As the most important room in your home, your kitchen is a place you will want to be sure is welcoming, clean, and always up to date. The kitchen is where people spend more (waking) hours than any other room, which is why an investment in a kitchen remodel is one that can be easily justified.
Kitchen remodels can come in many different forms, ranging from simply adding a backsplash to complete renovations. The kitchen is a space that uniquely blends social and functional features. It is also the room in your home that is most likely to make a positive (or negative) impression on your guests.
One of the questions that today’s leading kitchen designers are asked the most is how often should I renovate my kitchen? While you don’t want your kitchen to be outdated or out of style, you also don’t want to spend more on home design than is necessary. To carefully balance these competing interests, there are many details that will need to be considered.
In this article, we will discuss when it will be the best time to do a complete kitchen remodel. By taking the time to consider your options and address your specific needs, you can begin creating the kitchen you’ve always dreamed of.
Ideal Remodel: Every 10 to 15 Years
As we will discuss below, there are many different situations that can inspire you to update your kitchen but, generally speaking, a good rule of thumb will be to invest in an update every 10 to 15 years. This will help ensure that all appliances are reasonably up to date, are working effectively (and efficiently), and that your home is able to effectively maintain your value.
Furthermore, in interior design, trends can change very quickly. If you look at kitchens from 1950, 1970, 1990, and 2010, you will notice that these changes are somewhat gradual, but also very noticeable. Kitchen design schemes, when compared to the rest of the house, also change at a faster pace than the rest of your home—this is because while changes to furniture (such as beds and couches) are mostly aesthetic, the changes to appliances are aesthetic as well as functional.
Changing Life, Changing Kitchen
What, exactly, a kitchen will be used for will depend on your current life circumstances. When you first purchased your home several years back, you may have been new to the city, preferred take-out to cooking, and were not responsible for feeding anybody else. Years later, however, things might be dramatically different. You might have kids, host parties often, and have found a new love of making Mediterranean cuisine. Regardless, it is clear to see that there are many changes that can cause your kitchen needs to be different. If any of these circumstances describe your current situation, it might be time for an upgrade.
Upgrading for Safety Reasons
According to the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA), an estimated 172,000 oven fires occur in the United States each year. There are many things that can cause these fires, but one of the leading causes is the fact that appliances are outdated or unclean. Other possible kitchen hazards can include gas leaks, plumbing issues, sharp edges (such as chipped floor tiles), and many others. Upgrading your kitchen will not only make it look much better, but it will cause your kitchen to be much safer. New appliances, when compared to their older counterparts, are cleaner and have also likely been manufactured using more rigid standards.
As time goes on, appliances—regardless of when they were made—will begin to operate much less efficiently. Eventually, this efficiency decline will be significant enough that these appliances will need to be replaced. Beyond the general benefits of replacing these appliances, many new appliances can require up to 80 percent less energy than older alternatives. Additionally, incorporating various smart home systems in your home can also help reduce your monthly energy consumption and make your life generally easier.
New Home Floorplan
When renovating a home, one of the most important things to keep in mind will be the home’s specific floorplan. When doing an extreme renovation—which may involve tearing down walls and adding additional square footage to your home—developing a comprehensive floorplan will become even more important. If you are doing a total remodel, consider finding ways to open up your floor plan and connect it to the dining room and/or the family room. You might also want to incorporate new features such as a four-season room or off-kitchen breakfast nook.
Changing Aesthetic Tastes
Thus far, many of the reasons for updating your kitchen have been practical or structural, but there are plenty of aesthetic reasons for changing your kitchen as well. Interior design trends come and go quite often. Even time-tested designs, such as mid-century modernism or traditional ranches, may also call for occasional aesthetic changes.
Repainting your kitchen is one of the most affordable changes you can make, but it will also have a major impact on your overall aesthetic. Other possible changes you might want to incorporate include adding a new backsplash, replacing your floors, modifying your kitchen to include an island, and many others. If you aren’t sure where to start, consider looking at some kitchen design ideas and seeing which are most appealing to you.
Preparing to Sell Your Home
The last reason a person might modify their kitchen is to increase the value of their home. If you live in a competitive housing market, you can typically expect to get more value for an upgrade than the upgrade actually costs. In other words, depending on the details, a $10,000 kitchen upgrade can potentially add $12,000 or even $15,000 to the total value of your home. If the kitchen design is solely for investment purposes, your kitchen design partners may be able to make several beneficial suggestions.
As long as kitchens remain an important part of our lives, they will need to be occasionally updated. In general, you should update your kitchen at least once every 10 to 15 years. But if you are facing any of the situations mentioned above, you might want to accelerate this timeline and update even sooner.