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You like tips? I got tips. In fact, I have five biggies for making over a kitchen—one of the most popular home makeover projects out there.
Take Notes: If your kitchen makeover is a complete renovation, for weeks in advance, write down problems that occur on a regular basis so that you can address them in your updated space. Pay attention to areas of congestion within the room, counter space, if the fridge door doesn’t fully open because of makeshift storage next to it, ditto for pull-out drawers, etc. Having this list handy when working with a kitchen design pro will make sure all those trouble spots are addressed when the new room is underway.
Of course, not all kitchen makeovers need a full demo. If you’re looking for a change in style without breaking the bank, work with what you have. Keep appliances where they are and use the cabinet boxes to save money. It is far less expensive to change cabinet doors or refinish what you have than to buy brand new cabinets. And just like that, you’ll have found the money to splurge on a natural-material countertop! Which leads me to...
Be Budget-Sneaky: When planning any major, or minor for that matter, home improvement project, budgets are top of mind. This is especially true for the kitchen, since you have so many questionable factors that could add up to big, unplanned spending when you’re not being careful about your dollars and cents (think: electrical, plumbing, and gas connections that might need to be moved or updated to accommodate new locations or modernized appliances. Tricky and pricey, all of ’em). So I like to take a planned budget and pretend I only have 80% of that number as the entire budget. Then I tuck away that extra 20% for the inevitable: broken tiles, hated nonrefundable fixture, hiring a pro, or the right to change one’s mind.
Guard Your Grout: Tiles are important to a kitchen, so after they’re installed, you want them to always look good as new. Dirty grout makes tiles look old, especially around mildew-producing water, which is an issue since one of the most popular grout colors is some shade of white! My solution: apply a silicon grout sealer to the grout as soon as it dries. A great option is Tile Guard Silicone Grout Sealer. I like it because it contains silicon to keep the sealer moist and mold resistant, prevents water penetration through the grout, won’t allow the grout to become discolored, and the applicator bottle makes it super easy to apply. If you choose another brand, use a sealer with silicon, and apply it with smaller applicator bottle that has a foam roller wheel on top to make it simple.
Move it or Lose It: Finally, if your project involves installing a new floor, be absolutely sure to remove any appliance that’s under the counter and then install the new floor underneath where the appliances will go. Then, reinstall the appliance and adjust its legs to accommodate the added height of the new floor. I have seen new floors installed up to, but not under the dishwasher, then of course the dishwasher breaks down and needs to be replaced. You go to remove the appliance, and it won’t come out because the new floor has wedged it in place. Trust me, the legs are adjustable for this reason. Do not find yourself doing a ton of additional work when it can easily be avoided from the start.