By Nikki Dudley
Does your beloved kitchen need an overhaul (as in wham, start from scratch)? If sweating over a scouring pad with a second bottle of spray n’ wipe and a fresh lick of paint won’t cut the mustard, then your answer is yes, go for it.
Step Zero. Where to even begin?
Take a good hard look at what you’ve got to work with in terms of the size, structural walls (those that are load-bearing), type of interior materials (such as plasterboard or asbestos) and if you’ve got existing character like timber casement windows or antique fittings.
Measure it up as it looks now. Sketch it on a piece of paper. Take pictures on your phone. Decide if any aspects will stay such as cupboard handles, flooring, lighting, cabinetry or white goods.
Nobody (except maybe Beyoncé) has an endless bank account, so we must consider budget. For some guidance, realestate.com.au suggests $12,000-to-$16,000 can create a sparkling kitchen that shouldn’t over capitalise your property. We feel this is quite hefty and using DIY methods could save you up to half this amount.
Know that kitchens do (help) sell homes. They are the heart, soul and personality of your bricks and mortar and it’s generally where you meet, entertain and dine with those you love. So don’t be too tight with your wallet.
Step One. Planning.
Before you start swinging around a crowbar (or a Miley Cyrus wrecking ball, which looks like fun) you do need to plan (and plan some more). We would wholeheartedly agree with Oliver Davis’s recent guest post, “to direct your spend appropriately.” This also applies to your time, energy and elbow grease.
Plan for your budget. Plan for your time. Plan for your design. Plan to stay committed to this project ‘til the very end (it’s worth it). Let the internet and online shopping be your friend. Google. Pinterest. Houzz. Instagram. eBay. Gumtree. Craigslist. And so on…
[contextly_sidebar id=”DuGXMQUHgjejQpk6NujGPt4Mp0UMf2ff”]Attend showrooms, open homes for sale and high-end display villages. Seek out trends, designs, colours, ways to entice natural light. Do consider splurging on a butler’s pantry, tap mixers, pendant lighting, gas stove tops and energy-efficient white goods. Alternatively, you can save on a DIY timber meat safe as a unique island bench (made at the standard 900mm height, of course). This is an excellent way to save on cabinetry costs.
And note that leftover tiles are often a lot cheaper than glass, stainless or Perspex panels when planning your splashback. The subway tile or mosaic effect, we think, is just as glamorous and easy to clean.
Also, keep in mind that leaving the existing sink, dishwasher or integrated refrigerator portals where they are (or as close to their current location as possible) saves a lot of money. However it is often crucial to redesign the layout but just know that employing trades to move and reconnect infrastructure will eat into your moolah.
Consider the existing and new location of powerpoints, switches, television ports, plumbing and air-conditioning units (and their direction of airflow). Importantly, also think about where you will place your Vitamix, kettle, toaster, knife block, fruit bowl and microwave. Ensure there is room for any bulky items. Don’t have any? Bet you do. Think breadmaker, ice-cream maker, casserole dishes, saucepans, pots (heavy things that require a sturdy shelf). Plan for their home.
You now certainly have a solid plan to take your sketches to a hardware store for quoting. Also email them to local cabinet makers. Tip: It pays to shop around.
Step Two. Demolition.
Let the games begin. And may the odds be ever in your favour! (Oops yes, we are both Hunger Games fans). Start by turning off your power. Disconnect everything (as you don’t want to blow the place or yourselves up the wazoo).
Has your skip bin hire arrived? This is a good $150(ish) well spent, as opposed to 20 dump trips. Trust us on this.
Demolish strategically and logically. Stay safe. Follow your plan. Big items out first. Flooring removed last. Everyone always forgets the clean-up phase. Allow time to clean your now empty shell in preparation for the grand installation. No dust. No grime. No live wires. Consider sugar soap and a decent vacuum and mop x2.
Step Three. Construct.
The right tools are (sooo) important for efficiency (and your sanity). Ensure your workshop is stocked and any extra help and supplies are arriving as per schedule.
Follow the DIY cabinetry flat pack kit instructions is our best advice. Away you go with a drill, Allen key set, level and silicone.
Step Four. Entertain and enjoy.
Ensure the budget allows for your finishing touches such as an indoor herb garden, new cookbooks for display, fresh flowers (always), or a set of new cocktail glasses to peep through the glass overhead cabinetry (oh how very Dee and Daz from The Block).
Finally, make sure you now take time to marvel in this beautiful space you’ve personally created for your home and family. Entertain and enjoy.
–Nikki Dudley is one half of nooks & cranny, a brand spankin’ new DIY renovation blog to inspire and assist enthusiasts create beautiful homes (on a budget).