A kitchen is more than just a place with a gorgeous backsplash and a vast array of cooking ware.
When you first think about renovating your kitchen, what comes to mind? Perhaps it’s updating the countertops or cabinets, adding some new hardware or appliances, or simply sprucing up the backsplash or flooring.
While these elements certainly contribute to a great kitchen renovation, there are several aspects you’ll want to take into account, such as the lighting and style of your cabinets.
Here are some tips to help get you started in planning your kitchen renovation:
1) Create a temporary kitchen
Before you bring out your tools, find a space in your home or apartment and set up a temporary kitchen.
Layout your countertops, cabinets, kitchenware, pots, and pans in an accessible fashion. This way, you can actually whip up some delicious meals without having to break the bank eating out as you renovate your main one.
This kitchen will act as a place where you can prepare your ingredients, cook your dishes, and clean after meals. Since it’s a makeshift kitchen, you don’t have to go all out and make a grand design plan for this site. Functionality is key here; as long as you can cook your meals, you’re golden.
2) Buy a Seam Setter
Every renovation project calls for a seam setter to create a smooth transition from one smooth and non-porous surface to another.
Seaming is an important step in your kitchen renovation process because it makes surfaces look, well, seamless—hiding all imperfections between materials that need to meet up.
Seams are usually the most noticeable part of a renovation, so it’s important to use a seam setter to make your kitchen look as appealing and polished as possible.
Seam setters are also great for levelling and flattening stone for other room renovations – making it a fantastic all-in-one tool that you’ll be sure to use for decades.
3) Refurbish old cabinets
Kitchen cabinets absorb a lot of abuse, so it’s no surprise these components usually look worse for wear. It would be a shame to scrap cabinets that still function well and just need a little bit of cleaning to get it back into shape.
To get rid of years of wear and tear, apply a fresh coat of paint, new hardware, or stain to give your cabinets a facelift. As long as the cabinets are still in good condition, you don’t have to go around stripping down the essential pieces. You can also ask cabinet makers for re-designed options that fit your unique style, or you can get your hands dirty and apply them yourself.
Some individuals choose to use chalkboard paint for the doors of their cabinets, perfect for writing out grocery lists or jotting down daily menus. Others prefer to keep it minimalist and opt to maintain a sleek, resin, and wooden surface.
4) Take note of the floor gaps
If you’re replacing your cabinets but keeping your flooring, you may encounter gaps between the floor and the new cabinets.
Rather than just pushing your new cabinets into the old cabinet’s space, it’s easier to cut them down so that you’re left with a seamless look.
Seam setters are great for this application since they’re malleable and can bend and mould themselves to fit around objects and surfaces. If there are only very minimal gaps in between like toe-kick depths, moulding can suffice.
For convenience’s sake, ensure that the width of the cabinet matches the width of the previous cabinets. If you’re replacing your cabinets with a new set made from thinner wood, however, you’ll probably need someone to build the base of the cabinets for them to be sturdy.
5) Measure your cabinets before purchasing them
If you’re replacing your cabinets, it’s important to measure them before purchasing new ones. If you don’t, there’s a chance that the new cabinets won’t fit and you’ll be strapped for cash for another round of wasted materials and labour.
To avoid this mistake, measure all heights, widths, and depths of your cabinets before going into the store. Make sure your new cabinets have similar dimensions so that you can avoid dealing with a costly and time-consuming renovation blunder.
6) Take the plumbing factor seriously
Kitchen renovations are never complete without considering how to handle the piping and drainage system of the sink or faucet. If you’re renovating a dated kitchen, this is an important step because the way your sink functions is proportional to the effectiveness of your renovated countertops.
Whether the plumbing system of the sink needs to be adjusted or not depends on your renovation goals. If you want a quick project, it’s best to keep everything as is because major adjustments can entail multiple additional costs (and potentially, damages). But if you’re looking to rehaul your kitchen to its barest form, you’ll need to get your sinks covered too.
A lot of people make the mistake of overlooking how they’ll deal with their plumbing system before deciding on a layout strategy. For instance, if you need a dishwasher in a tight space, you’ll need to make sure the drainage system of your faucet is up for the challenge.
If you want to have a double sink, you’ll need to make sure the plumbing system has enough capacity for two separate water lines.
7) Consult with professionals
Renovating your kitchen doesn’t only entail physical labour. Even if you’re no stranger to DIY projects at home, it’s still important to consult with your local professionals.
If you’re tackling major renovations, this is doubly more important. While they may be costly, their expertise will save you time in the long run since they’re able to spot issues or complications with your project before you start hammering away with tools.
For smaller kitchen renovation projects, seek out plumbers or carpenters who work on a cash or hourly basis.
8) Make the most of your space
Kitchen renovations are almost always synonymous with the installation of new appliances and countertops. If you’re one for a busy kitchen, it’s important to consider how your countertops should accommodate a plethora of pots and cooking utensils. This is especially crucial when you’re gutting your kitchen.
Because of this, you’ll want to invest in materials that are heavy-duty enough to support not just your countertops but also cabinets and any appliances. For instance, if you’re already planning on replacing your countertops, it’s best to opt for durable varieties like granite or quartz rather than the cheaper laminate material.
Another vital thing to keep in mind when renovating your kitchen is the storage factor. If you want to make the most of your space, you’ll need to invest in cupboards or drawers with enough depth and height so that they can accommodate both larger pots and pans as well as various utensils.
9) Clean your ventilation system regularly
If you want your renovation project to last, it’s important to keep the ventilation system of your kitchen clean. This is to ensure that no foul odours will seep throughout the kitchen, or worse, out towards your living room.
The dirtiest area in your kitchen is usually under the sink so be sure to give this part a solid cleaning beforehand. If there are any signs of rust or mould growing in the ventilation pipes, make sure to clean these out too.
Rust and mould can damage the quality of your ventilation system and affect how efficiently it’s able to filter out odours.
10) Make time for repairs
Kitchen renovations are almost always a massive project that involves dealing with materials like wood, drywall or concrete. While these construction materials may be durable on their own, there’s no guarantee that they’ll remain in pristine condition for months to come.
If you’re renovating the appliances and wares in your kitchen area, you’ll want to make sure that they’re all in working condition before you put them back into place. If they’re faulty or in need of maintenance, give them a good cleaning and take them to a professional for repairs.
11) Stay on budget
Renovating your kitchen can entail getting creative with your space. However, it’s important not to get too overboard and end up spending more than you had originally budgeted for the renovation project.
There are several ways to stay on budget without compromising the overall quality of your kitchen renovations. First is by focusing mainly on what matters most to you and save yourself from spontaneous decisions that may cost more in the long run. Be realistic and remember to include extra allowances for any playing variables too.
12) Make space for the fridge
Before you start installing new cabinets or drawers, make sure that there’s enough space for your fridge. If you plan to throw away your old and rusty one before the renovation project begins, it’s best to measure your fridge beforehand so you’ll know how much extra space you’ll need.
While this may not seem like a significant detail to include, it’s vital especially if you plan on having a massive fridge for all your groceries. This is because the new appliances will likely have a different form factor from your old ones and you’ll need that extra space to accommodate them accordingly. This is especially true if you’re renovation will entail more space for you to work on.
13) Take Note of Your Natural lighting
Lighting is one of the most overlooked details when it comes to kitchen renovations. It can help evoke the right mood and, with open windows, allow a fresh breeze to enter your room.
Placing your stove or sink near windows will allow you to harness natural light during daytime, but at night time this may prove to be less than ideal since you’ll have to rely on indoor lighting instead.
If possible, make sure that there are sources of light coming from at least two sides. This is to ensure that the light levels will be even no matter what time of day it is. Perhaps you could place your sink near a corner so that there’s an ample amount of natural lighting coming in from another direction too.
14) Give your walls some love
Walls play an important role in kitchens since they’re the ones in charge of reducing noise. They also play a pivotal role in containing heat so they should be insulated correctly to keep your cooking experience comfortable throughout the year.
Paint is the most common way to decorate walls, but certain types are more effective when it comes to blocking out sound and containing heat. These are matte paints with a sound-absorbing quality that you can find at any home good store. There’s also backsplashes made from tiles or metallic sheets for a more polished look.
15) Think about your countertops
Kitchen renovations usually involve replacing the surfaces in your kitchen area, which is one of the main differences between a DIY and a professional renovation job. Most kitchens usually contain either granite or marble, which come with their own styles, material, and insulation.
One of the main benefits of having these is to make your kitchen seem more high-end, but they may be expensive and highly prone to stains since they’re porous.
For a cheaper alternative, there are also laminate countertops which you can easily find at any hardware store. These aren’t as flashy as marble or granite but they do help save space and cash if you’re on a tight budget.
16) Create a kitchen renovation checklist
Let’s face it, getting a kitchen rehauled is hard work! It requires a tonne of balancing, sourcing, moving the right objects, and contacting the right people. It’s easy to get everything on top of your head, but if you don’t get it right, then your kitchen renovation can suffer from a gap in your knowledge.
As such, one of the best ways to make sure that you’ve taken care of all the details and will be ready for your kitchen renovation is by creating a checklist. This lets you keep track of every detail so there won’t be any unexpected surprises when it comes time to show off your new kitchen.
17) Ovens and microwaves are important too
While these appliances are relatively easy to take care of, they’re also some of the most fragile elements in your kitchen. They can be damaged easily so you’ll have to make sure that the contractor knows how to treat them with care since they may need some extra reinforcement or insulation for them to run smoothly.
Kitchen renovations can be difficult to pull off, especially if it’s the first time that you’re doing it. However, with these tips under your belt, then you should be able to take on the challenge like a pro.
We hope that this guide has given you the insights you needed to renovate your kitchen in one piece.