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Kitchen remodeling projects are among the most important improvements you could make to your home – not just vital to make your life more comfortable, but also providing an excellent value, as a considerable part of the investment can be recovered, when you sell the house. Of course, you have to take a few things into consideration – if you go overboard with your favorite type of decoration, don’t expect a potential buyer to be equally excited about that. However, if you stick to the basic remodeling guidelines, you can be sure of getting a good value.
The most important part is getting the right floor plan – if you start moving things around after the work is completed, you’ll end up losing quite a lot of time and money, and you may even end up damaging the parts already done, so make sure you start with a good floor plan drawing.
Some things are best left as they are – including the sink and the stove, for example. Changing the water and gas piping is very expensive, so don’t do it, unless you absolutely have to. The same is valid for the existing air conditioning units – even if these are easier to relocate, but still, you could be saving serious money if you keep them where they were before and you don’t have to drill new holes in the walls.
If there’s anything you can do to bring in more light, don’t think twice about it – go ahead and do it. Wall-to-wall windows, for example, have and will always be popular. A skylight, where appropriate, makes a charming source of light in a tight spot – and it adds personality to any room.
The drafted floor plan is the easiest way to make sure everything fits properly. If you have any doubts, the National Kitchen and Bathroom Association has some great tips and suggested guidelines (NKBA recommendations are just that, recommendations – they’re not mandatory, which is why you won’t hear your contractor mentioning them, but they’re extremely useful to give you a rough idea of the ideal proportions of any kitchen). For example, the distance from one work center to another should be anywhere between 4 and 9 feet, and the walkway should have a width of at least 36 inches.
Whenever the space is tight, integrating appliances into the cabinetry is a great way to save room and to create a sleek, modern look. Of course, this is usually more expensive, and it may involve building custom or semi-custom cabinets, but the end result is spectacular.
Corners don’t have to be square – and furnishings with round corners make any room memorable. If you have sufficient patience and rummage through garage sale, furniture with round corners can be found at great discounts, since it’s not everybody’s cup of tea. Repeating shapes is a great way to provide unity to a room design; for example, the round corners of a central island can be repeated with round corners on a carpet or a cabinet in kitchen design.