No Picture
Renovation House

Do It Yourself Kitchen Renovation: Planning for Function and Beauty

The best looking kitchens in the world can’t make up for poor planning. If the guiding principle of the “work triangle”–meaning the close proximity of the refrigerator, sink, and range–is broken, then the kitchen will always feel and look awkward. Functionality has to lead the plan, and a connection to the outdoors and nature can lead a great design. While a small window over the kitchen sink used to be the kitchen highlight, now large windows and glass doors leading onto the deck or patio is the norm.
If you are redesigning your kitchen within its existing footprint, then plan wide walkways. The pathways throughout should be at least 36 inches wide. Paths around the cooking zone should be 42 inches wide for a one-cook kitchen and 48 inches wide if two people are cooking.
Place the refrigerator in a location accessible to both kitchen guests and the one or two cooks actually working in the cooking and cleanup areas. Also, keep the cook-top out of traffic areas so guests or children don’t accidentally catch handles and cause spills when walking through.
Keep the refrigerator, dishwashers, oven ranges away from the kitchen corners. You don’t want the doors banging into each other if they need to be opened at the same time. Also, to make kitchen cabinets fully functional, plan space for the door’s clearance and the best swing direction in your kitchen design.
If you can create a separate walk-in pantry, it frees up space in the kitchen that may be used for wider doors and windows that can look out at the rear garden view. This is especially helpful as at least one wall is lost to windows and a door and there’s less space for cabinets. One handy tip, if you do build a walk-in pantry room, include an additional stand-alone freezer. It allows you to keep your grocery budget in check by buying and storing lower-priced bulk items.
And, if you can, open up the ceiling and expand the kitchen upward. It adds a sense of spaciousness and can also provide upper cabinets for long term storage of rarely used items, such as large bowls and baskets.
Kitchen Islands
Peninsulas and kitchen islands do look wonderful and provide an awesome place to gather friends and family while cooking–or even a great informal place to eat. However, plan the wide pathways accordingly. You need at least 42 inches between the island and the surrounding cabinets and appliances to maintain traffic flow, according to the National Kitchen and Bath Association, and your local building codes. While the island might be one of the most desired items, if it’s not appropriate to the scale of the room, it won’t work for you or for your home’s value.
Additional cabinet space and a prep sink increase an island’s function, but think hard about adding a cook-top. The splatters, mess and smells it creates are a nuisance. And consider the ventilation, which is dependent upon the layout. Experts have tested and found under-cabinet and wall-chimney hoods, the type commonly used over ranges, are much better at capturing smoke and steam than the downdraft systems frequently put in islands.
The Open Floor Plan
Trends will continue for kitchen designs to open their floor plans to include an informal family living space, formerly called the “den.” It is now called the “great room” and is considered to be the most likely room to be included in new homes built in 2015, according to the National Association of Home Builders’ survey.
If you can afford to expand your kitchen renovation, then break down a wall or two and integrate the kitchen with an adjacent room or family living space to create your must-have great room feature. Therefore, when it comes to your design focus of connecting with the outdoors via large windows and glass doors to the deck, patio, garden or backyard, then let the idea expand to the design of the great room as well. However, while you are letting in the light and the view, it’s necessary to keep heated and cooled air from leaking out. Pay the added expense for windows and doors with extra insulating features like heat-reflecting low-E coatings or argon gas between glass panes.
Be Practical
Find the correct height and location for a microwave oven as it may vary from the standard depending on the height of the chef or the kids in the household. For adults, the standard is at least 15 inches above the counter-top level. For kids, a below the counter-top shelf setup might be more suitable. Also, consider how and where you use items as you plan the pantries and cabinets so you can eliminate wasted steps, like locating flatware drawers near the dishwasher for ease of unloading.
Be smart and don’t sacrifice …

No Picture
Home Renovation

Useful Advice When Planning A Home Improvement Project

No matter if you want to add value to your house or just make things look a bit better, it is important to realize the pitfalls you may encounter. Home improvement can be a disaster without the right information. It can take a lifetime to master truly professional home improvement skills. It is not a job for just anyone. This is the reason these tips are useful.

If you plan to purchase a home, be sure to get a professional inspection. By hiring a professional, you can find out what needs to be fixed without simply relying on the seller’s word or what you see. Having a professional that is neutral will also be beneficial to both parties.

Think twice about improving with a personal touch. The more personal your renovation is, it becomes less likely that another person will buy the house for what it cost you to do the work in the first place.

You may want to purchase a combination washer and dryer if you have a tiny house, condominium or apartment. Many combined washer-dryer models can fit in compact spaces or under counters. A combo unit washes the clothes and when done switches to a dryer.

If you have a squeaky floor, try using some construction glue. You’ll have to work from the basement or in the crawlspace but the effort will be worth it. Use a caulk gun and apply glue on both sides of each floor joist.

Plastic 2-liter bottles are an excellent kitchen storage option. They will protect just about any dried goods like flour or sugar. They are also clear, so it is easy to see what is inside. They can be kept in the refrigerator, freezer, or on the shelf. All you have to do when you need the contents is remove the cap and pour.

Find out where the gas shut off is is you are going to do some work in a kitchen. You must be very careful with these types of projects. If you don’t heed our warning, a fire or injury will likely be the result.

If you are in need of a screen for your window, consider making your own. You can get a kit and attach the screen by using a tool that is fairly cheap. Your window may need a special screen type, but you can still make an external screen using adapters.

A great improvement idea for a home with children is to pad sharp furniture. Corner protectors can be purchased from a store, or foam tape could be used to pad these sharp edges on the furniture. Another way to prevent your child from getting hurt is to use tape on any loose wiring.

Some home improvement projects are harder than others. You may even think some projects are downright simple! But if you do not understand how to properly pull them off, you are going to cause a lot more harm than good in your home. What you have just read above offers some great improvement tips. Use it to your benefit.…