A Kitchen Addition Provides Short and Long
By: Mark J. Donovan
Kitchen additions are one of the best
home remodeling projects you can embark upon for recovering your investment.
Homeowners spend much of their time in the kitchen and consequently it is one of
the most important rooms in the house for prospective home buyers. Besides
providing a high rate of return on investment, a kitchen addition can also make
your home more functional and enjoyable. Todayís modern high end kitchen designs
have center islands with fancy cook tops and faucets, double wall ovens, and
large Subzero refrigerators.
Kitchen additions are expensive.
If you are bumping out the side or back of your home to accommodate the
kitchen addition, expect to pay $50 - $100K. Kitchen cabinetry alone can set
you back $20-30K. But this said, homebuyers place a premium on high end
kitchens, so the return on investment is usually achieved even if the home
is sold a just a couple of years later.
When planning a kitchen addition,
it is important to first determine if you are going to add on a new home
addition for it, or will simply remodel your kitchen.
A new home addition will require a
set of home addition plans, and pulling building permits.
If your kitchen addition is more of a
kitchen remodeling project, then pulling permits may not be necessary.
Whether you are bumping out the side
or back of your home, or simply remodeling your kitchen, a new kitchen addition
starts with a kitchen design. At the center of most kitchen designs is the
kitchen cabinetry. Most kitchen supply centers have certified kitchen designers
that can help you develop your custom kitchen addition.
After obtaining measurements of the
kitchen floor space, they can design a kitchen with every set of kitchen
features, including kitchen cabinets, islands, lighting, and appliances. Besides
providing mechanical information relative to the kitchen cabinets, they can also
produce 2D and 3D images of the finished kitchen addition. These pictures are
extremely helpful in assessing the various kitchen design options for your
kitchen addition project.
When developing your kitchen design
it is important to consider a triangle type layout of the kitchen cabinetry and
main kitchen appliances. In each corner of the triangle there should be either
the refrigerator, stove or kitchen sink. All should be within armís reach of you
when you are standing in the center of the triangle.
It is important to realize that
it can take many weeks to produce and ship kitchen cabinetry so make sure
you understand the timeline for their availability when developing your
kitchen addition plans.
As part of developing your
kitchen addition plans, also determine your kitchen countertop, kitchen
flooring, lighting and plumbing fixtures. Again, many of these may take
several weeks to receive upon ordering them.
Photo by Mark Donovan
Granite kitchen countertops are the
most popular in demand today. Silestone countertops, or quartz type countertops,
are also highly popular. Corian kitchen countertops have faded in popularity
Kitchen Addition Lighting
Lighting is an extremely important
component of a kitchen addition. Make sure there is plenty of general overhead
lighting, using can lights. In addition, consider installing workspace lighting
directly over kitchen countertops and islands. You may also want to consider low
voltage recessed lighting underneath the kitchen cabinets.
Kitchen Addition Financing
As I have already stated, kitchen
additions are very expensive home addition projects.
Therefore financing will typically be
required for at least a portion of the kitchen addition. When putting on a
kitchen addition, or tackling a kitchen remodeling project, there are a couple
of loan options you can typically choose from. You can either obtain a home
equity loan, or totally refinance your home for sufficient money to finance the
kitchen addition. There is really no one size fits all answer when it comes to
financing a kitchen addition. The right answer depends upon your particular
Hiring a Kitchen Addition
Once your kitchen addition design and
financing plans have been determined you can then begin the process of hiring a
kitchen addition contractor and/or subcontractors for your project. Hiring the
right kitchen addition contractor is instrumental in ensuring a smooth kitchen
remodeling or kitchen addition project. Hiring the wrong kitchen contractor can
lead to cost overruns, schedule slips and a finished kitchen addition that has
no resemblance to your kitchen design plans.
An excellent way to locate a
qualified kitchen addition contractor is to use a national home contractor
referral company. They have a large database of
pre-screened and qualified
contractors in their system, that are located all over the country. In addition,
their services are free to you. Simply fill out a free online form for your
specific kitchen addition requirements and they will forward the information on
to 3 or 4 kitchen remodeling contractors in your area. The contractors will then
contact you to set up a time to meet with you and review your kitchen addition
If you are simply remodeling your
kitchen then the kitchen design center that develops your kitchen cabinetry
design may be all that is necessary for your kitchen remodeling project. They
typically have their own installation crews that can install your kitchen
cabinets and countertops.
Obtaining Kitchen Addition
When obtaining kitchen addition
estimates it is important to make sure that each prospective contractor provides
you with a complete kitchen addition cost breakdown list for every phase of the
project. The more detail in the kitchen addition cost breakdown list, the higher
the probability that the estimate will be accurate and indicative of the true
cost of your kitchen addition.
To help obtain accurate and
consistent kitchen addition contractor quotes, see my Kitchen Addition Bid
Kitchen Addition Bid Sheet provides a request for quote section that
you can provide to prospective kitchen remodeling contractors. It also includes
a comprehensive kitchen addition cost breakdown list, in Microsoft Excel format,
that allows the contractor to include his projected kitchen addition costs for
every phase of the project.
When interviewing kitchen remodeling
contractors, make sure you check their references. I typically check 3 to 4
references. Normally I contact a couple references associated with recent
projects and a couple that were done 3 to 5 years ago. I find that with this
approach I get a better feel of their current work habits, as well as a sense of
how their work stands the test of time.
Usually a rule of thumb for
evaluating a kitchen addition contractor is to see how long their reference list
is. The longer the list the contractor provides to you, the more likely he has a
good track record. A long reference list also helps to get a feel for how long
he has been in business and his level of pride in his work.
Finally, it is important to remember
that the cost per square foot for a kitchen addition is typically much higher
than building a new custom home. The reason for this is that a kitchen addition
frequently requires demolition work as well as additional work and time to
integrate it into the existing home. In addition, a brand new custom home
project offers economies of scale. With a kitchen addition you may be adding
only 100-200 square feet of new living space, whereas with a new custom home
construction project you may be building 2,000 to 4,000 square feet of living
So with a solid kitchen design plan
in hand, your chances for a smooth and successful kitchen addition project are
greatly enhanced. Just remember though that a kitchen addition project is
extremely upsetting to the home occupants. Temporary kitchen functions may need
to be installed while the kitchen addition or kitchen remodeling project is
under construction. However, in the end your new kitchen addition or remodeled
kitchen will be well worth the temporary inconvenience and pain. You will enjoy
your home much more and increase the value of your home significantly.
For more help on kitchen remodeling, see HomeAdditionPlus.com's
Kitchen Remodeling Bid Sheet.
Kitchen Remodeling Bid Sheet
provides you with the knowledge and information you need to plan a kitchen
addition project, and what to look for when hiring contractors. It also includes
a detailed cost breakdown table and a spreadsheet for estimating your own new
kitchen remodeling building costs.
Related information on Kitchen Additions and Kitchen Remodeling
Additional Kitchen Addition and other
Kitchen Remodeling and Design Resources
Kitchen Addition Price Quotes For FREE,
Fill out our 3-5 minute quick and easy form, and receive a free price quote
on kitchen remodeling from one of our prescreened and licensed kitchen
remodeling contractors. This process is free and there is no obligation to
continue once you receive your kitchen remodeling price estimate.