Is it time to remodel your kitchen? Chances are that if your home was built more than 30 years ago, now may be the time. Lifestyles and appliances have changed as well as kitchen products and décor. Financing home improvements today may be more feasible due to unprecedented low interest rates.
Here are five signs that it may be time to remodel your kitchen:
1) Lifestyle Changes
If your kitchen was built before 1980 it was probably designed for one cook or may have been built economically. During that era, dining rooms were used for entertaining. Today, many couples cook together and people like to gather in the kitchen. Formal dining rooms have been converted into extensions of a kitchen where people can dine both informally everyday and on special occasions when guests visit. Cable television has also had a dramatic impact on some consumers. HGTV, the DYI Channel and the Food Network influence the choices consumers make when remodeling their homes.
2) New Appliances
Thirty years ago the Internet was in its infancy. Home computers have changed the way many of us live and have made their way into the kitchen. Microchips have been used to create smart appliances and allow us to add new features to our kitchens. Today’s kitchen appliances are much more energy efficient and have a wider range of functions.
Kitchen essentials now include:
- Ovens with convection baking and roasting features.
- Energy Star qualified refrigerators that dispense ice cubes, filtered water and crushed ice and require no defrosting.
- Microwave ovens with sensor features that serve as a second oven and/or vent hood unit.
- Energy Star dishwashers, including drawer-style dishwashers.
- Under-cabinet refrigeration units and wine coolers.
- Flat-screen televisions that can be mounted almost anywhere in a kitchen.
- Computer tablets such as the iPad that are replacing cookbooks.
- Cellphones replacing landlines in many homes.
- Small appliances such as Keurigs, Kitchen Aid mixers and blender/food processor combos in addition to the traditional toaster, coffeemaker, crockpot and handheld mixer.
- Base cabinets with trash pullouts. One appliance that you may still find in homes built in the 1980s is a garbage compactor but most homes do not have compactors today. Trash pullouts for recyclables and non-recyclables have replaced the compactor.
If you need new wiring or plumbing or to reconfigure your kitchen to accommodate these appliances it may be time to remodel.
3) New Kitchen Products
Modern products make kitchens easier to maintain, can be eco-friendly and enhance the way we use the work areas of a kitchen.
- Counter surfaces have changed dramatically. In the 80’s, white or off-white laminate counters prevailed along with ceramic tile counters set with bull-nose wood edges. Today, quartz and granite countertops provide easy to maintain work surfaces. Stone counters add beauty to a kitchen and are more durable than tile and laminate products.
- Full-extension drawer glides and pullouts simplify storage.
- Composite sinks, made from quartz or granite combined with resin, are replacing stainless steel and porcelain sinks. Composite sinks come in a range of colors, have deep bowls are easy to maintain.
- Faucets have become more functional with sprays that are part of the unit, pivoting goosenecks for filling large pots and easy to operate lever handles.
- Lighting has changed significantly with LED and halogen bulbs. The large fluorescent light in the center of the kitchen ceiling has given way to pendant and task lighting in work areas.
- Flooring is no longer the standard linoleum, which was susceptible to stains, wear and tear or unforgiving ceramic tile. Wood flooring is prevalent in many homes today because of the advances in polyurethane finishes that make hardwoods both attractive and durable.
Kitchen cabinet styles often signify the era in which a home was built. In the 1980’s oak or oak veneer and white laminate cabinets with oak trim reigned. Finishes wear down as do hinges and hardware. If cabinets are in good shape, paint and stain can do wonders. But if doors are warped, shelves are bowed, glides are off drawers, and cupboards near the stovetop are soiled with grease and beyond repair, it may be time to remodel. Flooring and colors also change. The pinkish ceramic tiles of the 80s and anything mauve may be a turn-off to buyers and may require updating if you are trying to sell a home today.
5) Low-cost Financing
Today’s interest rates are much lower than they were 30 years ago when mortgage rates were in the double digits. With current rates around 3 to 4 percent for mortgages and home improvement loans, now may be the best time to take advantage of financing options to make improvements that add to your family’s comfort and the value of your home.