Written by home-improvement  |  02. March 2008

There are thousands of books, periodicals and articles available on kitchen remodeling and design. If you are considering remodeling the kitchen in your home, you will find no shortage of materials to read or view to help plan your dream kitchen. This article is intended save you time and provide insight with a high-level overview of the process involved in kitchen remodeling and to point out some resources and considerations to help narrow down the topics that you need to research. Getting Started The most important and first step in a kitchen remodeling project is to develop a detailed and well thought-out plan. Planning the overall physical layout for your new Long Island kitchen means thinking about several kitchen functions: Food preparation, clean-up and storage. If you desire an eat-in area within the kitchen, that is an additional functional consideration. Layouts 1950's research determined that efficient kitchens contain a 'work triangle', represented by the foot traffic pattern required to reach the sink, stove and refrigerator. The locations of these three kitchen elements with respect to each other impact the ease of working in a kitchen, by reducing the number of footsteps required to move between elements (for example, with a pot of boiling water and pasta, as one might do to drain spaghetti), and by creating natural work areas and counter space between work elements. Since the late 20th Century, most kitchen designs are variations on three basic layouts: The Galley kitchen, the U-shaped kitchen or the L-shaped kitchen. The three basic kitchen layouts are different configurations containing this imaginary work triangle. Changing Times In fact, the way in which we use our kitchens has changed significantly since the 1950's. The duties for meal preparation may be shared by two or more people in the home. The introduction of the microwave oven has changed the 'work triangle'. In many Long Island homes, all adults may be busy working outside the home and weekday meal preparation is more likely to involve the microwave than the stove. We also have many more appliances and utensils, all of which require more storage than the 1950's kitchen and cook required. The Division of Labor in Planning and Remodeling Reading, absorbing and incorporating these standards into your new Long Island kitchen is a task in itself. Kitchen design and remodeling can be done in a number of ways:
  • Design and construct the kitchen yourself or with the help of individual contractors, or;
  • Work with a cabinet maker/distributor and their contractors (possibly requiring also that you employ additional contractors directly when plumbing or electrical considerations are involved), or;
  • Work with a kitchen designer who subcontracts the physical work to one or more kitchen contractors, or;
  • Design your own kitchen and employ a general kitchen contractor to execute your design.
As with any significant home improvement project, division of labor involved in planning and construction can make the most of your financial resources and time constraints, and ensure a finished kitchen that you love. You and your family are the only participants in your kitchen remodeling project who know how you want to use your kitchen space and what elements you require - the requirements stage of your kitchen redesign can only be done well by you and your family - since it is you who will use and enjoy the kitchen. While your budget may dictate some choices, the design and construction of your dream kitchen for your Long Island home may be most effectively delegated by you to certified kitchen designers and contractors. These participants can focus on how to execute the principles of design most effectively, incorporating your ideas and offering solutions to your needs in order to create a finished product that meets and even exceeds your requirements, and makes you feel great about your investment. Materials Matter Kitchens involve many elements, and there are safety considerations in addition to design principles due to the heat sources required for cooking. Among the materials that you will need to plan for and select that are unique to the kitchen or have special kitchen qualifications are:
  • Cabinets
  • Countertops
  • Flooring
  • Sinks
  • Appliances
In addition, there are standard design elements that apply to any room and may have special considerations in the kitchen. Lighting the kitchen involves special task-lighting considerations. Some wall finishes (semi-gloss paint, scrubbable wallpaper) may better lend themselves to kitchens and some should be avoided due to the presence of moisture and grease, and the need to use fire-retardant materials for safety. Imagining Your New Kitchen Starts with Your Requirements Start your kitchen planning with a list of your needs and wants. If you entertain frequently, you likely have special needs that may or may not be met in your current kitchen: A refrigerator large enough to accommodate party platters, storage for large serving pieces, counter space or a bar suitable for a self-service drink station, an island to allow guests to accumulate in the kitchen (why fight it!) without impeding the work of the cook(s). Flipping through kitchen design idea books is recommended, and will generate all sorts of additional ideas about what is possible in today's kitchen. Writing down your requirements, needs and wants is a great way to start the kitchen remodeling process. It will help you determine the magnitude of the project and determine what type of help you need to approach it. By knowing what you want, you will find it easier to eliminate what you don't want and spend time and money on the elements that matter most to you and your family. Find licensed contractors at http://www.lihome411.com to create your dream kitchen. ---------- Tom Mirabella and Bob Roddini are homeowners. Like you, at times they needed help with repairs and remodeling, and have had difficulty in the past finding qualified and reliable contractors. Their goal was to connect homeowners who need remodeling and repair work with prescreened professionals ready to work. They created LIHome411.com as a one stop resource for Long Island home improvement projects big or small. You can find a directory of contractors and easy access to useful information about home improvement and repair, to inspire and encourage you to get it done, whether "it" is adding a master suite or fixing a leaky faucet.

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