Embarking on a kitchen remodel is both exciting and nerve-wracking. To make it slightly less nerve-wracking, we asked kitchen pros for ideas about how to make the process easier, less expensive and more successful. Check out this collection of great tips for turning your kitchen remodel into a journey that ends with the kitchen of your dreams!
If you want more counter and storage space, then adding a center island
may be worth the cost. But an island can limit the number of people
working in the kitchen, reduce traffic flow to one-way with no passing,
and make for cramped quarters. Try out an island before committing to one.
Slap together a full-scale model out of cardboard or plywood and live
with it for a few days. Make sure you can open your stove and
refrigerator doors. No space for an island? Consider a kitchen trolley instead.
A temporary kitchen lets you
cook, wash dishes and make your
morning coffee while your main
kitchen is out of commission.
Save a few of your old cabinets and
countertops to build the makeshift
kitchen. You don’t need a fancy setup
—functionality is the goal here. Install
the cabinets and cut the countertop to
fit, if necessary. Then add the items
you need for preparing meals, like a
toaster oven, hot plate, microwave, coffeemaker
and refrigerator (even a half-size
model would be great).
If you want to use your kitchen as an
office, make it part of the remodel. You
don’t need a lot of space. A small seating
area with a computer station is
often adequate. During the remodel, add Internet
access and outlets for plugging in your
computer equipment (visit familyhandyman.com and search for “add outlets”). Also
add storage space like shelving or a
recessed wall cabinet so your paperwork
won’t get lost or create a mess.
If you’re getting new cabinets but want to keep
your old refrigerator, leave enough space between
cabinets so you can replace your fridge with a
wider model later. (Most refrigerators are 32 to 36
in. wide.) Install filler strips or panels to fill up
the extra space. You can install
shelving between the panels over the top of the
fridge or install top cabinets. Order the filler strips
and panels with your cabinets so they match.
If you’re keeping your existing floor and
replacing your cabinets, you may
have to deal with gaps between the
old floor and the new cabinets. Base
cabinets are usually 24 in. deep, but
toe-kick depths vary. Cabinet widths
run in 3-in. increments from 6 in. to
48 in. If the new cabinets don’t fit
the existing cabinet footprint, you’ll
be left with gaps. Be sure the total width
of the new cabinets matches the
overall width of the ones you’re
replacing. Hide gaps smaller
than 3/4 in. with molding.
Measure your installed
base cabinets to determine the
use the ones on your plans. The
row of cabinets may have a different
dimension after installation
due to out-of-square walls.
Place a carpenter’s
square in the corner over
the end cabinet. The corner might be
narrower than the rest of the wall because
of layers of joint compound.
Measure to the farthest point
on the wall over the cabinets
to avoid an ugly gap between
the countertop and the wall
after the countertops are
Pull-down racks give you instant access to kitchen essentials
without the clutter of spice racks or knife holders. When the
cooking is done, the rack swings up against the underside of the
cabinet. You can buy ready-made racks or buy a pair of hinges and
make your own wooden rack to hold knives, spices or other small
items that take up counter space. You’ll find a variety of racks
and hardware at ikea.com, wwhardware.com and other online retailers.
Backsplash racks offer easy access and
stylish storage. Most versions take just a
few minutes to install. Type “backsplash
rack” into any online search engine to
find a range of styles. You’ll also find a
range of prices (up to $60 per foot!). The
stainless steel rails shown here cost
about $3 per foot, and add-on shelves
and bins range from $6 to $20 plus
shipping at ikea.com.
Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.
Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here's a list.
Copyright © 2014 The Family Handyman. All Rights Reserved.