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Our Top 12 Kitchen Remodeling Must-Haves

March 1st, 2011

greyHouse Inc- Home Remodeling Blog, Raleigh, NC general contractor 

Our Top 12 Kitchen Remodeling Must-Haves

If you’ve got a kitchen remodeling project in your future and are looking to get the most out of your new space – both as a chef and for your future return on investment – we’ve got a dozen features you won’t want to exclude from your home renovation. Compiled by a team of expert home remodeling contractors in Raleigh, NC, our Top 12 list is sure to send chefs of all abilities into a joyous tizzy thinking about these sizzling kitchen remodeling must-haves.

Kitchen Remodeling Must-Have #12 – Appliance Garage

Though it’s anything but a modern invention, appliance garages – yes, those countertop-mounted cabinets popular in the 70s – are making a raging comeback in remodeled kitchens everywhere. Although some countertop appliances make fantastic kitchen décor, many others (think toaster) are more of a messy eyesore than shiny fixture. Appliance garages provide a natural home for these and other cooking easements you don’t want more than an arm’s length away, and can be added easily during a kitchen remodeling project.

Kitchen Remodeling Must-Have #11 – An Oversized Hood

Nothing gives a clear indication of kitchen remodeling like an oversized hood. A focal point for guests and future buyers, these functional and flashy features indicate a true focus on upgraded luxury. Though not something that will likely get used every day, it’s sure to immediately grab the attention of visitors, including potential buyers, at first-glance.

Kitchen Remodeling Must-Have #10 – Self-Closing Drawers

Worthwhile kitchen remodeling upgrades aren’t all just visual aesthetics, and self-closing drawers are the prime example. On the opposite side of the spectrum of an oversized hood, self-closing drawers won’t be seen by anyone – but will be used with frequency on a daily basis by everyone living in your home. Truly intended for the pampered chef, this upgrade is especially popular among homeowners with children because of their sure seal and soft sound.

Kitchen Remodeling Must-Have #9 – Heated Floors

Ever hear the saying, “barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen?” Well you don’t have to be 9-months-and-bulging to enjoy this home remodeling upgrade. Also popular in bathroom remodeling projects, heated floors incorporate coil technology, usually in tandem with a tile product, to take the chill out of what can otherwise be a cold and uncomfortable touch to the bottom of your feet.

Kitchen Remodeling Must-Have #8 – Glass Door Cabinetry

In kitchens large and small, glass door cabinetry gives the illusion of an expansive space and screams elegance to visitors and potential buyers. While glass doors used to come with the uncomfortable pressure of having to stage your dishes a-la Crate and Barrel, cabinet manufacturers & distributors now offer opaque glass in a moderate selection of styles meaning you don’t have to own fine china to feel comfortable activating this remodeling upgrade. Incorporate inner-cabinet lighting to illuminate the space and draw attention to this upscale kitchen remodeling feature, and you’re sure to grab the approval of guests and potential buyers down the road.

Kitchen Remodeling Must-Have #7 – Pendant Lighting

No room in the house is as un-fit for lamp lighting as the kitchen, and there’s also not a room that needs ample light more. Because of this it’s imperative to incorporate lighting into your initial kitchen remodeling design-build concept, as after the fact it’s a truly challenging objective to accomplish. Pendant lighting over an island, bar area or other open workspace will not only satisfy the need for lighting to prepare meals by, but will also add flavor, and value, to your kitchen when buyers walk in the door. Thanks to HGTV pendant lighting is now a feature educated buyers want and expect from a remodeled kitchen, and if you have remodeled and left them out buyers will also take note. Lastly, pendants are a great opportunity to incorporate color and define the style of your newly remodeled kitchen, and offer a blank canvas to add your personal remodeling touch.

Kitchen Remodeling Must-Have #6 – Built-In Countertop Cooktop

Especially for the chef in the house, a built-in cooktop is a contemporary upgrade that exudes luxury and shows your attention to the cook while remodeling. To get the most bang for your buck and highest return on investment you want potential buyers to know you splurged on kitchen remodeling upgrades, especially when it comes to the appliances … and built-in cooktops communicate that.

Kitchen Remodeling Must-Have #5 – Undercounter Sink

A kitchen remodeling upgrade that has come to be expected with most home remodeling project these days, undercounter sinks come standard with most natural stone (granite) and engineered stone (quartz) countertops. Though integrated sinks in solid surface products like Corian and cultured marble are close, they don’t quite hold the same interest, or weight with buyers, when it comes to a remodeling upgrade. A simple and overall inexpensive inclusion as part of your kitchen remodeling project, this “detail” can easily be included during the design-build phase by your remodeling contractor and will more than pay for itself in the long run.

Kitchen Remodeling Must-Have #4 – French Door Refrigerator

Appliances always compete with upgraded countertops as the sexiest part of a kitchen remodeling project, and of course, the refrigerator is the King Pin. As the appliance that will be used the most frequently and by the most people, the refrigerator must be functional and flawless to win your renovation a home remodeling award. A fridge can easily lure or deter potential buyers, and something about seeing those shiny side-by-side handles covering an expansive and easy-to-access chiller seem to call for extra dollars from buyers. A home improvement upgrade that doesn’t even need a kitchen remodeling project to be implemented, French Door refrigerators are an easy and must-have upgrade that simply cannot be excluded if you are undertaking a kitchen renovation.

Kitchen Remodeling Must-Have #3 – Custom Tile Backsplash

Whether it’s natural stone, colorful glass block tiles or decorative patterns, your kitchen backsplash is a blank canvas that offers an opportunity for you to flex your artistic muscles and bring color, life and remodeling design to your space. Don’t let the opportunity to introduce interest to your kitchen remodeling project pass you by by overlooking your backsplash; instead, get creative and bring life to the most functional space in the house! Showing attention to this artful area will grab buyers’ interest and is sure to wow your guests…and you won’t get the most out of your kitchen remodeling project from buyers if you exclude an upgraded tile backsplash from your list.

Kitchen Remodeling Must-Have #2 – A Free-Standing Island

Adding a free-standing island not only brings functional work and eating space to your kitchen remodeling project; it also means you’ve got a roomy kitchen that can accommodate a large fixture, which is a second great reason for potential buyers to love your kitchen. If you’ve ever turned on HGTV and watched shows featuring the best of kitchen remodeling projects, you’re sure to notice the award-winning remodels all include free standing islands (complete with pendant lighting & often a built-in cooktop…see above and note how our list has come full circle). It will offer additional storage and workspace, give the kids a comfortable and casual spot to pull up and enjoy their snacks, and help define your kitchen area if you’re lucky enough to have an open floor plan. Be forewarned that if you have a small kitchen it’s not worth trying to cram in this otherwise must-have feature, as an overstuffed kitchen looks and feels smaller and becomes less functional if chefs aren’t free to move around. But, if you’ve got the space to add an island as part of your kitchen remodeling project, it’s definitely a must-have renovation upgrade.

Kitchen Remodeling Must-Have #1 – Quartz Countertops

Everyone knows natural stone countertops – both in kitchen remodeling and bathroom remodeling projects – are a popular choice of material when remodeling. However, the latest, and definitely greatest product on the market is engineered Quartz, which incorporates natural material with manmade products and results in the strongest and most durable countertop material on the market. With more variation in a slab than Corian but less than most granite products, Engineered Quartz is a clean, contemporary and easy-to-look-at product that is winning over kitchen remodelers across the country. It is far less fragile than granite and won’t chip or fleck, and won’t scratch, stain or scar the way Corian or other solid surface countertops will. It’s practically indestructible, and for hearty cooks (and life-living children) everywhere is the remodeling material of choice. Though more expensive than most granite products its worth the upgrade, as its sure to be the most durable, and used, part of your kitchen remodeling project.

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