Kitchen Remodeling Tips: Managing Appliances & Cabinets to keep the budget in line The best way to transform your home and to change how you choose to work in your home is through a kitchen remodeling project. A big part of that “new kitchen smell” is to focus on cabinetry and appliances for function and style. My own choice is to forego many of the small appliances that are what I would call “one trick pony’s” in the kitchen, and opt for good quality pots, pans, knives, and storage. Of course, you also may have a favorite small appliance that you just have to provide space for in your kitchen remodeling efforts. There are a few major appliances, however, that we just don’t want to do without, and while looking for your new appliance package, look into what is possible to upgrade features while saving on costs. The good news in today’s kitchen remodel is that you can find more options in basic appliances than ever before. What I mean by basic includes typical sizing, and a budget friendly range of pricing. Gone are the days of a budget appliance package that is limiting in features, or to get any of the nicer features, one must jump up to custom sizes, prices, and options of higher end appliances. A big part of planning for your kitchen remodeling project is planning and strategizing how to get what you must have and want, without going over your budget. For instance, if you like the basic layout of your kitchen, you might want to consider what is possible by pursuing a “Simple Kitchen Remodel” strategy that gives big results. The Simple Kitchen Remodel saves on down time, delivers a complete change of style and improves function, and saves thousands over throwing out your existing cabinets—which frees up budget money to perhaps consider a better appliance package. A kitchen remodeling project that incorporates a complete transformation is possible by incorporating the technique of kitchen cabinetry refacing. This choice is easier than ever before because of the wide variety of options, the ability to improve the insides of the cabinet for great function, and the ability to add new cabinets that match completely. In addition, the standardization in sizes even with specialty type appliances dramatically improve your options for appliances in the kitchen remodel—and the spaces to allow for appliance change outs will still fit. Change out the countertops and you have a dramatically new space. For instance, starting with the refrigerator, an average size width (sizes always vary, so make sure whatever you choose you measure to ensure a fit first!) is often allowing for a 36” opening. Heights will vary too, but often cabinetry space between the top of the fridge and the bottom of a cabinet over the fridge allows for this variance. My favorite design of a refrigerator is the armoire doors, which both open on top but don’t take up a lot of aisle space in the kitchen. This option allows for larger width shelf storage, less intrusion in the space, and less escape of cold air when opening. Gone is the large 36” swing, either to the left or right which often impacts flow within the space. Below is a wide freezer, and depending on the brand you select, options in water and ice dispensing is still available. The second workhorse of the space is the range/oven combination. These options have improved as well, even within the 30” standard slide in opening, to include either glass or gas burner exposed tops, convection or standard ovens, and even a two oven option within a standard width— warming drawer or small oven and larger oven. I love this option—it works like a gourmet set up in standard sizing. Add a streamlined and better functioning microwave above, and your remodeled kitchen works better with likely much better energy efficiency. Other must haves include the dishwasher. On this, even with a standard space, you just need to decide to what degree you want this appliance to do its job quietly, and if you want to see it, or not (cover it with a door panel and it disappears). Remodeling your kitchen but maintaining the basic layout with some smart tweaking is a great option to keep those kitchen remodeling costs in line. Refacing cabinets, if your basic locations and flow already work, provide dramatic, and cost effective results for any kitchen that has reasonably solid existing cabinets. The timing, cost, and fuss are minimized. The results are dramatic. If you haven’t met with a professional studio that specializes in this technique, you deserve to check out what is possible for your kitchen remodeling project. Using standardized appliance sizes but looking for an upgraded but not budget busting package is a smart option as well. Putting it all together is one smart strategy for remodeling that can provides dramatic stylistic results as well as improved function and enjoyment in your kitchen. And be sure to research Kitchen Remodeling Costs: Get a Return on your Investment if you are thinking about doing a kitchen remodeling project.