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What to know before renovating your kitchen

If you’re like us, you spend a ton of time in your kitchen – it’s your home’s command centre. So when the heart of your home starts feeling outdated and inefficient, investing in a renovation project makes sense. No matter how big or small the job, here are some dos and don’ts when renovating your kitchen. 

Do: Buy your appliances first

“The size of your appliances will directly impact the measurements of your layout,” says Toronto designer Leigh—Ann Allaire Perrault, so you should choose them before finalizing your design. She speaks from experience here – when designing her own reno, she picked a fridge that required customized panels to match her cabinetry. But when she went to buy it two months later, the fridge had been discontinued, sending her on the search for a new model that ended up costing $2,000 more than her original choice.

Do: Plan lighting beforehand

You should decide your lighting scheme before the reno starts. “If new wiring is needed for your lighting layout, it’s much easier to contract an electrician during the reno phase when the drywall is opened up, so backsplash switches and outlets can be added before the cabinet install and tiling,” says Allaire Perrault.

Don’t: Be frugal when it comes to your faucet

Make it a focal point. “With your entire reno budget considered, why skimp on spending an additional $100 or so when that small amount of extra money, in the grand scheme of things, can elevate the look of the entire space.” 

woman leaning on kitchen island in open plan home
monkeybusinessimages | iStock

Do: Upgrade your fixtures to maximize organization

Who likes messy, disorganized counters? Do yourself a favour and bump the budget up a bit to include things like hidden-away storage for small appliances that aren’t often used. (We’re looking at you, bread machine.) 

Don’t: Get sucked into home-reno fads

“It’s easy to fall head over heels for the latest tile and countertop trends, but I always say, ‘Don’t over invest in a trendy, big-ticket kitchen item that you think you could grow tired of within the next 10 years,’” says Allaire Perrault. These are generally items that aren’t cheap to replace, so err on the conservative side if you know your tastes are likely to change. Instead, have fun with cabinet hardware and paint colours, which Allaire Perrault says are easier (and more cost effective) to replace. 

Don’t: Toss your old kitchen to the curb

“Avoid the urge to swing a sledgehammer. Take some care during the removal process and donate your cabinets to a charitable centre that will reuse what you’re getting rid of. You get a tax receipt for the donation, and you save the items from ending up in a landfill.” 

CAA Can help you save

Here are just a few Member-exclusive offers from CAA Rewards partners that can help you save on home projects big and small. Earn 2% in CAA Dollars when you shop online through with Rona. Save 25% plus earn 3% in CAA Dollars on all regular Dulux paints.  

Go to to find out about all the ways CAA can help you save on home projects. 

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