A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Plan a Kitchen Renovation
Planning a kitchen renovation can be quite daunting. There are so many things to think about that you may not have accounted for when your new kitchen was just a daydream. When I decided to do our kitchen renovation I thought it would be as simple as choosing a design and that would be it. This was certainly not the case. There are many logistics involved in the layout and design of a kitchen renovation that I hadn’t even given a second thought. I'd never even heard of a kitchen work triangle or kitchen work zones before! And who knew there were so many different types and styles for kitchen lighting?
Using my own experience, I have put together some tips on how to go about achieving your dream kitchen.
Planning the Kitchen Layout
Getting the right layout is a pretty big deal. This is because it’s not something that can easily be changed once the kitchen renovation is finished. For this reason it is important to do your research and really think it through.
Will you be using existing pipe work or will you be needing new pipe work fitted? Will your dishwasher be near the sink? (This makes the plumbing much easier). If you will be rejigging the pipe work for your kitchen renovation we have plenty of highly recommended plumbers for you to choose from.
As with plumbing, you will need to decide whether you will be using existing electrics or will you be needing all new electrical work done. If you need to hire someone to come and add extra sockets, rewiring, moving of light fittings, or new electrics completely be sure to take a look at our local and recommended electricians. All of our electricians at Quick Find are vetted and recommended, certified and have relevant qualifications.
‘The kitchen work triangle’ and ‘Kitchen work zones’
‘The kitchen work triangle’
There is a concept called 'the kitchen work triangle' which was designed to help with the efficiency of your kitchen layout. Basically, if you draw an imaginary line from the middle of your cooker, sink and fridge it should make a triangle. This is because when cooking you will move between these 3 appliances often. It is advised that each line be between 4 and 9 feet with no obstructions. This is a widely known concept, but I when i was planning my kitchen I was struggling to get the 'kitchen work triangle' to fit into my plans. I wanted a multi-functional kitchen that I could use as a social room and a dining area as well as somewhere to cook. But this meant our dining table was sitting in the way of ‘the kitchen work triangle’.
As it turns out ‘the kitchen work triangle’ concept was developed back in the 1940's when kitchens were more compact and used only as a cooking space. This isn’t always the case these days, with the kitchen being increasingly used as ‘the hub’ of the home for entertaining. If your kitchen is going to be used solely for cooking then the kitchen triangle concept is fantastic. However if you are looking to have more of an open plan kitchen then the kitchen work zones concept may suit you better.
'Kitchen work zones'
The ‘kitchen work zones’ concept makes more efficient use of a larger area, the idea is that you have certain work zones and those zones are fully equipped with what you need. For example; in my kitchen I have a few zones including the cooking zone, the cleaning zone, the tea zone and the guest zone.
- The cooking zone in my kitchen includes the cooker, fridge and everything else involved in the cooking process. Including the spice rack, cooking utensils,pots, pans, ingredients and work space for preparation.
- The cleaning zone is based around the sink and dishwasher and is basically where I store most of the kitchenware. So once it's been washed it can be put away within easy reach.
- The tea zone is the little station for making the brews. This includes the kettle, tea bags, coffee etc; placed near to the fridge if possible, for easier milk access!
- The guest zone is the place where guests can chill out while you get on with the cooking/making tea! Our guest zone is our dining table, however another good spot for a guest zone are islands with seating, if you have the space!
Being the hub of many homes and the room in the house with the most varied activities, a good kitchen lighting scheme is really important. Don’t plan any lighting until the layout has been decided, because knowing the layout is crucial when planning the lightning for your kitchen renovation. You will want certain lighting for different kitchen work zones. Things to consider when planning your kitchen lighting:
So once you know the layout of the kitchen you can start to think about what each part of your kitchen will be used for. For example cooking preparation, homework, family dinnertime etc. You will need to make sure any areas that will be in use are adequately lit for appropriate tasks. I chose to put a brighter light in each corner of the room, which I pointed toward the work surfaces, to add extra light when needed on the work benches and a softer light above the dining table for light when dining.
Types of kitchen lighting
Once you know where you want to position your lighting, you can move on to what type of lighting you want. You can use lighting to make a statement or add to the ambiance. I used pendant lighting over my dining table to create a look that complimented the style of my kitchen. You could use in-shelf lights that can be used alone to create more of a soft glow for a homely atmosphere. Spotlights, downlights and under unit lights can be very practical for lighting an area that requires more light.
Another aspect to take into account is the colour of your kitchen lighting. You may already know lighting is measured in kelvins. A daylight like light measures at around 6,500 kelvins whereas a candlelit light would measure around 1,800 kelvins. With that in mind you might want to have a think about what colour lighting is most appropriate. I went for duller lighting for our pendant above the dining table to give more of a cosy look, and had our spotlights nice and bright. Dimmer switches can also be installed give you further control over the brightness of your kitchen lighting.
Advice from my personal kitchen renovation experience
Keep an open mind
If I was to pass on any advice, it would be to keep an open mind. Even if you have your heart set on something you definitely want, don’t rule out doing something different.
My experience with this was with having a kitchen mantle. I'd always loved them. It was one of the main things i really wanted in my new kitchen. I’d planned the look of the entire kitchen based on the mantle - a modern but traditional country style kitchen. However, after drawing up a few different layout designs I ended up choosing to not to have a mantle! The reason I chose not to have one was to create more space in the room. We had already had a setback in the extension where we had to shorten the room. So we needed to create as much space as we could to make sure the room didn’t feel cramped. If you'd have told me before the kitchen renovation that I wouldn't have a mantle I would never have believed you. Which is why I think it's important to keep an open mind.
An important note to keep in mind - try not to expect everything to run smoothly because in the real world this very rarely happens. Again, as I mentioned before, we hit a hurdle which forced us to rearrange the layout of the entire kitchen. Now, although this wasn’t ideal, the new layout actually turned out to be much better.
Another hindrance we had was when we ordered our cooker. Once we had ordered it we received a call to say it couldn’t be delivered for about 6 weeks! This messed with our schedule and contributed to the kitchen renovation finish being delayed. These hiccups things can’t be avoided. So, as long as you can accept that these things may happen, this will make the whole process easier.
Calling in the professionals
Who do you need to call?
So you know what you want, now how do you make it a reality!? It’s entirely up to you how you go about this. You could hire businesses individually for each step of the journey. Or you can use a company that can see your project through from start to finish.
The benefits of using separate businesses is that there’s a chance you could save some extra pennies. However, it takes a fair bit of organisation and you will need the ability and knowledge to be able to problem solve if you hit setbacks. Or you can opt to call in a business that can complete the kitchen renovation from start to finish. The benefits of using a business that will see your project through is that they take all the planning and organising stress away for you. Then you can just get involved in the fun bits like choosing colours and materials!
How can Quick Find help?
We wish you well with your kitchen renovation venture! Whatever you decide to do, you will want to make sure the businesses you use are qualified, trustworthy and registered with relevant trade bodies. Quick Find can help you find many or all of the trades people you need along the way. Find carpenters, tilers, flooring services, double glazing, plasterers, painters and decorators and many more. All of our traders must pass a certain criteria to advertise with us. So you can rest assured you will receive professional, quality service. Alternatively, you might be looking for someone to take on the complete kitchen renovation. If so, take a look at our vetted and approved kitchen planning and fitters or our home improvements teams.
Read more about our vetting process or search now via the homepage. It’s as simple as selecting the type of business you are looking for and your area! Then we will provide you with trusted and recommended traders local to you.
Lastly, if you're not used to hiring trades people and are not sure what you should be asking, take a look at our blog. 'Looking for local trusted traders? Here are our top questions to ask when getting a quote'. Now you should be feeling confident to get out there and get some quotes, good luck!
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