Learn How to Plan a new Kitchen
How to plan a new kitchen
Knowing how to plan a new kitchen, and thinking you know how to plan a new kitchen, are as different as chalk and cheese. There are hundreds of nightmare stories of the home DIY enthusiast getting it ever so wrong.
For example, you can’t see where walls are out, where wiring and pipework run in or behind the walls or how thin walls are between you and the property next door. For any number of good reasons, it’s vitally important to gain as much knowledge on the subject as you can.
Why choose the Kitchen
These spaces are chosen for any number of reasons, such as an extension to your existing kitchen to put in a family dining room area, or possibly to install the ever sought after kitchen island with a work surface for food preparation or a breakfast bar. Whatever the reason you have chosen to plan a new kitchen, here are some great tips to help you on your way.
Planning is prudent
Planning is the key to any home improvement project and I’m sure people all have their own way of working when it comes to the project plan. Sitting here now, I still have questions running through my own head making me second guess what I’m about to advise. But that’s a good thing, it means I genuinely care about what I’m about to say.
The two questions buzzing around my head are: Do we start with budgeting first? Or should we start by planning an designing what we want first?. By that, I mean would it be better to go all out and plan the space, fixtures and fittings? Then find out if my budget supports it? Or should I budget and then search for the items that I can afford?
Well, affordability is a keyword in any project of this size. It will ultimately govern every choice you make. But affordability has many guises. Do you opt to spend your savings and invest your free capital? Or do you extend your mortgage and add the cost to your monthly payments?
The other option is to seek out finance or use your credit cards. At least I know that you can obtain 0% finance in these times of low interest rates. I think for me, in this post, I will start by going for what I want first.
These projects are set to excite us, to kick our imaginations into overdrive… imagining dinner parties with friends and Christmases with the whole family. Why would we want to dampen our plans from the outset by finding out how restricted we really are?
If this doesn’t sound sensible right now, let me enlighten you as to why I say to start this way.
Using the internet to your advantage
The internet is a wonderful thing. Full of inspiration, wonder and access to everything the budding DIY-ist or home decor expert could want and need when you plan your kitchen layout.
You can also get “the look”. Let me explain what “the look” is. Many brands already offer “the look”. For example, Zara and H&M will offer similar designs to your Yves Saint Laurent and other high-end fashion brands.
They offer “the look” at far discounted prices. Well, home stores and kitchen suppliers already do the same. You can find an alternative to the high-end kitchen you wanted, within your budget and still achieve “the look” you imagined you’d have.
Therefore, in this case, start with your dream and work back to reality. It will help you to also work out what you are actually willing to spend on your lifestyle.
Tip: You can always design a top end kitchen then approach an MDF factory and have it reproduced at a fraction of the price. I know of one person who had a £25,000 kitchen designed then went to an MDF factory and had it reproduced for a fraction of the cost.
How to plan your kitchen
1) Write down what your current kitchen lacks
Firstly make a note of the current things your kitchen lacks and be brutal and truthful with yourself. It’s always best to lay the bones bare and flesh out your requirements from there.
2) Write down what your new kitchen should achieve (include cupboard space, integrated fixtures, fittings, utensils, power points, layout)
What is it you are trying to achieve. If you have a set goal from your new kitchen then you can build everything back from there. For example, maybe you need wheelchair access and you need wider passages, walkways and lower cabinets.
You may want to extend your kitchen to include a seated dining area for your family to make your kitchen a hub. How much open shelving or cupboard and drawer space will you need? What do you want to be in easy reach? Answering questions like these will only help you focus your efforts.
3) Write down your “wants” vs your “needs”
Whenever you start a project like this, you aim for the stars in terms of what’s going into your kitchen. Remember, when you start looking at your realistic budget, start with what you need so that you incorporate those things. Then with the excess budget, look at what you can afford from your wants.
4) Measure your kitchen area
I know that this is a simple one but measure your space accurately, if possible get some graph paper and draw an outline of the kitchen. You might not have such a small kitchen as you think. Write down the measurements of walls and windows and doors. Note where they are all positioned on your sketch. Here’s a dummies guide to how you measure your kitchen.
5) Work out what space your ideal kitchen would need
Now you know what space you have to work with, it’s time to work out what space you will need. If it’s a dining area you’re adding, what size is your table and how much space around it do you want? If it’s an island, how many more square feet of kitchen do you need?
Keep questioning yourself about what, when and why you are making the decisions you are. That’s not to second guess yourself and doubt your decisions, but to reassure yourself, every decision you make is well thought through. All of this will help you.
6) Does it fit? Would you need an extension? Could you open plan the kitchen and dining area?
Again, whilst these are valid points, you would have covered them in my previous points, what I will do, is tell you to revisit your measurements and wants and needs time and time again.
7) Qualify your budget ( have three budgets in mind.Your ideal budget, your outside budget and your pushed budget)
The three budget strategy. Often we have a figure in mind we’re really comfortable spending if you have £10,000 to spend you should be comfortable spending £7,000 to £7,500 so you have a good cushion in case of mishaps. This is your ideal budget.
Your outside budget should possibly push your spend up by another £1000. This means if you have £10,000 you could spend £8,000 to £8,500 reducing your cushion but still leaving you money, just in case.
Your pushed budget is £9,000 to £9,500. You are really sailing close to the wind here. Should something go wrong with your project, you don’t have much of a cushion and things could get frantic if any mishaps happen.
Always have something in reserve, find “the look” within your budget and stay in charge.
8) Get some builder quotes
Don’t accept your first quote. If you are referred to a builder, still do your homework on them. Google the company and the builder’s name and see what comes back. If you can, ask for references and people you can contact.
Even if family and friends recommend someone, ultimately it’s your money. Stay safe and do the research. You don’t want to fall out with family or friends if something goes wrong.
Finish your planning
By the time you have been through this planning, assessment and further planning stages, you should be ideally positioned to know what your final choices would be. Knowing how to plan a new kitchen will keep you sane, what I don’t want to do is ruin the fun part of it.
Hunt Property Services are proud to announce that Hayley Hunt has won two Women in Build Awards. Best Emerging Business Leader in Property – West Essex & Award for Excellence in Property Renovations – West Essex. If you live in East London or West Essex and are considering a renovation or home refurbishment, please get in touch for some free advice on 0208 502 7667 or write to us here.