“EFFICIENTISE” YOUR KITCHEN RENOVATIONS
You’ve gathered your information. You’ve read up on all the tips for a kitchen renovation and you’ve looked at all the new trends and designs available to modernise and beautify your kitchen. So what do you need to do to make sure your renovations and the new kitchen will all run smoothly and efficiently?
While by no means an exhaustive list, here are a few of the top areas where you can streamline and “efficientise” the whole process and save yourself headaches down the track.
Planning and using space
When you have the luxury of a brand ne
w configuration of kitchen benches, cupboards and appliances, take a look at how they are to be laid out in your new design. Pay attention to what tasks are performed in conjunction with each other, and how that translates spatially in the area you have to work with.
Access to cooking utensils and frequently used spices and ingredients can be planned to fit in comfortably near the stove and oven, for instance. Where possible, make sure that you factor in easy access to items and plan your doors and drawers to allow unobstructed movement where possible. Use of space towers, corner drawer units and internal pull-outs allows things to be kept within reach for optimum hands-on practicality. What used to be hard-to-get-to spaces can be converted to practical storage with front and side accessibility. Fold-up doors can revolutionise overhead space. In short, think outside of the old paradigms of how a kitchen used to function and design yourself some time and labour saving efficiencies and comforts.
Saving on your budget
So once you’ve got an idea of the kind of layout and design you’d like to bring into being, there is the issue of the budget, how much your kitchen renovation is likely to cost and how much you can get done for what you have available. This is an area where some wonderful efficiencies can be brought into play.
When you buy kitchen benches, benchtops, appliances and sink fittings you might leave it to your tradie to line up some of the supply, or maybe you’d buy from a showroom. But something many people don’t think to do is to buy any or all of these things at auction, for a fraction of the retail price. Places like Renovator Auctions in Sydney hold weekly sales direct to the public, where an amazingly wide range of goods go under the hammer and sell for a song. Rather than being old or second hand, these goods are new, factory seconds or sometimes discontinued lines that are going out cheap, even though they are quality products. If you are prepared to take a little time to look at what’s available, you’ll probably surprise yourself with how much more you can squeeze out of your budget. That’s one BIG efficiency that echoes forward to help you create an even better result for your kitchen renovation.
Arranging delivery and tradespeople
When the designs are in place and all the fixtures, fittings, finishes and appliances are chosen, one very important area to be aware of is the order of tasks and bookings for tradespeople. Always check what they will need access to, what jobs need to be done and in what sequence.
The lead time from ordering to delivery needs to be taken into account for the timing of your installations.
The old kitchen needs to be cleared away first, before the new one starts, (and don’t forget you’ll be without the use of your kitchen while all this happens, so plan other options).
Structural work to walls, floors and rough electrical and plumbing work then happens, before beginning the carpentry of installing bench carcasses, units and appliances. If not part of the carpentry, specialised benchtops are then installed and then come the finer electricals and plumbing, followed by the kitchen splashbacks, then flooring and finally the painting.
Draw up a clear timetable of the delivery times for each of these components and the time each tradesperson needs to carry out the job. Allow a little leeway for the unexpected, which is never out of the question in building and renovation scenarios.
With these three main areas covered, you lay the foundations of efficiencies for yourself and your budget from the outset and for greater enjoyment of your new kitchen in the longer term.