Kitchen renovation 101
The renovation business is booming — according to The Australian Financial Review the renovations market is valued at a cool $34 billion — and kitchen renovations make up their fair share of that number as kitchens are a key factor in purchase decisions.
Whether you’re renovating ahead of selling, updating an older space or making the kitchen the heart and soul of your home, these are the steps to follow. Consider it your kitchen renovation checklist:
1. DECIDE ON YOUR KITCHEN NEEDS
The first stage of the renovation process is identifying what you need from your new kitchen; ask yourself what doesn’t work in your current kitchen.
Start gathering inspiration from Pinterest, interiors sites and showrooms. Compile a folder of your favourite looks and refer back to them throughout your design process.
It’s important to be realistic — consider the shape of your kitchen and how many people it needs to cater for — while you may have your heart set on a certain style, it needs to be an authentic fit for your home and lifestyle. If starting from scratch, keep the ‘work triangle’ in mind for maximum functionality. It refers to the sink, cooktop and fridge being placed at the points of a triangle to ensure your kitchen is practical and user-friendly: the ultimate test.
2. RESEARCH AND PLAN
Once you’ve decided on an aesthetic, it’s time to work out your budget and begin a design brief.
Your design brief — otherwise known as a scope of works — should focus on the outcome of your design and detail the required elements that need to be covered in the renovation including everything that needs to be purchased and installed, along with a timeline and budget. If planning major works, contact your local government to check any renovation restrictions and inform your neighbours of planned works.
While your budget is most likely to change throughout the project, the planning stage is the best time to realistically look at what you can afford on your wish list and what needs to be reconsidered. It’s wise to factor in a contingency plan for bigger projects in case the renovation uncovers any unexpected costs.
3. FIND THE PROFESSIONALS YOU NEED
Even if you’ve set yourself the challenge of a DIY kitchen project, you may need to consult professionals at some stage. From plumbing and electrical to cabinetry and carpentry, experts will be able to assist with contracts, permits, design aesthetic and project management. They’ll also be able to flag potential problems before they become a big (read: costly) issue.
Several companies, such as Kinsman Kitchens, offer clients professional assistance at every stage of their kitchen upgrade, from an initial design consultation and site check through to delivery and installation. Their Designer range includes an extensive range of cabinetry, handles, taps, sinks and storage in a range of styles pairing contemporary Australian-made quality with expert advice. An invaluable combination for first-time renovators and those who are too time-poor to project manage a kitchen renovation at every step of the way.
4. LOOK OVER FINAL PLANS
It’s easy to get excited about the final look of your kitchen (and so you should), but at this stage of your renovation it’s important to focus on the schematic design i.e. your kitchen’s layout and spacing. Ultimately this will be a major factor in your kitchen’s efficiency.
Floor plans and sketches will also assist with knowing what materials to order and what quantity. Contacting contractors early on in the renovation and sharing preliminary sketches can be a helpful way to get an idea of construction numbers. Estimates on fixture styles and labour costs now will give you the best possible opportunity to stay within budget throughout the course of the renovation.
5. BEGINNING THE BUILD
Once you’ve decided on cabinetry and received a delivery date, you can start to remove any existing cabinetry. This can be done yourself, however it’s recommended to get a professional to help out if you’ve not done it before. Typically the tradesman helping to install the new cabinetry will also offer to remove any existing cabinetry so check if that’s an option and if any additional fees are involved — update your budget accordingly. Whichever option you choose, a plumber and an electrician will be required to disconnect and uninstall appliances, taps and gas affected by the removal.
If installing new or additional power points for small appliances, ensure they’re easily accessible, particularly if you’re picturing them servicing small appliances such as a toaster, kettle or microwave. In terms of timelines, if there is any structural work that needs to be completed, it will usually happen within this phase. Rough plumbing and electrical work will also take place at this stage too.
6. INSTALLING CABINETRY AND BENCHTOPS
If you’re look for ways to save money, take the pressure off yourself (and your budget) by opting for a flat-pack kitchen. Putting together cabinetry is fairly straight forward and you could consider spending some of the money you save on a carpenter to take care of the hardest part — the installation. You’re looking at a cost of about $1,000 for two days’ work to pay a carpenter to install it properly. Multi-task and ask if they can install all your benchtops, cupboard handles and other fittings, too.
In constant use, the kitchen benchtop is an important kitchen element to nail. When choosing your material and size, consider your food prep style and dedication to maintenance. Laminate benchtops are a low-cost option that deliver impressive results thanks to new-gen design technologies; natural stone benchtops look visually striking and are durable and timeless, however, acidic-based foods and liquids can leave stains; solid surface benchtops are an ideal option for families thanks to their non-porous nature.
Once the big jobs are done, it’s time to start thinking about finishing touches — connecting electricity and plumbing, painting and accessorising your new space. The latter can be done over time.
SOURCE: Homes To Love