To many, the kitchen is the heart of the home. It’s a place family come together while sharing a meal. But as families expand and the children grow older, sometimes people grow out of their kitchens. Alternatively, the kitchen may be past its ‘best-before’ date.
A quality modern kitchen renovation adds value to your asset. It can be the make or break decider on a home purchase, and can add significant value to your market value.
It is due to these reasons that a new kitchen is often the first major renovation homeowners consider for their house.
So, how do you prepare for a kitchen renovation?
Do your research and write a brief
All renovation projects should start with a healthy amount of research. Kitchen styles, surfaces, appliances, hardware and many other variables need to be taken into consideration, and the more you can get a clear vision of what you’re after, the more it is likely to happen.
You also need to set a budget. This may shift once you consult with a kitchen designer, but it’s best to have at least a ballpark figure of what you’re willing to spend to get your desired outcome.
Once you have both a vision and a budget, write an initial brief. This helps solidify your ideas into something a kitchen designer can work with, helping you get the most out of your budget.
Find a good kitchen designer
Once you’ve decided to investigate a kitchen renovation and done your research for your brief, find a good kitchen designer.
A quality kitchen designer will be able to work with your brief and guide you on features, finishes and appliances while maximising your budget. They will be able to take your brief and expand upon it with style suggestions and other ways to turn your kitchen dream into a reality. Make sure you take full advantage of their experience before works commence as changing course down the track leads to more expense.
Look for a kitchen company with many years of experience. Longevity is a good indicator of a quality kitchen designer, and they should be able to point you in the direction of satisfied customers who can relate to you their experience with the kitchen company.
You also want to find a kitchen company with a focus on design, not sales. Too many kitchen companies these days focus on sales, and then often underdeliver. If you feel like the company is too pushy to get your signature, look for another kitchen designer.
You’ll also want a kitchen designer who is frank with you about likely costs and provides clear direction on the needs for building or planning permits or engineers reports. These costs can add up, and if your kitchen designer isn’t forthcoming until after you’ve signed the contract, you may find the cost of your renovation skyrocketing.
Have realistic expectations
Sure – we’d all love that hand-cut Italian marble benchtop or Gaggenau appliances, but does that fit within your budget? You have to have realistic expectations and be prepared to compromise along the way to achieve your vision within your budget.
However, this is where finding a good quality kitchen designer pays off. They will have suggestions and solutions for all types of issues that will give you the result you want without breaking the bank.
Research really pays off here too. There are big differences between kitchen hardware brands and the expertise of your kitchen designer can save you a small fortune. For instance, we’re big fans of Blum kitchen hardware – it carries a lifetime guarantee so you know it will last the life of your kitchen.
Also, have a realistic expectation of timeframes. Due to the proliferation of renovation TV shows, clients often think a full kitchen can be renovated within days when the reality is it’s more likely weeks. Any rushed renovation is bound to have flaws that will appear over time. If it sounds too good to be true, then you know it probably is.
Find a licenced builder
Any works over $8,000 value must be performed by a licensed builder, and any works over $16,000 value must be insured by the builder. This gives you peace of mind that the work is quality and up to code.
Segmenting the works into smaller amounts by separate contactors doesn’t override these requirements – it’s based on the overall value of the works.
So.. what now?
Successfully navigating a kitchen design project takes planning and patience, but if you have these steps in place, you’ll be more likely to be happy with the finished outcome.
If you have an idea for a kitchen renovation you’d like to discuss, our experienced kitchen designers would be happy to consult with you. Give us a call on 9885 9911 and let us help turn your dream kitchen into a reality.