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Consumer Reports Kitchen Planning and Buying Guide

Consumer Reports Kitchen Planning and Buying Guide September 2017

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Consumer Reports Kitchen & Planning Buying Guide will help you get the kitchen you’ve always wanted at a price you can afford. Filled with our exclusive buying advice and ratings, best & worst products, real-world and test-based approach, you’ll be shopping smarter and getting the best kitchen—for less

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United States
Consumer Reports, Inc.

in this issue

1 min.
get ready to love your kitchen

Imagine your new kitchen: the welcoming style, the powerful appliances, the gleaming counters and ¡oors. No matter what it takes to get to that inspiring “after,” we can help. Consumer Report’s team of kitchen pros—editors, researchers, market experts, and more—is behind you every step of the way, sharing remodeling know-how from top industry experts. Ready to shop? Turn to the Buying Guide on page 44. Our engineers run exhaustive tests on thousands of products from fridges to ¡ooring to faucets and much more to help you buy the best. Our surveys of thousands of CR subscribers reveal which brands break, so that you can avoid pricey repairs. You can trust our advice because we’re nonpro.t and independent: We buy all of the products we test and we accept no ads. Creating the…

5 min.

TREND WATCH Go Naturel We love a sleek white kitchen as much as anyone, but the warmer, woodsier style we’ve been seeing lately does feel like a breath of fresh air. Expect to see (even) more reclaimed wood, copper and bronze finishes, and bold color, including shades of green from new leaf to brilliant emerald. 60 OVERALL SCORE Dryer BOSCH800 SERIES WTG86402UC $1,400 78 OVERALL SCORE Washer BOSCH 800 SERIES WAT28402UC $1,250 Perfect Fit Compact laundry pairs can live nearly anywhere—even in your kitchen The luxury of living laundromat- free isn’t just for house dwellers—compact washers and dryers can fit almost anywhere. To see how well compact pairs stack up, the laundry experts at CR put 10 pairs through the wringer. They found that although full-sized models do a better job of washing and drying overall, there’s good news if your space is…

7 min.
stress-free remodeling secrets

AMERICAN HOMEOWNERS spend almost $13 billion per year remodeling their kitchens, according to the 2013 American Housing Survey, conducted every other year by the Census Bureau and sponsored by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. That’s more than they spend on any other room in the house. Fortunately, investing heavily in the kitchen seems to offer equally large rewards. According to the National Associ a tion of Realtors, remodelers report a huge boost to satisfaction and happiness with their homes after wrapping up a kitchen overhaul. But it takes some doing to get there. These are complex rooms outfitted with fixtures and appliances that can get expensive, put together by the most skilled pros in the indus try. Given those stakes, in 2016 Consumer Reports conducted a nation ally representative survey…

2 min.
assembling a winning team

Architects WHAT THEY DO Listen to your ideas, help you think through the design, and translate all of it into detailed architectural drawings for the general contractor to follow. WHEN YOU NEED ONE You’re knocking down walls or changing your home’s structural or mechanical systems. WHAT THEY CHARGE 10 to 20 percent of overall project cost. General Contractors WHAT THEY DO These MVPs take charge of the project from start to finish, managing the schedule and hiring plumbers, electricians, and all other subcontractors. GCs also secure all necessary local building permits. WHEN YOU NEED ONE A job is too big to do on your own. WHAT THEY CHARGE 25 percent. Interior or Kitchen Designers WHAT THEY DO Help with design choices, such as selecting a kitchen countertop or the tile and tub for the bathroom. Budget permitting, it’s worth…

6 min.
cooking up the perfect kitchen

WOULDN’T IT BE GREAT if there were a recipe you could follow to design your dream kitchen? Actually, according to recent research from the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), there is—and it’s surprisingly easy to follow. These professional organizations (and the top kitchen pros we polled) point to 10 most wanted kitchen features: the common must-haves of homeowners across the country. Mix these essential ingredients into your new space and you’ll create a kitchen that’s easy to work in, comfortable to live in, simple to keep clean, and attractive to future buyers when you decide to sell. Here’s how to put these ideas to work for a perfectly custom combination: Open Layout More homeowners are undertaking major kitchen renovations, according to housing economist…

1 min.
nice-to-have features

1. LED Lighting Include layers of light (recessed fixtures for overall illumination, pendants and undercabinet lighting to brighten task areas) using energy-efficient, longlasting LED bulbs. 2. Windows “Enlarging existing windows or adding new ones can make a space look much bigger, even if you can’t add on,” says designer Patricia Davis Brown. To ensure the comfort and energy efficiency of your new space, pick windows with an Energy Star rating. 3. Built-In Bar Homebuyers love a built-in wet or dry bar, according to online real estate service Redfin. But any counter can serve as an impromptu bar: Just gather bottles and supplies on a tray to make them easy to move to an accessible serving space. 4. Walk-In Pantry If you’re lucky enough to have a separate pantry (or are planning to add one), take the time…