People in the U.S. spend almost 500 minutes eating and drinking every week. What’s more interesting is that we use less on food prep and cleanup: 244 minutes every week.
But we don’t spend all those seconds in our own kitchens and dining rooms. The fact that U.S. households spent a whopping $3,365 on food away from home proves that.
If you spend most of your time dining out, it’s likely you haven’t recently given your kitchen a good look. That means your current kitchen may already have become quite outdated.
In that case, a kitchen upgrade may already be in order.
But how can you tell if your kitchen indeed needs a revamp? If the money you’ll spend giving it the TLC it needs will be worth it?
That’s exactly what we’re here to tell you. So, keep reading to learn the hows, whats, and whys of upgrading your kitchen!
1. Stepping into the Kitchen Gives You the Blues
The kitchen is the heart of any home. It’s where you prepare food and beverages that fills up your love ones’ tummies. It’s where meals that nourish and keep everyone in your household healthy come from.
So, it should go without saying that you should feel happy and relaxed whenever you step foot into it. But if the exact opposite happens, that’s a subtle sign telling you that you should upgrade your kitchen.
Darkness, dimness, or dinginess is sure to stir these feelings in you when you go into the kitchen. Old and improperly-placed lighting can also do the same thing. Countertops that remain dirty, no matter how much you clean them, can also be the culprit.
In any case, if you don’t like being in the kitchen, it’s possible that how it feels and looks are to blame. Don’t let it keep doing so! Even a minor update, such as installing new countertops, can already breathe new life into it.
2. You Don’t Like Entertaining in the Kitchen
An outdated kitchen is something you don’t want others to see. You feel embarrassed to let guests see the state of your kitchen. As such, you entertain them somewhere else in your home.
There are many other reasons you may feel this way aside from the above-mentioned. It may have something to do with your cabinetry that’s already falling apart. Or your kitchen’s full of other ugly and faulty fixtures, like a super scratched sink or rusty faucets.
3. You Bump into Things Every Time
Do you bump into cabinets or appliances every time you move about the kitchen? Then that’s another not-so-obvious sign your kitchen needs an upgrade!
Your family may have grown bigger, so you now got more stuff packed into the kitchen. Because of this, there’s too little, even no more moving or breathing space.
4. It Seems There’s Clutter Everywhere
This is a direct consequence of a kitchen that has become cramped. You’ve depleted the space in this vital room in your home that you no longer have anywhere else to put stuff on and in. As such, you end up with a seriously-cluttered kitchen.
This doesn’t only make your kitchen look ugly. It’s also a fire hazard. Especially if you’ve got loads of combustible items near the oven.
Keep in mind that millions of fires happen in the United States every year. In 2016 alone, there were about 1,342,000 fires. Of this, an estimated 364,300 fires occurred in residential buildings.
The number one cause? Cooking.
That should be enough to prompt you to remodel your kitchen. Better use of space means less clutter. Less clutter means lower risks of things catching fire.
5. Slipping, Tripping, or Falling in the Kitchen Has Become More Common
Of all non-fatal yet preventable injuries in the country, falls are the leading cause. In 2016 alone, these accounted for almost a third of these injuries! Although they’re more common at the workplace, they can happen to anyone, even in their own homes.
Don’t always attribute these accidents to clumsiness. Yes, some of them may be due to that, but it can also be due to worn kitchen flooring. Your floors may have already shifted, or they already have lost their “gripping” abilities.
In any case, take slips, trips, falls as outdated kitchen signs you should address ASAP. A kitchen renovation or remodel including floor replacement or repairs is one way to do it. Bonus points because you’ll have a prettier kitchen too!
6. Your Electricity Bills Keep Shocking You
Back in 2017, residential electricity bills in the U.S. averaged a whopping $111.67. That’s high enough as it is, but it’s likely you paid even more. Your outdated kitchen appliances may be to blame for your continuously-increasing electric bills.
They may not look old and ugly, but that doesn’t mean your wallet isn’t suffering. That’s why it’s time you replace them with much more functional and energy-saving appliances. Aside from Energy Star-approved appliances, consider switching to LED lighting too.
7. Your Water Bills Do the Same Thing
Noticed how your water bills are rising too? If so, then the rising prices of water may not be the only reason. Your skyrocketing bills may also be due to leaky kitchen appliances and faucets.
Old dishwashers and leaky faucets can put a serious toll on your finances. It also hurts the environment.
So, why not consider upgrading these kitchen must-haves? That way, you can conserve water. Be eco-conscious while also preserving your household budget!
8. Your Kitchen’s Plumbing Frustrate You
Speaking of leaks in the kitchen, the plumbing system may also be a culprit. If you’ve been living in the same house for many years now without having the plumbing checked, now is the time to do so.
If you have the budget, you may want to consider a whole-house replumbing project. If not, then at least include plumbing repairs and upgrades to your kitchen project.
FYI, water damage due to faulty and freezing pipes are not only very common, but expensive too. In fact, it’s the second biggest reason homeowners file insurance claims.
9. You Smell Weird, Even Foul Odors
An outdated kitchen, especially one with old plumbing, puts you at risk of mold exposure. The tiniest water leaks you haven’t noticed already nourish these microorganisms. They only need water, oxygen, and organic materials (AKA wood or paper) to thrive.
Molds aren’t only unpleasant to look at. They can also cause a variety of unwanted health symptoms. This is especially true for people with asthma and allergies.
Note that about 50 million people in the U.S. experience allergic reactions every year. Another 24 million suffer from asthma.
Even if no one in your family is allergic or asthmatic, molds can still have health effects. Clogged noses, coughing, wheezing, and irritated eyes are all symptoms of mold exposure.
So, if going to the kitchen makes you wrinkle your nose, take that as a sign of possible mold infestation. Whether the odors are like the foul smell of damp socks or rotten wood, take action right away. These are common signs of an outdated kitchen, and it’ll be best for you to get it upgraded.
10. If You’re Planning to Put Your Home Up for Sale
Thinking about moving to a new home? If so, then you may want to take a closer look at your kitchen. Put yourself in the shoes of potential home buyers.
Would the current appearance and function of the kitchen appeal to them? Would it make them imagine themselves preparing and cooking for their own family? Does it give off the feeling of being the heart of the home – warm, cozy, and inviting?
If not, then there’s no doubt it needs a bit of remodeling or renovation. You don’t have to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to make your kitchen feel this way. New countertops, cabinetry or handles, and fixtures can already do the trick.
Invest in a Kitchen Upgrade Whether You’re Selling or Not
Even if you won’t let go of your current home, a kitchen upgrade can do wonders to your home. You won’t feel depressed anymore whenever you make something for the fam. You won’t have to worry about bumping into stuff, tripping or falling, or sustaining injuries.
Best of all, upgrading your kitchen makes your home even more livable. Soon, you’ll find yourself wanting to cook more than spend a lot of money dining out. So long as you plan and carry out the project right, you can expect a good return on your investment.
Ready to start planning your kitchen transformation? If so, then check out our kitchen layout guide! This’ll help you have an easier time figuring out where to start.