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  • Arnia Homes

Everything You Need To Know About Your Kitchen

The kitchen is the room where all the good smells and thoughts come from. An average modern family spends at least 2 hours of their daily life in their kitchen. That's why, if you building a new home, investing in a nice kitchen is a great idea and if you are planning to renovate or remodel your home, you should probably start with the kitchen. A nice kitchen not only improves the quality of your life but also increases the resale value of your home. Some recent studies suggest the one room that sells a house, is the Kitchen. Here are some tips and things you should consider before you start.

1) Consider your budget. Decide on how much you like to spend on it and stick with it. To start, try to evaluate your home and considering your neighbourhood, question how much value a new kitchen can bring to your home. A professional appraiser can give you an idea and help you in this stage. If you have the room to spend, you can allocate your budget based on the chart below as a rule of thumb.

Depending on your budget you can pick from different materials for your cabinets and countertops. Melamine is the most budget-friendly option in this case. It is printed in any colour and pattern and it does not need to be stained or painted. Laquered MDF is the most popular choice right now because of its versatility. Whether you like modern or traditional, this product will accommodate any design. It is durable and it will keep your kitchen looking new for years and unlike solid wood, it will have a uniform and smooth finish. Wood is the most expensive option and it is certainly not for everyone's taste. Its lifespan will eventually make-up for its price and in case of any dents or scratches, it can be fixed.

Countertops come with different tags too. If you are considering a more economical kitchen, Quartz may be the best option.

One other thing you should consider is that while your kitchen is being remodelled, you need to eat outside. So consider the cost of dining outside for the course of construction.

2) Style. Choosing the right style of the kitchen is very critical. When spending your hard-earned money, you need to make sure you will love the finished product. You can select a Traditional, Country, Modern, Contemporary, or Transitional design or go into Rustic or Industrial. It is really a matter of personal preference, but if you are considering resale value, it is a good idea to compare it to your neighbourhood and keep it consistent. Consider choosing a style that will not date so you will enjoy your kitchen for many years to come. You can browse the internet to get ideas but hiring a designer can help a lot.

3) Design. Now that you have selected your style, you need to plan a layout. Prepare a list of must-haves and arrange them accordingly. Select your appliances first. The size and placement of your appliances will dictate the design of your kitchen. When shopping for appliances consider your budget, as people tend to forget all about it. Different appliances have different energy consumption as well, consider going through the Energy Rating. Consider investing in a gas range. Gas ranges come with a higher price tag but they are less expensive to operate given the lower price of natural gas compared to electricity. Gas ranges are also better for cooking given that they respond to temperature changes quicker. A second fridge only for wine or beverage is also a good idea. You do not really want to open a 30" fridge for a can of pop. Ventilation of your kitchen is very important as well. Make sure you have a good size hood to vent all the moisture and smell out of your home.

Your layout has to be functional with the workflow. Have you heard of the working triangle? The 3 points of the triangle are the fridge, sink and the range. The shorter these imaginary lines are, the easier the meal prep is.

Place your dishwasher and a pullout garbage bin within 24" of your sink. Pay attention to your counter space. Leave at least 24" of counter space on each side of your sink and your range. If you are planning to have a seating area around the kitchen island, leave a minimum of 18" for leg space and 30" of counter space for each seater. For the island to be a functional seating area, you need at least 24" of depth and 36" of height. The length of the kitchen island shouldn't be more than 10' if you are planning to use one-piece of stone for the countertop. Lighting is very crucial in the kitchen. If you are using pot-lights, make sure you have enough of them throughout the kitchen. Especially for the kitchens with no windows to the south, lighting plays an important role. Accent lighting like pendants from the ceiling or LED lighting under the island can transform your kitchen as well. Layout your storage details, Pantry beside the fridge or a lazy Susan in the corner cabinets, a pull-out spice rack beside the range. It costs more, but going for drawers in the bottom cabinets is easier to use than having shelves. Concerned about the flooring? Porcelain tiles serve best in the kitchen because they don't get stained or scratched easily and they are water-proof.

4)Install. If you are planning to install the cabinets yourself, make sure you invest in the right equipment. A laser level costs hundreds of dollars but can save you a lot of time and effort and help you get it right the first time. If you notice a bow in the drywall, place shims. Start with the top cabinets and work your way down to the lower cabinets. Make sure you are using good cabinet mounting screws.

5) Enjoy. Whether you like to enjoy the feeling of accomplishment by doing it yourself, or you like to have a professional do the job, invest in your kitchen. It will pay-off.

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