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15 kitchen renovation tips

Updated: May 27, 2021

If you are thinking about renovating your kitchen, you will love this helpful list of tips to ensure that your new kitchen will work for you today and for your plans tomorrow

After years of dreaming about it, you are finally ready to jump into a kitchen renovation. You are likely thinking about lots of things right now and I'm sure that one of them is whether or not you will be able to recapture this expense when you sell your house one day. One way to ensure that you are able to that is to make sure that your kitchen design appeals to a wide group of possible buyers. It's wise to keep the kitchen as classic as possible (add your style with the things that are removable or easily changeable). Beyond the look of the kitchen, though, think about how it could work best for as many different types of people as possible.

While doing research on this topic, I found a tremendous amount of information on the AARP website. Did you know that by 2035, more than one in five people in the US will be aged 65 and older and one in three households will be headed by someone in that age group.

With that in mind, planning a kitchen that is comfortable for all ages and abilities makes even more sense. As you read through the tips below, you will see that these are great suggestions for everyone!

Here are the 15 Tips to Renovate Your Kitchen for Yourself and Future Buyers:

1. A wall cabinet that covers the entire top of the refrigerator turns the space into usable (albeit not the most easily reached) storage.

2. A french-door refrigerator opens in the middle, which makes it easier to see and reach what’s inside. The external drawer can store small, frequently used items. The bottom freezer typically contains an easy to access upper basket and a lower bin.

3. D-shaped handles and drawer pulls are easier to grasp than knobs.

4. Lower-level cabinets with pullout shelves are easier to see and reach into than those with stationary shelving. Cabinet manufacturers and home improvement stores sell kits for adding sliding bins and shelves. Tip: Frequently used items are best stored between hip and shoulder height.

5. The top oven in a double-oven range can be used to prepare small meals. And the height is helpful if bending and lifting is difficult. Tip: Unlike a traditional microwave oven, a convection microwave is suitable for baking and roasting. For some households, the dual-function appliance can eliminate the need for a full-sized oven, especially if the kitchen contains a separate cooktop .

6. Controls at the front of a range save users from having to reach over hot burners and pots. Colored or backlit controls are the easiest to read. Controls that can be locked, covered or removed are useful if children live in or visit the home.

7. Open shelving makes items easier to see, reach and reshelve after use. Another plus: Exposed shelves eliminate the possibility of walking into an open door.

8. Not every small appliance needs to be kept on the kitchen counter. Items that are used daily — such as a coffee maker or rice cooker — might be worthy of countertop real estate. Since it’s easy to forget to turn off a plug-in appliance, choose models with an automatic shutoff.

9. Drawers of varying depths can maximize space when storing flatware, cooking utensils, dishcloths, bowls, plates, pots and pans.

10. Ceiling lights illuminate the room. Task lighting is needed above the sink, stove and other work areas, such as along the countertop or over a kitchen island. If hardwired lighting isn’t available — or if very direct lighting is needed — a plug-in desk lamp can be an option. (An example appears on the next page.)

11. A lever-style, light-touch or sensor faucet is both easier to use and more sanitary than one with turn-style knobs or handles.

12. A hot water dispenser is very useful for tea drinkers — or anyone who doesn’t want to wait for water to boil.

13. Pullout pails beneath the sink keep trash and recyclables out of the way and out of sight. If the sink doesn’t have a garbage disposal, a small bucket can be placed nearby for collecting and then composting food scraps.

14. Drawer-style appliances — such as the pictured refrigerator, range and double-drawer dishwasher — are more expensive than single-door swing-open models. But the ease of use and energy savings (gained by not having to operate or open the entire appliance at once) can be worth the cost. A single-drawer dishwasher could be suitable for a small kitchen or small household.

15. While an over-the-range microwave oven is an efficient use of space — one with the added benefit of providing an exhaust fan and lighting — the placement can cause problems. Lifting and lowering heavy and often hot cookware is difficult and dangerous. A countertop microwave oven or one built-in at that height is safer and easier to access. A safety note: A countertop microwave needs at least 3 inches of clearance along its top and sides and a minimum 1 inch of clearance in the back. Also, the appliance must be located at least 2 feet from a stove or else installed using a built-in kit from the manufacturer.

Click here for your own copy of the Home Fit Guide.

Smart ways to make a home comfortable, safe and a great fit

for older adults — and people of all ages. This free resource was created by the AARP.

Still have questions? I can help you think through this process. Your home is a place for you and your family to live but it is also an investment. When you make changes to your home it is best to think about those renovations with an eye to the future. Contact me today at or 240-413-4141 to talk about your plans for today and your plans for the future. We can discuss your current home value and the value of homes in your immediate vicinity. That kind of information can really increase your confidence as you make your decisions.

Who am I and how can I help you?

I'm Tamara Beauchard, realtor, architect and right-fit specialist

- As a top-performing realtor with Re/Max Professionals, I work with buyers and sellers to make sure that their specific needs and goals are met during their unique real estate transaction.

- My background as an architect in the design and construction industry gives you the advantage of my expertise and professional perspective to give you the edge in the real estate market.

- Right-fit means that I help you with your questions about renovations or downsizing and work with you to create a plan to move you forward with confidence

- I'm a local expert in buying and selling real estate in these dynamic Route One Corridor Communities:Hyattsville, College Park, University Park, Riverdale Park, Brentwood, Greenbelt, Beltsville, Berwyn Heights, Mount Rainier & Cheverly.

Subscribe to my newsletter for more helpful and actionable information about buying, selling, renovating and downsizing.

Ready to sell, buy, renovate or downsize?

Contact me today at or 240-413-4141.

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