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Friday, July 20, 2012

Kitchens are the most popular room in the house to renovate.

Kitchen Do's:
~DO make use of the classic work triangle. Arrange the sink, refrigerator, and stove (the three features used the most) in a triangular pattern. It's generally agreed upon to be the most convenient setup because it saves unnecessary steps.
~DO consider how many people work in the kitchen at once. If it's more than one you might want to incorporate more than one workstation. If there's enough room consider adding an island or purchase a wheeled cart that can be moved around the room and put away when not in use.
~DO plan to have at least 36" of counter space for food preparation, with 24" on one side of the sink and 18" on the other. If you can fit more, do so.
~DO leave adequate floor space in front of appliances so the doors can be opened and you can still walk in front of them. 30" to 48" should be sufficient.
~DO leave enough room for traffic flow. There should be 42" between the counters and the island (if there is one) so that people can easily walk through.

~DO use a professional kitchen designer as you plan your dream kitchen. Kitchen designers can recommend changes to floor plans than can up the functionality of your kitchen without expanding the floor plan. (Be sure to as your Enhance Floors & More Consultant about our great kitchen designer!)


Kitchen Don'ts
~DON'T choose a paint color without first buying a 2-ounce sample jar to try. Paint on practice boards and hang on different walls within the room, under changing light conditions throughout the day.
~DON'T fail to consider a cooktop-wall oven combination instead of a range. You can put a cooktop wherever counter space allows, including on an island or peninsula. You can also opt to mount an oven at waist or eye level for added convenience with less-awkward bending.
~DON'T neglect venting your range hood to the outside. Today's options in range hoods include variable fan speeds, exhaust timers, and thermostat controls. The hood should be at least as wide as the cooking surface it will be installed above.

Spend Smart
The July 2012 Consumer Reports is a special issue all about KITCHENS. If a kitchen update, large or small, is in your future, it is a great guide to have. Some of our favorite pointers include:
~~Important options to consider in a new oven include a covered element, electronic touchpad controls, oven window, self-cleaning cycle, temperature probe, and variable broil.
~~Even low priced dishwashers offer these options: stainless steel tubs, adjustable racks, half-load options, dirt sensors, filters, rinse/hold cycles, and special wash cycles.
 ~~Consumer Reports found few performance differences between the cheapest and priciest faucet models tested. They did find that adding a PVD (physical vapor deposition) finish made the faucet more scratch and stain resistant. PVD finishes are available in nickel, copper, pewter, bronze, gold, and polished brass.
~~You can spend a lot or a little on a kitchen sink, but price has little to do with how well it will perform. Stainless steel rated highest for stains, abrasion, sharp impact, and heat resistance.

What Is An Induction Range?
This hot technology uses electromagnetic coils under the cooktop's glass-covered surface that heat more quickly and efficiently by generating heat in the pot or pan directly. Consumer Reports testing found that induction was usually 25 percent faster than a regular smoothtop. But even today's lower-priced models still cost $1,800 or more. And induction ranges and cooktops also require you to use magnetic cookware. Some stainless-steel cookware will work, aluminum or copper will not.

By Thanksgiving?
If you have decided that you are ready for a new kitchen, and want it done by Thanksgiving, you only have a few months to begin the project! An average kitchen remodel takes three months from the time the initial paperwork is signed to final completion. You need to be doing all of the homework (pun intended!) that you need to do, planning, getting estimates, etc. now so that you are ready to finalize and commit by the end of August.
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