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How to Renovate a Kitchen: Ideas, Tips & Advice

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The kitchen is the heart of your home. It’s arguably the most important room in your house. It should be a mix between practicality and style, ensuring you can cook in comfort but also entertain too. If your kitchen is a little run down or bleak, you may be considering a transformative renovation project. The problem is, where to start? Kitchen renovations need a lot more careful consideration and planning than other rooms. Worry not, we’re here to offer a helping hand and steer you in the right direction.

Think about any structural changes you want done

If your kitchen is small, or your family has outgrown the space you’re currently using, it may be worth considering making some structural changes to your kitchen. An extension can be a great way to add that little extra space to a cluttered cooking area. Moreover, it can also help to reshape your ideas on what you want from your kitchen. If you do choose to add extra space, you can consider new layouts, dining areas and storage options which can open the space out for you.

An alternative may be to think about knocking through internal walls to increase the space you already have without adding any costly extensions.

Remember though, any structural changes you may wish to make will need the help of structural engineers or building professionals to support you. These aren’t the types of projects that are easily done on your own.

Designing your new kitchen

Everyone loves this stage. This is the time when you can let your imagination run wild and discover what your new kitchen will actually look like. Most people choose to work with a kitchen supplier who can help with drafting up design schemes for your new space. You can, of course, put in any special requests you may have at this stage. They will also help you make the most of the space you have.

When working with a kitchen supply company, you usually won’t have any obligation to use the company when they draft up designs. However, it’s worth shopping around prior to this stage. Visit kitchen showrooms and search online for companies that give the type of look and feel you want from your new space. When you’ve found a company that impresses you, work with them to get your own unique design.

Be sure to discuss what is and what isn’t included in the price you’re quoted for when dealing with these companies. For example, any structural work won’t be completed by a kitchen supply company.

If you want all of the work to be completed by one company, it might be worth speaking to an architect or interior designer.

When designing your new kitchen, it’s important to consider the following areas:

  • What oven, fridge, freezer and washing machine would you like?
  • What will the sink look like?
  • What existing details would you like to carry over to your new kitchen?
  • How much storage space do you need / want?
  • Do you want space for entertaining?
  • Would you like an island or breakfast bar?
  • What size will your kitchen table be?
  • How much seating space should there be?

Think long and hard about how you intend to use your dream kitchen, then incorporate that into your designs.

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Don’t forget the lighting

Lighting can make or break a room, so don’t underestimate the thought needed at this stage. Different types of lighting will have different effects on the room and some are better suited for kitchens than others. It’s worth speaking to whoever designs your kitchen plans for their suggestions and they’ll usually know what works best.

It’s worth considering having a number of different types of lighting options in your kitchen. For example, bright and clear lighting works great for when you’re preparing food, while dimmable mood lighting could make the room more comfortable for entertaining.

Think about your flooring

Flooring is an often overlooked aspect of kitchen design. The ideal flooring should strike a balance between practicality and style. You’re bound to drop food and splash drinks on your kitchen floor from time to time, so it needs to be durable and easily cleaned – but it’s also important to look good too. 

This is another one to discuss with your kitchen designer, as they’ll be able to advise you on which style of flooring will work best for the look and feel you want.

Removing your existing kitchen

This is when things get serious, it’s out with the old and in with the new. It may be worth speaking to your builders to help you with removing your old kitchen as this can be a lot of work.

Before you do have the existing kitchen removed, look for anything that you might be able to reuse, recycle or sell on. For example, the washing machine may be a little old and clunky for your liking but it could make you a little money back on places like Facebook MarketPlace or Gumtree. 

Also, think about your cupboards, what state are they in? It might be that you want to throw out the cupboard doors for a refresh, but the units themselves could still be in a good condition. Doing checks here before binning everything could save you quite a bit of cash when it comes to installing your new kitchen.

Installing new heating in your kitchen

It’s important to consider heating options in your kitchen. Some old kitchens often don’t have heating as the room would naturally warm up during cooking times. Despite this, more people are viewing the kitchen as more than just a place to cook. If you’re thinking of using your kitchen for entertaining, it may be worth having a radiator installed. Underfloor heating is another option, though this can be expensive – both to install and on an ongoing monthly basis (due to increased utility bills).

Electrical work in your new kitchen

When renovating a kitchen, you’ll often require a significant amount of electrical work. More often than not, electricians will recommend a complete rewiring of your kitchen. This is both for safety and to ensure you can get the most out of your new space.

When working with an electrician, be sure to share the plans for your new kitchen. Have in mind where appliances like your toaster or kettle will go, so they can ensure there’s enough plug sockets. It’s always a good idea to opt for a few extra plug sockets than you think you’ll need as it can be frustrating to be caught out in this department if you’ve forgotten anything.

An electrician will usually visit you twice during your kitchen renovation. The first visit will be to rewire the room while the second will be to install new plug sockets and ensure everything is in working order.

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Plumbing work needed for your new kitchen

Your sink, taps, washing machine and dishwasher are all connected to plumbing. If you’re looking to rearrange the position of these in your new kitchen, you’ll need support from a plumber to reroute any pipework. 

Discuss the plans you have for your new kitchen with your plumber. They can make a decision on whether to reroute your plumbing or start this again depending on placement and whether existing pipework is going to get in the way of any work you want doing.

This is also a good opportunity to have your existing pipework checked for cracks or leaks.

How to renovate a kitchen

So, it’s time for your kitchen renovation to take place. You’ve done the designs, you’ve got your plans in place, now it’s ready to get building. Here’s how the process of renovating a kitchen happens:

  1. All wall units to be removed and discarded 
  2. All worktops and base units to be removed and discarded 
  3. All flooring to be removed
  4. Complete any initial electrical work that needs doing
  5. Complete any plumbing rerouting that is required
  6. Lay new flooring
  7. Installation of new wall units
  8. Installation of new base units
  9. Complete any secondary electrical work that needs doing
  10. Installation of new worktops
  11. Installation of new sink and taps (including the completion of any further plumbing work)
  12. Installation of new appliances (including extractor fan)
  13. Tile and design
  14. Furnish

Need help from a professional?

Renovating a kitchen is a lot of work and needs support from a number of specialists, like builders, plumbers and electricians. If you’re considering renovating your kitchen and want to get an idea of the costs involved, you can get a no-obligation quote from expert, local tradespeople in your area. Simply enter your postcode below to get your quote today.

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Last Updated: December 16th, 2021