When homeowners plan a kitchen remodel, most of what they picture has to do with the aesthetic of it. New countertops, refreshed cabinets – and these are all valuable. They can increase the value of your home and make it attractive to the next owners. In fact, the average return on investment in a kitchen remodel is 54%.

But practical changes are often overlooked despite their ability to make your life easier and boost convenience in your kitchen overall. While selling your home is a common reason to remodel your kitchen, it’s not the only one. Being able to get the best use out of your kitchen can be a perfectly good reason to make some upgrades.

Plumbing Upgrades

If you’re planning a remodel, you might have thought about the new fixtures and appliances, but have you considered how those choices might affect your plumbing? New fixtures may require updating or moving plumbing features, so it’s important to consult with a professional before attempting to install new fixtures on your own.

You also may come across upgrades that need to happen during the demolition process. Out-of-date pipes or corroded pipes are common issues that pop up during remodels, as well as the need for additional water lines. More functional features that affect your plumbing and can boost functionality in your kitchen include a new garbage disposal, a built-in water filtration system, a double sink, and water-using appliances with more energy efficiency.

Upgrades like these can greatly improve the usability of your kitchen, making it easier to do dishes, prep for cooking, and do other tasks that are in your regular routine. And the sky’s the limit when you consider what options you have with plumbing! Run a water line directly to a coffee maker, or add a pot filler near your stovetop and boost the usefulness in the most-used space of the house.

Replace Old or Weak Pipes

The age of pipes can be a serious problem, but it’s often overlooked until there’s a need for repeated repair or drain cleaning. By addressing the issue of old pipes (which may have corrosion or even lead in them in older homes) during your remodel, you’re saving yourself time and a headache down the road. You can ensure that your new kitchen is fully up-to-date, and you shouldn’t need to deal with any problems for quite a while.

Invest in a New Water Heater

Renovating your kitchen to have the newest appliances can be great, but if you’re still struggling to get hot water to the tap, it might not deliver the reliable functionality you’re looking for. Installing a new water heater can be an excellent way to improve your kitchen’s usability and ensure you’re getting the most out of your upgraded space.

Not only will a new water heater deliver hot water more quickly, but modern water heaters typically work more efficiently as well, so you’ll be saving money on your monthly utility bills. If you have a fairly new water heater already or hot water delivery isn’t an issue in your household, there are some steps you can take to extend the life of your current hot water heater. In addition to scheduling annual maintenance, make sure you have your water heater flushed regularly (1-2 times per year) and avoid setting the temperature too high. These easy tips can help maximize how much use you get out of the water heater and put off having to replace it until you really need to.

Upgrade Your Electrical System

If you have an older home, having your electrical panels replaced at the same time as your kitchen remodel is highly recommended. Installing bigger appliances can increase the load on your circuit, and it may be necessary to upgrade it to avoid frequent tripping.

Even if the appliances won’t overload the system, older homes often have outdated wiring or panels, and it’s a good idea to contact a professional to ensure everything is up to the latest safety standards. Doing this during your remodel can kill two birds with one stone since you’ll already be set up for construction.

Don’t Forget Your Ventilation

If you spend a lot of time in your kitchen, you know how important ventilation is. The kitchen is often called the heart of the home – it’s where people tend to gather on holidays and where many families spend their evenings together. Particularly during times of heavy traffic, such as the Christmas season, you’ll be sure to notice if your kitchen is feeling stuffy.

Adding more air ducts or an upgraded HVAC system can boost the ventilation in your kitchen. With more airflow, you’ll be more comfortable spending time there and having guests there on busy days.

Upgrades Can Serve Both Form and Function

The average kitchen remodel can cost between $14,607 and $41,307. If you’re fronting that much money for a renovation (whether to sell your home or simply make it more comfortable), you should get your money’s worth. Considering both the aesthetic and the practical changes in your kitchen will ensure that the space is just as functional as it is pleasing to the eye.

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