The Right Layout For Your Kitchen

5_12When the remodeling bug bites, the urge to jump right into the project may become almost overwhelming. This can be especially true when the room being renovated is used on a daily basis such as a kitchen or bath – the quicker the sounds of hammers and saws reverberate throughout your home, the sooner your family can enjoy the new and improved version of one of their favorite rooms.

However, demonstrating a little restraint in the early stages may result in both you and your wallet being a little happier with the finished project. Perhaps the area where taking some extra time to consider the choices available can most help your budget and overall satisfaction with the renovation is selecting a floor layout that’s right for the floor space.

Regardless of whether you’re planning a major renovation or just a few simple changes, the floor layout you choose for your kitchen or bathroom can have a large affect on the job costs and your happiness with the competed project. Consider these tips before making your final floor space decision:

Remember the Mechanicals

Kitchens and bathrooms have a lot of parts that work together to make a functional room – much more than any other room in your home. Both rooms have electrical, plumbing, and mechanical requirements and the more you change your current floor layout, the higher your remodeling costs can climb. Moving a range or oven a significant distance across the kitchen may require running a new wire all the way back to your panel box and there may need to be gas lines extended to the new location as well. Although relocating appliances can increase floor space and make the floor layout more user friendly, one must always be mindful of hidden contingencies that can add to the costs of doing so.

Removing a wall to expand the floor space isn’t always as easy as it sounds – there may be many hidden mechanical lines that will need to be relocated to other walls or chases and each can increase your project cost. If your home is built on a concrete slab, major floor layout changes that affect plumbing drain lines can cause remodeling costs to quickly escalate once the jackhammers and concrete saws are involved.

A good rule of thumb is that if you’re remodeling on a tight budget, refrain from making major floor space changes from your existing layout.

Be Realistic About Available Floor Space

If you’re working with a kitchen or bath that has a limit to the amount of square footage available for your renovation, be realistic as to what can be fit into the floor space. Commercial grade refrigerators, large kitchen islands, and spas with multiple jets are all great, but if they take away so much floor space that the remodeled room doesn’t function efficiently, you may be wasting a lot of your hard-earned money on the makeover.

Your new kitchen or bath floor layout should feel easy to navigate and be comfortable to use. If there’s a question as to whether items will fit in your remodeled room, use a measuring tape and painter’s tape to create their footprint on the floor. Most building material manufacturers provide exact product dimensions on their websites. You should be able to easily walk through and work in the room without running into obstacles or feeling confined. Putting some forethought into your floor layout early in the planning process will help insure the kitchen you get is efficient and functional.

Make Use of Available Resources

There’s almost no end to the resources available to get ideas for your new kitchen or bath floor layout. Browse through interior design magazines, spend a few evenings looking at kitchen remodeling contractors’ websites or set a weekend aside to walk through the model homes builders have in your area. Homebuilders often use national design trends and architects who are up-to-date on the latest innovations to create their kitchen and bath floor layouts. While the kitchens and baths you see may not be an exact match for the floor space you have, they can be a great way to get the creative juices flowing.

Consult with Professionals

While you may be a seasoned DIYer, there’s a pretty good chance you don’t have as much experience in kitchen or bath floor layout as a remodeling contractor or trained designer. These professionals have often successfully completed numerous kitchen and bath renovations and can provide educated input into the most economical and efficient ways to use your available floor space. They are also well acquainted with local building and mechanical codes that can affect your floor layout and total remodeling costs.

It may be difficult to hold yourself back, but taking a little time at the beginning of the project to ensure you’re selecting the right floor layout for your floor space should result in a kitchen or bath that’s a pleasure to use and doesn’t strain your remodeling budget.

Be sure to read our helpful article regarding kitchen remodeling costs and their return on investment if you are considering a remodeling project for your home.

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