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Kitchen Projects Best Left to a Contractor

While many home owners can tackle painting, wallpapering, and light carpentry work, plenty of other projects are best left to contractors. Here's a look at some kitchen home improvement projects that are better suited for a Structural Home Improvement Projects

On the top of the list of projects for contractors are those that involve major structural changes. If you plan to move a wall, tear into a wall, or otherwise reconfigure your kitchen, it's best to hire a contractor. You may also want to talk with an architect.

Major structural work often requires knowledge of the inner workings of the house--the electrical, plumbing, and general framing. While it might be easy to say, "Hey, let's tear out this wall and enlarge the kitchen," actually doing it may be more involved.

In that scenario, a contractor would check to see if the plumbing stack and any electrical lines are running in that wall. He or she also would know whether the wall is a load-bearing wall, which means it might be holding up the second floor. Before removing it, the contractor would have to adjust other framing to carry that load.

Beyond all the structural knowledge, you also need a contractor who can lay out a kitchen in your new configuration. Will you have to move the main cooking area? Do you have space for an island? How much storage can you get in the kitchen cabinets? Many questions need to be answered.

Adding On As A Home Improvement Project

If you're planning to add onto your kitchen, you should also involve a contractor. This type of home improvement work requires knowledge of zoning regulations, excavation, foundation framing, as well as other aspects of building a new room. The contractor should focus on how the addition looks on the lot, as well as how much space fits your needs.

You also want a contractor who can blend the new room with the old. You want to match the doors and molding. Will you extend the kitchen cabinets into the new space or use it only for an eating area? Again, consider talking with an architect as well.

As you can see, some kitchen home improvement projects belong with a contractor. Any project that involves major structural work, such as an addition or room reconfiguration, may not be suited to inexperienced workers. Unless you have experience with structural and mechanical issues and can supervise several workers at once, it's best to let the professionals take over.