Archive for the ‘Kitchens’ Category

When Should You Purchase New Appliances for Your Kitchen?

Thursday, February 14th, 2013

Remodeled kitchen with new appliancesHow many times a day do you go into your kitchen? Five, eight, ten times? Let’s say on average, you make a trip to your kitchen eight times a day. It may not seem like a lot but if you think about it, it means you end up looking at the same kitchen with the same old appliances nearly 3,000 times each year. After some time, that can get pretty boring. If you’re tired of looking at the same appliances in your kitchen year after year, replacing them with new ones seems like a good idea.

However, before you make that decision, take some time to think about a few things.

Is Remodeling Your Kitchen Something You Can Afford?

For starters, you need to determine whether you can afford to have a kitchen remodel or not. In this economy, we all need to cut back on unnecessary spending regardless of how much money we have stashed in our bank accounts. Remodeling your kitchen and buying an entirely new set of kitchen appliances is going to cost a lot of money. You have to think long and hard about whether you really need to do it now or if you can postpone it for a couple more years.

A Remodeled Kitchen Doesn’t Have to Mean You Have to Buy New Appliances

You don’t always need to buy new appliances to give your kitchen a whole new look. If your refrigerator, cooker, dishwasher, and microwave oven are still in good working condition but you desperately want to give your kitchen a fresh look, first try repainting the walls or changing the fixtures. Sometimes, these small changes are enough to give your kitchen the facelift that you want, which certainly is more cost-effective than going ahead and buying an entirely new items.

When It’s a Good Time to Buy New Appliances

Now, when your products have been with you for 10 years or even more, it puts a different light on the subject. Kitchen appliances that are at least a decade old are probably running at very low performance levels and using up at least twice more electricity than they did when they were new. In this case, consider buying new ones to replace them. The new appliances might cost a lot but they’re in fact a wise investment because they’re more energy efficient than your old appliances. Think about the potential savings in your electricity bill.

Buy New Kitchen Appliances One at a Time

If you feel you need to get new kitchen appliances but you do not have a big enough budget, what you can do is purchase one unit at a time. You can start with the oldest appliance or the one that needs to be replaced the most. Over the next few months, you can replace all the rest of the appliances until you finally get the new kitchen you want. This way, you’ll be able to remodel your kitchen the way you want without going into debt.

When you’re buying new kitchen appliances, think about how they will look when installed in your kitchen. This is particularly important if you’re not planning to change your kitchen’s current design. The style and color of the new appliances should work nicely with the existing design of your kitchen; they need to look like they’re actually a part of the original design.

What to Do When Its Time for a Kitchen Remodel

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

Kitchen Remodeling Project

It’s time to remodel your kitchen if you notice any portion of your floor cracked or badly stained and if burns and scratches are all over your once gleaming countertop. Kitchen remodeling is the only solution to your erstwhile problem of inefficient layout in the kitchen. It is also the perfect opportunity to update the features of your kitchen and increase the value of the whole house as a result. However, you will have to prepare yourself because kitchen remodeling is a strenuous process albeit an exciting one. With a little patience and creativity, you will soon have the kitchen of your dreams.

Should You Go with a Minor Upgrade or Major Renovation?

The extent of work in kitchen remodeling varies from minor upgrades to major renovation. Sometimes, all that is needed for a new look is a change of hardware on the kitchen cabinets or re-facing them.  Sometimes, replacement is required for the whole cabinet system, worn out flooring or countertops. These entail simpler jobs but they can greatly improve your kitchen. On the other hand, if you want to enjoy a brand new kitchen, then what you need is a full-scale kitchen remodeling.

The whole process of kitchen remodeling starts by noting down everything that you want in a kitchen. Evaluate your present kitchen and see which features you want to retain, change or upgrade. It will help to scan magazines or the Internet for ideas for kitchen remodeling. Try to clip or print the pictures of kitchen designs and equipment that you want included in your new kitchen. It’s a godo idea to make a file of the kitchen designs and items you like.

Determining Your Kitchen Remodeling Budget

The next step is setting the budget. Determine the amount that you are willing and can afford to spend for your kitchen remodeling and match it with the kitchen design and equipment ideas that you collected. There are some pretty good deals you can get on a number of items although you might have to settle with a few others. Yet, with careful planning, you can still achieve a stylish and well-designed space. This is the time to consult a kitchen designer to help you out with your remodeling plans.

Picking the Right Kitchen Remodeling Contractor

Do take the time and do your homework before picking a contractor. It is a good idea to check out local home improvement outlets or re-modelers to see their field of specialization and check their references. Discuss your goals with the professionals you’re thinking of hiring and try to assess how comfortable you feel when dealing with the contractor. One of your main criteria in hiring is how well the contractor listens to your ideas, and tries to incorporate them in the remodeling of your kitchen. Strive for a cordial, happy relationship with the contractor so they will give their best to this project.

Preparing Your Family for the Kitchen Remodeling

And before the actual work begins, make sure the whole family is prepared for the commotion and disorder associated with any kitchen remodeling. Troubles may be kept to a minimum by planning ahead but the inconvenience is still something that you should learn to live with. Be clear with the contractor about the project timetable and keep the family informed so they can adjust their own expectations accordingly. Pretty soon, all chaos of the kitchen remodeling will be a thing of the past as everybody at home gets to enjoy the comfort and beauty of the new kitchen.

Styles of Kitchen Countertops – The Pros and Cons of Each

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

When it comes to remodeling a home, the heart of the project generally lies in the kitchen. Since most families spend much of their time in the kitchen either cooking, eating or just chatting, a makeover in this room can have a profound effect on the overall appeal of a home. By far, the best way to take your kitchen to the next level is to replace the countertops.

Who Needs New Countertops?

People decide to replace their kitchen countertops for a variety of reasons. Maybe they have suffered stains and general damage over the years. Or perhaps the homeowner just wants to upgrade to a nicer, more modern style. Whatever the reason, before you choose a countertop style surface for your kitchen, you need to know what’s available. Different types and styles of kitchen countertops abound from the simple to the elegant. Each varies not only in cost but also in  benefits and drawbacks. Learning the pros and cons of each available surface will help you pick the right style for your kitchen remodeling project.

Benefits of The Different Countertops Available

Laminate
Laminate is one of the most common countertop styles because it is affordable. Laminate countertops are also popular for their durability. Not only are they water-resistant, but they clean up easily with only a sponge. They are also available in a wide variety of colors and patterns.

 

Laminate Kitchen Countertops

Laminate Kitchen Countertops

Tile
Tile countertops certainly have a lot going for them. They are extremely durable and fire-resistant. They come in a variety of types, including, glass, stone, ceramic, and metal. Not only is this style beautiful, it tends to last, making it a great choice for a kitchen remodeling project.

Tile Kitchen Countertops

Tile Kitchen Countertops

Marble
Installing marble countertops is one of the most exquisite ways to heighten the beauty and class of a kitchen. Everyone can appreciate the beauty of marble, and, additionally, everyone knows it is expensive. So, if class and prestige is what you want your kitchen to radiate, marble countertops are the choice for you.

 

Marble Kitchen Countertops

Marble Kitchen Countertops

Granite
Like marble countertops, granite styles offer a classy, expensive look and a durability that can withstand a respectable degree of punishment. Unlike marble, these types of countertops are available in a wide variety of patterns and designs. So, if you have the money for marble, but don’t like the limitations in design, granite is the next obvious choice.

Granite Kitchen Countertops

Granite Kitchen Countertops

Concrete
Concrete countertops are popular both because they are relatively inexpensive and because of their versatility. Since this surface is created at the time of its installation, it can be shaped and colored in any number of ways. The end result often gives the kitchen an original look that won’t be found in any other home.

Concrete Kitchen Countertops

Concrete Kitchen Countertops

Stainless Steel
This type of countertop is well-liked because of its modern appearance and extreme durability. Besides being water and fireproof, stainless steel is very easy to clean and requires very little maintenance. The surface can also be etched with patterns to give it an original artistic style.

Steel Kitchen Countertops

Steel Kitchen Countertops

Wood
By far the most popular kitchen counter surface, wood offers an attractive, natural appearance at an affordable price. Wood countertops can be installed either as finished or unfinished depending on the preference of the homeowner. Many prefer the warm atmosphere provided by wood countertops over the cold modern look of stainless steel. This type of surface offers a good balance between beauty and affordability.

Wood Kitchen Countertops

Wood Kitchen Countertops

Risks or Negatives of The Different Countertops Available

Laminate
Although, they are affordable, laminate countertops do have a couple of drawbacks. For one, any damage to them is difficult to conceal. So, if any harm comes to them, they generally need to be replaced. Also, they do sometimes crack and separate, making them look a little cheap.

Tile
As previously mentioned, tile is beautiful and durable. However, it is relatively expensive depending on the surface area of the countertops. Tiles can also harbor bacteria from vegetables and meats if they are improperly sealed, and they do occasionally crack from time to time.

Marble
Although, they are beautiful, marble countertops have some considerable drawbacks. Besides being very expensive, marble countertops require higher maintenance. Since they are porous, there is a danger that they can be stained by common grease and oils. It is for this reason that these types of countertops have traditionally been used for pastry kitchens only. However, if you choose to add them to your kitchen, you must seal and reseal them often to keep them looking new.

Granite
Granite countertops have the same basic drawbacks as marble ones. Not only are they expensive, they are also porous and must be sealed often to avoid potential staining. Also, since they are made of stone, acidic foods like limes and lemons can actually etch the surface causing undesirable markings and patterns. For those who want the classy look of marble or granite, but not the headache of the extra maintenance required, synthetic stone countertops may be the answer. Not only do they provide a similar look to actual granite surfaces, they are easier to clean and won’t stain.

Concrete
Although, a concrete countertop surface is inexpensive, the professional installation can be pricey. Also, like marble and granite surfaces, concrete countertops must be re-sealed often. This type of countertop is also extremely heavy and can be susceptible to cracking.

Stainless Steel
Although, stainless steel is durable, it’s not indestructible. Dents can happen, and when they do, they can seriously damage the overall appearance of the countertop. Also, this surface can be expensive and the clattering of pots and dishes against it can be a little noisy.

Wood
Since wood countertops are so much cheaper than other types of countertops, it shouldn’t surprise you to learn that there are several downsides to the surface. Not only are they susceptible to water damage, they can also be stained and burned quite easily. Furthermore, unfinished wood countertops can easily soak up bacteria like salmonella and E coli. So, cutting boards must be used in food preparation.

Replacing Your Old Kitchen Sink

Saturday, October 22nd, 2011
Kitchen Sink Replacement

Quality Stainless Steel Sink

No kitchen is complete without a kitchen sink. In fact, if your kitchen sink is damaged in some way, you are going to find it very hard to accomplish anything in your kitchen. How can you wash your vegetables, your dishes, or even your hands? It’s important to always keep your sink in good working condition. In case something happens to your sink, you shouldn’t even think twice about having it replaced right away.

There are several factors you need to consider when you are looking for a replacement kitchen sink. For starters, if you are just replacing the sink and are not planning to do a complete kitchen makeover, your new sink should be roughly the same size as your previous one since it will have to fit into the same opening in your counter.

However, if you are willing to go one step further and change your kitchen counter as well, the size of your sink shouldn’t be too much of a problem because you can focus your attention on other issues, such as the style of the sink you want. Basically, you have two choices: a single-basin sink or a double-basin sink. Double-basin sinks are generally more efficient especially if you have no dishwasher, while single-basin ones are generally more stylish.

Of course, practicality should be among your highest priorities so your decision should depend largely on what style of sink you think will work better in your kitchen. However, just because you put more weight on practicality does not mean you should sacrifice style. Your new kitchen sink should definitely be something you can actually use but at the same time, it should also reflect your style and go well with whatever decor you already have going in your kitchen.

Since your kitchen sink is going to be installed alongside the counter tops and the cabinetry, these elements should all complement each other and work harmoniously in terms of color and style. Most kitchen sinks today are actually made from stainless steel so there won’t be much decision to make in regards to color. However, if you do want to have a splash of color in your sink, there are sinks that come in classic colors like almond, granite and white.

Once you know just what kind of kitchen sink you want, you can begin the task of finding that perfect sink. Good places to start are home improvement stores in your area. These stores usually have dozens upon dozens of kitchen sinks available, but if they do not have the one you are looking for, you can always turn to the Internet. When you shop online, you can browse through hundreds of sink catalogs until you find the one you want. You can also do a side-by-side comparison in order to find out which company is offering the lowest price on your preferred sink.

When you have purchased your new kitchen sink, the next step is to have it installed by a professional. You can even do the installation yourself;  just follow the instructions that come with the product. If you have no home remodeling experience, though, it is best to leave the job to a qualified contractor.

Kitchen Range Vent Options

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

range-ventMost kitchens these days have some sort of vent over the stovetop. Standard range vents for kitchens need to be able to handle at least 120 CFM (cubic feet per minute) of air. If you cook a lot or the range vent is too noisy, it may be time to upgrade your unit.

The three types of range vents are duct, convertible, and ductless.

Duct range vents direct cooking smoke and steam to the outside of the home. These vents may or may not have a filter connected to them. Modern duct range vents will have a cap that is usually installed on the roof. Depending on the power of the system and how active the kitchen is expected to be, this may include its own filter.

Convertible range hoods can be used with either ductless or duct systems. This is handy because you don’t have to immediately install a duct system to make it operational. But installing a duct system will vastly increase its power and efficiency. The advantage of this kind of range hood system is that it will fit most residential cooking needs.

Ductless range vents rely exclusively on filters to clean the grease and grime from the smoke and circulate the clean air back into the kitchen. Those that use charcoal filters can remove odors, but they must be periodically replaced. Some use an aluminum filter that can be cleaned with soap and water. Filters must be washed or replaced often (every 3 to 6 months) to maintain the vent’s peak operating efficiency. Typically these will not have the power to handle nearly as much airflow as the other two types of range hoods. For homeowners who don’t cook much, these are still a viable option.