Remodeling Tips

Define Your Goals:

It sounds easy, but what kind of kitchen do you really want? Are you looking to simply increase the resale value of your home? Do you want to create a new gourmet kitchen for all of your entertaining? Does your kitchen space need to be expanded to accommodate your growing family? Remember that form always follows function. So what you're really looking for is a kitchen that works for you and your family. You want a kitchen that makes your life easier. Define your goals now, set priorities and create the super kitchen that suites your life.

Measurement and Volume

Measure Your Existing Space

A) Start with the first wall on the left and work to your right around the room. First, measure the overall length of each wall in your kitchen. Use grid paper to record all your measurements.

B) Indicate all breaks in walls (windows, doors, closets) by measuring from the corner to the outside edge of the molding. Don't forget to indicate any permanent appliances, air vents, offsets, etc.

C) Measure to centerline of plumbing, ducting and outlets. Remember, plumbing and outlets may be moved to accommodate a design.

Create Your Floor Plan

Using your kitchen measurements, start sketching your cabinets. Start in the corner of your grid paper and work out. Note the location of your electrical outlets, plumbing fixtures and air ducts. You may be able to move major appliances several inches either way to accommodate a layout change.

Guide to Kitchen Planning:

Kitchen Planning Image - Auburn Custom Kitchens

Here is everything you need to know to layout a basic floor plan for your SuperKitchen! Standard sizes of cabinets, appliances and sinks plus industry standards for the Work Triangle, countertop space for task areas. Print out the kitchen planning grid for entering your room measurements and your 'rough draft'.

Cabinetry is sized using the 3" increment system. While custom and semi-custom (built-to-order) cabinets may allow some 'odd dimension' modifications, using the 3" system will serve you well when working on your basic floor plan.

Most appliances are standardized sizes, but a few, like microwaves are not. Always check appliance manufacturer's specifications to be sure you have allowed the correct amount of space for your final selection in each category

Dishwashers - 24" wide
(for installation in a cabinet, raising the height, allow 27")

Free-standing and drop-in ranges - 30" wide
(Professional ranges are available in wider widths.)

Cook Tops - 30", 36" wide.
(Some modular units available in 42" and 48" wide)

Wall Ovens - 27", 30", 33, 36" wide.
(Note: since wall ovens are always built-in, actual oven widths vary. The dimensions given here represent the cabinet sizes required.)

Refrigerators - free-standing models, 30 - 36" wide.
(Built-in models, up to 48" wide)

Trash Compactors - 15" and 18" wide

Microwave Ovens - Varied

Sinks - Varied, but most are designed to fit in 30", 33" or 36" base cabinets.
(Be sure to check manufacturer's specifications on your final selection!)

The National Kitchen and Bath Association (a trade organization for kitchen and bath dealers, designers, manufacturers, etc.) has established guidelines for kitchen planning. Prioritize the guidelines in case you cannot accomplish them all. Check them off as you complete your plan to be sure you have planned adequate space for each task area in your kitchen. Be sure to have a kitchen design specialist review your plan before ordering!

Storage Planning

The best kitchen designs are laid out with work zones in mind. Using what’s called “the work triangle,” kitchen designers place everything from ovens and cooktops to sinks and refrigerators — as well as the cabinets themselves — within various zones.

Storage solutions are organized by zones as well. These zones include Food Storage, Tableware Storage, Preparation, Cooking and Cleanup. Specialized Storage Solutions work within these zones, allowing you to maximize storage, accessibility and comfort in your kitchen.

Review the many options in this section. You’ll see how easy it is to create a kitchen that’s more organized, more efficient and more livable than you ever imagined

  1. Food

    This zone contains all of your basic food items, including canned goods, dry goods, perishables, refrigerated foods and bulk storage. In your kitchen layout, it should be placed near the Preparation and Cooking zones, and should be easily accessible for unloading groceries. Storage solutions that make this zone work hardest and smartest include lazy susans, pull-out pantries, multi-storage pantries, a variety of roll-out trays and utility cabinets.

  2. Tableware

    This zone is used to store dishes, glasses, stemware, serving pieces, silverware and other items that you use in your daily kitchen routine. This zone should be planned so that it is easily accessible from the eating area as well as the Cleanup zone. Think about storage solutions like cutlery dividers, china display cabinets, base drawer storage and more.

  3. Prep

    This is the main work area in your kitchen. This zone will contain work knives, utensils, mixing bowls, food processor and other small appliances. Of course, it should be designed in proximity to the Cooking and Cleanup zones. This area will gain efficiency and practicality from storage solutions, like base pots and pans cabinets with adjustable drawer dividers, cutting centers, floating island base cabinets, tambour storage, utensil ensembles and much more.

  4. Cooking

    As you can imagine, this zone will include your cooktop, ovens and microwave. It will also contain your cookware, bakeware and cooking utensils, as well as your spices and cooking oils. This zone is the true focal point of your kitchen layout. And you can keep the focus on efficiency with storage solutions, like a base cooking center, roll-out trays, spice racks, tray dividers and microwave cabinets

  5. Clean-up

    The Cleanup zone is another area that can define your kitchen layout because it most likely will be dictated by plumbing access or the placement of your dishwasher and windows. This zone contains your sink and dishwasher, trash and recycling bins, cleaning tools and cleaning supplies. Make your Cleanup zone more efficient with storage solutions like a sink base door storage cabinet, pull-out wastebaskets and more.

Project Planning

We offer this complete service or "turnkey" approach, too.  If you choose your remodel to be a Do-It-Yourself project, you must be prepared to serve as your own 'scheduling contractor' and perhaps, even purchasing agent. If you are planning on doing your kitchen remodel as a Do-It-Yourself project, you will need to consult and select skilled experts in a variety of fields. But, if that seems overwhelming to you, we specialize in handling the entire kitchen remodel from design through complete installation and will assist purchase of the products needed to complete your project.

  1. Put it On Paper

    Draw a plan and make a list for your kitchen remodel to help you determine costs. Decide if appliances will be replaced and what type you want. Check online for appliance features and stores that offer discounts.

  2. Contractor

    Hire a reputable contractor who is experienced in kitchen remodeling if you aren't going to do it yourself. Make sure the contractor is licensed and insured. Get references from the contractor and make sure that you have a time frame in writing. Labor costs are estimated at approximately 30 percent of the total remodeling cost.

  3. DIY

    Do it yourself. If you are experienced in home repairs, you may be able to do a lot of the work yourself to save money. Gas appliances need to be installed by experts. Make sure you hire reputable plumbers and electricians to help with the mechanical aspects of the kitchen remodel if necessary. Depending on the age of your kitchen, mechanical remodels can take as much as 30 percent of your budget.

  4. Budget for Unexpected Items

    Keep at least 10 percent of your budget for those unexpected costs. You might have termites or dry rot in wood, which will need to be replaced. Wiring may be old and not up to code. Old water pipes could be leaking and need to be replaced. Always keep a "contingency fund" for just such repairs.