Kitchen projects were the biggest source of remodeling spending in 2008, claiming 18 percent of the total home-improvement dollars in the United States, according to Consumer Reports. And 46 percent of those remodels were completely do-it-yourself efforts, with another 62 percent partially DIY.
If you're planning a kitchen remodel or building a new home, two upcoming seminars at Classic Cabinetry can help you make decisions. They're led by Kris Keith and Juliet Bauer.
"In these seminars they define kitchen styles [and] storage needs, [while] discussing kitchen layout, appliance placement and cooking centers," said Becky Worley, company owner.
"Depending on the neighborhood in which you live, you can expect a 70 to 110 percent return on your investment," she said of a kitchen redo.
"Any Realtor will tell you the kitchen and master suite sell a house," Worley added.
Following are some tips professionals give for consideration whether doing a kitchen remodel or building a new home. Homeowners should be ready to answer these questions when consulting designers and construction professionals.
Know your needs
1. Why do you want to remodel? Do you need more space or better storage? Perhaps you just want to replace appliances or update an older home's decor.
2. How do you define your kitchen's style?
3. How extensive do you want this remodel to be? Do you want to pull out plumbing and electrical, or are the appliances going to stay and you're just wanting to change the way the room looks?
4. If you're building, added Worley, evaluate your current kitchen. What are your likes, dislikes and wants?
Remodeling for self or resale?
1. How long are you planning to be in this home? "Are you remodeling because you want your house to look a certain way and don't care about resale? Or, do you want to remodel in order to get the house on the market in a year or so?" Worley asked.
"If you're worried about resale, know the style of your home. You don't want to put an ultra-contemporary kitchen in a traditional home. However, a designer can help you blend the two styles.
"If you're planning to live there forever and let your kids sell it, then get what you can afford and what you want," Worley suggests.
2. If you're building a new house, the consultants said a kitchen should cost 10 percent to 25 percent of the home's value, depending on whether you're installing a gourmet kitchen or less-extravagant design.
3. Don't overbuild for your neighborhood. Take a good look at what houses are valued in your neighborhood before investing large sums in an overhaul.
4. Make price comparisons by the bottom line. For example, if choosing granite countertops, does that $25 a foot include cutting out for the cooktop or polishing edges. Worley said that some dealers may charge for edge polishing while others offer standard edges at no additional charge.
"We encourage people to take their kitchen plan and look less at what they pay for the square foot, but instead the total installed price with delivery," she said.
* Counters: Granite remains No. 1. Also popular are woods such as black walnut, concrete, soapstone and marble. New laminate tops are being made in granite designs, and butcher block is coming back.
* Flooring: Natural stone, tile, cork and woods are still popular. Cork - warm, soft and easy-care - is a good choice for people who spend a great deal of time in the kitchen.
Source: Classic Cabinetry
* What: Kitchen design workshops.
* When: 10 a.m.-noon Saturday, Nov. 13; 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 16.
* Where: Classic Cabinetry, 2525 Broad St.
* Price: Free, but reservations required due to limited seating.
* What to bring: Kitchen's measurements; information on kitchen's and home's styles; list of likes, dislikes and wants. May also bring photos or sketches of current kitchen for one-to-one advice afterward.
* For reservations: 266-0077.