Renovating a Kitchen: Tips and Considerations

The kitchen is often considered the “heart” of a home. But if your kitchen is cramped, dark, not very functional or just not to your taste, it can be hard to truly feel at home in it. Sometimes a quick fix is all you need, such as painting the cabinets or upgrading the appliances. In other cases, a full kitchen remodel is the best solution. If you’re about to dive into a major renovation/remodeling project, here are a few considerations to keep in mind.

Budget: How Much Does it Cost to Renovate a Kitchen? 

There’s no getting around it: renovating your kitchen is going to require a fairly substantial investment. You’ll want to budget at least 6% to 10% of your home’s total value for a complete remodel. The largest chunk of that (nearly one-third) will likely go toward cabinetry and hardware, with installation and new appliances making up the next largest expense.

Timing

A kitchen remodel has a lot of moving parts, many of which are dependent on other parts. We recommend building a kitchen renovation checklist that accounts for every step of the project. For example, you can’t install the sink until your counter is in place, but to finish the counter you need to have all your cupboards installed first. It’s wise to make a detailed schedule and get your plumber, electrician, tile setter and other contractors lined up well in advance. Try to have all the new pieces — appliances, plumbing fixtures, countertops, tiles, cabinets and so on — on hand before you start anything. That way you can avoid delays if something doesn’t fit, arrives in the wrong colour or doesn’t arrive at all.

Bonus tip: If possible, schedule your kitchen renovation during the warmer times of the year so you can take advantage of the outdoors. When your kitchen is unusable during the renovations, your own barbecue or a restaurant patio can fill the gap — but not so much during the winter.

Design

Your kitchen design depends on a lot of factors. Your personal taste is an obvious one, but how you use your kitchen and what you’re starting with should also influence your design.

Practicality

Your kitchen should serve your needs: Do you bake a lot? Do you prefer to cook alone or have others help? How many small appliances do you use when preparing any given meal? How many more small appliances do you need to store? Do you mind if guests get the “behind the scenes” view or would you rather keep the entertaining space separate? These are all important considerations that can make or break your kitchen design.

Existing Infrastructure, Including Wiring and Plumbing

Working with what’s already in place can save you plenty of time and money. Even so, if the placement of your sink, stove, dishwasher, electrical outlets — or even your windows and walls — just doesn’t work, you can move them. And while there’s a lot you can do yourself, it’s usually best to bring in the pros for major moves like these, especially for your plumbing and wiring.

More Advice for a Successful Kitchen Renovation

Here are a few extra tips that will help make your next kitchen remodel a success.

Prioritize Practicality Over Aesthetics

It’s not enough for your kitchen to look nice if you can’t reach your cupboards or there’s no room for your favourite appliance — meaning you have to constantly haul that appliance in and out of the closet down the hall. And if you have kids, pristine white cabinets and easily damaged countertops might not be the best choice. When there’s a decision to be made between what looks good and what works well, always choose functionality.

Consider Used Equipment

The cost of new appliances and fixtures can add up fast, but you don’t have to get brand-new ones. Gently used equipment or showroom samples can allow you to get the high-end models you want for prices you can manage. Just remember that used appliances may no longer be under warranty, so stick to reputable brands, ask the seller plenty of questions and give the item a “test drive” before you buy if possible.

Make Sure You Have the Necessary Permits

If you’re doing a lot of kitchen work, you’ll probably need a building permit. Once you’ve settled on a design, check with your local authority to find out what permits you need and make sure to secure them before any works starts. And if you’re hiring electricians, plumbers or other contractors, make sure they’re fully licensed. 

Enercare Can Help

Remodeling your kitchen can feel overwhelming, but having the right pros on your side can help. Enercare offers a wide range of plumbing and electrical services to ensure your kitchen renovation goes as smoothly as possible. And to keep everything running in top condition well after the renovations are done, consider an Electrical Protection Plan or a Plumbing and Drains Protection Plan to cover the costs of future repairs you might need.