Kitchen renovations, make the best investment, and add value to your home.

Saying that, you still need to watch your budget, and the type of kitchen renovation you do. You have to decide the purpose of this renovation. Is it because you love to cook, and spend most of your spare time in there? Does your whole family gather there? Or are you remodeling your kitchen to sell your house? Or is it simply tired and outdated?

Once you have decided your reasoning behind your kitchen remodel, then you have to look at your street and the approximate value of your house and the houses around you.

You do not want to be creating a palace of a kitchen, that costs so much, you will never get your money back in a sale. There will always be a "cap" on the sale amount based on your area or neighborhood. But you do want a kitchen renovation to be practical, clean, safe and inviting.

Before you get out the sledge hammer, look at the way your kitchen flows right now. Does the basic design work, but it is simply outdated? If this is the case, measure up and try and find new cabinets to follow the same layout, or consider "replacing the doors and hardware" or the countertop if you like your kitchen the way it is, but just want a fresher look.

But if your kitchen simply does not work, and you are bumping into things because the fridge is way across the room, then take measurements and get a estimate for new cabinets. While doing our kitchen renovation, we were able to get a "FREE" shop at home consultation from a kitchen specialist. We had a couple of ideas to show her, and she came up with some great additions to our ideas. Things that we had never thought renovation ideasCredit: diane palmer

She tried to work on the "work triangle" meaning keeping the distance between the three most used areas of the kitchen when cooking. The stove, fridge and the sink. You want these to feel like they flow, you don't want to have your fridge across the room, or your stove and fridge jammed up beside each other touching, like ours were.

This was one of the most helpful parts of our kitchen remodel. We also told her, that, this being a "semi detached" house, in an older mature area, of similar priced houses, that we wanted simple, fresh and updated, rather than a huge remodel. This part is important, don't let anyone talk you into something too big and outside your budget. Don't being getting oak cabinets and the latest in hardware and appliances, if your budget can't afford that, or if you want any money left over for other rooms. There are some beautiful cabinets out there, that are not "oak priced" and look stunning. But watch for things like glassed panels in the cabinet doors. These are expensive but look great on the DIY shows or in the kitchen show rooms, but if you are not big on keeping the dishes neat, then this will not show well. So your lifestyle must be considered.

She totally understood, and we were able to pick kitchen cabinets that we liked. Once we had that part all figured, then it was time for demolition!

If you are totally pulling all cabinets bases out, including the kitchen sink, then make sure you cap your copper pipes, (we don't need a leak in the kitchen), and try to unscrew the cabinets from the wall. You don't want to ruin the drywall behind them too much.

I know you would just love to take a sledge hammer to it, after all you have been staring at these ugly cabinets for years, just like the DIY shows, but unless you are planning on having new drywall, this just causes too much mess. But saying that, you don't have to hold back on everything!

In our case, we took the top cabinets off, nice a carefully, and then the bottom cabinets, and the old dishwasher had to come out (make sure to turn off the water supply to it and electrical connection before hauling it out) and the sink and counter came off nicely. Watch out for any connections to a overhead exhaust fan over your stove (if you have one) make sure the electrical circuit is off. If you can basically turn off the electricity to your kitchen while you are doing the demolition, this will be better and safer for you. Since things like the exhaust fan and light are usually directly wired into the wall.

Once you have the kitchen cleaned out, and hopefully a place figured out ahead of time to dump this debris, now comes the fun.

In our case, with this kitchen renovation, we rented a "skip" or dumpster. For not much money, they come and drop it off in your driveway, you fill it with renovation debris, and then they take it away, weight it, and charge you per metric ton for waste. So, we carefully got all these old cabinets out the door, and then we all had a field day, "knocking them down". Literally smashing them to pieces, because they were VERY UGLY!. The house was built in 1972 and these were the original builder grade plywood cabinets, and after a few owners over the years, were very worn out.

With the kitchen renovation underway, and the area totally cleaned out, we were able to get down to the dirty business, of trying to strip "linoleum" you learn quickly that a heat gun, a scraper, and then some rented power tools are needed for this job. We want to put down ceramic tile, and doing this job ourselves, there was no way around removing the old linoleum.

Since we are keeping a similar layout, with just a few changes, we feel we can do this job ourselves. In our case, we are lucky that my sister is an electrician and my daughter her apprentice. But if you are saving money on a kitchen renovation, by doing it yourself, splurge on a qualified electrician for this part. They can move outlets around to suit your kitchen needs, upgrade them, wire in new lighting, under cabinet lighting and more. They can even help you design your lighting needs for your work space, and this way you don't get zapped!