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From the editor: What I learned about kitchen renovations

I adore my kitchen (ok, ok, my parent’s kitchen). But I’m planning on moving out soon and plan to love my very own kitchen. For me, the kitchen is the most cozy room in the house. It’s where I spend quality time with loved ones, indulging in comfort meals and perusing on my laptop. That’s why I’ll take this advice into consideration before a kitchen expert designs it.

All about kitchens

I’m probably not the only person that loves being in the kitchen. But maybe for you, it’s not about loving the space so much as spending so much time in it. For the month of October, I wanted to learn everything about kitchens – what kitchen styles are in, how much money homeowners should dedicate to a kitchen renovation in the first place, and why you undergo a kitchen renovation in the first place.

Here’s an overview of what I learned and what you need to know before you consult our extensive directory of kitchen planning and renovation specialists for your next kitchen renovation.

Building a kitchen in your basement? It’s quite a task

A kitchen renovation is a kitchen renovation no matter where it’s located, right? WRONG! Jon Labelle is a home renovation expert. He told us about how basement renovations aren’t as simple as a main floor renovation. That’s because of the following issues:

  • Waterproofing. You do NOT want your home’s foundation to spring a leak after building a kitchen. Basement waterproofing is an essential way to prevent basement leaks coming in through the walls and floor. You don’t want to prepare food in a space that’s not adequately prepared.
  • Insulation. An insulation expert will know which insulation is right for your basement. A basement that’s properly insulated will ensure your kitchen lasts for years to come.

Don’t forget about having to choose flooring, appliances, light fixtures and more. Mind you’ll have to do that anyway if you’re completely gutting your kitchen!


The best way to plan for kitchen renovations – especially one in the basement – is to speak with an experienced kitchen renovator before undergoing the process. After all, we could all get carried away picking out fixtures and shiny new appliances long before the floor design plan happens!

Kitchen Renovations for Beginners

Your home isn’t meant to undergo kitchen renovations more than once (unless your family home has been passed down from generation to generation). After all, it’s a lot of work, and one renovation should last you a minimum of 15 years.

That’s why it’s so important to invest in your kitchen renovation once and the right way. Here’s what you should be doing before you contact an expert:

  • Gather inspiration. Start getting a feel for what you want and what you want to see in your kitchen. Flip through magazines, look online and save photos on your phone. Your personality and style will influence your future kitchen design.
  • Wants vs. Needs. What you want in your kitchen and what you absolutely need are two different things. Come up with a list of what you want to have (more luxuries) and what you need. What you need in your kitchen should be items that you can’t live without and after that kitchen renovations process is finished, you won’t want to bring in a renovator to fix it. Take your time coming up with your list. When that’s done, you can them into your budget.
  • Fit these into your budget. Before I go into more detail about your budget (and we WILL get to it I promise you), you must first not forget what should go into your budget. Sure, you need to consider kitchen countertops and cabinets, but what about plumbing and electrical expenses? No, I’m not referring to fixtures, but the cost to wire your home with wires and add pipes for plumbing? All of this costs money. Oh, and budget for home decor. You’ll want to decorate once the renovation is complete, right?
  • Hire a professional. But you were probably going to do that anyway, weren’t you? Don’t forget to consult our directory to find a kitchen renovations specialist to design and build your brand new kitchen.


Choosing a style that works for you

Kitchen renovations are a great way to change your space to ensure it reflects your personal taste. Thankfully, there are a variety of styles to choose from:

  • Contemporary. This unique style brings old and new together. It takes elements of a modern kitchen – clean lines – with a mix of materials from a traditional style kitchen.
  • Modern. No lavish, ornate cabinetry here! Modern offers almost no ornamentation, black or white cabinetry, sleek hardware, and very, very simple design. Picture a stainless steel countertop and a concrete finish around the room.
  • Traditional. Love the fancy look? Then traditional is for you. Cabinetry has intricate architectural designs, wood panels on the fridge and range hood, and wood mouldings around the room to complete the kitchen’s traditional look.



Come up with a realistic budget

At, we love home renovations and we want you to get excited about them! But that doesn’t mean we want you to go broke while renovating your kitchen. That’s why it’s so important to come up with a very detailed budget that not only includes EVERYTHING involved in a kitchen renovation, but to also create a 10 per cent buffer so you have funds available should something go wrong (or if nothing goes wrong, maybe you’re really intent on upgrading to a nicer cabinetry and are not willing to settle for a cheaper option!).

There’s no strict formula to coming up with a budget, but here’s a guideline to follow:

  • Establish your home’s value. You’ll want to invest anywhere from 5 to 15 per cent on the renovation.
  • Divide your budget on each component of the renovation. This includes electrical, appliances, flooring, etc. 

Here’s what your kitchen budget could look like.



These budgets are based on different home values, different budgets, and give you an idea of what components make up a solid kitchen renovation. But if you’re having trouble figuring out how much of your hard-earned dollars should go to a new kitchen, why wrack your brain?

Instead, speak with a qualified kitchen planning and renovation specialist who has years of experience building kitchens. They understand the basics that make up a perfect kitchen and can transform your space into what you want.

Yes, you can have your dream kitchen! I hope to have mine too someday. Covering kitchens for an entire month was quite an exciting feat!

More in Kitchen Renovations

Renovating your kitchen? You have so many countertop options

Your guide to kitchen styles

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