The Kitchen and Medieval Days
Kitchens, they exist as a place to prepare and cook gourmet delights as well as to simply boil eggs or a hot dog. They can serve as a dining/entertainment area, a bar or an informal meeting place. The decision to remodel can be a daunting task with a huge number of appliances, countertops, cabinets, and flooring choices available.
A few hundred years ago, a kitchen remodel was an easy task. All one needed to do was tear out the existing fireplace and build a new one, buy a few copper pots and pans to hang on the walls, and replace the large unfinished wooden table in the center of the room. A nice tripod or bar to hang a boiling pot would add that touch of “elegance” that medieval era people needed as they huddled in candlelight trying to escape the black plague.
Fortunately, modern homeowners need not worry about the plague, but they do share a commonality with people from that era: What are the signs that it’s time to remodel your kitchen?
Show Me the Signs
Let’s look at the obvious signs. Are your cabinet doors falling off the hinges? Does your refrigerator shake, rattle, and roll like a 1950s rock and roll group? Is your formerly unblemished countertop chipped and stained so that it resembles a work of art by Jackson Pollock? Wear and tear and worn-out appliances are two obvious signs that a kitchen remodel is way overdue.
There are other not so obvious signs:
- Take a few minutes to check out your plumbing fixtures. An older house may have leaky metal pipes that need to be replaced with PVC pipes. Look at your light fixtures (or lack of them) and electrical wiring. No need to tear down the wall to do this, just check if the outlets are broken and cracked. If you have a gas range, check that the connections and lines are leak-free and up to code. While these are easily repaired problems, they will be factors in your decision to remodel.
- Are you planning on moving soon? Determining a home’s true selling price is a “slippery slope” because there are too many variables that will affect the price like a school re-zoning, a motorcycle gang moving in next door or your beautiful backyard view being blocked by new construction across the street. A kitchen remodel will add value to your house, but the individual quirks of your neighborhood and your budget will decide the feasibility of any remodel.
- Another sign that a kitchen remodel is the right move is if your family situation has changed. Newlyweds eat out a lot and can probably get by with a hot-plate and a microwave. Two kids later, our happily married couple rarely goes out and spends most of their time at home or at work with their extra money going to day-care. Their budget may prohibit a full-scale remodel but a partial re-design resulting in more space and with basic appliances may be their solution.
On the opposite end are empty nesters whose kids have left the house and who will benefit from a kitchen remodel. This is especially true if they love cooking, entertaining and spending time in the kitchen.
- Are you planning on renting a room in your house or taking care of an elderly parent? If yes, your kitchen needs will change with an extra person or more to accommodate. One option is to add a small kitchenette to the house creating a small apartment for needed privacy.
Don’t Ignore This Sign
There is one final sign to look for and it is probably the most important one. If your spouse or partner fancies himself or herself as a skilled craftsperson but can’t tell the difference between a putty knife from a kitchen butter knife, you need to do two tasks.
First, hide the car keys to keep the novice carpenter away from a hardware store. Second, contact a professional kitchen remodeler as soon as possible before any damage is done. Better yet, make that your first step when you choose to remodel your kitchen.