Kitchen renovations are high on the list of the most common home renovations.

Before you decide to go ahead with them, it’s important to clearly identify the features you want in your new kitchen.

Just as important is a thorough pre-renovation inspection to identify any existing problems.

A renovation can be as simple as installing new flooring or it may be a major undertaking that includes enlarging the space and replacing all fixtures and finishes.

Homeowners consider kitchen renovations for many reasons including:

Size and design -“ the existing kitchen may be too small or poorly laid out.

Fixtures and appliances -“ the fixtures and appliances may be worn out, inefficient or outdated.

Cabinets and countertops -“ cabinet finishes, hardware or countertops may be outdated, need repair or replacement.

Structural problems -“ there may be problems that require structural changes or repairs.

Moisture -“ the floor, walls or finishes may be unsightly or damaged due to moisture problems.

Plumbing and electrical -“ many older kitchens don’t have enough electrical outlets and circuits. Older plumbing and plumbing fixtures may include lead or galvanized steel piping.

Heating and ventilation -“ older kitchens often have inadequate ventilation or heating systems. The area may be poorly insulated and have a high degree of air leakage, two factors that lead to high energy consumption.

Finishes -“ older finishes may be unattractive or not durable enough to withstand the daily wear and tear.

A house is much more than just four walls and a roof. It’s an interactive system made up of many components including the basic structure, heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment, the external environment and the occupants.

Each component influences the performance of the entire system. A renovation provides an opportunity to improve how your house performs.

Kitchen renovations often include changes to HVAC equipment that can improve indoor air quality and moisture management in the house.

Be careful if choosing large volume exhaust fans because they can cause combustion heating equipment to backdraft.

Structural changes may give you a chance to improve air-tightness and insulation, resulting in increased occupant comfort and house durability.

Once you start a renovation, there’s no turning back. Your life is disrupted and any unexpected problems will lead to higher costs and delays in finishing the project.

Thorough planning will help you to develop a realistic understanding of the work to be done and the costs involved.

Reprinted from BNews.

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