Zahra Zoglauer's Blog
Homeowners wishing to sell their home for top dollar might consider a kitchen remodel to increase its value and efficiency. Aside from the kitchen being the heart of the home, it also has several surfaces you can quickly upgrade that affect the entire space. The tips below give you a guide to which areas in your kitchen give you the best return for your investment.
Cabinets and Hardware
Cabinetry is often the primary component that determines the style of your kitchen. Replacing or refreshing your cabinets is one way to improve the look and feel of your kitchen. If the current cabinetry is in decent shape, refinishing or repainting the faces might achieve the look of new without the expense of a complete replacement. If you choose to tackle this project yourself, take the time to remove the doors, and hardware before you begin. For best results, closely follow notes for sanding and drying time for the paint or stain you’ve selected. Top off your cabinetry with updated hardware.
Paint or Wall Finish
A fresh coat of paint gives the house a clean, updated look. If you decide to paint your kitchen walls, create a neutral but inviting kitchen space. Colors trends are often regional, so let your realtor in on your plans and follow their lead for the best options.
Another trend for kitchen walls is adding a backsplash. While its purpose is to protect the kitchen wall from water damage, the backsplash has become a modern kitchen focal point. Choose neutral materials that complement the counter and cabinet surfaces and show the kitchen in the best light.
Countertops and Fixtures
Of all the surfaces that add value to your kitchen space, countertops are most desirable. Materials like natural granite and marble give you a good return on your investment. For people who want a countertop that can resist scratches and stains and requires little or no maintenance, quartz serves perfectly.
Replacing tired or scratched faucets with new, updated versions not only enhances the look of your kitchen, but it also improves functionality. Consider a high-profile faucet with a pull-out sprayer and single-handle operation in a style that matches your kitchen’s aesthetic.
Lighting has a powerful effect on a room. It brightens your kitchen up, making it appear more inviting. Use lighting to create a vintage style kitchen with chandeliers and or give a modern twist with recessed lighting or pendants. Under-cabinet or task lighting gives a soft glow and makes meal prep easier.
An overwhelming variety of flooring options exist for your kitchen; from vinyl and tile to laminate and hardwood. For stylish kitchen flooring design, choose a product that enhances the other elements in the room. A cohesive look is more important than spending all your money in one place.
There are many areas in your kitchen where you can make simple changes to add value to your home. Determine your budget and consult with your realtor on the best options for the greatest return on your investment.
Many homeowners are unaware that the most common causes of house fires are cooking related. According to data from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), cooking fires cause 46% of house fires and 44% of household injuries.
You aren’t alone if you think those numbers are shockingly high. However, most of us are never taught cooking safety techniques. In this article, we’re going to give you some tips to protect you and your family from the most common and some lesser known causes of kitchen fires.
Cooking fire statistics
Knowing the most common causes of cooking fires is a great way to understand just how dangerous certain types of cooking really are. The NFPA reports that frying is the most dangerous type of cooking. Two-thirds of cooking fires were the result of the ignition of food and cooking materials.
In terms of equipment, the range or cooktop is the most dangerous part of the kitchen, causing over 60% of fires. However, much of the time the cause comes down to leaving your equipment unattended.
One of the most important things you can do to reduce the risk of house fires is to stay in the kitchen while you’re cooking. Unattended ranges, stovetops, and ovens can be particularly deadly since they can happen as a result of someone dozing off while watching television, or someone forgetting they left a burner on after they go to sleep.
A good way to monitor your cooking is to always use a timer, even if you don’t necessarily need one for the cooking that you’re doing. Also, be sure that your smoke detectors are working and that you have a functional fire extinguisher in your home. Make sure your family knows what to do if they encounter a fire.
Before you turn on your burners before frying, make sure there is nothing around your oven that can catch fire. A food container, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper towels, or curtains could all potentially catch fire if they come in close contact with a burner.
Clothing is also a leading cause of kitchen fires that turn fatal. Make sure sleeves and other pieces of clothing aren’t near any burners or open flames.
In case of fire
If you encounter a large cooking fire that is spreading throughout, the best thing to do is to immediately gather your family and get out of the house, avoiding the kitchen entirely. Call 9-1-1 as soon as you are safely outside and don’t re-enter the house under any circumstances.
For small grease fires, smother the fire with a lid and turn off the burner immediately.
Understanding cooking fires
Most fire requires oxygen to burn and spread. If there is a small fire in your kitchen, using a soaked towel or a pan lid to smother it will suffice.
However, grease fires work differently. Never put water on a grease fire, this can cause the fire to spread very quickly. Rather, use a lid to put out the fire if it is small enough to get near. You can also throw baking soda, or use a fire extinguisher on a small grease fire.
A lot of people no longer cook with open fires in the world of today with natural gas, electricity, temperature controls, and other kitchen appliances. When you get a new oven for your kitchen with all the latest features and upgrades, there's not a lot you can't use it to do. Are you getting the best out of it though? Here are some tips to make sure that your new oven delivers the most utility to you:
Get rid of that new-oven smell.
New appliances come with that lovely smell that tells you that they are straight out of the production line. After removing all the packaging materials, wash the interior and racks to remove any substances that may remain from the factory like oils or manufacturing liquids. Open up your windows, turn up the oven to the highest temperature and let it run for about an hour. Let it cool down, clean it again. Repeat these steps once or twice more so that your food will not come out with a funny smell when you use your new oven.
Use the bottom drawer to warm food.
Most ovens come with a nice little drawer at the bottom. The drawer isn't a place to keep food while you are waiting to eat it. You should only use this drawer to warm food, not store your racks and baking pans. This warming drawer helps you to keep your food warm until it is ready for serving.
Rotate your cooking pans
After turning on your oven, the way the heat moves may be unpredictable sometimes. After preheating your oven and the heat starts to move around evenly, put your pans in for some time. Halfway through your cooking time, open the oven and turn the cooking pans around. And then swap the top pan with the bottom one if you are cooking with two pans at the same time. Rotating the pans helps to ensure that your food cooks evenly without getting overcooked on the bottom and under-cooked at the top.
Clean your oven regularly.
One way to know that your oven is due for cleaning is when you are unable to see the interior clearly through the glass. Not only does this mean that your oven is dirty, but it also prevents you from seeing how your food is cooking.
If you notice any irregular signs with your oven, contact an electrician for maintenance to get it back to optimal conditions.