One of the most important rooms in any home, and the one you likely spend the most time in, is the kitchen. Yet when many homeowners and homebuyers are designing or remodeling their kitchens, they don’t spend the necessary amount of time planning a functional kitchen concept. Since building a new custom kitchen or even remodeling an existing kitchen will cost tens of thousands of dollars, it really does warrant sitting down with your contractor and figuring out what you need to make your Maine kitchen your dream kitchen.

Here are a few suggestions based on Built by Adams’ 30 plus years of experience building and remodeling Maine kitchens:

Applicances: If you are using existing appliances, have model numbers, sizes and specs on hand for your contractor or kitchen designer. If you plan on purchasing new appliances to go with your new Maine kitchen, be sure they will fit your kitchen design. You would be surprised how many homeowners go through the remodeling process and get to that final step of installing the appliances, only to find that they don’t work – cabinets won’t open properly or the appliances just plain don’t fit in the space.

Materials Selection: Many people come up with a kitchen concept based on looks and don’t take into consideration their day to day lifestyle. White cabinets are lovely, but they tend to show dirt, wear and tear more than natural wood cabinets. Granite countertops create a high end look, but are more expensive and difficult to clean than laminate. It’s important to find a balance between how the materials look and how they will perform.

Layout: This is the most important part of the design process. It is important to make sure that the kitchen is laid out in the most user-friendly way possible. A few things to take into consideration:

  • Distance from the dishwasher to the sink: Ideally, the dishwasher should be next to the sink.
  • Adequate counter space (landing space) adjacent to the stove, oven and refrigerator: 36 inches on both sides of the range and sink is ideal, but you can get away with half that. Just make sure you have at least 18 inches minimum.
  • Island or no island: The additional counter and storage space provided by an island may not be worth it if it comes at the expense of the rest of the kitchen and makes the space too crowded.
  • Placement of appliances: Appliances that are put in the corner tend to not function as well conceptually. For example, if the dishwasher is in the corner, it may block off lower cabinets when opened. A side by side refrigerator that is against a wall won’t be able to fully open without the door hitting the wall. An oven should be placed wherever there is room for you to stand in front of it when it is open to put food in and take it out, not on the side.

Space & Organization: Whether your Maine kitchen is a sprawling eat-in space or an efficiency, make sure you are maximizing the space you have by keeping it organized. Lazy susans, drawer organizers and pull out trays are great ways to make sure that you are able to access every inch of cabinet and drawer space while keeping them organized and functional.

While it may seem excessive to agonize over your kitchen design, it is one part of your home where you really do want to “sweat the small stuff.” You’re making a tremendous investment in your new or remodeled Maine kitchen, and you want to get the most for your money both while you live there and in resale value down the road. By contacting Built by Adams for a design consultation and following the above suggestions, you can make sure your dream kitchen concept is even better in reality.