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Kitchen Renovation Ideas - Blend The Old With The New

Jan 8, 2008
An old friend of mine moved into a beautiful, late 19th century, Victorian style home a little more than 12 months ago. At a recent party she held at the home many of the guests commented about the quaint old fashioned style of the kitchen and how cosy and friendly it seemed. At this point my friend declared that she and her four children all absolutely hated the kitchen area and would love to renovate and modernize it but were utterly daunted by the task and so had not attempted it.

Her main fear was the perceived high cost of renovating an old home as she had heard many home improvement horror stories - People spending tens of thousands of dollars on what started out to be quite modest renovations, only to find a number of unbudgeted repairs and maintenance were also required, therefore significantly blowing out the estimated costs. My friend did not relish the idea of finding herself in a similar predicament so the idea of undertaking restoration and renovation work had been shelved. One of the guests at the party was a builder and another a professional interior decorator and they both explained that while restoration work (restoring the building to 'as new' condition similar to when the building was originally constructed) was quite extensive and time consuming, however, a renovation (modernization) project was relatively cheap.

Kitchen Renovation Ideas - Without The Fear Factor

Most homeowners, my friend included, have the perception that old houses are especially difficult to renovate purely due to their age, but this is not entirely correct. In reality whether the house is old or quite new, a kitchen renovation nearly always turns out be very cost effective and the habitants will see a marked improvement in the area. Kitchen renovation ideas for old homes can be planned so that new items and appliances can be integrated along with the kitchen's older features, for example your new stainless steel refrigerator would not appear to be out of place being in the same kitchen as an old wood-burning stove.

The true key to affordable and effective kitchen renovation ideas is in the planning stage and this applies to any kind of home, whether new or old.

First on the list of all sound kitchen renovation ideas is to adequately cost your planned renovations. This is the most critical aspect as you should not attempt any substantial renovation project unless you have enough funding available or you can enlist the help of your bank or mortgage provider. Notwithstanding the fact that you require substantial funding, take heart in knowing that you can reduce costs in some areas without sacrificing the over-all quality of the renovation. It is important that you allocate adequate funds for the key aspects of the renovation, namely the design component, labor costs and appliances and fixtures.

If you propose to undertake extensive remodeling or structural changes then be aware that this type of work is extremely expensive. When structural changes are part of your remodeling project then it is essential that you employ a builder who can work within your budget. Always ensure before you start the work that any structural changes, such as the addition or removal of a room divider or the installation of a seat-window or skylight, have been adequately costed into the overall project.

When you are reviewing your kitchen renovation ideas always build in an allowance for unexpected contingencies such as repairs being necessary to plumbing, heating and electrical equipment. There is nothing worse than having an aesthetically pleasing kitchen which is great to look at but in reality is a fire-hazard or energy-monster because of the old and ineffective equipment. In old houses it is highly likely you will need to spend money upgrading this type of equipment.

Once you have addressed the structural and services (heating, lighting, plumbing etc) aspects of the kitchen renovation you can then turn your attention to other aspects like choosing counter tops, cabinets and floor coverings. This is a great area in which to control costs as it is possible to use many alternate materials, that are just as durable and impressive as for example marble or granite, however they cost a fraction of the price of the real material. It is also recommended that you consider buying stock cabinets instead of custom-fitted ones as this too will save you a great deal of money.

If you are like my friend and own an older style home and are not sure whether you can afford to implement your kitchen renovation ideas why not consult with a friendly builder and get an idea of what restoration work is required as well as the cost of appliances and fixtures.... you may be pleasantly surprised.
About the Author
For more details on Kitchen Renovation Ideas and other home improvement and house remodeling tips visit DIY Home Remodeling Tips.
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