Tips for kitchen remodeling

As we move into the holiday season, many of us begin thinking about the condition of our kitchen. And rightly so - what time of year is it ever used more?

It's probably why most kitchen remodels begin as soon as the holidays end - while the taste of antiquated appliances, fixtures, cabinetry and odd colored finishes are still fresh in everyone's mind.

The kitchen is the single most complex room in your home. Be sure to study each and every aspect as thoroughly as possible before you spend your first dime, and select everything before touching the first screw or nail.

Here are a few things to consider in your planning:

- Pick your appliances first - everything gets built around them.

- Pick your countertop before you select your cabinets. The cabinet company won't know what height to build the lower cabinets without knowing the thickness of the countertop - they're all different.

- Pick your backsplash before you hire the electrician. The placement of the electrical boxes will depend on the thickness of the counter's backsplash. Will it be tile or a solid material? What thickness will the material be and will it be affixed directly to the wall or will mortar be placed between the wall and the splash? There is nothing worse than paying the electrician extra to go back and add spacers to the electric boxes because they aren't flush with the finished surface - fire hazard!

- With certain sink/disposal combinations you may have to adjust the height of your existing drain outlet. Kohler currently offers an 11- inch deep stainless kitchen sink and ISE has a gigantic new 1 HP disposer. Together they fit a bit lower into the under-cabinet area than other models.

- Before you begin searching for cabinets, it might be a good idea if you know the overall distance between the floor and ceiling in your kitchen.