What to Know Before Starting Your Kitchen Remodel

Americans spend a ton of money on remodeling projects each year -- $400 billion to be exact, according to the National Association of Realtors. And of that amount, a sizable portion is dedicated to what many call the heart of the home -- the kitchen -- the hub of day-to-day life where meals are prepared and families come together.

Are you among the tens of thousands of Americans considering a kitchen remodel this year?

Before you start swinging hammers, make sure you first define your goals and know all your options.

By goals we mean, what are the drivers motivating you? The reason for your kitchen remodel -- whether it's updating fixtures, improving the flow of your space, trying to get a better ROI before selling your home, or all the above -- will have a major impact on the direction it takes.

And once you understand the goals for your kitchen remodeling project, knowing all your options will help you to reach them.

In this article, we’ll review the most common reasons for kitchen remodels and the many design options that you have to choose from. 

Why are you remodeling your kitchen?

The reasons for your kitchen remodeling could take several forms. Let's review the three most common ones:

  1. Updating fixtures and surfaces: Many homeowners think that a complete renovation is necessary to spruce up their dated kitchens; when in reality, a light refresh could just as easily do the trick. If you aren't bothered by the layout of your kitchen, then consider simply upgrading its fixtures and surfaces. Adding some modern touches to your existing kitchen might be all you need to feel better about the space. Here are some popular design trends to consider for kitchen fixtures and surfaces:
    1. Copper finishes: Fixtures, such as faucets, in copper can add a sleek, modern touch to your old kitchen
    2. Tile countertops are making a comeback: Whether it's retro hexagonal or large-format tiles, redoing the surfaces of your kitchen space can make a huge difference
  2. Correcting a kitchen's flow/floor plan: An outdated floor plan can ruin the flow of your kitchen and make the space a drag to be in. If your need for a kitchen remodel is more than just cosmetic, you may want to look into layout changes. Some common kitchen layouts are Galley, named after the galley of a ship and best suited for tight spaces, which are thin corridor kitchens typically enclosed by two parallel walls; L-shaped layouts make the most of a kitchen's corner space, or a 90 degree angle in a medium-sized room; and Island kitchens, a classic design for an open-concept kitchen, can either feature floating surfaces or a "peninsula" that juts out from another wall-based cabinet.
  3. Return on Investment (ROI): Kitchens sell houses, so they say. And if you're trying to sell your home, a kitchen remodel might be just the thing you need to get the best return on your investment. According to Trulia, kitchens and master baths are the two most important rooms to have in tip-top condition before listing your house on the market.

What are some common kitchen floor plans or shapes?

Whether you bought an old house with a dated floor plan or you're building your first home from the ground-up, a kitchen layout will need to be selected.

So let's review some common kitchen floor plans or shapes:

Galley Kitchen

Today's kitchens are built just as much for entertainment as they are for utility. In the past, however, the kitchen was often tucked away in some corner of the home and closed off to guests.

This is what gave rise to the galley kitchen, a thin corridor bounded by two walls that house everything from appliances to cabinets to utensil drawers.

In homes with limited usable square footage, a galley kitchen may still be the best design option. They can be a bit tight, and maybe even claustrophobic for some. But galley layouts do undoubtedly make for the most efficient use of your space. And you'll never have to worry about having too many chefs in the kitchen.

Single Wall Kitchen

The single wall, also called a straight kitchen layout, is the complete opposite of a galley kitchen. Instead of two walls that enclose a narrow space, everything that makes the kitchen -- appliances and all -- is housed along one long wall.

This layout often supports a sink flanked by countertops and cabinets with a refrigerator and stove adjacent to each.

Similar to galley kitchens, single wall kitchens are also suitable for homes with limited space, like apartments and condos. However, they don't come with the downside of creating tight spaces. Well-suited to open-concept floor plans, single wall layouts can be the right option for those who like to entertain in the kitchen.

L-Shaped Kitchen

Two perpendicular walls that form a shape like the letter L: the L-shaped kitchen is definitely true to its name.

Many homeowners love this design because of the ideal distance it often creates between refrigerator and stove, which are commonly placed at extreme ends of the "L" with the sink near the angle formed at its center.

This layout makes a perfect "work triangle," which, according to Architectural Digest, is still the best way to design a kitchen.

The kitchen work triangle is a design principle that states a kitchen's three main elements -- the stove, sink, and refrigerator -- should form (drum roll) a triangle. If you cook often, you'll notice that this layout makes kitchen work flow seamlessly.

U-Shaped Kitchen

Consider a U-shaped layout for your kitchen remodel if you have three available walls that you can dedicate to your new space.

One of the most spacious layout options, the U-shaped kitchen supports all appliances, countertops, cabinets, and storage spaces along three walls. An island is often placed in the room's center for additional surface area and seating.

U-shaped kitchens offer ample cooking space, and, though they're conducive to the open-concept feel, they also lend themselves to a sense of the kitchen as its own distinct room.

Island and Peninsula Kitchens

Islands are functional and they look great with any open-concept kitchen layout.

Additionally, peninsulas, or islands that are connected to wall-based cabinets, can be a great way to achieve the island feel while also sectioning off a portion of your kitchen space. 

In any case, if one of the goals of your kitchen remodeling is to add more surface area to your kitchen space, you'll definitely want to consider incorporating either an island or a peninsula into your new layout.

Islands and peninsulas can also offset your need for installing kitchen cabinets.

Considerations for your kitchen remodel cost

How much should you expect to spend on your upcoming kitchen remodeling project?

Using average costs and square footage numbers, we can pretty quickly get a ballpark idea.

Assuming the average home size in Texas is 2,000 SF, and the average kitchen size is between 200 and 300 SF, we can break kitchen remodeling costs into three brackets.

Let's first consider the least expensive of them: the minor kitchen remodel.

The scope of a minor kitchen remodel is to update dated elements, like fixtures and surfaces, without demolishing your existing kitchen. This bracket could even be called a refresh, and it would include some combination of painting cabinets, replacing backsplashes and flooring, and installing new appliances. You could expect to pay somewhere in the range of $10-15k for this scope of work.

The mid-range cost bracket, or mid-scale kitchen remodel, maintains your current kitchen's footprint while updating the quality of its materials. This might include refacing or installing kitchen cabinets, replacing hardware, installing new countertops, and adding design features like an island or peninsula. This middle bracket could run you in the range of $15-30k.

And finally, the big one, the major kitchen remodel is a total reconfiguration of your existing kitchen layout with high-end updates.

This would cover everything from installing new kitchen cabinets and countertops to opening the floorplan by removing walls and constructing new ones if needed. A major kitchen remodeling will run you a bill in the range of $30-65k, depending on the design and finishes you choose.

Contact The Good Guys

Contact The Good Guys for a free estimate for your upcoming kitchen remodeling project. From countertops to flooring, to full home renovations, The Good Guys always provides quality you can stand on.

But don't just take our word for it. See what hundreds of our satisfied customers have to say about their experience with us.

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