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The kitchen renovation is an important process that adds value to your home and to your own comfort. Here are 6 ways to know it’s time to get on it.

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A kitchen renovation represents a serious undertaking. But sometimes it’s necessary if you want to wring every ounce of enjoyment possible from your home, not to mention to create extra home value, too. If any of the following scenarios sound eerily familiar, ditch the discomfort and consider a renovation.

1. Your trash can’s full of take-out containers

If you constantly seek excuses to avoid cooking in your kitchen, it’s time to create a space in which you love preparing meals. Take-out burgers and tacos might suffice for a while, but cooking at home saves money, allows you to experiment with new recipes, and promotes healthy habits.

Before you undertake a kitchen renovation, however, determine the reasons you avoid this room in its current state. Look for budget-friendly solutions to those problems so your renovation produces positive results.

2. You’re storing pots and pans in the bathtub

Sure, the shower curtain conceals this dirty little secret from guests, but smarter kitchen storage solutions eliminate the need for creative (but inconvenient) hacks. Redesigning your kitchen with storage in mind helps you maximize every inch of square footage.

Consider the type of storage you need most. For example, shallow shelves might work best for bowls, glasses, cups, and other small items, but you might need deeper cabinets or cupboards for appliances (like that toaster oven with which you refuse to part).

3. Your dining table experience consists of avoiding flying elbows

For those of you with eat-in kitchens, when you add new family members to the table, you run out of seating in a flash. It’s tough to enjoy a meal when you don’t have enough space, when the elbows of your neighbor become a logistical concern.

Maybe that idea to take out that wall for an open-plan kitchen can be made into a reality. And maybe you can invite more family and friends over without the risk of taking their eye out when you reach for the ketchup.

4. Your appliances are old enough to remember when Bill Clinton was president

Whether it’s a loudly humming refrigerator or a giant (but inefficient) microwave from the early ’90s, old appliances not only date your kitchen but also present a huge energy drain in your home. Newer appliances are made for modern times, which means that energy efficiency (and savings!) is built right into their design.

Since your kitchen is the place where a huge concentration of your energy use is centered (rivaling the laundry room, where this principle also applies!), it makes sense to start here when it comes to upgrades. New appliances may present an upfront cost. But in the long-term, it’s a smart way to control your energy bills.

5. Your cabinets remind you of ’70s sitcoms — and not in a good way

Maybe you watch “The Brady Bunch” reruns when you’re home sick from work, and get that nostalgic feeling for your childhood. But you don’t want your kitchen to resemble the one in which Alice cooked and cleaned.

Whether you replace your builder-basic cabinets entirely or simply refresh them with a coat of paint or stain, this update can make a massive visual improvement. Sometimes, just a can of paint or stain can make all the difference.

6. Holiday meal preparation requires a fully choreographed ballet

A lack of space or an awkward layout can make large gatherings more of a pain than a pleasure. If you’re constantly bumping into other people or dancing around one another on the way to the oven, you might want to consider a kitchen renovation before the end of the year.

Sometimes, this means a major undertaking, with walls removed (as we considered with the issue of flying elbows above), and islands installed. At other times, it’s just a question of better use of space like we talked about above, with new areas created for storage, or a reshuffling of where things are kept in existing storage. Usually though, it’s going to be some combination of the two.

The nerve center of the home

Many families use the kitchen as a primary living and working space, whether it’s chatting about the day, answering work emails, or completing homework assignments. It’s the nerve center of your home. If you grimace every time you walk into your kitchen, it’s time to update and refresh it so you don’t squander its potential usefulness.

This doesn’t have to be an overnight transformation, with the whole of your home renovation budget laid down all at once. It can be gradual. And sometimes, even cosmetic changes like new backsplashes and tile can help you get in the right frame of mind to consider a bigger piece of the kitchen renovation puzzle.

Either way, it’s your space. It should be comfortable to where you’re at in your life. The time is now to start getting your kitchen in line with the way you’ve always wanted it to be to support that.

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Looking for materials to realize your vision for a new kitchen space? Take a look at this selection of kitchen and bath materials from BuildDirect that open up a world of possibilities for new kitchens.

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Rob Jones

Rob served as Editor-In-Chief of BuildDirect Blog: Life At Home from 2007-2016. He is a writer, Dad, content strategist, and music fan.