Designing Your New Kitchen On The Computer

Designing Your New Kitchen On The Computer

You hear it over and over, the best way to improve the value of a home is to spruce up the kitchen. Fortunately, there are a lot of computer programs that let you do this in spades.

Designing Your New Kitchen On The Computer

Okay, just about everyone knows upgrading a kitchen is a smart financial move. For those of you, not me, who enjoy cooking, it may make sense from a purely personal view. Regardless, you need a concrete idea of what you want to add and subtract from your current kitchen.

A kitchen design program is immensely helpful when it comes to creating a vision of your new kitchen. Once you start using these programs, you will be utterly stunned. They allow you to insert different styles, colors, layouts and even particular products in certain situation. A quality program, however, takes it a step further. It will create a virtual kitchen for you in a two or three dimension format. You can then “walk” around in your kitchen and see it from various angles and so on. All and all, it is very impressive. Sort of like Finding Nemo for adults.

Alas, not all of these programs are created equal. There are absolutely free versions available on the web that you can download directly to your computer. In truth, you get what you pay for when you use these versions. Since you aren’t paying anything, you can figure out the quality involved. Ah, but there is a solution.

Nearly all top kitchen design computer programs online come with an interesting marketing pitch. The give you a free period where you can try out the software. This free trial is made available because the companies are marketing to decorators and designers who are looking for a long term software solution. With costs ranging from $300 to a $1,000 dollars for this software, they don’t actually expect homeowners to buy it so there is no need to feel guilty. If I am correct in assuming you are only redesigning one kitchen, you can use the free trial to your benefit. Most provide full access to the program, which should suffice for your needs. Just make sure to have all your ideas jotted down since the trials don’t last forever.

How to Plan for a Kitchen Remodeling or Renovation Project

How to Plan for a Kitchen Remodeling or Renovation Project

Deciding to remodel your kitchen is one of the best investments you can make. The kitchen is where people spend most of their waking hours while at home. It is where they cook, eat, and gather with the family. It is also where they talk and share ideas about the latest trends and fashions. Consequently, it is not surprising that the kitchen would be on the top of the list of home improvement projects. Having an up to date, modern kitchen, allows people not only to function better with new cabinets and appliances, but also enables them to feel that they are indeed living in modern society.

Kitchen remodeling however can be a very messy and disruptive home improvement project. And the length of the disruption can take as long as a month or more, even when well planned out.

To mitigate the disruption of a kitchen renovation project, planning is absolutely essential. The first item to consider is whether you will do it yourself, or hire a general contractor. Regardless of what route, a homeowner needs to first sketch out some kitchen remodeling ideas to ensure the kitchen design and costs will meet their targeted functional requirements and budget. If a general contractor is to be hired these initial sketches will be helpful in communicating your kitchen remodeling plans and ideas.

During the planning phase, the homeowner should identify the main objectives of the future kitchen. They should research the latest products on the market including: cabinets, countertops, appliances, and flooring. If the kitchen is more than 5 years old, there are a lot of new products to choose from. For example, Silestone is quickly surpassing Granite and Corian, as the premier countertop surface as it is extremely hard, elegant in appearance, and comes in many colors. For cabinets, the trend appears to be towards lighter colors as they help the appearance of lightening and enlarging a room. In regards to appliances, the Stainless Steel look appears to be in. And for flooring, vinyl or wood is the trend. Tile looks nice, however, it can be unforgiving in a room where things tend to get dropped. In addition, if there is no radiant heating planned for the floor, tile has the tendency to feel cold on the feet.

It is also important to consider any structural changes to the existing kitchen area. Is a new kitchen island desired, or will walls or doorways need to be moved or installed?

When developing your kitchen remodeling plan, it is important to note that professional kitchen designers like to think of a triangle when starting a new kitchen design. The three points of the triangle include the Sink, Refrigerator, and Stove. Make sure your sketches consider this, as it will ensure a good functional kitchen. Also, consider adequate walking areas and space for an eating area, such as a table or center island, with applicable space included for chairs. I would suggest that the walking areas be wide enough for two people to walk through at the same time.

The sketches should also include dimensions, as these will be needed when meeting with the general contractor or kitchen designer. Finally, consider where the existing outlets and power for the stove are, and assess if additional outlets will be needed or old outlets relocated.

For more help on remodeling your kitchen, see HomeAdditionPlus.com’s Kitchen Remodeling Bid Sheet. The Kitchen Remodeling Bid Sheet will help ensure that your kitchen remodeling project goes smoothly and you get the finished kitchen you are looking for. In addition, it will help to ensure that your remodeled kitchen will be accomplished on time and on budget.

How To Plan For Kitchen Remodeling

Kitchen remodeling is one of the most desirable home improvement projects for many homeowners. A new kitchen increases the value of your home and makes your life easier. The first step to your new kitchen is to set a budget.

DECIDE HOW MUCH MONEY YOU ARE WILLING TO SPEND

This will help drive your other decisions. Be sure to leave a cushion in your budget for additional, unexpected expenses.

When determining your budget, consider how long you intend to stay in your home. If you are planning to sell in the next year or so, you may want to spend less money. Decide which features you must have in your new kitchen. You can cut corners in other areas by substituting less expensive materials for the counter tops, flooring or cabinet doors.

RESEARCH KITCHEN TRENDS

Before you start planning your remodeling project, do some research on the current trends and designs being used in kitchens. Look for information on the internet or in home decorating magazines.

Visit your local home improvement center for more ideas. Start a file for pictures of kitchens you love, furniture, appliances, fabric swatches or anything else you find interesting. This will help when you are ready to start purchasing items for your new room.

OPTIONS IN KITCHEN REMODELING

Cabinets are an expensive item in any remodeling project. They often take up half of the overall budget for the room. If you can’t afford the cost of brand new cabinets, there are cheaper alternatives. Consider cabinet refacing rather than replacing the entire cabinet. In refacing, the doors are replaced and exterior wood areas are covered.

This is much less expensive since you are using the same cabinets. An even cheaper alternative is to paint your existing cabinets and buy new hardware.

If you must have new cabinets, consider adding some extra features. Features such as tilt out drawers, pull out garbage cans or a lazy Susan inside a corner cabinet are great space savers and make the room more functional. The doors can be either solid wood, clear glass or stained glass. Shop around to find out what is available before making a purchase.

You can save money on flooring and countertops as well. Substitute vinyl flooring in place of more expensive ceramic tile to save money. If you can install ceramic tiles yourself, you can have them for about the price you would pay a contractor to install vinyl flooring.

Countertops vary widely in price depending on the material that is used. Counters that are more durable are also more expensive. You may want this if you want to be able to cut food directly on the counter. For most people, this is an easy way to cut the overall cost of your kitchen. You can find less expensive material that gives the look of marble, butcher’s block or other expensive materials.

Once you have decided what you want, consider how much of the job you can do yourself. Contractors can eat up a large portion of your budget. The more you can do, the more you will save in the overall cost of the room. Use the savings for great new furniture.

Remodeling the Kitchen

Brand new dishwashers, awesome stoves and ovens, along with brand new refrigerators are all types of appliances that are frequently called upon when trying to decide on interesting things to do when remodeling the kitchen area of the house. The kitchen is a great way to remodel your home, but can also be one of the most frustrating projects you could ever take on.

Not only are there so many things to consider, but other questions are important to consider also, such as how long the whole process will take and if you will ever be without a kitchen for a day or two while the remodeling is happening.

However, most homeowners enjoy the time that they spend remodeling their kitchens. One of the most common additions that individual homeowners make when remodeling their kitchen is new cabinets.

There are so many options to use when adding new cabinets. The first choice is to build completely brand new cabinets to use for storage. If the current cabinets are sufficient then you may only need to do a cabinet makeover, which means simply adding a fresh coat of paint to them.

If you are a homeowner and you do decide to construct new cabinets in the kitchen then there are also a couple other options. First, consider whether or not you truly need to hire a contractor to do the job. You may be able to complete new kitchen cabinets as a do-it-yourself project, which would save money in the long run.

Re-doing the Floors

The floor is another big project to take on, and this is another possible do-it-yourself remodeling project for the kitchen. Unless you are in a big hurry to complete the floors in the kitchen, many people find that it is an enjoyable time when they re-do their kitchen floors by themselves. There are many people who decide to tile the kitchen floors; however, laminate floors are a definite option too. There are several laminate floors that are great for kitchens and some of them will even make it look nice and attractive for potential home buyers.

Scrapping the Entire Kitchen

Of course, many people consider what would be ideal when remodeling their kitchen. Remodeling any room in the house is a big project to undertake anyway, so there are some individuals who just decide to go completely out on a limb and structurally change the way their kitchen is set up. This does mean that you will probably be without your kitchen for a day or two, but the wait will definitely be worth it. If your kitchen is currently a plain old kitchen that needs plenty of updates then consider expanding and re-doing the whole thing.

Changes may be needed if you are going to switch appliances around, but some of the possibilities of this type of remodeling project include adding a built-in stove, adding and building an island to store pots and pans (which can also double as a chef’s work place), as well as making more storage room and expanding the countertops and counter-space.

All of these things will not only literally bring your kitchen to life, but they’ll add an excellent value to your home that you’ve never had before!