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We have just finished having a new kitchen fitted. As one of the most important rooms in your home, choosing how to update or renovate your kitchen is fraught with decisions. Should you start from new or remodel? Well, here are some things to consider when getting a new kitchen.
Things To Consider When Getting A New Kitchen
We knew that we needed a new kitchen this year. And that it was going to be a full overhaul due to the units being totally worn out. But we also knew that we needed to plan carefully, to get the perfect space for our needs. We wanted something that looked great but was also practical. We needed to make a significant investment to completely transform the space. But there are lots of other ways that you can update your kitchen without it costing the earth.
Of course, one of the first things to consider when getting a new kitchen is cost.
Perhaps you are on a tight budget. And if that is the case, then there are a few great options to consider.
You could just choose to paint. There are lots of specialist paints out there perfect for just painting the existing cupboard fronts. Choose a coordinating colour to the worktops and walls, paint or add new handles and you have a new kitchen for a fraction of the price!
Or you could change the cupboard fronts. Many retailers now sell just cupboard fronts that can be added to old units. Perfect choice to update the look of a kitchen without having to remove the old cupboards.
You could choose a budget range. Finally, most kitchen retailers also have a very basic budget range of units and fixtures. These can be so much cheaper than their standard ranges, but should be just as durable. Definitely worth thinking about. They may not have all the whistles, bells and fancy design features of the more expensive ranges, but they are a great option if you just want a basic kitchen.
Definitely decide on what your maximum budget is and discuss this with the retailer. Choose the most crucial elements of the kitchen that you want and see how these fit with your budget before adding extra features. Most kitchen retailers do have a kitchen planner available, and you may even be able to fully design your kitchen and see a virtual version of it before going ahead.
Also think about what appliances you may need and the cost of these. They can really add to the overall cost.
Another cost consideration is how you intend to have the kitchen fitted. Are you a bit of a handyman who can put cupboards together well? Well that is good, but you may need help fitting cupboards to walls securely.
Are you having plumbing, electrical and/or gas appliances fitted? Then these do need to be fitted safely. Gas appliances should be fitted by a registered technician, and electrical work should be tested before use. And all this does add to the cost of the kitchen.
Similarly, will you need tiles fitted, plaster work doing or a new floor? This will also add to the overall end cost of your new kitchen project. And sometimes if you are having all these items done separately you may need to project manage the fitting process, getting the plasterers in after the old kitchen is removed before the new kitchen is fitted etc.
We went for a full fitting option, where a team of people came to fit the kitchen, plastering after removing the old kitchen, fitting new electric points and lights, and fitting all the appliances at the same time as fitting the kitchen. For me, it was worth every penny. We then had flooring and tiling fitted at a later point.
Durability is another of the things to consider when getting a new kitchen. Perhaps you just want a new style.
We knew that we needed a new kitchen because I have lived in this house for 20 years, and never changed the kitchen. It was really getting tired and worn out. Some of the tiles were cracked. And some of the drawers were falling apart! We worked out that our old kitchen was probably over 30 years old.
But at the same time as wanting an updated kitchen, I knew that I wanted a style that was clean and modern but would not really date too much. I also wanted a lighter, airy space for my kitchen. If you are spending a considerable amount on a room, you do want it to last at least 10 years, and not look too dated in that time.
This can be an important consideration if you think you may wish to move home in the near future too. You do want your new kitchen to appeal to a broader set of people, and not be too contemporary or off the wall.
Appliance Ratings And Features
One of the most important considerations when changing appliances to me is how good their energy ratings are. Nobody wants an appliance that guzzles too much energy. And it is is an important consideration for the planet too. Most appliances these days show clearly their energy rating.
But there are other features worth considering when looking at some appliances, like
- ovens with cool-touch doors
- child safety locks on ovens and dishwashers
- economy cycles on washers and dryers
- induction hobs that turn immediately cold when switched off
Now E is a little bit older, I admit that beyond ensuring that we could still put safety locks on the cleaning products cupboard I did not really look more into safety aspects. But it is certainly worth considering if you have a baby or toddler in the house.
How Many Electrical Sockets Do You Need?
This was a massive consideration when we were planning our kitchen. I hate having things plugged into extension cords, and it can be a hazard. our old kitchen just didn’t have enough sockets in the right places.
It is a great idea to work out what appliances you use on a regular basis or have out on the surfaces and have a socket each for these. And then have a spare or two for any occasional appliances such as hand blenders or even for charging your mobile phone.
Cupboard Space and Using The Space Wisely
Planning your cupboards is one of the most fun jobs when considering the layout of your new kitchen space. Especially when you don’t have a lot of space. There are lots of brilliant space saving ideas such as carousels for corner unit niches, and pull out tall thin larder racks.
I am particularly loving my large drawers for baking utensils pans and crockery. A mixture of cupboards and drawers has really worked for me.
Work Surfaces and Having Enough Counter Prep Space
The layout of the kitchen is a really important thing to consider when getting a new kitchen. You have probably heard of the triangle theory, which is where the sink, fridge and cooker are placed at three triangular points within the kitchen so that they are within easy working range of each other. Ideally, this triangle should be no bigger than 7 metres total distance and no smaller than 3 and a half metres, ensuring that you can get and prepare food easily in-between. The triangle should also be in an area of the kitchen that gets the least footfall – i.e. not the area where everyone needs to be!
This is quite difficult in my little galley kitchen.
But another consideration is the amount of counter space you have. You do need to make sure that you have a good amount of food preparation and space to place plates and pots at the side of the hob.
Finally, one of the most important things to think about is how easy the work surfaces are to maintain. Stainless steel handles and work surfaces may look great at first. But they are a pain to clean, and if you have tots that are putting fingerprints on them constantly you are soon going to tire! We went for a laminate with a matt surface, and brushed metal handles to the cupboards.
Lighting is a really important factor in how you want your finished kitchen to look, so also needs to really be considered when renovating the room.
My old kitchen was a bit dark really. I knew that I wanted a lighter brighter look this time around, and this is much more conducive to be able to see what you are cooking.
But it is also nice to be able to create a lower light look, especially if your kitchen is adjoining or part of your eating area. For this I added downlighting under my kitchen units. When used with or without the hob hood light this creates a totally different ambience in the room. It may also be useful putting some of your spot lights or downlighting on different circuits and switches, so that you can just use the ones you need.
If you are having a complete room overhaul, perhaps it is worth considering changing the heating to the room? We didn’t change the position or size of the radiator in this room as we are very happy with it. But it certainly is worth thinking about the position and size of a new radiator, or maybe even thinking about underfloor heating if you are going to completely renovate the space.
And it may be the last thing that you think of, but flooring is also one of the major things to consider when choosing a new kitchen. There are many different types and styles including
- wooden flooring
- and laminate.
All have their plus and minus points. Tiles can be cold but are much better for conducting and keeping the heat of underfloor heating. Linoleum can be cheap but durable. Wood floor can be harder to maintain. All factors definitely worth thinking about when planning what is best for your perfect room.
Time to Fit
To me, this was one of the most important factors to consider when getting a new kitchen. With a small family, having the kitchen out of action for weeks was out of the question. So I went for the option where from start to finish my full kitchen transformation took just over a week. And even this short amount of time really got me down.
Having to live with cabinetry in my dining room, and a fridge, microwave and numerous boxes of kitchenware all over my home for a week was quite stressful. So if you too are stressed out by having a disordered home then I would suggest you go down the same route as I and get a full team of fitters in to do the rebuild in the shortest time possible.
I also chose to have the work done in a school holiday. This meant that my partner was around, and that we could each get out of the house whilst the work was being done.
I hope that this has given you a few good ideas for things to consider when getting a new kitchen. And that you have a better idea of all the pitfalls that may await, and how they can be tackled. Getting a new kitchen may be a large job, but it can be the most rewarding experience once it it is finished! Enjoy your new favourite space.
Now I just need to keep it tidy!
Got some questions, or want to show me your new kitchen? Do find me on social media, I would love to hear from you. Or do comment below.
And please do pin this for later.