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Last Updated: , Created: Saturday, January 10th, 2004

Kitchen renovation tips and selecting counter tops


There are a myriad of choices for a new kitchen, from style to counter top materials – and choosing what is right for you has always been a balance between your “desires” and your “budget”.  This kitchen renovation tips article was written in 2003 in Toronto, but the basic information is still good.  Recently, 2018, I received an invitation to critique a rather complete comparison of the various counter tops and it is so well done that I will not attempt to duplicate it but rather link to the original article.  Described as a chemistry/geology lesson on countertops, it was written by a well-researched real-estate agent and his team in Alaska. I really like that Veronica, a kitchen renovator in Toronto, and Ryan, a real-estate agent in Alaska, had two very interesting conclusions:

Veronica recommends: Do not follow trends since they generally don’t last more than 5 years and can actually hurt the resale value of a home.  Make a kitchen functional, easy to clean, easy to work in, nice looking and it will satisfy you for years to come.

Ryan recommends: What is the best countertop material?  At the end of the day, the counter a homeowner chooses will reflect their personality and sense of style, and the purposes to which they put their kitchen on a daily basis. Like with any major home purchase or renovation, knowledge is power. Even if a counter looks lovely, it still has to work for your needs, and those needs may be different from a friend or neighbor. 

With good sense like that, I leave you in good hands ----




Veronica Redecka from Irpinia Kitchens in Toronto, Ontario came onto my HGTV show providing some good advice for when you are thinking about renovating your kitchen.

Figure that a kitchen renovation, from thought to finish will take at least 3, if not 4, months to plan, order, demolish and install.

Take measurements of your kitchen, including and especially door and window locations, and take them to various show rooms to help get preliminary estimates. That will help to at least bring you into the reality zone of just how big a project this might become. This will also allow you to make some critical budget choices, like what to keep and what to change. Redesigning counter tops is usually much more expensive that replacing or simply re-facing cupboards. The average kitchen renovation in Toronto in 2003 was $36,000.

Pre-fabricated kitchens are an economical option. These are pre-made boxes -- cupboards and under counter spaces -- that you can buy anywhere and have installed or install yourself. You have to choose what fits your space, rather than have them made to fit, but they cost much less.

A modular kitchen is custom built, but made in modular units similar to the pre-fabricated units. Of course you have to wait for it to be built, and it does cost more than the standard renovation centre mass produced units.

One critical consideration in kitchen design with our modern life styles is to design the kitchen with the number of cooks in mind. A one cook kitchen is not laid out the same way as a two cook kitchen. The first one will group work areas tightly together for efficiency, the latter will spread them out for marital harmony and co-existence.

Veronica recommends not following trends since they generally don't last more than 5 years and can actually hurt the resale value of a home. Make a kitchen functional, easy to clean, easy to work in, nice looking and it will satisfy you for years to come.



Ryan Tollefsen, a realtor in Anchorage, Alaska exposes the real story about each of the countertop materials.  Click here for his great chemistry/geology lesson on countertops.



Keywords: Counter, Stone, Marble, Storage, Glass, Design, Kitchen, Shelving, Ceramic, Renovation, Stainless Steel, Laminate, Concrete, Porcelain, Acrylic, Wood

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