Upgrading your kitchen is one of the most noticeable – and enjoyable – changes you can make to your home.

To start, do your research! A kitchen has many features and functions, and there are thousands of options. You can easily become overwhelmed with the vast array of choices, so do not rush into any spur-of-the-moment purchases or decisions. This is not a room to “piece together” without the full vision in place.

A kitchen remodel can range from redesigning the floor plan and tearing down walls to a basic pull-and-replace renovation, where you change out the cabinetry, appliances and hardware.

Before buying anything be sure to have your budget and goals fully in mind.

Once that is done, research the changes you want to make to your kitchen. Start with the most important reason for the make-over and determine its cost. Subtract that from the budget and continue with each item in your plan, in order of importance. You may find yourself making adjustments and changes as you move through this process to get the kitchen you want.

Before making any final decisions, you should also consider the cost, quality, functionality and durability of your items. If budget is a concern, a good general contractor will be able to help you with replacing expensive, high quality materials with less expensive, but good looking and durable materials. There may be choices you are not aware of that are just as good but besides lower initial cost, may have less labor costs to install.

Finally, make sure that all items look good together and will function well, adding value to your home and years of enjoyment to your kitchen.

Granite countertops and maple cabinets