This free home building kitchen checklist is designed to help you evaluate and refine your kitchen layout plan. These are general guidelines, not laws or rules. What type of kitchen you need depends on your lifestyle and cooking methods. For more information on home planning download our free 98 page book and read the many articles on this site.
Free Home Building Kitchen Checklist: Layout
o L shaped
o L shaped with an island
o One wall
o One wall and an island
Free Home Building Kitchen Checklist: Remember your Kitchen Triangle
o Stove adjacent to sink and refrigerator on the opposite wall
o Refrigerator adjacent to the sink and the stove on the other wall
o Stove sink and refrigerator in a line
o Sink across from the stove and refrigerator
Free Home Building Kitchen Checklist: Step Savers
o How many feet is it between your stove area and your refrigerator area?
o How far is it between your sink and refrigerator?
o How far is it between your sink and stove?
o How far is it between your food prep area and your stove?
o How far is it between your food prep area and your sink?
o How far is the refrigerator from the food prep area?
o Will your kitchen have a separate wall oven or a baking center? If so will you have a separate sink near it?
Free Home Building Kitchen Checklist: Work Areas
o The sink center should have two or three feet of countertop on either side.
o In most modern kitchens the dishwasher is next to the sink in the sink center.
o The cook top or range center should offer at least two feet of countertop on either side.
o The food preparation area is frequently located either between the stove and the sink, or adjacent to the sink.
o Placing the sink and stove six or eight feet from each other on the same wall makes a perfect food preparation area.
o Occasionally a kitchen table or island counter is used for extended food preparation, to allow the cook to sit down.
o The Refrigerator center should have at 18 inches of counter space on the side it opens toward.
o Side by side refrigerator models should ideally have a small table or work surface on one side, and a countertop on the other.
o Many people feel it is unwise to put cabinets and countertops on both sides of the refrigerator because you may want another size of refrigerator next time you buy one.
o Some kitchens feature a baking center with a wall oven and a large work surface to one side.
o Sometimes there is a secondary sink in the baking area or in another food preparation area.
Free Home Building Kitchen Checklist: Kitchen Storage
o At minimum you will need an 18 inch wide upper cabinet for glassware, a 24 to 36 inch upper cabinet for every day dinner ware, and another 24 to 36 inch upper cabinet for mixing and serving bowls. More space is always helpful though.
o You should have at least one 24 to 36 inch lower cabinet for heavy pots and pans, and at least one other for bake ware. It’s also nice to have a 36 inch cabinet or two for small kitchen appliances, when not in use. Many people also have a cabinet for plastic storage containers.
o You should have a silverware drawer somewhere between the stove and sink, and another utensil drawer very near the stove.
o Some kitchens feature a recycling center. If you want one you will need a large base cabinet which can contain at least three bins, in order to sort your paper, plastic and metal and keep them apart from the non recyclable garbage. If you plan to compost you will also need space for your compostable garbage. Many people find it convenient to use a large sink base under the kitchen sink as a recycling center.
o Open shelf storage looks very pretty in the magazines, but it is a lot of trouble to keep seldom used plates and glassware clean and free of dust and cooking grime. If you use shelf storage in your kitchen, consider using it for frequently used items only, and remember that occasionally you will have to take everything on those shelves down and wash it.
o Glass doors on upper cabinets are a good option to open shelves, but can be a lot more expensive.
Free Home Building Kitchen Checklist: Windows in the Kitchen
o Traditionally there was always a window above the kitchen sink, so that housewives could look wistfully out at the landscape, while slaving over a sink full of dishes. It did make this task seem a bit better, but today most people have dishwashers. Still the window over the sink idea pervades most kitchen designs. It is seen as awkward to put kitchen cabinets above a sink, unless it is a truly tiny kitchen.
o Upper cabinets and windows compete for space over the base cabinets, making it difficult to get enough of both. Make sure you have enough upper cabinets before planning a window wall, although we all want one.
o Neither a window, nor an upper cabinet is normally placed over the cook top or range. Some people do use very short cabinets, like the ones that go over the refrigerator, high over the range and install a range hood ventilator to the bottom of the short cabinets. Other people prefer a hood that goes up to the ceiling.
o A good option to a lot of windows is a glass patio door in the kitchen. This allows in plenty of light, and also serves as an exterior kitchen door.
Please enjoy our free home building kitchen checklist and use it as a general guideline to help you design the perfect kitchen to meet your specific needs.