The Fundamentals of Remodeling an Old Kitchen

Whether it’s something you always wanted to do or you just want to occupy yourself during quarantine, remodeling an old kitchen is a great idea. 

Let’s face it – the kitchen is the busiest room in most houses, and the one most worthy of an update. However, an important thing to keep in mind here is that remodeling a kitchen can be quite expensive. Knocking down walls, buying new appliances, rearranging the layout, and adding cosmetic improvements can take a serious toll on anyone’s wallet. 

But don’t give up hope yet! By getting familiar with the fundamentals of remodeling and with a bit of elbow grease, creativity, and patience, you should be able to complete the project without having to break the bank. 

Create a Schedule and Stick To It 

Updating an old kitchen involves a lot of planning. Therefore, don’t start knocking down walls too soon. 

Have your plumbing fixtures, cabinets, appliances, and other important components on hand before getting started. This will let you confirm installation specifications and exact measurements. Schedule contractors such as the tile setter, electrician, and plumber well in advance. 

Even if your project is carefully planned, you will probably still have to juggle schedules at the last minute.

Use the Right Equipment 

If you’re an experienced DIYer, you probably want to do all the work by yourself. 

However, keep in mind that this means you’ll have to handle a lot of different tasks. These include demolition, structural build-out, HVAC duct-work, wiring, plumbing, laying flooring, finishing walls and ceilings, as well as installing appliances, fixtures, cabinets, and countertops. 

Each of these jobs requires adequate tools. For example, electrical service upgrades should not be attempted if you do not possess the right tools for electrical testing. Hiring contractors is almost always a better idea – it saves money in the long run. 

Get Thoughtful About the Layout

You’d like to open up your kitchen to other rooms? If so, keep in mind that you probably won’t be able to remove just any wall. Some of them are load-bearing and cannot be demolished. 

It goes without saying that knowing which of your walls can be knocked down and which can’t is of vital importance. 

Similarly, a lot of homeowners assume that the fridge, stove, or sink have to stay in their old places. That’s a mistake. While moving venting and plumbing costs a lot of money, it can be done, and sometimes should be done. 

Choose Your Appliances Early 

Obviously, appliances have a huge impact on the layout. 

When you’re making a remodeling plan, don’t just measure the width of appliances. Take into account the depth and leave clearance, too. A lot of people forget that a fridge needs extra space because of its door and drawers. 

Shop for a new sink early, too. Be careful when choosing one – it will be one of the most important elements of your new kitchen. Take into account factors such as material, size, function, and style. 

Try to find a store that will let you buy all these things early and hold them for you. After all, appliances go in last. 

Good Lighting is the Key 

Don’t scrimp on lighting – it’s a thing that makes or breaks a newly remodeled kitchen. There are three primary types of light fixtures available, and you’ll want all of them. 

Ceiling fixtures/pendants are the ones that will brighten your work zones, such as the sink or the island. Recessed ceiling fixtures, on the other hand, should be installed over open floors – they will provide ambient lighting. 

Finally, under-cabinet lighting has the job of highlighting backsplash, countertop, and cabinetry. 

Pay Special Attention to Countertop 

One of the most expensive updates for an old kitchen is a new countertop. However, the price of a countertop depends on the material – some are cheaper, and some more expensive. 

If you have no problem with materials which require maintenance, soapstone or marble are good choices. If you’re looking to save money, these may be out of reach. Those on a budget should consider getting a laminate countertop. 

However, scrimping on the countertop is rarely a wise idea. Besides being the centerpiece of your kitchen, it’s something that increases the value of the entire house. 

Add a Nice Backsplash 

One of the most cost-effective ways to change the look and feel of a kitchen is by adding a tile backsplash. 

By replacing outdated travertine tiles with colorful, modern ones, the change can be quite dramatic. For easy installation, go with a peel and stick tile backsplash. 

You shouldn’t be afraid to use any materials as long as they’re water & dirt resistant. If you’re on a tight budget, you can always think outside the box. 

Obviously, there’s a lot more to remodeling an old kitchen – these are just the fundamentals. By planning in advance and choosing the right upgrades, you can give the most-trafficked room in your home an update it deserves. 

Kevin has gone through an extensive home renovation with his son, which he has both

thoroughly enjoyed, and dreaded every morning. He is now the proud owner of half his dream house (the other half has been waiting for spring). You can read more of Kevin’s work on PlainHelp.