Step-By-Step Guide To Renovating Your Kitchen
July 1, 2014.
Did you know the price of an average kitchen renovation is around £6,000? Renovating a kitchen is a big job, one of the largest you can undertake when it comes to the interior of your home. This is why it has to be done right.
Planning – It goes without saying that you must have a solid plan of what you are wanting from your new kitchen before starting. It is not a job you can do ‘on-the-fly’. Every aspect has to be carefully weighed and considered.
Materials – You get back what you put in. This means choosing high quality materials for the job. A kitchen goes through a lot of wear and tear over the years. Having lower quality materials that can break or damage easily will end up costing you a lot of money for upkeep in the long run.
Measuring – Take a tape measure and measure everything. Twice. You can’t afford to make any mistakes when it comes to distance, length, width and height. Ensure you’re taking accurate measurements and logging them all down in a logical and practical manner.
Remember, costs tend to be allocated out as such:
Cabinets & Hardware 30%
Design and Installation 20%
Walls, ceilings, floors, doors & windows 15%
Appliances & Ventilation 15%
Electrical & Plumbing 10%
Getting things in order
For a full kitchen renovation, there’s a specific plan of action. By following this list step by step, you’re ensuring a logical order of work which will result in a successful new kitchen area, assuming you are not going to be knocking through or building addional walls.
1. Removing units and worktops
Common sense, but the first step is to rip out all the large, bulky units that you want to replace. You’ll be making space for brand new cupboards, units and work tops. As these take up the majority of the space in your kitchen, these are the things that need to go first.
2. Remove flooring
Now that you’ve got the space to move around, it’s time to start on the floor. You’re literally working from the ground up now. Different types of flooring will require different methods. For example, if you’ve got tiling laid down, then a hammer and bolster would be the ideal tool to loosen and remove the flooring.
Vinyl flooring can be removed with a stripping knife and also a heat gun (to soften and remove the glue underneath).
3. Electrics and Plumbing
Now that the kitchen has been gutted, it’s time to play with the internal organs (as it were). This means the electrics and plumbing. Hiring a qualified electrician and plumber to look at your existing layout is what you need to do here. They will advise on your planning along with telling you what will and won’t work in terms of layout. Something may need rerouting and this is the time to do it.
It’s a good time to decide where your new lighting will be placed. If large amounts of light are needed (say a kitchen with lots of shade), then ensuring the electrics are spread through the area is recommended. Often, a central source of lighting proves insufficient in a room where many things need enhanced lighting.
Remember, it’s better to have to have spare sockets and not need them than to need spare sockets and not have them. Your first fix electrics and plumbing should be done at this point. If you are unfamiliar with ‘fixes’, they are broken down as such:
- First Fix: Positioning and securing of accessory boxes/fuse boxes
- Second Fix: Prep/positioning of cables
4. Install units, worktops and lighting
Now is the time to fit your new kitchen units. These form the backbone of your new design as everything else fits around them. This is where that preparation really pays off. By having the exact measurements to hand, you’re less likely to encounter a situation where a unit will not fit where it’s supposed to. Everything can be installed here in terms of fitted or unfitted. Unfitted kitchens are popular now because they are considered practical and flexible, whereas fitted provide a more modern aesthetic and minimalist look.
As for worktops, using a composite, stainless steel or lime/sandstone counter top means that it will last for a long time. Ensure that they are sealed properly and treated accordingly upon installation.
This is also the time when you would finalise your second fix electrics. This allows you to check whether your lighting is adequate and your connections are secure. Remember, once everything is fitted and secured, it’s that much more difficult to make any adjustments. Planning is everything here so ensure your electrics are complete before sealing everything in.
5. Lay flooring
Once everything has been swept up, cleaned out and dusted off after installing your units and tops, it’s time to lay your new floor. Whilst wood is a very popular choice is many kitchens at the moment, there’s plenty of other materials which make effective designs. Floor tiles are great for providing a solid and professional look to your renovation, although there’s a wealth of materials including linoleum, cork and even bamboo.
6. Sinks, plumbing & appliances
The framework of your kitchen has now been installed. It’s got lots of gaps however. These gaps are for your new sink and appliances. These can be connected and installed now. If planned out properly, it won’t be too difficult to secure and fit your sink and washing appliances to the taps and drains.
This is the time where you install and fit the little things such as heated towel rails and extractor fans. Remember, your planning should have taken into account the size of your kitchen, which means you’ll know exactly what type of extractor you’ll need.
This is the best part of your new renovation; decorating it to your style. Now you can see your kitchen in real terms, it’s at this time that you can finalise any décor decisions. This could include tiling the walls or painting. If you have a classic brick finish, this is also a popular design choice for a modern kitchen.
Whilst this is not a definitive list of absolute rules you must follow, it is certainly a handy framework to reference, which should ensure your kitchen renovation is completed on time and to spec.