The idea of a new kitchen feels like heaven to many people, and it could be tempting to just jump in and start pulling things about to make things better. But, there are a few critical things you need to consider before renovating a kitchen.
Planning is absolutely essential to any renovation project. As with anything, if you can prevent issues from happening or solved them beforehand, then you will be so happy that you took some time in planning.
Pre-project planning can prevent costly time and budget blow outs… so let’s start mapping out your kitchen renovation project…
Plan your budget
It may come as no surprise that one of the first steps is to work out your budget, but maybe you should go through this step in a little more detail that you were going to.
Don’t just estimate costs of the big things, include every small cost you can think of as well. And then add 10% percent for unforeseen expenses, and this is your safety buffer that you need to borrow/have access to.
Work out your backup plan
Having no kitchen for a period of time is one of the most difficult things to deal with when renovating (having no bathroom is right up there too). You will still need to prepare food and eat it somewhere, so before you commence work, determine how you are going to manage cooking and eating.
Consider where your fridge will be, will you be able to access a microwave, slow cooker or other bench-top appliance that can be used to heat or cook food?
Have somewhere that you can make coffee or tea, and somewhere you can easily access water.
Plan your meals with the reduced cooking capabilities, and maybe add into your budget some extra takeaway nights or a ready-made meals delivery service.
Think about what sort of cook you are
Having a state of the art kitchen can turn a hopeless cook into a world-class chef, but it doesn’t happen very often. If you know there is a wonderful cook trapped inside you that just needs the right equipment to emerge into the light, then build yourself the kitchen that can make that happen.
If you like to have a clean workspace, have lots of big appliances, or regularly cook for extra guests, accommodate this into the design necessities of your kitchen renovation project.
Plan for what you will need in your new kitchen
If your new kitchen is going in the same location as the old, take some time in your kitchen to map out what changes and improvements you need.
Where is the best place to locate everything for easy access?
If you are building a whole new kitchen then you have a bit more flexibility about where you locate everything, but you still need to plan beforehand.
Factor the essentials into the renovation plans as well as what is most important to you.
Beyond necessities and practicalities, spend a little time thinking about what would really make you happy in your new space. We spend so much waking time in the kitchen, it pays to really get things right the first time. You don’t want to get your whole new kitchen finished, and then realise that you would have liked more hidden storage or a bigger fridge.
Pay special attention to:
- Lighting – kitchens can have a lot of poky areas, so work out where your natural light comes from and where you need to add more illumination. Adding down-lights and bench lights is always a good idea.
- Storage – storage is such an important thing for a kitchen. There are so many items in a kitchen, most of them are weirdly shaped, and some you need to have just for events once a year. Incorporate storage so that you can hide everything, but make it clever storage so you can easily access everything.
- Immovable objects – consider where the things are that you either can’t move or don’t want to without incurring too much cost, such as windows, doors, electrical and plumbing.
- Sink and taps – consider carefully what size and shape sink you will use, as well as what will work in the space. Think about taps, faucets, and extras like a disposable unit or extendable faucet. Dont forget about how the plumbing underneath the sink will affect storage.
- Appliances – research built-in appliances in advance to work out what you want, what you can afford, where they will go and what they will look like. Also determine if the portable appliances will be on display or hidden away when not in use.
- Surfaces – with benches, splash-backs, tiling and floor coverings, cost and look are big factors, however, do not underestimate the importance of surfaces that are easy to clean and long-lasting.
The Golden Triangle
The majority of food preparation in your kitchen happens in a triangle pathway, carved out between the stove-top, sink and fridge.
Plan to make this triangle the most convenient and efficient it can be. Plan for a smaller or more direct triangle so you aren’t wandering all over the place, and throw some food preparation bench space in there too.
Just a couple of extra planning steps, and perhaps a handy bar fridge in your bedroom, and you’ll be ready to start renovating your kitchen.