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10 Essential Tips Before Your Kitchen Renovation

Updating a kitchen can be among the most time-consuming and expensive renovations you’ll do to your home—and the most rewarding. Not only might a kitchen renovation help to improve your home’s overall value, it can also provide you and your family with a space that makes meal prep easier and entertaining a pleasure. But before you go all in on a renovation, there are a lot of decisions to consider. From how to decide on an overall style to where to put the microwave, below are 10 tips to help you embark on a successful kitchen renovation.

1. Think long term about who will use your kitchen.

Because a kitchen reno is a significant investment you’ll want to make sure that your design will work for your family for years to come. Consider creating flexible storage spaces that can be converted later on into more open shelving units. The cupboard you used to store tupperware when your children were young might make a great space for a built-in wine rack when they’ve grown up.

2. Take your home’s architectural style into account.

The most stylish kitchens are usually those that look like they were custom-made for your home. If you live in a mid-century modern bungalow, a country-style kitchen might not be the best fit. You should always choose a style that fits your taste, but consider ways that you might blend or marry your home’s existing style to the kitchen styles you admire in order to give your kitchen some timeless appeal.

3. Consider professional design and installation help.

A kitchen reno will involve plumbing, carpentry, tiling, and tricky design elements. Working with a trusted professional from the start can ensure that your kitchen is both beautifully designed and built to last. With kitchen renos there will always be hiccups (see number 8), but partnering with professionals can minimize your stress and get you the results you deserve.

4. Leave space for a larger fridge.

Refrigerators have changed a lot over the years, and they surely will over the life of your kitchen. Especially if you choose to install a more economically-prized (and smaller-sized) fridge today, consider leaving flexible space above and to the side of the fridge alcove. That way, ten years from now, you can consider upgrading to a swanky, larger smart fridge without having to tear out all of your cabinetry.

5. Think about where to put the microwave.

Over-the-stove microwaves that double as fume hoods are fashionable and might be a great option for your new kitchen. If you have younger children, however, they can be unreachable, meaning that you’ll have to do all the work of heating up lunchtime mac-and-cheese. Consider mounting the microwave under the countertop so you still save space and give your kids the opportunity to help with meal prep in the ways they can.

6. Order countertops after you install cabinetry.

Especially if you’re going to invest in custom-cut stone, it can be wise to wait until your cabinets are installed before measuring and ordering your countertops. A delay in delivery can be frustrating, but the frustration (and cost) associated with recutting and installing countertops that don’t quite fit can be much worse. A little patience can save you in the long run.

7. Make recycling easy.

Putting garbage and recycling bins under the sink is a timeless go-to, but might not always be the easiest or most logical place to put the recycling, especially if you have an island or if your sink is far from the exit. Take a moment to consider how to store and dispose of your garbage and recycling and build that space into your design. Saving the planet should be easy!

8. Prepare for (a few) frustrations.

With so many moving parts, a kitchen is a complicated room to renovate. If you’re moving electrical or plumbing fixtures you might discover some extra work that needs to be done behind the scenes. Prepare to spend just a little bit more than you originally planned and give yourself at least a few days more to complete complicated projects. Not everything will go as planned, but if you accept a little frustration you’ll be more than rewarded with a beautiful kitchen filled with happy memories for years to come.

Wanda Roberts, VP of Marketing & Success