Your kitchen is the soul of your Massachusetts home. It is where guests tend to congregate during a party; your children share about their days after school; and you and your spouse solve the world’s problems while you tend to the evening dishes. If you spend so much preparing meals, cleaning up, and sharing life with your loved ones in the kitchen, why not have the one you want?

Unfortunately, a kitchen remodel can be overwhelming. Here are a few things to consider as you begin planning your new dream kitchen.

1) Plan Your Budget and Prioritize

According to Better Homes and Gardens, if you spend more than 15% of your total home value on a new kitchen, you may not recover those costs in the sale of your home. If you are anticipating a move in the near future, it is wise to stick to that number. However, there are many benefits to having your dream kitchen that can’t be quantified. If this will be your kitchen for the long haul, you may find it wise to invest extra money to have the details you want.

This Old House points out the three items that will cost the most in a kitchen remodel. They are appliances, cabinets and countertops. Determine how much you want to spend on your remodel and then prioritize your wants. Do you want all new appliances? Are you dreaming about new, custom cabinets designed just for your space and organizational needs? Is there a style of countertop you have had your eye on? Decide what is most important to you and budget your expenses accordingly.

2) Consider What Layout is Best for You

Kitchens come in different shapes and layouts. Houzz describes some of the standard layouts that include the galley kitchen, the L shaped kitchen, the U shaped kitchen, and the C shaped kitchen. Depending on how much renovation you intend to do you may be limited to a certain style.

Keep in mind your preferences and cooking style when planning your kitchen. Do you usually cook alone? Do you need plenty of prep space? Do you want company at a bar or breakfast nook while you work in the kitchen? Your preferences and style can help determine what layout is the best for your kitchen.

3) Check Regulations

HGTV reminds home renovators that there are state and federal regulations to consider when planning a kitchen remodel. A building contractor can help you with these regulations. The National Kitchen and Bath Association also provides guidelines that are helpful for developing a functional kitchen plan. These guidelines and regulations will influence what designs are ideal for the space you have.

Planning a new kitchen can be fun and exciting when you keep these three tips in mind. What would you include in your dream kitchen?