A kitchen renovation is a big, big project. There's the planning to be considered, and the budget — not to mention the fact that your kitchen will be out of commission for at least a couple of months. So how do you know when you're ready to take the plunge? Here are seven tell-tale signs that it's time.
#7: You're precariously short on counter and/or storage space
Do you find yourself scrambling for counter space every time you cook? Are your cabinets so packed that you have to store kitchen items in other parts of the house? If either of these things is true, a remodel that expands your storage and/or counter space could save you a lot of hassle.
#6: The layout is awkward and/or dangerous
A poor layout can make working in a kitchen very inconvenient, while other features, like the rangetop islands that were so popular in the '80s, can be downright dangerous. (Imagine a child or passerby catching the handle of a pot cooking on the stove — not great.) Whether your layout is truly hazardous or just a bit of a pain, a reconfiguration could be worth it.
#5: Cleaning your kitchen is a nightmare
Tile countertops with deep grout lines and mottled linoleum floor tiles that never quite look clean are just a few of the culprits. If you have a high-maintenance kitchen, you definitely know it, and you've probably spent time complaining about it, too. Renovating your kitchen (or just replacing the offending finish) could go a long way towards enhancing your happiness with your space, and your cleaning routine, too.
#4: Outdated appliances are running up your electric bill
Older appliances can be a real energy suck, which means money that's coming out of your bills every month. If you suspect that your appliances could be a drain on your budget, this calculator from Energy.gov can help you determine how much you're paying to keep them running each month. Over time, new appliances could actually pay for themselves.
#3: Your kitchen just doesn't suit your lifestyle
Maybe you have a small, cramped kitchen but you love to cook. Maybe you love to entertain, but your kitchen is separated from the rest of the home and you feel isolated from your guests. Maybe you're a two-cook family with a one-cook kitchen. If your kitchen is significantly affecting your lifestyle, and you're planning on being in your home for a while, this could be reason enough to renovate a kitchen that by other people's standards might be perfectly acceptable. (Just remember to donate and/or sell those used appliances and cabinets!)
#2: A decrepit and/or dated kitchen is dragging down the value of your home
You may not be particularly concerned about your older kitchen's odd quirks or unusual style, but if you're planning on selling your house anytime soon, this could be a hangup for potential buyers, and a feature that could lower the sale price of your home. If you're renovating only for financial reasons, a consultation with a real estate agent or kitchen designer is probably in order, but there's a possibility that an inexpensive kitchen facelift could actually wind up saving you money in the long run.
#1: You hate the space so much you don't actually use it
Whether it's falling apart, or just very ugly, if you hate your kitchen so much that you can't stand to set foot in there, and you find yourself eating out more often than you should — it might be time for a change.