What is something that you typically spend 5 – 15% of the value of your house on, but truly makes the house a home? If you guessed your kitchen, you’d be right.
Americans spend about 37 minutes every day in their kitchen, according to USDA research. That includes kitchen maintenance and food preparation.
Although, if your kitchen area is part of your dining and living room, as is the case with many modern home designs, you probably spend more time there than this—certainly, you spend more time looking at it.
The time we spend in and around our kitchen can wear on us if we start to hate the space, but is it time for a kitchen update?
1. Significant Wear and Tear
Wear and tear are inevitable in a kitchen. Between liquid water, steam, sharp objects, and a lot of banging around of cabinet doors and drawers, the kitchen gets a lot of abuse.
If your cabinet doors are wobbly they might need some tightening and adjustment—unless you’ve already done it a hundred times and now they’re hanging on by a thread instead of a hinge. They could also be looking a little dated (more on that later) or never worked for the space, to begin with. Whatever the reason, cabinets end up taking the brunt of the abuse, along with the countertop.
Another stress point in the kitchen is the countertop. Cuts and burns occur frequently on this surface. After a while, your countertop might start looking like Wade Wilson or ask “Do you want to know how I got these scars?”
Keep in mind that a countertop that looks like a cutting board is harboring bacteria and viruses, and might not be safe as a food prep area. Before it goes that far, it’s a good idea to consider replacing them.
Another part of the kitchen that often goes off the rails is the kitchen drawers. Despite being quite handy, we tend to slam them shut with quite a lot of force. The items in the overloaded drawers slam against the back and front with a fair amount of force, which over time will sometimes cause the front to fall off.
2. Lack of Storage
Speaking of overloaded drawers, it’s very likely you overload them because there isn’t a proper place for everything you put in there. A rack for utensils not only keeps spatulas and ladles handy in a fashionable way, but it also keeps things tidy and out of the drawers.
Tall cabinets look great, but if you only have a couple of shelves and can’t reach anything above, it’s wasted space and could need a better design—or a step ladder.
You definitely know there’s a problem with storage if you’re cooking and you’re placing plates or ingredients on top of your cooking utensils and lids. If you don’t have enough room. Even worse if those lids and cooking utensils are there because that’s where they normally live.
Another problem occurs when things should be in the pantry or cabinets, except there isn’t enough room for them there, so they live on the countertop. This happens a lot with common ingredients or utensils, or even pots and pans that you use often.
If there isn’t enough space for all your things when everything is clean, it doesn’t mean you have to knock down a wall. It could mean a little bit of reorganization.
3. Small and Impractical Kitchen
Speaking of not enough space, sometimes you have a big impractical kitchen you can do something about, but sometimes it’s too small and you feel restricted.
A small kitchen might have serious issues like bad lighting, it’s impossible to clean well or quickly, and tiny countertops. If you are bumping into others, or there’s only room for one, it’s a sign that your kitchen could use a serious overhaul.
4. Old Appliances
Appliances—we love the time they save but hate the constant noises and upkeep they cause. Inefficient and older appliances can end up sucking a lot of our time in repairs, like a replacement heating element for dishwashers.
If you notice that appliances are missing, which can save you space and reduce cleaning times, like a dishwasher, that’s a good sign that you need to do some remodeling.
If your refrigerator is a bit older, or even your stovetop, you could also be spending too much on electricity. Appliances are increasing in efficiency on a yearly basis and becoming more connected with the “Internet of Things” to get to know your habits and serve you better.
5. Plumbing and Humidity
This one is pretty obvious, but if you have chronic plumbing problems, smell or see mold, or every time you walk into the kitchen it feels more like a steam room—you need to take care of it right away.
A moist kitchen is a bad indicator that you have or will have mold shortly. Molds cause all kinds of irritation and allergic reactions. It’s also a breeding ground for bacteria and draws critters like roaches.
By that point, things are getting out of hand, and require more than a plumber or a simple remodel. If the mold gets into your drywall, you’ll have to replace it.
6. Your Kitchen Just Doesn’t Suit Your Lifestyle
If your kitchen has the above problems, it doesn’t suit your lifestyle. We’re always on the go, and you don’t have time to spend every day cleaning and prepping food in a tiny space.
If you like cooking or baking and you can’t do it in the space, then it’s a good sign your kitchen isn’t meeting the needs of your desired lifestyle.
Kitchen Maintenance: Nightmare to Dream
Let’s face it, no one wants to spend an average of $15,000 on kitchen maintenance “because we feel like it.” We do it because we have to, it will save us money in the long run, and add value to our homes.
We might enjoy the process of a redesign when we see that new coat of paint, new appliances, fresh countertop, and new cabinets in our imagination. We can’t wait to cross the finish line and see it a reality!
Speaking of imagination, imagine what other articles at MyZeo are waiting for you! We are sure this article helped you make some important decisions about your home. We have many more articles for you to read about your lifestyle, house, and health!
Keep reading for more!