The kitchen is a home’s most-used room which makes it a top target for families looking to refresh their house. It’s a high impact area that everyone gets to share and isn’t just for cooking and cleaning anymore. With wide open layouts and gathering spaces such as islands becoming the new norm, the kitchen’s role has changed significantly in the last 50 years. R. L. Rider Remodeling specializes in top-to-bottom revitalizations of kitchens which makes us an excellent choice of contractor for the kitchen remodel of your dreams.
Please keep reading for more information on unique challenges of remodeling kitchens, how we assess your wants and needs, how to distill those desires into a functional layout, and a taste of picking out appliances and luxurious touches to make your new kitchen pop.
All rooms share the common features of a ceiling, walls, and floor to create the space itself, but kitchens obviously have a lot more. A high number of details inherently make kitchens more of a challenge to remodel, but a lot more exciting to work with than just types of flooring and paint colors! As far as the cost of construction is concerned, we have three primary items to consider when you’re making decisions: utilities, appliances, and cabinetry. Countertops are another important item to consider.
We say utilities as a catch-all for the essential systems found in the framework of your home. You’ll need water and waste lines to each sink and dishwasher, higher voltage electrical outlets to handle large appliances, gas lines if that’s the range type you prefer, ducting and ventilation for exhausting fumes outside, and electrical outlets within reach for countertop appliances. This doesn’t cover unique additions like a wine cooler or wet bar but is a typical list for a standard kitchen.
If your existing kitchen has a decent floor plan, then we won’t have to re-route or run new utilities very far. Consequently, there is not a huge cost impact for installing a new dishwasher exactly where the old one was. If we’re totally reversing a room’s layout and adding 15 new appliances, however, you are likely to see the price creep up as infrastructure is expensive to adjust.
The appliances, cabinetry, and countertops make up the rest of your additional expense in the kitchen. We just covered what it takes behind the scenes to keep your appliances up-and-running, but that doesn’t factor in the wide range of styles and budgets you can choose. We recommend going with functional and modern choices, but nothing over the top unless the product offers a huge advantage over comparable models for the price. A $1,000 fridge and $5,000 fridge both keep your food cold; just because one has a touchscreen doesn’t make it 5x as valuable! If you’re wondering about a list of appliances to look over then don’t worry, we cover that in a few sections.
Base cabinets and wall cabinets come in just about any color and style you can imagine. If you can’t find something you like or really have a specific vision, then we can custom craft every cabinet, tailored to your exact specifications. White and grey have been popular neutrals for the last few years, but we’re starting to see darker wood cabinets paired with light floors and countertops as well.
Countertops come in many flavors, the most common being laminate, acrylic solid surface (Corian), granite, and quartz. We’ve also installed some interesting counters with materials such as concrete, glass, wood, tile, stainless steel, and marble.
Assessing your design needs sounds like a pop quiz or something, but in practice it’s not very difficult. All you need to do for us is be able to talk about how you and your family use your kitchen now, and how you would ideally use it in the future. We’ll help bridge the gap between the two and let you know what is feasible at each level of budgeting.
Once we have a list of what you like, don’t like, and want to have in the future, we can then begin to focus on priorities and potential trade-offs. E.g. you want an enormous refrigerator but also need to save room for full-height pantry storage – which would you prefer gets an extra foot of space? This is not to say you can’t have it all, but often when budget is a factor, something must get the axe. Maybe you only have three “must-haves” on your wish list and everything else is gravy on top.
There are a lot of items that need to fit together properly and be able to operate safely to deliver a well-functioning kitchen remodel. If you’ve ever run into some overlooked details (a cabinet door that can’t open because another cabinet’s handle is blocking its path, a faucet installed too close to the sink’s walls giving no clearance for your hands) then you know that this doesn’t happen by accident. It takes careful planning based on the wants and needs of those who will be using the space in addition to the correct, thought-out installation of the selected product.
The ideal design is one that meets all your needs for storage, prepping, cooking, and cleaning without wasting space or having unnecessary elements. While it sounds tricky, there are some basic rules and concepts that get us moving in the right direction. Read through the list of 5 items for principles on planning your perfect kitchen.
The Kitchen’s 5 Stages – Storage, Wet Prep, Hot Prep, Table Service, and Clean Up. This means you must be able to keep food, cookware, and tableware stored, add water whenever necessary, add heat whenever necessary, plate and serve the meal, and then clean everything and return it to its proper storage – all in an efficient and organized manner.
Counters > Floor Space – while sometimes a little extra floor space would be nice, counters hold the trump card as this is lacking in nearly every kitchen we come across. Unless there are going to be multiple cooks at once, more floor space is actually less efficient than less floor space.
Group Items with Depth Together – try to only take up one wall with deep items (fridge, oven, pantry storage) as mixing and matching depths can lead to a clunky layout.
Parallel Task Counters – this basically results in a galley-style kitchen with two task counters running parallel to each other 3-4’ apart. Many customers like to have the sink in the central counter and cooking appliances against the wall to divide hot and wet prepping. A sink in each task counter or island is a growing trend over the past few years.
Dominant Hand Planning – are you right-handed or left-handed when you cook? While not crucial, it can be nice to design the kitchen with the chef’s dominant hand in mind.
These rules don’t make up the manifesto on design, but do narrow a potentially infinite list into something bite-sized and manageable. If you stick to all or most of the principles here, you’ll end up very happy in your brand-new kitchen!
Without diving into too much detail, we wanted to do a section that gives a high-level overview of what will need to be picked out on your end with a full-gut kitchen remodel. Please feel free to call R. L. Rider Remodeling at (517) 487-3713 if you have any questions, want to know where to look for items, or are ready to get started on your new kitchen. This is not a complete list, but it covers most of the major items and gets you thinking about what homework we’ll be asking you to do later.
Don’t worry, we don’t just throw all this information at you! This is all found in a worksheet we provide you during the design phase where you can mark down your selections and easily take notes.
If you’re ready to get the process started on your remodel, then R. L. Rider Remodeling is the right choice as your contractor. While some of the information provided may be overwhelming, we’re here with you every step of the way. A new kitchen should be exciting and fun, not a stressful experience that leaves you feeling regret or like you’re drowning in choices.