Important Questions to Answer Before Undertaking Your Kitchen Renovation
It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of planning a kitchen renovation and imagining yourself using your beautiful new space. To get to that point, however, you’ll require a lot of planning and preparation; not to mention you’ll need to ask yourself a few tough questions to ensure you don’t waste precious time or money along the way.
We’ve worked with countless Sydney homeowners throughout the years, and along the way have compiled a few common kitchen design challenges, mistakes and misconceptions that can blow out the renovation process if not addressed early.
Keep reading to learn the answers you need before moving ahead with your project.
Are you renovating for yourself, or to sell?
Perhaps the most important question of all, understanding the drivers behind your desire to renovate will play a large role in determining the scope and details of the project.
If you aren’t planning to live in your home for at least a few years after you’ve updated the kitchen, it’s best not to invest in large-scale upgrades to suit your personal style and preferences.
In fact, you’re better off making smaller, strategic updates that help potential buyers to see themselves living in your home. Design choices that are personal to you may not be to buyers’ tastes; so you’re better off leaving any larger changes to the purchaser.
If you are planning on staying for the foreseeable future, however, this gives you more liberty to customise both the style and layout of your kitchen to your liking.
What’s your project budget?
Next, you should consider how much money you are comfortable allocating for the renovation and work backwards from here to inform the rest of your choices.
It’s a good idea to have at least an indicative price range in mind before you approach a kitchen designer, so you know that the options they put forward are all realistic for your budget.
You’ll also want to have a buffer to account for unforeseen delays or kitchen design challenges, plus costs for more frequent takeaway meals or even temporary accommodation depending on the scale of work.
What do you want your renovation to achieve?
Sure, the new kitchen feeling is nice; but once that wears off, you should still feel a sense of enjoyment from using your space every day. Ensuring your renovation addresses your current pain points will help to ensure the lasting enjoyment of your new kitchen.
Perhaps your cupboards are overflowing due to a lack of storage; or you find yourself constantly traipsing from one side of the kitchen to the other, because your cooktop and fridge aren’t easily accessible. Maybe you just hate that your space feels dark and cramped, or perhaps it’s all of the above!
If you need to make compromises during the planning process around things like budgets or design styles, having a clear view of your priorities will help to ensure that the end product still achieves your renovation goals.
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What’s your ideal design style, and does it match the rest of your home?
With the pillars of your renovation in place, you can now begin to consider the aesthetics of your new kitchen.
To help set the tone for your project, and make it easier to navigate any kitchen design challenges that emerge throughout the process, it’s important to choose an overarching design style.
This can certainly be different from your current space – that’s potentially what you want your renovation to achieve – but it’s important to keep in mind that your new kitchen will still be a room in your existing home; that is to say, it should still feel cohesive with the rooms adjacent to it.
If the kitchen isn’t the only room on your update hitlist, consider whether it would be more cost-effective to update the tiling in your bathroom and laundry at the same time, for example. This way, you can save on the cost of labour and materials in comparison to doing these as separate projects, and create a design link across multiple rooms.
How much professional help will you need?
It can be tempting to try and take on a renovation yourself – especially when working within a set budget – however, we are often contacted by homeowners who have tried to DIY their renovation and realised that hidden costs can actually make this the more costly option.
Especially if you have no trades or renovation experience, we strongly recommend utilising a team of professionals to help you design and install your new kitchen. Being able to offload a lot of the administration of a renovation – ordering materials, navigating council requirements, coordinating contractors – will help to reduce the stress of the process, and avoid potential kitchen design challenges along the way.
If you’re unsure where to begin, visiting a kitchen showroom can be a helpful experience. In this environment, you can not only get a feel for possible options that may suit your home; but also chat to a designer to get advice on anything from setting a realistic budget to how to time your renovation throughout the year.