’ll need to make for your remodel will be obvious, it is easy to overlook small details that can make or break the space.

In order to avoid a let-down after the job is done, it’s important to look deeper into the remodeling process and take a look at all of the choices that go into making the heart of your family’s home your favorite room of the house. As you begin to dream about a brand-new kitchen and you start the search for a professional kitchen remodeler, keep these 12 questions in mind to avoid overlooking some of the most important factors that you’ll need to consider.

What are Your Local Building Codes?

The rules for kitchen remodeling might be a bit more complex than you initially thought, and you need to understand and follow these rules to avoid a lot of problems down the road. As more than just following the guidelines of which materials and features work well with one another, the rules of remodeling are typically outlined by your local building code—covering aspects like ventilation, permits, and electrical systems.

These building codes may have a huge impact on the overall vision for your kitchen remodel—or they may have minimal effect—but either way, you need to know that your renovation is on the up-and-up before moving forward with your project.

Does Your Current Layout Meet Your Needs?

While dreaming of a kitchen remodel might leave you envisioning bold colors, high-end appliances, and shiny new fixtures, these aren’t only the details that can make your kitchen your favorite room of the house. First things first, you need to start by evaluating the layout of your current space to determine how intensive your remodel needs to be to get the results that you envision.

If you find yourself struggling with limited space when the family joins you in the kitchen, inadequate storage, or poor flow that makes entertaining a hassle, you’re likely going to need to consider a renovation that involves more than just aesthetics.

Does Your Budget Match Your Remodeling Plans?

Understanding the scope of your remodeling needs leads us to our next question—can you afford the remodel that you envision? It’s no secret that kitchen remodeling can quickly become incredibly expensive, and many homeowners find themselves in over their heads before the first hammer is swung in the renovation process. Instead of jumping in blindly to a kitchen remodel, it is essential to take the time to break-down your budget and plan for unexpected expenses. In addition to the labor of your contractors, you also need to consider the grade of fixtures, appliances, and cabinets you want in your space—while leaving room in the budget to cover unanticipated problems that are bound to come up along the way.

What Countertop Profile Will Look Best in Your Home?

The countertops that you choose will have a big impact on the versatility and style of your new kitchen, and it’s the small details that can get overlooked when deciding on exactly which countertop is right for your new space. One of the often-neglected features of a countertop is its profile—or the edge of the counter. There are a few different options to consider here, with the most popular being:

  • Eased Edges: The look of an eased edge counter is essentially a crisp, rectangular edging that features softened corners. As a popular choice for contemporary kitchens, this style of countertop highlights a minimalist, modern aesthetic that focuses on clean lines throughout the space.
  • Bullnose Profiles: Bullnose or demi-bullnose countertops consist of a half-circle or quarter-circle profile that reduces the sharp look of an eased edge design. This is one of the most popular profiles for counters, but you need to be careful if you are choosing laminate countertops—a bullnose profile with this material can make your counters look unnatural and lining up seams during installation can be a challenge.

Are Your Plumbing and Electrical Systems Up to the Task?

Your kitchen isn’t going to be very functional unless your electrical system and plumbing is built to handle the job of getting your family through a busy day. Outdated electrical wiring can be a serious fire hazard in the kitchen, and building codes often dictate what requirements are necessary for a safe and acceptable space. With plumbing, you need to consider the quality of your pipes, draining, and the overall layout of your kitchen to determine if repairs or adjustments need to be made before the bulk of the remodeling project takes place.

Which Type of Lighting Does Your New Kitchen Need?

Lighting is one of the most underrated and important features of any kitchen—after all, it isn’t easy to cook a large family meal in the dark! There are three main types of lighting that you can consider when planning out the layout and functionality of your kitchen space, including:

  • Ambient Lighting: This is your primary source of lighting in the room, and it can include everything from chandeliers to ceiling-mounted fixtures.
  • Task Lighting: Task lighting is just how it sounds—a lighting source that helps you accomplish a specific job. Available in both fixed and adjustable forms, task lighting can highlight key areas of your kitchen to make daily life just a bit easier.
  • Accent Lighting: Wall sconces, recessed lighting, and track lighting can all fall under the category of accent lighting, and it can be used in the kitchen to illuminate decorative features or give additional light to the most used areas of the room.

What Cabinet Style Meets Your Functional and Aesthetic Needs?

If the first thing that you thought of with a kitchen remodel was your cabinets, then you aren’t alone! However, these important features can still have a number of overlooked elements. When you start researching cabinets, you’ll realize that there are an immense array of styles and options available, and the product you choose will dictate the overall atmosphere and functionality of your kitchen space.

A few of the most popular cabinet styles include:

  • Shaker Cabinets: The clean look of shaker cabinets comes with a five-pieced framed and recessed front that is perfect for streamlined, modern home kitchens.
  • Traditional Cabinets: Featuring dark, rich tones and a more formal appearance, traditional cabinets create a multidimensional and warm look in your kitchen.
  • Gray Cabinets: Gray is the new white when it comes to kitchen cabinets, and their subtle, neutral appearance makes them ideal for desirable two-toned kitchen designs.

What Flooring Material Gives You the Most for Your Money?

You’ve been busy looking around your current kitchen and imagining all of the ways that you could update the space, but have you remembered to look down at the floor? Kitchen flooring needs to be both highly durable and exceptionally beautiful, and choosing the right material can go a long way toward helping you love your kitchen. Options that you can consider include natural stone, laminate, engineered wood, or more eco-friendly options—such as cork or bamboo.

How Will Your Cabinets and Drawers to Open?

After you’ve picked out the style of cabinets you want in your remodeled kitchen, you don’t want to forget about choosing their hardware! While it might seem like a minor detail, the wrong opening mechanisms can lead to daily frustration when working in your kitchen and throw off the aesthetic balance of the space. The goal with choosing hardware and knobs for your cabinets and drawers is to combine a look of elegance with practicality. Often, it takes multiple hardware opener styles in one kitchen to meet all of the needs of the space, but if you really want to go all out, you can consider investing in modern cabinets that feature knob-free, touch-latch designs!

Which Finish is Right for Your Fixtures?

From the sink faucet to the appliances, every fixture in your space will have a finish—and you want them all to work together seamlessly in your kitchen design. Coordinating multiple metal finishes can be more of a challenge than you’d expect, and a few of the options that are popular for kitchen fixtures include:

  • Brushed Finishes: Brushed finishes, such as the ever-popular brushed nickel, can hide fingerprints and water spots while also giving your kitchen a sleek, modern look.
  • Brass and Gold: Brass and gold-tone finishes are making a comeback, and their warm, vibrant appearance puts a touch of drama into your kitchen design.
  • Stainless Steel: Ideal for blending with the main features of your kitchen, stainless steel fixtures reflect light and go well with a wide range of color and design schemes.

How do You Want to Mount Your Sink?

How you mount your sink into your kitchen countertops can have a major impact on the look of the room, as well as the functionality of the sink. Top-mount sinks are easy to install and drop right into the manufactured space within your counters—while then being sealed with a matching shade of caulking. Undermount sinks are a more high-end style that is mounted beneath your countertop, which has both an aesthetic and functional advantage by creating a clean look and allowing you easily sweep crumbs and debris into your kitchen sink.

What Material Finish Will Make Your Space Pop?

We’ve already covered the finishes for your kitchen fixtures, but what about the finishes of the main materials of your counters, backsplash, and flooring? If you are installing stone in your new kitchen, you can choose from either a honed or polished finish. While a polished finish creates a high-gloss, hard, and reflective look that can help increase the elegance and light in the room, a honed finish is softer and more organic in texture and appearance—which is ideal for modern, light, and airy kitchen designs. Whatever finish you choose for the granite, quartz, or other natural stone in your kitchen, be sure to look at all of the samples available—including options with and without sealant—so you are confident in your choice once final installation is complete.

From your main appliances to the texture of your countertops, all aspects of your kitchen need to work together so that you get a seamless, welcoming, and functional space that meets the needs of your busy life. By taking your time and working through these big decisions with your kitchen remodeler, you can make sure that everyone is on the same page for creating the vision that you have for the perfect home kitchen.

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