In most areas of the home, you can get by with a little paint and some clever use of window treatments to mask the fact that your house hasn’t been updated since the Reagan administration. The kitchen, however, does not lie. If your kitchen is out of date, no amount of paint, gingham and tchotchke will hide your grizzled appliances.
Kitchen remodeling can seem a daunting task, but a well-planned kitchen remodel can add more than 80% of its cost to the value of your home. Conversely, a crumbling kitchen is a major turn-off to prospective buyers. Even if you don’t plan on selling your home, your kitchen should be a pleasant place to work and eat, not a source of frustration.
If you’re waffling about remodeling your kitchen, here are five signs you should consider going for it:
1. Your dishes keep elbowing each other off the counter. If you’re can’t squeeze out enough space on your counter to prepare a decent meal, it’s probably time for a kitchen home remodel. In order to work in your kitchen efficiently, you need at least 158 total inches of counter space, says the National Kitchen and Bath Association. This includes adequate counter space on either side of your sink and landing space next to frequently used appliances such as the refrigerator and microwave.
2. When you pull out the flour, the baking soda and sugar come tumbling after it. A lack of adequate cabinet space is another key reason to remodel. Having to crouch down and shuffle pots and pans around to find a medium saucepan is no way to live. You should have one-step access to all items you use regularly and no more than two-step access to items you use infrequently. Most kitchen cabinet remodels nowadays include some wonderful space-saving and convenient storage features.
3. Your cakes come out burnt at the edges and raw in the middle. Your unreliable outdated appliances could be costing you money, and not just in spoiled milk and wasted ingredients. Today’s appliances have become drastically more water and energy efficient than their predecessors. A kitchen remodel with new appliances can save you both frustration and cash in the long term.
4. You’re constantly tripping over the kids, your fellow cook, or yourself. Considering the kitchen is the most high-traffic area of your home, your floor space should be abundant enough to prevent traffic jams and major collisions. Kitchen walkways should be at least 36 inches wide, and a work aisle should be at least 42 inches wide for one cook and 48 inches wide for two, the NKBA says.
5. Looking at your kitchen makes you lose your appetite. No matter how neat you are, cabinets, counter tops, appliances and backsplashes become grungy over time. There’s no shame in that. But if you wouldn’t feel comfortable eating in your kitchen, chances are you won’t enjoy cooking in it, either. A kitchen remodel can give you a shiny clean slate — one you’ll be eager to get in and dirty up.