Dreaming of a spacious kitchen outfitted with everything you’ve always wanted — smart appliances, cleverly concealed storage, marble counters, ample island seating and a TV/computer on your fridge?

You’re far from alone, especially if you’ve been struggling with a way outdated or inefficient kitchen for some time. When many people envision their dream home, the first thing they think of is one of the decked-out kitchen spaces they see on HGTV or Pinterest. That may be why 78 percent of builders in a 2017 National Association of Home Builders survey identified kitchen renovations as their most in-demand projects.

The good news is that new kitchens can be an excellent investment. One cost-value analysis projects that a kitchen remodel this year that costs $22,507 will recoup an average 81 percent of its value upon resale, while a project priced at $66,196 will recoup 62 percent.

“Planning your kitchen remodel should take more time than the actual construction,” advises a recent article on Houselogic.com. “If you plan well, the amount of time you’re inconvenienced by construction mayhem will be minimized. Plus, you’re more likely to stay on budget.”

As such, here are some elements to consider while brainstorming plans for your new kitchen.

  1. You may want to adjust spending based on standards in your neighborhood. A favorable ROI is more likely if you choose materials and designs that align with the style and price level of the rest of your home.
  2. Think about ergonomics, especially if you plan to retire in your current home. Which features will produce minimal wear and tear on your body? For example, should you think about flexible flooring materials, pull-out shelves and/or adjustable counter heights?
  3. Consider what kind of storage will best suit your needs. Do you need a huge pantry? Big bins for recycling? A wall behind your range or fixture above your island for hanging pots, pans and utensils? To what extent do you need deep drawers for your kitchenware?
  4. Think hard before moving appliances around; the required plumbing changes can be costly.
  5. Consider your typical traffic patterns when designing your layout. As a rule of thumb, work aisles should be 42 to 48 inches wide.
  6. Those who cook frequently will want more counter space, ideally between the range and the sink.
  7. Choose designs and surfaces that won’t trap dust and crumbs and are easy to wipe clean.
  8. On average, new cabinetry represents 29 percent of the cost of a kitchen remodel.
  9. Help your contractor plan ahead by choosing materials and fixtures ahead of time. Achieve a high-level design look by matching all your appliances and all your metal finishes.
  10. Newer features to consider include a second sink for cleanup or bartending; appliance surface panels that match cabinetry; two-drawer dishwashers; swing-out faucets above stovetops; knife drawers with slots for safety; vertically extended refrigerators; induction burners; under-counter appliances; covered sinks and glass range hoods that are suspended from the ceiling.

Professional advice can help enormously when you’re planning a new kitchen. Talk to Titus Contracting about how you can turn your kitchen vision into a beautiful, functional reality.