Remodeling a kitchen is one of the biggest and most exciting home improvement projects. The choices and decisions may seem endless, but the possibilities and payoff are immense. Your family will love cooking and eating together in a new space. Best of all, kitchen remodeling offers one of the highest return-on-investments of any home improvement project. Start planning your kitchen renovation project with this helpful buying guide.
The starting point for every kitchen, the bone structure of the room, is its cabinetry. Kitchen cabinet designs can be customized to meet specific needs, whether you're a wine collector, a pastry chef or a family of nine. Specialty cabinets and accessories are available to match your style and organizational needs.
The first decision to make about cabinetry is which type will work best for you. Kitchen cabinets are available in three levels of specialization and price:
Stock cabinets come in standard sizes and shapes, and are usually available to take home from the store the same day or just a few days later. Sizes and styles are limited with stock cabinetry, but the price is right for remodelers on a budget.
Semi-custom cabinets are built after your order is placed, so you can choose from certain sizes and styles. That flexibility makes it easier to design a kitchen that fits your particular requirements. Semicustom cabinetry usually requires a longer lead time for delivery than stock. They're more expensive than stock cabinets.
Custom cabinets are made by hand to fit almost any standard you require. An odd-sized or irregular-shaped space in your kitchen might not accommodate a stock or semicustom piece, but a custom cabinetmaker starting from scratch can build nearly anything you need. Custom cabinets are the most expensive of the three types; the exact price varies widely because of size, materials and options. The time it takes to receive a custom-cabinet order depends on the cabinetmaker's schedule.
The knobs and pulls you select for your new cabinets provide the visual punch to dress up the look of the kitchen. The hardware is stylish and functional, and it's easy to find something to match your style. You can choose everything from the finish of the hardware, to the style that suits you best.
Some cabinet hardware is made specifically to work with the principles of universal design, which aims to make living and working spaces more accessible to people with limited physical abilities. Learn more about creating an accessible kitchen with accessible cabinetry ideas from Lowe's.
Once you make all the cabinetry decisions, select a countertop to complete the look of your kitchen. Countertops are available in various materials and price ranges, and the best configuration for your kitchen may involve more than one type of countertop material.