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Saturday, January 19, 2013

The First Steps To Take In Planning A Kitchen Renovation

I've been dreaming about our kitchen renovation for ages and ages so have a pretty good idea of what I want. But it's just whether I can fit my dream Kitchen into the itty bitty space we have and within budget.

So before I get all sledgehammer crazy on the old Kitchen, I'm sharing the first steps to take when planning a Kitchen renovation that I thought my readers might find useful.

1. Set a budget

You've got to decide how much you want to spend first and foremost and this is usually the driving factor of any renovation.

If you want to put in a basic Kitchen for a quick renovation to sell the house you'll be putting flat packs together from Ikea on a modest budget.

If you want the kitchen of your dreams to go into your forever home you'll be putting a lot more aside to get the quality.

For me it's a bit of both - I want a Kitchen for resale but also a quality Kitchen for me to use for the next couple of years.

2. Visualise how you want the kitchen to look

We measured up the Kitchen and Dining area and did a heap of sketches of different layouts -  mine are never to scale which frustrates the hell out of Mr P!

I've got an Inspiration File of tear outs from magazines that I'm constantly adding to, as well as product kitchen brochures from Ikea, Bunnings, and other kitchen places so we have lots of pictures to refer to of what styles, colours and products we like.

3. Do your research - read lots of Kitchen design books/magazines and go online

I have been researching our Kitchen since I moved in 3 years ago! I've done some study on Kitchens as part of the Interior Design course and also went to a Kitchen Seminar before that. I've done a kitchen/dining area mood board at The School of Real Living Masterclass so have gone as far as visualising colour combos too.

There's an endless amount of information on the Internet but my go to places are Pinterest and Houzz and of course other home blogs. The library has heaps of resource books and there's stacks of house magazines out there to.

Keep adding to your Inspiration File!

4. Go and check out some Kitchen Showrooms

Once we had a pretty good idea of what style of Kitchen we liked and the basic layout and our wish list, then we were ready to go to the professionals to help put our ideas into action.

We checked out a few Kitchen Showrooms to view the styles of cupboards and benchtops, layouts that worked, and any up and coming design features like communication stations etc to think about.

Ask their design consult fee and whether they make the cabinets themselves or outsource the work as this will affect their fees.
5. Get a professional to measure up and draw the design

Once you decide on the Kitchen company you want to work with, make an appointment for them to come out to the house, measure up and work with you to draw the new layout.

There is usually a charge of around $100 for this for their time and to draw up your design. Keep your Inspiration File handy and show them the things you absolutely love and can't live without and what you like but is not totally necessary.

For me storage was my No.1 priority so I made sure they squeezed in as many cupboards/drawers as possible, which means there won't be room for a built in wine rack bummer - these are the sacrifices you might need to make.

6. Pick your materials - doors, benchtops, handles, splashbacks, appliances

You should have a good idea of what types of materials you like from visiting the showrooms by now, scary as it is you need to start making decisions on what you want - weigh up the pros and cons of the materials against the price.

Think about how long you will be living in the house for, whether you're doing the kitchen for resale, to live in, or both. Most appliances are similar in dimensions, but installation instructions can differ.

The Kitchen company will need to know what you want to finalise the kitchen design and give a final quote.

7. Finishing touches - Lights, Power, Decor etc

Don't forget the finishing touches that bring personality to the Kitchen - light fittings like pendant lighting over an eating area and task lighting above benchtops, power points where you'll need them (and it's best to have more than not enough!).

Think about furniture - new bar stools or a rug. Another big one is decor items - artworks, a clock etc.

Keep a look out for the things that catch your eye as it can take months to find the perfect pieces for your dream kitchen, the sooner you start looking the better!

8. Finalise your Kitchen Design and Tradies

Once you have the final drawing of the kitchen, have chosen all your materials to be used and purchased the appliances it's time to organise your tradies.

If you're putting the Kitchen in yourself - good luck it is a lot of precise careful work! I'd suggest you pay a cabinet maker to install it for you as they will cut and modify and fit as they go. No house is perfectly square especially not old homes so adjustments will be needed.

You also need to lock in your electrician, plumber and tiler.

9. Demolition baby - out with the old

Once the cabinets have been made and you have an installation date, all the appliances are ordered and you are ready to go.

Pack up the old Kitchen keeping out only the basics and box up everything else, find a temporary washing up station, food prep station and food storage area in your home so you can still make basic meals for the next few weeks or even months depending on the size of the renovation project.

In our case we are also going to replace the ceiling, knock out the brick pantry and knock the window into a doorway so ours will be about an 8 week project. Once it's all cleared and electrics and plumbing disconnected THEN you can get out the demolition tools and pull everything out!

10. Installation - in with the new

Once the old kitchen is removed you'll need to patch and paint all the walls, ceiling, door/window frames etc. The floor may also need to be repaired, in our case we're going to have to patch the floorboards where the pantry is removed.

The cabinet maker will come in to install the cabinets, tiler to do the splashback, electrician to do all the cabling, lights, power points, appliances (oven/stove), plumber for the sink and dishwasher.

Don't cut yourself short timewise, be realistic in your time frames as a kitchen renovation will take at least a month to complete - don't put yourself under pressure allow time to get everything done.

Also be aware that unless you have a spare kitchen in your house which is highly unlikely, you'll need a makeshift kitchen area. Somewhere to plug in your fridge and store food, prepare simple meals, BBQs are probably the easiest dinner option.

Indulging in takeaway/eating out when it all gets too much or invite yourself over to friends and families for a meal ... I'm sure they'll be happy to help with a promise of a dinner party in your shiny new kitchen at the end of it all!

Do you have any tips for planning a kitchen renovation?

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  1. These are great tips, it sounds like you're really on top of things. My mum spent quite a while planning her new kitchen. She remained in the planning stage for quite a while but in the end everything turned out beautifully. Yours is going to be great! xoxox

  2. These are amazing tips. I've never had to do reno of any kind. But Man i dream of my dream kitchen almost on a daily basis!

  3. You're so organised - what a great list of tips!

    Can't wait to watch your kitchen progress!!

  4. Love all the tips! And I'm dying to know what kind of kitchen you'll choose!

  5. What a great list of tips! Definitely have to keep all of this in mind for the distant future ;] I can't wait to see what you guys do with your kitchen! So exciting!

  6. Hi Michelle!!! Thanks so much for your lovely comment on my blog! I LOVE all these ideas for a kitchen redo. I so wish we could afforf it but we have decided to wait until our children are teenagers to remodel becasue lets face it they ruin everything in teh mean time!!! Your blog is lovely. New follower! Spent 4 months in Australia but Perth is the one city I never made it too:( DRAT!

  7. Hey Michelle! This is an awesome post. Great way to break down all the steps and keep everything organized. Thanks for sharing :)

    Nike O.

  8. You're killing me here. I so desperately want to demo our kitchen and start from the ground up. Unfortunately, that's just not in the cards right now.... I will file these tips away for when it is, though!

  9. I'm getting ready to renovate the kitchen in my new home I'm purchasing. Reading this post made me feel a little overwhelmed with it all. Ack! haha My last kitchen makeover went very smooth in the other house, so I'm hoping things fall into place with this one, too. This one needs more work though, so I am a little nervous. Thanks for the great post.


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