The Ultimate Kitchen Renovation Guide
One of the most used (and loved) rooms in the home, the kitchen is often first on homeowners’ wishlists to renovate. Often with increased functionality in mind, many homeowners also think ahead to the resale value when planning out the updates to their kitchen.
A kitchen renovation is a process with many steps and can seem overwhelming without professional advice and guidance. If you are planning to update your kitchen in the near future, this guide outlines the steps you can expect to take on the journey towards achieving your dream kitchen.
Start with a clear budget
Before engaging any kitchen renovation contractors, it’s essential to set a clear – and realistic – budget for your project.
As with any major home project, updating your kitchen can sometimes take longer or cost more than you’ve initially accounted for. Larger structural works may also uncover underlying problems in your home and can easily add 10%-20% to your total costs quite quickly. Keep a buffer for unexpected costs as part of your overall budget.
Approaching a kitchen specialist with a precise number will also allow them to help guide you on the areas you can afford to cut costs and where it’s worth investing in higher quality materials.
Do your homework
Once you know the rough budget for your project, it’s time to start deciding how this stacks up against your vision.
Visiting showrooms, talking with a design consultant, browsing inspiration sites and design magazines, and comparing costs across different retailers will all help you start to work out what you can afford.
Resources like Houzz contain great forums to read about other homeowners’ experiences throughout the kitchen renovation process.
Talk to a professional
If you haven’t already, now is the time to start talking to different contractors to quote for any labour involved in your project. It’s also worth confirming costs with suppliers for services like shipping and delivery, as these hidden costs can end up inflating your spending.
Once you have a complete picture of how much your renovation is likely to cost, you may be able to identify areas that you can save some money. Whether that be completing some of the labour yourself or picking up materials instead of having them delivered, these small changes can add up to significant savings.
Choose your materials
A successful kitchen renovation should give you years of enjoyment – and so it’s worth investing in quality materials as much as your budget allows.
Big-ticket items like joinery, bench materials and appliances are the most costly elements of your renovation – but also hold the most value and can add much-needed functionality to your space.
Consider whether your current cabinetry could be repainted or repurposed for your new kitchen, and look to save on things like your backsplash, hardware and lighting.
Plan a functional layout
Depending on how long you’ve been tolerating your current kitchen, it’s likely you’ll already have an idea of how you want to change the layout to increase its functionality and flow.
Perhaps the fridge is located in the middle of the space and means you have people getting under your feet while cooking. Maybe there’s nowhere to sit in the kitchen, so you’re isolated from guests while cooking. You could have noticed that your bench space to prep for cooking is nowhere near the stove or sink, meaning you constantly have to walk back and forth.
The classic work triangle is an excellent place to start when laying out the elements in your kitchen design. Placing the sink, fridge and stove in a triangular pattern generally mirror how most people use the kitchen and are most convenient for prepping, cooking and cleaning.
An invisible part of your layout you’ll also want to consider – your walkways. Ensure there is ample space for people to enter and exit the kitchen quickly. Plan for appliance doors to open and close without impacting access to surrounding cupboards or drawers. The last thing you want is to get into your brand new kitchen, only to find that it’s just as non-functional as your old one.
With all this in mind, you should now have a clear idea of what your dream kitchen will look like and how much it’s going to cost. A kitchen renovation can be an exciting and lengthy process, so having a clear plan will help you stay on track, even if there are changes to the timeline or costs along the way.