Planning your Kitchen Renovation Project

Before you start drawing up plans for a kitchen renovation, it’s important to be clear on what you really want – and can realistically achieve. Here are so key questions you need to ask before embarking on the project.

What do you really want?

Maybe you want to create your dream kitchen – or maybe you’re just replacing some old units that have seen better days. But even in the latter case, a kitchen refit is a chance to improve minor things that could improve the overall feel and utility of the room – are some of your cabinets a bit difficult to reach? Do you actually hate the colour of your counter tops?

If you’re having a remodel done out of desire rather than necessity, be clear about your priorities, whether that’s more storage, more work space, new appliances or an easier-to-use layout. Do you actually want a kitchen extension, or do you just want a kitchen that feels lighter and brighter? Enlarging a window or even just repainting in a lighter colour can be quite transformative. This is where architects and kitchen designers can really help, as they know how to make the most of space and may come up with ideas you hadn’t thought of.

Do you have children?

I you have kids, whatever your other priorities for renovating your kitchen, one of them will be ensuring their safety in the space. You’ll want storage for potentially dangerous items that little ones can’t reach, and childproof locks for cupboards that they can – such as those under the sink that house cleaning products. Furniture and surfaces that are resilient and easy to clean will be important, and you’ll want to make sure you can cook using the back hobs on the cooker.

What’s your budget?

Whatever your budget is, you should probably add on at least 10 per cent extra as a contingency. Remember to factor in the extra cost of convenience food and disposable crockery and cutlery while you don’t have a kitchen (you might even want to live in a hotel for a few days). If you can stay in your home, your presence may make the work take slightly longer, as the builders will have to work around you, but it will save you money.

As is probably obvious, the more significant the changes you are making, the more the work is likely to cost. You can keep the cost down by avoiding alterations to plumbing, gas, electricity and heating systems – fridges and cabinets, on the other hand, are usually easy to move, and this alone can change the look of your kitchen quite dramatically.

Do you need permission for the work?

You may not need planning permission even for an extension, but you will need building regulations approval for structural alterations, for example moving the boiler or enlarging a window. If you live in a listed building, you may need listed building consent even for internal work, if it affects the building’s historic character.

Kent Architectural Services

With thirteen years' experience of working on new homes, extensions and renovations, south east London architects Bluelime Home Design are the perfect people to help you create your perfect kitchen. We have offices in Dartford, Bromley, Erith, Bexley and Croydon - call us at our head office on 01322 517632 for an informal chat about how we can help.

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