There’s a reason why kitchens are one of the most popular parts of the house to renovate and remodel. Not only should a kitchen be functional, it should also provide for social time with friends and family. Like any home improvement project, a kitchen remodel is a big job that requires careful planning and extensive consideration. We’ve compiled a list of the most significant factors to consider when planning your kitchen remodelling project.

1. Budget

The key to any successful home improvement project is a solid and realistic budget, which should be established early on in the planning stages. Thinking about financing your renovation project may be daunting, but it’s absolutely necessary. Drawing a budget also helps you to determine how much work you want done to your kitchen; for example, do you want to completely remodel your kitchen, or do you just want to re-do the cabinets and countertops? It may be helpful to consult a local real estate agent for advice on how to raise the value of your home and to find out what features are particularly attractive in the real estate market. After all, home improvement projects should ultimately be seen as long-term investments for your property.

As is the case in any home improvement or construction project, unexpected events can happen and these will likely raise your total expenditure. A good rule of thumb for any construction budget is to allocate at least 10 per cent of your project budget to cover any possible excess costs. While you’re drawing your project budget, it’s equally important to factor in ‘hidden costs’ such as labour, shipping and delivery fees, cleaning services, and rubbish removal services. These expenses can add up quickly if you’re not careful. If you’re planning on hiring a construction company to complete the project for you, they’ll provide you with estimates and schedules that should factor in all these costs. If you’re still unsure, it’s always better to ask for clarity than to proceed with any uncertainties.

2. Theme and style

A good renovation or remodelling project is one that is cohesive and fits in seamlessly with the rest of the house. You wouldn’t necessarily install a rustic-style kitchen in a mid-century home. So use your planning time to research and decide on a theme. The materials, appliances, lighting, etc. should all revolve around this theme. That way, the end result will look well designed and well styled. Utilise design websites, magazines such as Vogue Living and Architectural Digest, and other homes as design inspiration.

3. Needs vs. wants

It’s easy to get carried away with any home improvement project. We’re constantly bombarded by an influx of information, design inspiration, and advertising. It’s important, then, to establish early on what you actually need to change, and what you just want to change. Don’t buy unnecessary appliances and gadgets. Stick to the reliable basics and if your budget allows for it (and only if your budget allows for it), treat yourself to one or two inessential goods.

4. Layout

If you’re remodelling your kitchen on a budget, it’s may be a good idea to stick to your kitchen’s current layout to save money and to keep the project simple. This way, the major systems can stay in place (e.g. plumbing, gas, electricity) and you can focus your renovation project around repositioning features such as cabinets, flooring, etc.

If you’re looking to fully change the layout of your kitchen, then it’s worth taking some extra time to really consider all your layout options. As mentioned earlier, a good kitchen should be both functional and comfortable. A good way to determine layout is best for your kitchen is to analyse your current kitchen. What works and what doesn’t? Are there issues with traffic flow, and if so, where does it occur? Are there any potentially dangerous areas in the kitchen? Do you often run out of working space in the kitchen? Are there often multiple people in the kitchen? The layout you choose should address these questions and solve these problems.

If possible, you should try to adopt the classic work triangle layout. This layout arranges the sink, refrigerator, and stove (the three most used features) in a triangular pattern. This is generally considered to be the most convenient and the safest setup because it saves unnecessary steps and it reduces the risk of the potential clashing of bodies.

5. Flooring

The kitchen is a high volume room which deals with a significant amount of foot traffic everyday. On top of this, the kitchen floor also has to deal with spills, scuff marks, and scratches from food and cooking appliances. For this reason, your choice of flooring is extremely important in your kitchen. You should choose a sturdy and durable material that is easy to clean and can stand the accidents that can happen in kitchens. Materials like tile are particularly good for spills as they are more durable under wet conditions. Wood, granite and stone are other suitable, durable materials.

6. Space

One of the biggest reasons behind kitchen renovations is the desire for more space. Even if creating more space isn’t your main goal, it’s always worth having more space for storage, entertaining, cooking, or dining. If there are often multiple people in the kitchen cooking, you might want to look into creating more workspaces or installing a kitchen island. If you’re finding that your Tupperware drawers are always bursting at the seams, it may be worthwhile looking into creating more cabinet space or drawer space. Ultimately, your kitchen should be a space where you’re able to both work and relax.

7. Appliances

Your project should also revolve around the requirements of the appliances you want to install. The installation of some dishwashers, for example, require new plumbing and wiring. Additionally, cabinet and bench top heights have to be considered and potentially adjusted when installing a new appliance. It’s a good idea to invest in good quality products, especially in the case of important appliances such as stoves, dishwashers, and refrigerators. It’s also a good idea to look into purchasing Energy Star appliances, which will help cut down on your utility bills and will increase the resale value of your home.

Once you’ve chosen your contractor or construction company, invite your contractor or project manager to your home to discuss your plans and hopes for your project. Here at Alic Construction, we’re fully committed to maximising the potential of Melbourne homes and look forward to answering your queries at any stage.