Easy Kitchen Updates

The kitchen may be the hardest-working room in the house, so it runs the risk of looking overworked. Give your kitchen fresh appeal with these quick and easy updates, including solutions for your windows, floor, pantry, and more!

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Freestanding Pantry Ideas

Short on storage and space? No worries. These stylish go-anywhere pantry designs house everything from baking pans and cooking staples to party supplies -- exactly where you need them most. As a bonus, many of these units are transportable so they can travel with you when you move.

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One-of-a-Kind Backsplashes

In a hardworking kitchen, a backsplash is an ideal opportunity to add a little personality. See how pretty materials and unique installations can bring a fresh face to your kitchen.

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Drab to Fab Makeover

See how a basic kitchen received a fresh face on an affordable remodeling budget.

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Guide to Cabinetry

From Better Homes and Gardens, ideas and improvement projects for your home and garden plus recipes and entertaining ideas.

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Countertop Ideas

Countertops are big part of your kitchen. Consider these up-and-coming materials to make a statement in your space.

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Subway Tile Backsplashes

When it comes to a classic backsplash, nothing beats the traditional subway tile. Subway tiles make cleaning up kitchen messes a quick and easy task, plus the variety to choose from seems almost infinite. One thing is for sure, subway tile will never go out of style.

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Hiring a Kitchen Remodeling Contractor

Ready to remake your kitchen? Working with a professional can help keep your vision on track and on budget.

The kitchen is the heart of the home where people gather for meals, conversation, games, and homework. If your home's Grand Central Station isn't up to par, you're probably considering a facelift or total gut job. In either scenario, a contractor can help guide you through the process. While a kitchen remodel is an investment that delivers a strong return on investment, it can also be a stressful process that disrupts your family's life for weeks or months. Hiring the right contractor can alleviate stress by keeping your project on time and costs from spiraling out of control.

After you've collected design ideas from magazines, websites, and friends' kitchens, a contractor can help you prioritize your wish list and determine what's feasible for your budget. Whether you hire an independent contractor or find one through a design/build company, he or she will help you devise the look of your kitchen.

Contractors and designers know how to place cabinets and appliances to maximize space and create an efficient floor plan. They are also aware of the latest innovations in efficiency, ergonomics, storage, and design. With nearly endless choices for kitchen products and materials, the contractor can help you weed through the trends to find the cabinets, counters, floors, appliances, and accessories that best suit your lifestyle and budget. Perhaps most importantly, hiring a professional puts the responsibility for accurate measurements in his or her hands. DIYers can learn the hard way that being off by even a fraction of an inch on a cabinet order can be a pricey mistake.

When searching for a contractor for your kitchen remodel, ask friends and neighbors for recommendations. Interview at least three contractors and get written estimates (these should be free) that include detailed information about schedules, budgets, materials, and guarantees. It's important that the contractors are bidding on the same specs for the project so you can compare apples to apples. Before hiring someone, check referrals, look at photos of previous jobs, and visit a project in process. Ask former clients whether the contractor finished the project on time and on budget, how well he or she communicated during the process, and whether they would hire him or her again. During the renovation, your contractor should be available to advise on purchases, answer questions, and explain unexpected delays or problems.

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