Kitchen Ideas Checklist - What can you add?

BelfastBoundDecember 10, 2013

I was just taken to the woodshed by my GC for "wearing down" the KD and Window salesperson with questions and changes. I blame GW because here I learned creative and useful ideas that both these "subs" failed to provide. Also I do not have an unlimited budget and I need to know the price of an option so I can make trade-offs. I told him if they had given me these options up front, not every little thing would have to be a "change". The subs are p**sd because they may price out glaze on cabinets or type of window and I have to say, thanks, I can't afford it and they feel why did they bother to price it.

I thought a list of ideas and things to consider might be helpful for those just starting to plan a new kitchen, a rubric of sorts, to discuss with your KD or DS. I am still in the planning phase so the list here is likely lacking. Thanks for your contribution.

Cabinets - Frameless, inset, beaded inset, overlay, partial overlay, construction (wood type, dovetailed), paint or stain and or glaze,

Upper Cabinets - Flush to ceiling or molding, above cabinet lights, lights in cabinet, below cabinet lights, light rail to hide the under cab lights, lights at top, lights at side, glass fronts, glass shelves, height above counter, depth of cabinet to fit your plates, hinges.

Lower Cabinets - Toe kick drawer, Height, drawer or door, proud to other cabinets, pull out options like Rev-a-Shelf

Cabinet Drawers - Glides: under or on the side, Amount of weight glides need to hold, soft close and/or full extension

Panel for dishwasher

Open shelving

Where will your paper towel holder be?

Pullout shelves for spices, pots, under the sink

What will be used for hand soap, dish soap, SOS etc

Where will wet dish towels go, dishes that will air dry?

Options for handling a blind corner

Options for above the fridge

Hiding or placement of outlets in cabinets/island/drawer

Computer/phone charging station

Where will cookbooks live

What am I missing? Thx again.

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Great idea!

Where will I put potholders/utensils/flatware?

Do I have adequate landing space near fridge, stove, and oven?

Where will I put large pots and pans?

What things do I use the most? What is used a few times a year?

Many of the decisions in my kitchen were based on specific things that needed a home - like beer and pop when we stock up, and my purse.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2013 at 7:43PM
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I forgot to plan where to feed the animals.

Other decisions I had to (or am now) make:

Depth of drawers, how many in a stack,
storage of potatoes & onions -- a spot with good air circulation.
corner cabinets -- lazy susan, super susan, staggered shelves, pullout mechanisms.

Size/depth of sink and placement of drain in that sink -- for optimal alignment with plumbing and use of space, and choice of sink base size. Better to adjust the base to fit the sink you want than try to cram in a sink that is too big.

Size/model of fridge desired in order to appropriately plan its space and flanking cabinets.

Will you put in a backsplash, or will it be just caulk between the counter and wall.

Where/how many switches, outlets, light fixtures

Where will trash, recycling and compost bins go

Will any existing woodwork need to be repaired or replaced and with what

    Bookmark   December 10, 2013 at 7:48PM
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Lighting plan, recessed cans, LED or other, task lighting, accent lighting

End panels of cabinets, finished with fancy panels, integral built in panels, support panels if DW is at the end of a cab run

Seating preferences, table height face to face, counter height in a line or at right angles

Where will the fire extinguisher(s) live for maximum access and protection

    Bookmark   December 10, 2013 at 7:59PM
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Thx so much. Only one of your suggestions was a question the KD asked me; size of Fridge.

Annkh - So what WAS the spot you found for your purse? Is it a security issue to hang it on a hook in the mudroom by the back door do you think? Such a great suggestion.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2013 at 8:41PM
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Style and height of light rail and crown molding?

Where does the coffee maker go - is there room to pull it out from beneath the upper cabinets? Are the uppers and light rail high enough to allow your vitamix to slide under?

Are cabinets extra deep (front to back) or standard and set away from the wall so counters are deep? If cabinets are deep, are the drawers extra deep and with full extension glides? Is the useful interior height of the drawers enough for pots, pans, and casseroles on their sides? Pizza pan and cookie sheet storage?

Are uppers extra deep to hold wide plates or multiple rows of glasses? Do you want any glass door uppers for aesthetics or for function (guests will know where drinking glasses are). If glass doors, are inside cabinets painted or stained to match outside?

Where will you use appliances and are there electric outlets there (for laptops and appliances at the island, for a vacuum cleaner, for a mixer, food processor, toaster)?
Is there electric for a garbage disposal at each sink? A servo-drive (Ikea utrusta) automatic trash opener? Do you want an eye-vac anywhere?

What radii and edge profiles do you want on your countertops?

Are you filtering drinking water or icemaker water? How, and how easy is it to change the filter? Using a Tapmaster? Air switch or fiber optic for garbage disposal? Soap dispenser? Hot water dispenser? Pot filler?

Venting - out through the ceiling or through the wall? How many cfms, and do you need make up air? The same width or wider than your cooktop? Does the hood or cabinet surrounding the insert touch windows, or cabinets, or is there negative space? Where will the backsplash start and end behind the cooktop? Will the vent also help vent odors, heat, and smoke from the oven(s)?

    Bookmark   December 10, 2013 at 9:10PM
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In my tall cabinets - I used to stash it on the floor under my desk, and the desk got evicted in the remodel. The tote bag I bring to work every day lived on a dining room chair (which was pretty pitiful).

    Bookmark   December 10, 2013 at 10:24PM
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Where will you put the microwave?

Belfastbound, good for you for asking questions and not just going along blindly. Once this thread is complete you should present it to your GC and the so called KD.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2013 at 10:14AM
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My tote bag for work still lives on a dining room chair!

Where will you store brooms, mops, cleaning supplies? (if you don't have a location elsewhere).

    Bookmark   December 11, 2013 at 1:01PM
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Make sure your fridge doors can open WIDE.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2013 at 5:34PM
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Great post!

I second the "where is the MW going" and will add "where is the broom going."

Nothing is truer to me in my remodel than this comment from the OP:

"Also I do not have an unlimited budget and I need to know the price of an option so I can make trade-offs. I told him if they had given me these options up front, not every little thing would have to be a "change". The subs are p**sd because they may price out glaze on cabinets or type of window and I have to say, thanks, I can't afford it and they feel why did they bother to price it. "

So frustrating! This has really soured me against our kitchen designer. Terrible how they do that.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2013 at 6:48PM
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Where specifically to place outlets & light switches that may be in your backspash. All my walls were open so we could have placed them anywhere but I didn't get to that part of my GW education until the walls were closed.
Also, all the different options available for undercabinet & glass cabinet lighting. Again, wiring was already complete when I realized there were multiple options.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2013 at 9:08PM
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Rachiele, LLC

If you get a single bowl sink with a rear corner drain, you can likely put a pullout trash receptacle in the sink cabinet instead of wasting a valuable amount of real estate (and money) on a separate trash cabinet. As far as blind corners, as a former kitchen designer, I occasionally blocked them off so I could get a more useful cabinet near the corner. Blind corner are always difficult (and expensive). I did that in my own kitchen.

Here is a link that might be useful: Trash bin inside sink cabinet

    Bookmark   December 12, 2013 at 11:37AM
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Where will the radio (sound system??) go? I still have to figure this out myself!

    Bookmark   December 12, 2013 at 12:04PM
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removing duplicate

This post was edited by gooster on Thu, Dec 12, 13 at 14:12

    Bookmark   December 12, 2013 at 12:28PM
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I didn't see anyone mention appliance type/size/choice in general -- you basically need this to do a layout/cabinet plan.

On the fine tuning side: the toe kick height, type and treatment (aprons, furniture style, etc.). Feet and legs and other decorative items can get pretty pricey. The use of continuous face frames is a pretty big cost variable.

I don't know what your interactions are like, but it is possible to ask too many detailed kitchen tradeoff questions too early in the process. Some of these details won't really move the price box that much, in relation to bigger leverage items. The charge for a glaze is NOT one of them. But other choices will be lost in the overall scheme of things as you fine tune and settle in on your final design. The difference between a glazed and distressed painted wood inset set of cabinets and a full overlay stained set of cabinets can often pay for a whole room full of smaller details.

You may be at this stage already, but for others in the planning phase I would suggest preparing a I'd be happy with" list of features and get that quoted out. "I'd be happy with" means the must haves plus the top priority extras. Then, if that is acceptable, then you can add back things on your wishlist and modify details. I would say if you are already at the point of "i'm tight" at that point you might have to consider a major tradeoff upfront to leave some wiggle room (5%) for adjustments as you get further in the process.

I can't imagine questions to a window person that are too inappropriate. Even then, the people would simply requote one window so I could see the difference in changing variables, like casement style or muntin/mullion implementation.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2013 at 12:46PM
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Thanks everyone. Here are some terms for those just starting out that they can google (it is a better search engine) using the format "idea" + gardenweb to see all the posts that GW has for that idea

light rail gardenweb
waterfall granite gardenweb (get the picture?)
unfitted kitchen
toe kick drawer
blind corner
frameless cabinets
full overlay cabinets
inset cabinets
soft close drawers
super susan

    Bookmark   December 17, 2013 at 10:25PM
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Where does the cable box go if I have a small TV in the kitchen (apparently some hide it in the upper cabinet)

Where does the toaster go? Should it be hidden?

Also, knowing yourself and your kitchen habits vs. going with what is a standard rec from the KD.

Mock run of how you would actually work in the kitchen

Allow time in your timeline for a few items to be damaged and need to be returned or to fix problems that come up

I do think some people are overwhelmed with the amount of choices so sometimes KDs and contractors just give a "standard" package to get through the job. We got one but because of GW, I asked about options for the UCL. Our electrician was pretty good at trying to stick to my no outlets/switches on the back splash with the exception of a section near the sink But he missed the plug strip on the island which was supposed to be hidden and I got a regular outlet instead. It wasn't a huge deal in the scheme of the overall kitchen and I wasn't around every minute for them to check.

Also, while taking a detailed inventory and measurements of what you have to see where they would go in the new kitchen could yield optimal results, it's a lot of work. Some might be fine with ballpark and will just move things around to make them fit or have more kitchen space that they need and will grow into it. I don't think I would have had the time/energy to do such a detailed inventory, though I did measure a few pots. If I had, I might have tweaked on drawer but I am very happy with the way things turned out so far.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2013 at 11:45PM
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I think something that escaped me in the past was considering a walk in pantry to hide items like the microwave, the mixer, the blender, juicer, storage containers etc.

These are all great things to ask yourself when planning.

We are building an entire house and I worry with so many decisions I will miss some important ones in the kitchen. I have remodeled a kitchen from the studs and it took ALL of my brain space. So, I have no idea how I am going to decide on an entire house at one time!

    Bookmark   December 18, 2013 at 4:56AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

A couple of things I didn't see mentioned was ceiling and upper cabinet heights...are you doing a soffit? Leaving it open? Glass fronted uppers above uppers for display? Bump up for corner cabs or for range hood cab?

Think about corners, susans and dead space and how best to handle it.

Also study the plan to make sure things can you open the drawers or will the hardware run into cabinetry that is perpendicular to it...can you get by the DW or the oven when the door is the fridge away from walls enough to open the doors fully?

    Bookmark   December 18, 2013 at 11:43AM
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My cabinet guy is coming tonight and I just reviewed this list for the fourth time. Thank you to everyone who contributed.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 3:01PM
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If you are doing recessed lighting, what kind of trim. I spent hours reading about wheat alzak, haze alzak, clear alzak. That's probably when I missed the class on plug molds & outlet placement.
This weekend, I discovered, to my horror, that I have a lazy susan & not a super susan. I attended that class but obviously wasn't paying attention.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 3:49PM
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@Blefastbound - LOVE your quote. I, also, just got "talked to" by my GC about decisions & changes. Agree completely with:

"I learned creative and useful ideas that both these "subs" failed to provide. Also I do not have an unlimited budget and I need to know the price of an option so I can make trade-offs. I told him if they had given me these options up front, not every little thing would have to be a "change". The subs are p**sd because they may price out glaze on cabinets or type of window and I have to say, thanks, I can't afford it and they feel why did they bother to price it."

I WILL be quoting portions of what you said......

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 3:51PM
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Another creative idea is to consider using vanity cabinets instead of kitchen cabinets if the standard kitchen cabinets do not come in the size you want.

I wanted 18" deep pantry cabinets. Dura Supreme Crestwood kitchen pantry cabinets only came in 12" deep or 24" deep. My KD wanted to order 24" deep cabinets (more expensive) and them cut down to 18" deep (an extra surcharge).

Since I had spent literally years perusing cabinet spec manuals (for Kraftmaid etc), I knew to ask if a vanity cabinet came in 18" deep. They did. The only difference between the kitchen cabinet and vanity cabinet (other than the depth) was that the vanity cabinet had a short door at the bottom and a higher door at the top (the kitchen cabinet was reversed, longer on bottom, shorter on top). So I got what I wanted without paying extra.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 4:40PM
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* does my flooring need re-doing? (basics need addressing first)

* can I/should I remove any walls to improve views/flow/function?

* consider varying countertop heights to accommodate different chefs (dh is 9" taller than me so our island will have counters 2" higher than standard).

* consider using a water filter that doesn't require a separate tap for more streamlined look (like 3M Full Flow Drinking Water System)

* consider building in an inexpensive countertop microwave using a "trim kit" (micro can be below-counter for those who want it to be less visible)

* consider beautiful light switches and outlets if they are highly visible on backsplash (like Adorne pop-out outlets and switches, or Rejuvenation retro dimmer push-button switches, etc.)

* consider smaller appliances in a small kitchen:
Kitchen Efficiency Comes in Small Packages

* consider a banquette (linear or "L" shaped, not "U" shaped) for an eat-in kitchen for wow-factor, focal point, comfort, space efficiency, and additional storage in below-seat cabinets

* consider kitchen curtains - they're due for a revival :) ...creates a focal point, adds texture, can be easily washed, allows introducing colour/pattern without the commitment of the tiled backsplash

* in a tiny kitchen, consider the amazing ideas of the
1920s Frankfurt kitchen - that kitchen uses 18" deep base cabinets along the main storage wall (and itsallaboutthefood gives a great tip above about using bathroom vanity cabinets for that)

* consider avoiding cleaning nightmares like upper cabinets that stop short of the ceiling. some cabinet door designs are not fun to clean either.

* consider avoiding a corner base cabinet by having a regular cabinet in the corner face "the other way" when there's a peninsula (for infrequently used items

* if you have an undersink trash pullout, consider a shallow mesh drawer above the bins for scrubbies and sink accessories - they can air out and drip right into trash

This post was edited by feisty68 on Mon, Feb 24, 14 at 16:56

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 4:54PM
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These ideas occurred to me as I read through this great list.

How can I maximize storage spaces--both for efficiency and volume?
drawer dividers--custom or readymade?
susans in both base and wall corners?
additional shelves for wall cabinets to allow for maximally efficient spacing?
adjustable shelves in all cabinets and pantries?
use of all storage areas--toe kick drawers?
15" deep uppers in all or part of the kitchen?

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 5:12PM
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Thank you so much for this thread. I am just starting the process and have been trying to figure out where to put things. I've learned a lot just reading here for the last week. I'm afraid of hearing how much all the extra goodies are going to cost as I'm really on a tight budget. I'm already obsessing about the slightest little things. Spent hours just looking at faucets so at that rate I can't imagine how long it will take to make a decision on a slide in range and sink and countertop.

One of the question asked where are the paper towels going to go. what suggestions do you have for that?

    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 4:29AM
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A couple of details that I missed when planning our kitchen:

Where will the three-step stool live? I found a spot for a two-step stool, but would prefer a taller one for the upper cabinets that go to the ceiling.

Pull-out trash - found to my dismay that the model installed held two small trash receptacles with a metal divider, so I couldn't replace the two with one large can. Had to rebuild the bottom of the pull-out to make it work for me.

Light switch near prep area. The lights were there, but I had to run to the end of the cabinet run to get to the switch. Found a solution to that too, but wish I had considered it before the construction.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 6:51AM
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Where will the fire extinguisher go? Especially handy if you have gas. Easy to play a recessed niche somewhere in kitchen.

Storage for potholders and dish towels. Plasticware/storage ware storage in the best place for cleanup of leftovers?

We don't have wide dishes but some people with the grotesquely large american plates may need to make sure those huge plates will fit in uppers or designate space in base drawers.

Do I want deeper depth base cabinets?

Cd fridge or recessed fridge or do I embrace the kitsch of a naked exposed fridge?

Price of factory or custom installed features versus after market install of things liike pantry pullouts or tray dividers or le mans pull outs or similar items? Sometimes it is much cheaper to add these on after the fact rather than order from the factory.

How will I handle corners: super Susan? Lazy Susan? Blind corner with pullout? Corner drawers? Dead space with larger drawers on each side ? Spaces ceased from other side of penisula?

How comfortable are we with certain widths of aisle ways?

Most importantly I think people need to study how they cook, how the family functions in the kitchen. Then plan the prep spaces or snack counters or homework niches accordingly rather than by some idealized version that they think they need or have seen in a magazine.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 7:47AM
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