The Talk Kitchen Guide to Kitchen Renovation: Everything You Need to Know Before Starting Your Kitchen Design Project

02 March 2021

Choosing your dream kitchen.

We know that your kitchen has always been the heart of your home, but more now than ever it’s the hub for most of your daily routines – living, eating, cooking, eating, socialising.

It’s also true that kitchen renovation can be one of the biggest projects you’re likely to undertake in your home, and we know that can be quite a daunting prospect. So, before you embark on your kitchen renovation journey, we’ve outlined the most important considerations, and also some of the practical implications of having a new kitchen fitted.

Below we take a look at the steps you should consider to help make your kitchen renovation project run smoothly, and most importantly, to help turn your vision into the kitchen of your dreams.

1. Outline your must haves

Where to start? We’d suggest you start by writing down your kitchen needs and wants (make sure all the family is included here, if you want to create a shared space which works for everyone!). What is it you are trying to achieve with this remodel? Are you planning to sell your home soon? Does the kitchen need reinvigorating, or has your family outgrown the existing space? Maybe you’re planning an extension to create a new space all together.

First and foremost, do plenty of research. Your desired outcome will affect the planning of your new kitchen too. If you’re looking to sell your house, then the long-term use of the kitchen will be less important. A family who needs clever storage, however, will put far more consideration into the planning.

Finally, do you anticipate your space needs are likely to change again in the next ten years?

Make sure you identify those elements which are crucial, and those which are the ‘nice to haves’. Finally, we suggest creating a list of needs and wants. For example, is a pantry a necessity or a luxury? Which gadgets and appliances do you need and which do you want? The purpose of this will become apparent when you are finalising your budget and design.

2. Do Your Research! Identify ranges, style and ideas that work for you.

Next, you can start to do some research online – look at the types and styles of kitchen available, and identify two or three which you like the look of. Pinterest is the perfect place for you to start finding inspiration. At this point, don’t worry about the detail – focus on aesthetically what you like, and what you think might work for your home. It’s important to understand all of the available options and price points.

Once you have your two or three options you like the look of, then you can do some research on the materials and finishes which will help you achieve the look you want. What worktops would you like? Which styles do you like for your cupboards? You also need to consider the type of backsplashes, hinges, handles, taps, sinks and accessories which should be considered in your overall budget. It’s important to factor in the average lifespan of these products too.

3. Set a Realistic Budget

Now you’ve you have done your research and have sorted your essentials from your ‘nice to haves’, you need to consider your budget. This should be realistic; you should have a rough idea of what your baseline cost is.

To give you an approximate idea, a smaller kitchen (for example in a flat) can cost anything from £10k, and a large plan inframe kitchen with all the appliances and tech can be as much as £80k. We’ve given some examples in our FAQs to help you estimate your budget. It’s also a good idea to set a baseline kitchen budget while allowing a 10 to 20 per cent cushion for any unanticipated expenses which could occur with unforeseen problems or delays.

Homeadvisor.com reports that the largest costs go towards cabinetry and hardware (29 percent), installation (17 percent), and appliances and ventilation (14 percent). (remodelista.com)

4. Think about Timing

Timing is important. You need to ensure that you won’t be overly inconvenienced by the remodel. If you have children, don’t opt to tackle the job during half term.

People often like the idea of a new kitchen in time for Christmas. Christmas is often a stressful time of year, make sure you don’t cut it too close with completion dates and factor in any unforeseen delays to cover yourself and reduce stress if this is when you want to renovate your kitchen. Also, during the Summer months, many european manufacturers close production, which can lead to longer waits for units and parts crucial to completing your project. We proudly only work with Great British manufacturers, so we generally have shorter lead times, and this also means we can completely assure the quality of our kitchens.

5. Plan, Plan, Plan. And plan again!

We think the ideal kitchen is practical, functional, and beautiful. Considering it’s often the heart of the home, your kitchen must be laid out perfectly for your family and your needs. By planning and knowing what you need, you can create the kitchen of your dreams. Our experienced team combine their design skills with years’ of experience, which means we can tailor your kitchen to your exact specifications – and we’re great at spotting architectural elements of your home which we can build your kitchen around. Every nook and corner can be turned into a usable space with the right vision and creativity, and we’ll work with you to make this vision a reality.

Want to have a go at planning out your space before you book a design consultation?

Think about your list of ‘must-haves’ and ‘wants’. Are you an avid baker? Do you make your own pasta? Do you love having the family around the table to share a meal? Everyone’s needs are different, which is why we believe in working closely to create the perfect space.

Below we’ are things to consider when planning the layout of your kitchen.

  • You will need to ensure that there is enough floor space in front of your appliances so that you can pass freely even if the cabinet doors are open. This usually means you will’ll need 75 to 120 centimetres of clearance space.
  • Consider the lighting – if you can’t tell the difference between a baby plum tomato and a red grape, chances are your prep area doesn’t have enough light.
  • Allow a minimum of 91 centimetres for your food preparation. When you consider where to place your sink, give yourself at least 60cm on one side and 45cm on the other. The space near the sink can be used for a draining board and dishes – but remember, if you can create even more space for this area, do it!
  • Do you have any ‘awkward’ spaces? Make sure you sketch these out and get plenty of photos from different perspectives. The more detail our designers have, the more innovative they can be!

6. Choose Quality Designers and Fitting

Whether choosing your cabinets, countertops, or contractors, get the best that your money can afford. Don’t cut corners just to save money now; in the long run, this could see you spending significantly more or having to repeat the remodel far sooner than you hope. Our #tip is to speak to your local kitchen experts, don’t just go to your big name DIY stores. Smaller retailers often work with one or two specialist kitchen houses, which mean they have no middle-man, and that you can often end up with a much better, longer-lasting kitchen for roughly the same price.

We make a promise to our clients that we don’t change any commission on our kitchen fitting, so unlike other retailers, there are no misleading discounts, and no unexpected ‘surprise’ costs to bump up your end price.

7. Book your design consultation with our Showroom

Now that you’ve planned and scoured Pinterest for ideas – it may be time to meet with a designer. *If you’re reading this during lockdown, we aren’t currently able to offer consultations from our showroom in Chalfont St Peter, but we are happy to arrange a virtual consultation. it also gives you the opportunity to walk us through your space too.*

What should haveto hand for the consultation?

  • Any current room plans you may have, make sure they are complete with dimensions. These don’t have to be professional architect’s plans (but if you’re extending, we recommend you speak to us before you get to plan stage, as we can help maximise space and efficiency of your extension).
  • Placement knowledge of your electricity, gas, and water pipes.
  • Some clear photographs of your existing kitchen can help you better explain any trouble spots and give a clear idea to the designer of your current situation and needs.
  • Details of your outline budget (an estimated budget is good to give us an idea of what to include in your design).
  • Any screenshots or images you might have of your dream kitchen space!
  • Your list of needs and wants.

We will then create a tailored design for you, to show you the options and help you visualise your new kitchen space. Don’t worry, this is just the starting point of your kitchen journey – we will work with you to ensure every detail is just as you want it to be.

Keep an eye out for our next blog – what to expect from your kitchen fitting. We’ll talk about the timescales for projects, what to expect from the Talk Kitchens team whilst your fit is in progress, and share our tips for making your kitchen transition as smooth as possible.