Kitchens and bathrooms remain the two most popular rooms in a household to renovate. Renovating either of these rooms is a big job not only in terms of cost and scale but also inconvenience if living through the project. So, before you hire a builder and start knocking walls down, there are some things to consider and prepare for, namely, setting a budget, understanding what you want and need, and planning how it will all fit together.

Budget Before You Renovate a Room

As you go about planning the new kitchen or Bathroom, be realistic about the cost. Large renovation projects often end up taking more time and money than you plan for, so as a general “Rule of Thumb” is to add approximately 20% more to your budget for unplanned project expenses, but first aim for a more conservative budget to what your maximum budget might be, as this will allow there to be extra if the project goes over. The larger financial buffer you have, the better. There is nothing worse than having a semi-finished room because you have run out of money to complete the project.

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Decor Process

Research

Visit kitchen and bathroom showrooms and home stores to figure out the cost of items, and then figure out what you need and what you can afford. Also, identify is if you want to renovate or rejuvenate. Your room may have the existing layout you want and putting new benchtops, splashbacks and cupboard doors may be exactly what you need.

Hidden Costs

Remember to factor in the cost of labour and materials as well as any shipping or delivery costs that might come up. These can add up very quickly, so it’s important to take them into account when you’re setting the budget. Also, consider if there are any steps along the way that you would like to perform yourself. Even taking on just a few tasks can save you a significant amount of money.

Quality

Always buy the best quality materials you can afford. When it comes to kitchen and bathroom renovations, you want to have high-quality, functional items, both for your own use and for potential resale value. High-quality cabinets, countertops, and appliances will also last much longer so hopefully you will never have to repeat the renovation process again while you are living in the home.

Needs versus Wants

Be practical and don’t buy unnecessary items. It can be tempting to buy all sorts of gadgets and appliances, but it’s better to go with the reliable items that you know you’ll use. Remember, with every new appliance comes a slightly higher utility bill. They also add to your upkeep responsibilities and require time and money to maintain.

Layout

More than any room in the house, the kitchen needs to be practical and functional. Think about how you use your current kitchen to identify your priorities for the remodelled space. What works and what doesn’t? Give considerable thought to the layout of the room and assess what will work best for your household.

Whenever possible, make use of the classic work triangle. Arrange the sink, refrigerator, and stove (the three features used the most) in a triangular pattern. This is generally considered to be the most convenient setup because it saves unnecessary steps.

Also, think about how many people usually work in the kitchen at the same time. If it’s more than one, you might want to incorporate more than one workspace. Or, if there’s enough space, consider adding a kitchen island or perhaps purchase a wheeled cart that can be moved around the room and put away when not in use.

Kitchen Planning

A good designer can help you make sure things are laid out to ensure convenience and safety. Here are a few things to remember when mapping out your space:

Counters: Plan to have at least 900mm of counter space for food preparation, with at least 600mm on one side of the sink and 300mm on the other. If you can fit more, do so.

Appliances: Leave adequate floor space in front of appliances so the doors can be opened and you can still walk in front of them. You’ll need at least 760 to 1200mm. Also, take note of the direction and depth of swinging appliance doors—especially when it comes to the refrigerator. If you plan to have your fridge next to a wall, make sure the door swings in the opposite direction, otherwise the wall may prohibit the door from opening all the way.

Walkways: Leave enough room for traffic flow. There should be at least 1100mm between the counters and the island so that people can easily walk through without disrupting anyone working at the counters.

Finally

Invite your designer into your home to discuss all of your wants and needs for your kitchen or bathroom renovation. This will help confirm your space is planned in a way that will ensure convenience and ease of movement for you and your family. Remember to stick to your plan, and don’t get caught up or let yourself get talked into things you don’t want or need.

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