kitchen kitchen remodeling remodeling

Planning to remodel your kitchen? Here’s advice

Living through a kitchen remodel involves adjustments for everyone in the house but the result is a wonderful new space with things just where you want them. But I can’t say enough about the importance of planning and defining and then refining what you want.

Spend a lot of time doing preliminary footwork. Go to home centers and kitchen design shops and take pictures of what you like with your phone or camera. Keep a digital or paper list of features that are “nice to have” and “need to have.” Keep notes in your smartphone or a notebook of the room with dimensions of your walls and where windows and doors are located. Talk to salespeople about the cost of different materials to keep you within your budget. Tear out pictures in magazines with cabinets you like. Print out Web site pages with the kind of appliances you want. Collect samples of wallpaper, cabinets, countertop and flooring materials and store them in one place – a folder, a box, a crate in your car – whatever works for you. Then over time take a second look and review what you have. Keep what you like and toss what you don’t.

This doesn’t happen overnight. Plan to spend a few months absorbing all these ideas and somewhere along the line you’ll be able to focus on exactly what you want and how much you can afford. It’s not easy, but all your preliminary work will help you create the kitchen you want within the budget that you have.

For a quick overview of what should be on your planning radar go to an article on DIYORNOT Kitchen Design Basics and pick up some pointers on creating a floorplan with all the elements to make a perfect new kitchen. And for specific costs of all the projects involved in remodeling visit us at 


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Messy Kitchen? You’re Not Alone

Gene and Katie Hamilton

Are you like more than 1 in 7 homeowners who hide their Godiva chocolate or addictive bag of Cheetos in the cupboard above the refrigerator?  That’s the findings of a recent survey conducted by MasterBrand Cabinets, the largest cabinet manufacturer in North America. I would too if I could reach my upper cabinet, but I keep my secret stash of Beer Nuts in a crock pot on a more accessible shelf.

The Home Organization Survey of 1,000 U.S. homeowners suggests we homeowners are stressed about having a messy kitchen and can’t relax if our kitchen isn’t organized and tidy.  Whether stand-up mixers clutter the countertop or a family member keeps leaving cabinet doors open, 81 percent of homeowners report they can’t relax if their kitchen is a mess. To cope, homeowners admitted in the survey that they go to such lengths as “storing pots and pans in [a] kids’ room,” using a “hidden compartment under the coffee table,” and even filling “the spare bathroom tub” with disparate items to find enough storage.

I remember when we were selling our family house and we got a call about an impromptu showing, my sister Mary Ellen stashed stuff from the kitchen counter in the oven.  I thought that was pretty clever.

While a third of respondents consider organization a hobby, the rest feel it’s better described as a chore. However, millennials may be more up for the challenge, as 42 percent consider organization to be “a hobby,” compared to 33 percent of the general population.

Regardless of whether it’s viewed as a chore or hobby, many homeowners are overwhelmed. In fact, of those surveyed, nearly half think organizing their home is more overwhelming than training for a marathon.

If you’re planning to organize your kitchen or planning a remodel or redo, we hope you’ll visit before you decide to do it yourself or hire a contractor so you can compare the costs and what’s involved.




How Much to Reface, Not Replace Cabinets?

Refacing is an alternative to replacing kitchen cabinets that’s less costly because it uses the existing cabinets and adds a new laminate surface to their base, fronts, sides and doors. It’s a good choice if the cabinets are in sound condition, provide the storage space you want and are located to make the most of your kitchen layout. The job typically involves a laminate veneer being applied to the cabinet bases, doors and drawer fronts, and installing new hardware.

In a medium-sized kitchen with 15 feet of base and wall cabinets a contractor will charge $8,150 to reface the cabinets, which includes labor and material. It does not include new countertops. You can do the job for $650, the cost of the material and pocket a big savings. The job starts with removing the cabinet doors, drawer fronts and hardware. Then the detail work begins. It’s a tedious precision job that includes preparing the surfaces and using specialized veneering rollers, blades and irons to apply the veneer. Despite the big DIY savings we think it’s a job best left to a pro.

To find more DIY and contractor project costs, videos and calculators, visit on a laptop, tablet or smartphone.