As the cost-of-living increases throughout the world, lots of people are opting to renovate their own kitchens. A nice kitchen can boost a property’s value significantly, so renovation is always worth considering. To avoid expensive errors, you should approach this the right way and plan all aspects of your project.
A kitchen renovation is a daunting task, which involves drawing up designs, sourcing appliances, and installing them safely. The budget you set must be realistic; otherwise, you will end up overspending or unhappy with the outcome. Technical expertise and creativity are required to transform your vision of the perfect kitchen into reality.
There are other tips, rules, and factors to take into account during the planning phase, which the following information will cover. Planning begins with research and calculating the costs/timelines. Then, it moves on to design, hiring tradespeople, and removing your old kitchen – so the work itself can commence. Whether you are trying to make the best of a limited budget or planning a comprehensive kitchen makeover, this article will point you in the right direction.
Researching Your Options Thoroughly
The first step is to decide which kitchen styles you like and which styles you don’t like. Search the internet for design ideas, tradespeople, and product releases. Assess the types of products, design options, and prices of products available. This information will form the basis of your budget expectations.
Visit kitchen showrooms in person to gauge the standard of different products. This way, you can judge for yourself whether they are worth the price tag. Also, you can read the product warranties and inquire whether a complimentary design service is offered for your kitchen. While you are there, double check the prices of products to ensure they match the prices advertised online.
Once you have explored the different options, you should know how you want your kitchen to look. Ideally, the colour scheme you opt for should feature no more than two colours. Also, you should choose what kind of benchtops, cabinets (gloss or matte), appliances, accessories, and handles to use. If you work with a professional designer, they will deal with everything else and advise you about the selection of colours, etc.
The final and most crucial element of your research is to set an affordable budget to keep your kitchen renovation on course. When calculating your budget, consider any work that you could do yourself to reduce costs. Any money saved could be used to upgrade your benchtops or cabinets to better quality alternatives. Be mindful that there might be extra costs down the line to cover electrical work or plumbing, for example.
Calculating a Realistic Budget
Your budget for renovation work should be based on the money you have set aside for the project, up to a maximum amount that would constitute overspending. To calculate this maximum amount, you should adopt a ‘three percent policy’ — i.e., three percent of your property’s value or less. Property experts like Cherie Barber endorse this approach wholeheartedly.
For instance, if your property has a $650,000 valuation, you should not spend over $19,500 on renovating your kitchen. By and large, this example reflects the average spend on kitchen renovations from a few years ago – according to one study by Houzz. During this research period, $20,000 was spent on kitchen renovations by the average homeowner. This represents a sixteen percent increase on the year before. Incidentally, to renovate every room in your property, you should spend no more than ten percent of its value.
For budget conscious homeowners, there are numerous ways to reduce kitchen renovation costs. You can avoid hiring a cabinet maker or builder by opting for preassembled cabinets and carrying out your own demolition work. It is easy to remove your old kitchen to clear space for the new one. This only requires some physical effort and basic tools. Hundreds of dollars can be saved by completing this part of the project yourself. And thousands more dollars can be saved by using preassembled cabinets instead of paying a cabinet maker to produce them.
There are numerous other cost-cutting measures to take when renovating your kitchen. Examples include fitting your own tiled splashback, doing the painting yourself, and shopping for low-priced kitchen items on the internet. If you are like most homeowners, though, your budget for renovations should factor in the services of plumbers, electricians, cabinet makers/builders, and tilers. Also, it should cover the cost of products like benchtops, cabinets, taps, a sink, tiles, electrical fittings, appliances, flooring, lights, and accessories. Reserve ten percent of your budget for unexpected costs and take into account the shipping fees for all products purchased online.
Choosing the Design for Your Kitchen
Once your initial research is finished, you should take measurements of your entire kitchen area. This means measuring the doorways, architraves, new or existing windows, appliances (like the oven, fridge, microwave, rangehood, etc.), and other significant features of your kitchen design. After you have analysed the space in your kitchen, sketch a drawing of the completed design for a visual representation.
All kitchen designs should take a number of elements into account, especially functionality. This relates to the kitchen ‘work triangle’, or three main contact points of the room — namely the fridge, stove and sink. The work triangle area should be uncluttered for ease of use. Other important elements include the layout, bench space, storage options, cabinetry, style, appliances and hardware.
Begin by examining the current area to see whether structural adjustments are needed. You might want to move the walls slightly, or increase the space via other means, for example. Then, you can plan the layout effectively. This is the most important part of kitchen design.
If the layout you used previously did not work from a functional perspective, you need an alternative option that suits your property. All components of your kitchen should be cohesive and produce an attractive, functional living space. Always prioritize functionality over visual appeal and purchase materials of the highest quality, in line with your budget constraints.
As already stated, choosing preassembled cabinets instead of custom cabinets is a great cost-cutting design option. As well as being less expensive, preassembled cabinets are simple to install yourself — which means you save even more money. Additional design elements for budget conscious homeowners include selecting tiled splashbacks instead of stone or glass; and opting for laminate benchtops rather than engineered stone.
Finding the Right Tradespeople
With the design plans and budget calculations done, you can contact tradespeople for quotes. As already stated, a certified electrician and plumber will need to connect the electrical/plumbing components. Also, if your kitchen has a customized design, you will need a cabinet maker. Other tradespeople, like painters, tilers, builders, etc., are only needed if you prefer to pay more instead of doing renovation work yourself.
All tradespeople who are contacted for quotes should be supplied with an in-depth kitchen plan and timeline for the project. If you are unsure who to hire, obtain a few quotations for each trade. It is vital to take other factors into account, besides the quotes, when choosing tradespeople. Research online reviews from clients, to find out whether their service justifies their quotations. Business Profiles on Google and Facebook are excellent resources.
It is crucial to check the schedules of the tradespeople you contact to establish whether they can complete your work within the required timeframe. The last thing you want is to wait weeks for your kitchen to be finished because the electrician has limited availability, for example. The tradespeople you choose should be affordable, available, and dependable.
A Timeline for Your Project
The importance of a project timeline cannot be overstated because this helps you to know how long a kitchen renovation will take, and keep your plans on track. Setting a schedule for renovating your kitchen encourages tradespeople to finish their work promptly and avoid delays. The timeline for your project should feature the tasks below in the order listed:
-Getting rid of your old kitchen to clear space for the new one. Time required: One day.
-Installing windows, moving walls, and other build work. Time required: A couple of days, although this depends on the particular work involved.
-Fitting new cabinets. Time required: A few days, however this only takes one day with preassembled kitchen cabinets.
-Fitting a new benchtop. Time required: One day to install the product, but it might take as long as ten days to manufacture it.
-Electrical and plumbing work; i.e., connecting the appliances, power points, plumbing, and lighting. Time required: One day or less.
-Fitting the splashback. Time required: One day.
-Installing a new floor. Time required: A few days or less, based on your choice of flooring.
Removing Your Old Kitchen
Before starting your renovation work, you must demolish your existing kitchen. Of course, this does not apply if you have bought a new property and are starting your renovation from scratch. This is the last stage of planning your project and the first stage of implementing it.
There’s a correct and incorrect way to approach demolishing an old kitchen. A professional builder can deal with this easily. Nonetheless, if you want to cut costs by doing this yourself, spend some time learning the information required.
First and foremost, you should switch off the power supply to your property. This applies to all electrical power sources, and you should triple check this prior to starting any demolition activities. To ensure your safety, purchase a voltage tester well before the day you begin removal work.
Although there’s a place for DIY, certain things are best left to the professionals. A job that involves changing, relocating or removing electrical cables and power points should be done by a certified electrician. If there is a gas supply to your kitchen, switch off the valve for this. Often, you will find this on the gas meter, or on the wall behind the main appliances. In addition, it is vital to switch off your water supply. Otherwise, you might hit a tap or pipe accidentally and flood your kitchen, while you are attempting to upgrade it.
Make sure you hire a dumpster for building waste and have the correct tools to hand, including PPE (personal protective equipment). Recommended tools to complete renovations include a drill, hammer, Stanley knife, crowbar, screwdriver (Phillips, square-bit and flat-head), slip-joint pliers, and wrench. With the renovation plans now finished, you have everything you require to transform your kitchen successfully.
Working With a Kitchen Company
Many people think that doing most of their own kitchen renovation will lower their costs significantly. Although a DIY approach reduces your cash outlay, you still have to spend time on the job — which costs your money indirectly. Also, if you are not a certified tradesperson, the work will take longer to complete than if you just hired someone who is. Consequently, you will have to manage without a kitchen for longer, which is more inconvenient for you and your loved ones.
A kitchen company will work in consultation with you throughout your renovation project. It will deal with everything, including the installation, design, and hiring of tradespeople. A good company will employ talented designers who will craft the kitchen of your dreams. If there is a specific design you want to create, they can cater to that too. You can brainstorm and collaborate with professional designers who understand the nature of your kitchen space.
Often, when people look at kitchens in other properties and try to design their own version, they fail to factor in practical considerations. A kitchen company will get things right from the outset and incorporate functional elements appropriately. This will spare you the hassle of an undersized kitchen or cabinet doors that open the wrong way.
Relying on several tradespeople to renovate your kitchen can result in problems, particularly if they turn out to be unlicensed – or committed to other projects. In contrast, a kitchen company will offer a single contract that covers everything. As well as employing capable designers, the best companies work with certified tradespeople who have a proven track record of delivering good results.
In addition to managing your whole project, a decent kitchen company will have a showroom where you can view samples. This allows you to see with your own eyes how different design elements work together in a ‘real’ kitchen. Many people appreciate this because it is hard to visualize how a kitchen will look from sketches alone.
The fastest way to find a kitchen company is to search online. Visit review websites, industry websites, and company websites to see the details, photographs, and customer feedback of local companies you might hire. It is important to check that a company is accredited with a proper industry license. If a company on your radar provides no evidence of accreditation, you should move on — even if it looked promising initially.
Next, get in touch with the companies that seem reputable and discuss the needs for your revamped kitchen. You can learn a lot from these discussions while getting a taste of their customer service and professionalism. Ask the companies that impress you whether you can see examples of their previous work. This might involve traveling to the properties of past clients, who are happy for people to view their kitchens. There’s no bigger selling point than hearing positive feedback from these clients in person.
After conducting the above research, you should have a final shortlist of three or four companies. Get in touch with each one and ask for a quotation in writing. Be sure to emphasize that their quotes should include all costs and fees, as well as a guarantee that they will not add any unquoted extra charges. Remember that you should not look for the cheapest quote but the one that provides the most value. After you decide which company should renovate your kitchen, ask for a written agreement to finalize the deal. This needs to include the schedule for completion, along with the warranties and payment information.
Final Thoughts About Kitchen Renovation Planning
To turn your kitchen into a room that embodies all the features you have imagined, plenty of planning is required. The time you spend doing this will pay off because you will design a kitchen layout that is attractive and functional. Also, it will help you to budget effectively so you avoid overspending. Another benefit of kitchen renovation planning is that you will find reliable tradespeople who can complete tasks while adhering to your strict deadlines. Reputable contractors know how to perform demolition work to clear space for your revamped kitchen. After finishing your planning, you can source products for your new living space. Of course, a kitchen company removes the hassle and unpredictability of trying to renovate your own kitchen. These companies want you to have a positive, stress-free experience. They will provide you with transparent, itemized quotes, as such, they are the perfect option if you want to build the kitchen of your dreams without being inconvenienced.