Seven questions to ask yourself when planning a kitchen renovation
For Perth people embarking on their first ever kitchen renovation, the task ahead can seem immense. Especially when you’re in the early, planning stage.
At times the experience is enjoyable. After all, who can resist imagining a dreamy future of granite bench-tops, hushed kitchen cabinetry and brushed steel?
But sometimes, late at night, you may find yourself worrying about every little expenditure.
During the days, minutes turn into hours as you comb through websites and brochures to glean every last morsel of information.
It seems there’s so much to learn about renovating a kitchen! The task can appear insurmountable.
Just remind yourself that others have been there before you.
If you’re lucky, you’ll have an experienced friend or relative who’s been there already and can act as a role model of sorts.
But what if you don’t know anyone like that?
To help, we’ve assembled a hypothetical case study. In it, an imaginary homeowner answers questions a prospective renovator might be expected to ask.
1. Do you have a renovation budget?
Yes. We’re taking a middle path: neither skimping nor being extravagant.
We don’t want to overextend ourselves financially. We’ve heard it’s a bad idea to spend more than 8 per cent of what our home would reasonably sell for on the current housing market. So we had to be hard-headed when browsing through brochures, and forgo a couple of big-ticket items which were beyond our price range.
On the other hand, friends told us to buy the best we could afford. They said it’s worth paying extra for quality fixtures which last the distance.
Plus, we want to ensure we get skilled, reliable tradespeople. We also want to pay enough for professional design advice, with a project manager who looks after us properly. Full warranties are important to us, as is insurance and after-sales service.
2. How about kitchen design ideas?
Overall, we’re thinking of something classic that won’t go out of style overnight. Especially for the splashback and other permanent fixtures.
But it’d be great if we could add some cutting-edge, contemporary touches too. For a spot of flair. Modular, if possible, so they can be replaced easily if the style becomes out of date.
And we’ve thought a lot about placement of lighting, too. We’d love to get your input on that.
3. What appliances need to be incorporated?
Well, we’ve measured the spaces needed for the fridge, dishwasher, oven, microwave, and so on. And we’ve thought about the best position on the benchtop for the appliances which get the most use.
Speaking of which, we hear you do concealed power points?
4. Have you taken any measurements?
Yes. We got out the tape measure, jotted down a few figures, and double-checked them just to be safe.But we’d like to know a bit more about the concept of a ‘kitchen work triangle’.
If we’ve understood this correctly, the kitchen work triangle is a long-established principle of kitchen design. It certainly makes good sense: minimising the travelling distances between the three busy points of oven, sink and refrigerator.
Anyway, we’ve sketched a few rough floorplans and measured distances between where we’re thinking of putting the oven, sink and fridge. Could you maybe cast your eye over our calculations?
5. How much storage space will you need?
Well, we’re trying to decide between extra overhead cabinets or a walk-in pantry with sensor lights. Perhaps we’ll need both!
Regardless, we’d like slightly more cabinet space than we’re currently using. That’s just in case we’ve overlooked anything, or an unforeseen need crop up in future.
6. Will you be entertaining much?
Yes – our friends pop in quite often, and we throw a party from time to time.
We’ve been wondering whether to get an island unit with hotplates built in. That way, guests could sit at stools and chat rather than drifting into the dedicated cooking zone.
And we’ll need an extraction fan that is quiet but powerful. That way, conversation and ambient music won’t be drowned out.
Our home is fairly open-plan, so we want a kitchen renovation style that meshes well with the living spaces, to create a sense of continuity. The kitchen cabinetry needs to match the colour scheme of the living room.
Also, dimmable, ambient lighting would be great, with brighter downlights for food preparation.
7. Will many people be using your kitchen?
Well, our oldest is a teenager and will soon be doing her final exams, so we need benchtops that are easy to clean – something convenient for all those midnight snacks.
Grandparents babysit from time to time, so our new kitchen needs to be well-lit, with non-slip surfaces. Mum’s elderly but still insists on cooking, so she’ll need easy-to-open drawers and easy-to-reach cabinets. Nothing too high, nothing too low.
We often cook together, so extra benchtop space would be good. With a second sink, if there’s room.
The next step in your kitchen renovation plan
Your answers are unlikely to be exactly the same as those of our imaginary homeowner. In fact, it would be strange if they were – family structure and taste in design varies a lot.
But the overall approach is sensible: economise when feasible, pay when you must. It also pays to do a spot of research.
But regardless of how much planning you’ve already done, Start 2 Finish Resolutions would love to explore the possibility of working with you.
Our design experts and project managers can help ensure your kitchen renovation plans come to fruition.
Call us for a chat. There’s no obligation, and no hard sell.
Our phone number is 0411 445 662
If you are hiring someone to renovate your kitchen or bathroom, you might want to read this article first : How to spot a renovation cowboy.
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