April 8, 2009 THE VILLADOM TIMES II, III & IV • Page 25 Home Improvement & Gardening (ARA) Now is a great time to invest in your home, and renovating your kitchen is usually the most cost-effective upgrade you can make. As the room where families spend the most time together, the kitchen can be enjoyed on a daily basis and much of the renovation cost can be recouped when you do decide to sell. Get the most out of your remodel by keeping the answers to these common remodeling questions in mind. Where’s the best place to begin? According to “My Home, My Money Pit” by Tom Kraeutler and Leslie Segrete, you should start by determining how you want to use the remodeled space. Although your primary inclination will be to pick out the style of kitchen you like best, you need to first consider how your kitchen fits your lifestyle and how you need it to function. Think about whether or not you have ample space to work efficiently or enough storage for your kitchen tools. If you use the space to pay bills and handle other household business, think about adding an office area. Once you know what you need from your new kitchen, you’ll be able to solve the problems when you’re remodeling. What makes a kitchen remodel more or less expensive? Kraeutler and Segrete say that cabinets can be the single largest expense in a kitchen remodel. If you’re looking to cut back on expenses, existing cabinets can often be repaired, reinforced, or refinished instead of replaced. Just be sure to Spring Try these kitchen remodeling tips from the pros check the construction; if the cabinets are made of veneers, they cannot be sanded or stained, so painting will be your only option. Surfaces are also another area where you can splurge or save -- it all depends on the materials you choose. Look for more cost-effective options for counters, backsplashes, and floors to keep your budget in check. As with any major purchase: only spend what you can afford. What is the “work triangle” and why is it important? When remodeling your kitchen, keep the “work triangle” in mind -- the kitchen area from the refrigerator to the main cooking area to the sink. It’s important because all of the key kitchen activities -- food preparation, cooking and cleanup -- take place in adjacent locations, improving the functionality of your new kitchen by streamlining the meal-making process. Look to include budget-friendly options that allow you to upgrade your work triangle without incurring a huge expense. Include an undermount sink and pullout faucet to increase efficiency. What is the most desired kitchen feature? The kitchen island has become the must-have item in any kitchen. Since it is centrally located, the island is easily accessed and ideal for various kitchen tasks. The island can also double as an eating and entertaining area -- making it a smart, stylish and functional addition to any space. Spring Is Here! SPRING LANDSCAPE PROJECTS Pre Season Pricing in Effect Now is the right time to start plans on your HARDSCAPE & MASONRY • Patios & Walls • Stonework • Pool Decks • Driveways • Steps • Full Masonry CLEARCUT WINDOW & SIDING INC. No Job Too Small or Too Large • Custom Fitted Windows • Vinyl & Wood Siding • Small Additions • Replacement Doors, Storm Doors • Porch Enclosures • Roof Repairs • Custom Decks Fully Insured • No Subs 201-847-2552 Lic. #13VH02631200 Owner Operated email: drew1068@optonline.net “Since 1989” 201-512-1804 Weeping Pine Nursery ���������� ��������������� ����������������� ������������������ ������������������������� ���������������� ����������������� ������������������ Free ��������������� No Obligation Est. & Design ��������������� �������������������� ����������� ���������������� ������������ 3-25-09 janine WeepingPineSpringBW2x3.5(3-25-09) 2 x 3.5