16 Aug Switchen Kitchens – What you need to know before renovating your kitchen
How many times have you looked at those tired, old countertops, that one broken latch on the right hand cupboard door or the wasted space above your bench that could really use a spice rack and thought to yourself “I wonder how hard it would be to remodel our kitchen?”.
Don’t worry – you’re not alone. Many of our clients come to us with a few ideas about what they want out of a new kitchen, but the real excitement comes from realising there are many different ways to create the kitchen of your dreams.
Before you start focusing on designs, colours, benchtops and appliances, it’s a good idea to straighten out a few important aspects of your kitchen renovation first and we’re here to help you consider them.
What’s the core activity in your kitchen?
This may sound like a stupid question, but it’s an important one. There’s a big difference to someone who loves to prepare, cook, bake and make things from scratch in their kitchen on a regular basis to a busy professional that mostly eats out, wants to whip up a quick meal now and then or mostly heats items in the microwave.
The way you use your kitchen should make a considerable impact on how you renovate it. If you’re an avid cook and need space for lots of different pots and pans, want induction cooktops or gas and need bench space to prepare your creations, this should be taken into account when considering your kitchen remodel.
Think about the types of meals you prepare on a regular basis, the style (one pot wonders, stir fries, casseroles or oven meals) and let that help shape the decisions about the space you need, the appliances you want and the budget you have.
Speaking of budget, on to point two.
What’s your budget?
You might dream of a stainless steel kitchen with marble finish, aged hardwood benchtops, high quality luxury appliances and a secret stairway to an underground wine cellar (yes please!!), but is it in your budget?
We get people asking us all the time “how much does a kitchen renovation cost?” and like most things in life, the answer is usually ‘it depends’. If you’re only replacing benchtops or getting a premade IKEA kitchen that fits your specs perfectly, that’s going to cost a lot less than the hypothetical kitchen we described above.
Kitchen renovations can be a few updates to your cupboards, appliances, etc that may only cost a few thousand dollars through to a complete renovation with high-end products that can be tens of thousands of dollars.
How much space do you have?
You might love the idea of a floating bench or island, a french door fridge or walk in pantry but if you don’t have the space, it’s difficult to get blood from a stone, as they say. There are many inventive space saving ideas that we can help you with, but there’s also some things that might not be possible given space restrictions.
We can help you navigate your way through what can be done in the space you have and show you examples of kitchens with a similar layout and the space saving ideas we’ve implemented for other clients kitchen remodelling.
Gas or Electric?
The age old battle! There’s really no easy answer to this one as it comes down to personal preference. It’s like asking red or white wine? Chicken or fish? Chocolate or chips? You get the idea.
If you’re considering a complete kitchen renovation, that might be the time to consider changing from electric to gas or visa versa. You may also want to consider a combination, for example many people like using gas cooktops, but prefer to have an electric oven. If your home is set up for electric appliances and you want to switch to gas, it’s worth considering the additional cost involved in having this installed and the cost of a gas fitter to hook it all up (we can organise this if needed).
Walls – to keep or knock out?
It may be an option to start knocking out walls to create more space for your new kitchen however, it’s worth mentioning that doing this will cause an increase in budget. Walls can be like pandora’s boxes. You don’t know what you are getting until you open them up. Many times plumbing, piping and electrical cabling needs to be relocated which can add time and money to the project.
Let’s talk benchtops
When considering your benchtops, the overall design is an important aspect but you also need to take into consideration how you use your kitchen. You may love the idea of a marble benchtop, but if you’re the type of cook that scrapes, bangs and hammers things on the benchtop, a softer stone like marble will easily scratch, stain and end up looking pretty ordinary quite quickly.
Something like granite is incredibly durable and will keep it’s finish for years and year, but it comes at a cost because it’s harder to work with. There’s lots of different options – laminate, timber, brushed metal, concrete and rock or stone. They all differ in price and durability so there are multiple factors to consider before you ultimately decide on the type of benchtop that will best suit your kitchen.
Many people tend to think mostly about cupboards, benches and pantries when considering their kitchen renovations however the appliances you keep or replace can impact on how the renovation moves forward. For example, do you require more space to be made for a larger oven, are you integrating a dishwasher into a space where there wasn’t one previously?
Lighting and windows
If you’re remodeling your kitchen it’s also a great time to think about light, be it natural light or lighting you choose. If you’re adding overhead kitchen cabinets where there were none before, this will impact on the lighting on your benchtops so you will need to consider under cabinet lighting to ensure you get enough light when preparing food.
Skylights, larger windows or even new windows are a great way to incorporate natural light into your kitchen and depending on the layout of your home may be an option and if you need to sacrifice cabinet space to do so.
If you would like solid, experienced advice from a Brisbane kitchen renovation company, please feel free to call us today on 0481 536 900.