Kitchen renovation tips for a safer kitchen that won't break the bank

Mar 28, 2012, 8 a.m.

Affordable Kitchen Renovation Requires Advance Planning

Affordable kitchen renovation must start at the beginning rather than the middle. Before embarking on your goals for safe kitchen design, set your mind on the following fundamentals of better kitchen renovation planning:

Preparation: Determine your goals. Investigate local construction ordinances. Establish a line of resources.

Added Value: Safe kitchen design and added value go hand in hand. Accumulate the advice of professionals. Don't expect a dollar for dollar gain. Just strive to come up with a better kitchen renovation plan that works to your future advantage.

Hire Pros: Unless you are a highly competent fix-it person, let licensed professionals handle the work. Even small restoration projects can involve hidden complications.

Cash Reserves: Set aside sufficient cash reserves to cover expenses that exceed the anticipated project costs by a minimum of 20 percent.

Budget: Price the materials, the labor, and any associated government paperwork.

Safe Kitchen Design Makes For Better Kitchen Renovation

Coming up with ideas for affordable kitchen renovation starts with the simple things, but it can involve major changes as well. The following improvements touch on easy modifications of existing kitchen components. It also identifies a few of the complex renovations. These tips will help improve the efficiency, appearance, and the safety of your kitchen.

Lighting: Safety demands sufficient kitchen lighting. Wire suspension lights look good, add freshness to your kitchen, and can often use the power of halogen bulbs. The costs of the fixtures depend upon your personal taste in design style. If the existing wiring is sufficient to meet modern electrical codes, the cost of labor and electrical services are pretty consistent regardless of the type of fixture installed.

Smoke Ventilation: Install a decorative stove hood directly from the ceiling, utilizing existing vents if possible. Be sure to set it to a height that prevents head bumps.

Cooking Ranges: Modern cooking ranges incorporate unique safety features such as automated shutdown, heatless surfaces, and more. The cost of replacing a full-size oven or range can get expensive, but the energy efficiency of modern equipment provides a limited long-term payback. When installing a freestanding, slide-in, or built-in kitchen range, make certain that the proper anti-tip device is installed correctly and securely.

Cabinets: Remove excess cabinets that may hinder floor space and reduce your mobility. This usually involves limited carpentry work, minor sheetrock repairs, and a bit of touch-up painting or wallpapering.

Countertops: Formica countertops sometimes receive a bad report. The glue that fastens the end caps in place often gives way to time. A loose end cap creates a safety hazard that can slice a finger or snag and tear clothing. To eliminate the safety hazards while simultaneously improving the appearance of existing Formica countertops, replace the glued Formica end caps with strips of 1-1/2" wide stained oak. Any carpenter can produce a beautiful but inexpensive finished appearance. Oak capping also eliminates the sharp corners associated with a typically installed Formica layout.

Painting: Hanging wallpaper, painting walls, or stripping and re-staining cabinet doors make for some of the most affordable kitchen renovation possible. Just keep safe kitchen design in mind. Make sure you use nontoxic paints and adhesives.

Remember, better kitchen renovation that doesn't break the bank requires advanced planning. Look for the little changes that often make big differences.

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