Kitchens have officially replaced the den as the center of the home. In a recent survey, it was found that families spend more time there than any other room by a landslide of hours. With fireplaces, TVs and desks wired with internet access, the kitchen has truly become the new family room. For the average family, an ideal kitchen will allow kids to do homework on a computer, parents to watch the news on a TV and guests to relax by a fireplace. To make sure everything runs smoothly, organization is vital. With everything going on in one space, it is important to keep everyone out of everyone else’s way. The kitchen should be divided into at least four main areas. There should designated space for cooking meals and eating on the go. Washing dishes and pantry storage take up the second necessary area. A table for studying, craft projects, and family activities, such as carving the Halloween pumpkin, is the next and perhaps the messiest space. A space to relax by the fireplace and enjoy media entertainment is the last piece of a complete kitchen. With so many different areas, the room needs to be tied together through repeated patterns and trends. This is done by using the same shelving, flooring and lighting styles throughout the room. Remodeling a kitchen involves time, stress and a making a big mess. Knowing what to expect and plan for ahead of time can help make the process fun, the way it’s supposed to be. Below is a helpful guide to getting started as well as ideas and tricks that can help raise your re-sale value while keeping your budget down.

Getting Started

Remodeling a kitchen starts with an idea. Magazines, TV shows and online albums are great places to cultivate an idea and gather the information necessary to see it through. For any eye-catching photographs, write down what is unique about the picture and where you found it. Keeping this information organized in a folder will help form an ideal remodeling plan. It is, also, important to know what the end purpose of the remodeling is. There are different options available for someone solely focused on raising the re-sale value and someone who wants to add an entertainment section. Planning for how you intend to use the remodeled space will affect the items found on needs vs. wants lists. These lists will help make future decisions easier and take less time.  When remodeling a kitchen, it is important to budget both time and money. Knowing a monetary budget will lead to better choices and fewer disappointments. A time budget will help plan for any future events that may be affected by your plans.

Going Green

When remodeling a kitchen, going green can save both time and money. There are the famous energy star rated appliances that are 10 to 15 percent more energy conscience than other models. Replacing old appliances with energy efficient models will literally pay you back over time in monthly utility savings. It will, also, pay you back in the re-sale value of your home. There are also faucets and pumps designed to conserve water use. Aerated faucets provide the same amount of pressure as regular faucets but with less water and added air bubbles. Recirculation pumps and tankless hot water heaters keep water heated at command, eliminating the need to leave faucets running. Another way to conserve electricity and avoid the expense of LED lighting is by using fluorescents. Remodeling for a green kitchen doesn’t stop at energy saving appliances. It stretches into the countertops, flooring, wallpaper and cabinets. Using natural and environmentally friendly materials, these are the conscientious decisions that dictate whether old cabinets are painted or tossed.

Creative Alternatives

The cheapest way to remodel a kitchen is by installing new drawers and doors on old cabinet boxes. Turning some cabinets sideways will provide a recycled, but different style. Two existing cabinets can even be pushed together, creating an island. A countertop is really needed to pull the two of them together and could be anything from a block of wood to linoleum. Cabinets can even be made from flooring materials and recycled stainless steel sheets. Unique handles can be made from pipes, wrenches or anything from the attic, garage or basement. Associated with cabinets, countertops are huge factor in the budget. Granite is the most popular material used and doesn’t come cheap. However, granite tiles do cost a lot less than granite by the slab. For a more budget friendly counter that has the feel of granite, quartz and concrete are two more affordable and just as durable options. Quartz countertops never need to be resealed and last for years. Both quartz and concrete are a fraction of the cost of granite countertops. Concrete countertops are formed by pouring liquid concrete into pre-made molds. Like concrete, linoleum flooring can be used as a personalized alternative to granite countertops. Online and restaurant supply and salvage stores are great places to find appliances at a fraction of their value and stock up on some unique furniture.

Explore more ways to remodel your home through participating in a home remodeling course.