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Whether your kitchen is old, broken or you just feel like a change, updating your kitchen is for most of us, a major undertaking. Whether you are just planning to change the doors or a brand-new kitchen renovation, the work can be disruptive, time-consuming, costly, and stressful.

The kitchen is probably one room most of us can’t do without for very long, to ease the burden work with your contractor, to ensure items like fridges and cookers are disconnected for the least amount of time possible.

Planning and communication are vital to ensure you and your family can continue to cook, eat, store food and even wash clothes whilst the work is taking place. Whether you are doing the work yourself, liaising with one contractor or many, making sure everyone is on the same page is very important.

The kitchen is often at the centre of daily life. No matter what style of property you own, it’s the room where family comes together, friends gather, and increasingly a space for wellbeing and reflection.

STEP 1 - Start with your Budget

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Setting a realistic budget from the start is a perfect way of avoiding disappointment later on when your vision has to be tempered with the reality of what you can afford. Set aside a sensible amount for the following areas of your project: any building work, kitchen units, appliances, taps, tiling, floor coverings, and labour plus if you live in a hard water area, a water softener.

Create a list of what is important to you, and divide it into three columns ‘Essential’. ‘Must Have’ and ‘Nice to Have’ is a pretty good ways to start controlling your budget thinking and don’t forget to allow for a contingency typically between 5 and 10% is a good guide.

STEP 2 - What you want to have in your kitchen

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With one eye on the budget, it is time to look at how you want to use your new kitchen, and how that may change over time.

The average household lives in the same kitchen for over ten years and a lot can happen in that time. Tastes change, children grow up, some leave home, and some return home. How you use your space is likely to change too.

Understanding how you will use your kitchen will help you polarise your thoughts on what is important to you. Recent years have seen a trend towards open plan living and the kitchen becoming the hub of the home.

STEP 3 - Seek Advice from the Professional

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A quick measure up is a good place to start and remember you don’t have to change your existing layout if it works for you.

With your ideas fresh in your mind a trip to the local kitchen renovation showroom is a perfect way to start the ball rolling and refine some of your ideas. Take along a floor plan and a note of the location of doors, windows, radiators, and even light switches.

The designer at your local showroom will be able to bring your plan to life. A good designer will help you maximise your space and to spot any likely problem areas. A local designer will also be able to advise you about local water conditions and suggest products to improve your drinking water and if you live in a hard water area, products to protect your new kitchen like a water softener.

STEP 4 - Choose your team

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Choose your partners wisely ask for references and always get more than one quotation. Confirm payment terms and check delivery and lead times with your suppliers before booking your tradespeople.

When choosing a contractor consider who will do the work, are they a sole trader, and how many staff do they employ. This is vital to ensure your project runs smoothly sole traders may offer great value for money but if your plumber is taken ill who will cover for them? Local directories and the internet are valuable resources for finding local trade people, many even contain reviews from recent customers. Your local kitchen showroom may also offer its own installation service or be able to recommend someone they trust.

If the total is more than your budget then it’s time to review and see where savings can be made or where you wish to tap into that vital contingency. It’s hard but don’t let your heart rule your head if the extra cost is likely to cause problems later on. Whilst ‘nice to have is just that, it can be a false economy if it means leaving out a water softener that is vital for protecting sinks, taps, glass, and ceramics.

STEP 5 - It’s Renovation Day!

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With a confirmed start date, it’s time to prepare yourself and the family for what’s to come next. Clear the kitchen a couple of days before, and allow plenty of time as it will probably take longer than you think. Then clear a space to store any items that may arrive before they are needed. Remember it’s not unusual for goods to arrive early or for the job to run a day behind schedule.

Check deliveries for obvious damage like crushed or broken boxes and make your delivery driver aware before they leave. Photograph the damaged areas and carry out a detailed inspection as soon as possible.

If you have to stay on site during the work, set up a temporary food preparation area. For many people, this will involve just a microwave and an electric kettle. Avoid using plug in the fryer in all but the safest of locations. Check you have somewhere to store food and moving the fridge and freezer into the garage is also a good idea if you have one.

Hopefully, this mini kitchen will only be needed for a few days, most professional fitters will ensure that you are without a cooker for the least amount of time possible. Don’t forget to grab some plates and knives and forks. Finally, reach for your favorite takeaway menu – you are likely to need it!

If you’re starting your kitchen renovation journey, then our designers are here to help bring your kitchen design ideas to life. Contact Property Contractors 247 and get in touch with our kitchen experts!

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