Renovating your kitchen, while a significant expense, is also an investment that can last you for years to come and even increase the value of your home. If you’re planning a kitchen remodel this year, follow these dos and don’ts to avoid wasting time and money.
Do your research
Before you meet with a contractor, create your own Pinterest or Houzz accounts to curate images of your dream kitchen. Think about your ideal layout, appliances, functionality, finishes, and colour palette. Visit some showrooms and figure out what you need and what you can afford. Read about the different options available for flooring, cabinets, and counters.
Don’t block thoroughfares
When you renovate your kitchen, consider the overall floor plan of your property. If your kitchen is a thoroughfare to other rooms in the house, access needs to be a top priority. If you’re working with a narrow galley-style kitchen, you can enhance the space and safety of your layout by opting for streamlined units, sliding pocket doors (as opposed to conventional full-swing doors), and positioning your sink and cooktop on the same bench.
Do make room for waste disposal
When planning your new kitchen, prepare a place for your waste disposal, such as a built-in bin that recesses inside your cabinetry. Recessed waste bins take up less floor space compared to pedal bins and come with compartments that let you sort your rubbish and recycling.
Don’t have an identity crisis
Consider the age and architectural style of your property and work with it, not against it. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a kitchen that looks out of place in your home. For instance, while a modern and minimalist design would look striking in a contemporary space, it could clash with the character of an old rustic farmhouse.
Do choose your sink and appliances early
Appliances can have big implications on your kitchen layout and budget. Choose appliances that are appropriately proportioned for your kitchen, taking into account not just how you currently use your kitchen, but how you might like to use it in the future. Establish your budget and functionality requirements before getting into aesthetics, or you may end up with the look you want but none of the features to match.
Be sure to consider A+++ rated appliances to increase energy efficiency and savings while reducing your impact on the environment.
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Don’t forget your workflow
When planning your new kitchen, remember its busiest areas: the sink, oven, and fridge. On your floor plan, draw a line from your fridge, to your sink, to your oven, and back to the fridge. Often referred to as ‘the kitchen triangle’, each leg of the triangle should be between 4-9 feet, in order to make work more efficient and prevent wasted space and movement.
Don’t lose track of technological trends
In the world of home improvement, there’s always something new. Achieving a modern, sustainable kitchen renovation means knowing what’s out there and making some considered choices. From voice-activated taps to smart and self-cleaning ovens, household appliances have come a long way in recent years, with connectivity, sustainability, and energy efficiency taking top priority.
Do consult an expert
Even if you’re the hands-on type, be sure to consult a professional with solid industry knowledge before starting your remodel. They will be able to offer help and advice on the best suppliers, materials, and processes, as well as weighing in on the viability of your ideas. What’s more, they can save you from making ruinous and costly mistakes.
Don’t waste space
You can never have too much storage in a kitchen. Make an inventory of everything you’ll want to store in your new kitchen and make sure you allocate a place for everything. Think about how and where you can sneak extra storage into your space, with toe-kick storage or floor-to-ceiling units, for example. Give yourself a generous amount of worktop space—anything less than a metre of countertop and you’ll be struggling.