Six months ago I bought my first home. My wife, Suzy, was delighted at the chance of finally getting out
of the flat in the inner city. For one, I was quite content with finally have a small yard to take care of.
The home was perfect, except for an exceptionally out of date kitchen that seemed to date back to
when the house was built in the 1960's. Not exactly the ideal place to make meals for small parties. The
whopper the old appliances did to the utility bills did not help matters either. Suzy and I finally decided
it was time to upgrade the kitchen, and save ourselves a great deal of money and embarrassment over
the long haul. There were three basic steps involved in this plan: upgrade the appliances, upgrade the
lighting, and upgrade the shelves and island.
Upgrade the appliances
The appliances were the oldest I have ever seen. Dating back to when my parents were born, it initially
surprised me to see that they still functioned. After seeing my first utility bill, I knew they had to go. The
refrigerator probably was taking up the most electricity in the house!
The oven and island ranges were running on gas, which made my wife worry about leaks while we were
out of the house. Deciding to go with something completely brand new, I selected an electric oven and a
conduction powered island range. The island range did a great deal to set my wife's mind at ease, since at no point could one of our
children accidentally burn themselves on the range itself. Since it heats a magnet inside of the
cookware, no heat is left on the surface itself. The refrigerator was replaced with the most energy efficient model I could find. Thankfully, I set aside
the extra funds when I bought the house for upgrades such as this.
Upgrade the lighting
The whole kitchen was lit by a single florescent bulb hanging by itself from the ceiling. Considering the
amount of mercury in this bulb, I knew it needed to be replaced quickly. I finally settled on lighting from
two sources. The first was a small light fixture in the same spot, with an LED bulb in the socket.
The second was a small strip of LED lights that can be tacked under the cabinets, providing excellent
recessed lighting when handling vegetables and what-not.
I chose LED due to the low power usage and the length of life for the bulbs. The ability to
"buy it and
forget it" really struck a chord with me, and Suzy signed on to the idea readily.
Upgrade the shelves and island
This is the one part that I could not do myself, for I lacked both the experience and the tools necessary
to get the job done properly. My wife wanted to replace the island and the cabinets, since they were the original fixtures and were
showing their ages without any shame. After taking careful measurements of the new appliances and
the room itself, I went out to several home improvement stores and found the perfect counter, cabinet,
and island set that Suzy fell in love with. Now the issue became, who was to install it? I initially opened the phone book, and was dismayed by
the sheer number of people offering services in this field. With so many to choose from, it would take an
epoch to find the right person for the job. Suzy was the one that found the solution. She was surfing the web when she stumbled upon a site used
to connect builders with potential clients. Find a Builder was a nifty solution to an issue that had me
severely worried. Within moments, I was in touch with a contractor and seen pictures of his completed projects. It took
less than a day when he arrived to install the fixtures, and a couple more for the cupboards to be fully
painted and hung. I am quite pleased with the results, and know who I will be calling when it comes time
to update the bathroom from the '90's!
Click here to visit the site where I found my contractor.
A new home is a wonderful thing to have. A new kitchen, filled with
energy efficient appliances and
excellent lighting is just the icing on the cake. The experience I had gained from figuring out how to go
about improving my home is something that I know will serve me well over the upcoming years, since I
know that sooner or later I will want to sale this house and move elsewhere.
Thankfully, thanks to the professional work of the contractor the value of my home has gone up
somewhat. A friend of mine in real estate appraisal told me that a modern kitchen can help sale a house
very quickly when the time came.