• Deb Reardon

A Kitchen renovation guide

Updated: Apr 20

A new kitchen should be one of those lovely experiences and like buying a new car or a fancy electric bike you want to make the right choices from day one.

Here’s how to make your Kitchen remodel as smooth as possible.

Firstly deal with the experts!

Don't rush it.

Listen to the advice of your chosen Designer.

Trust your company and let them do what they do best.

Choosing the right Kitchen Designer & company is a crucial first step, in fact the most important step.

You're looking for someone who is very experienced and has the support of an experienced manufacturing team behind them.

Look for years in the industry & reputation, if lots of other customers have had a great experience, chances are so will you.

Your designer will have built up many relationships in the local area over the years and can guide you best to who to use for building work, plumbing, electrical and appliances.

Avoid companies that just want a sale and not prepared to share their contacts and expertise.

NZ made: I honestly can't hammer this point enough. Lots of "Kitchen Companies" are actually just importers of foreign cabinetry & benchtops and will give you all sorts of flowery stories about european quality. I can assure you that this is an absolute fallacy. No country builds better kitchens that those whom manufacture in NZ. New Zealand has strict regulatory standards for supply and manufacture, in accordance with NZ conditions. The materials will have had to been certified and approved by the strict regulatory bodies in NZ, unlike imported products.

You will also have more protection under the consumer guarantees act when dealing with a local NZ owned & operated company, than a overseas based importer. If you insist on using imported product, can I ask you that the company concerned, gives you several customers contacts that bought, at least 5 years ago, to call, to see how the product is holding up. Don't be sucked in by cheap prices and slick talk.

Warranties: Check your companies warranties, read the fine print. You want a company that is going to stand by their product for the long term and not one that wipes its hands of you as you walk away with your new kitchen neatly packed into a box.

The things to consider for your new kitchen

  • Appliances: this is a good time to think about replacing older appliances. Most Kitchen companies will be able to arrange appliance quotes for you helping save some dollars. So, before you buy your new appliances talk to your kitchen designer & don't finalise your new appliances, until AFTER the Kitchen design is settled upon, this way you will get the best use of your space.

  • Kitchen Flooring: Decide if you are going to replace the flooring in your Kitchen. Talk to your Kitchen designer about your plans for the flooring, as certain types of flooring require design considerations and effect the Kitchen installation process and can turn out to be quite a lot more expensive in the long run, that alternate materials.

  • Kitchen Power points & Lighting: Will you upgrade your lighting in the kitchen? Again, your Kitchen designer will be a good source of knowledge around kitchen lighting, extra power points & Kitchen lighting. Maybe you will want toe kick lighting and/or downlights, talk to the experts before you make any decisions.

  • Kitchen Splashback: Tiles, glass, stone, or Laminam, there are plentiful options for kitchen splash backs and each has its own advantages & disadvantages. Particularly if you’re having a gas hob, you will need fireproof material behind this appliance & the material you use will need to meet the gas standards. Your kitchen designer can provide valuable advice you in this area.

  • Delivery & installation. Chose a company that will deliver & install your new kitchen. The most amazing cabinetry won't look the way it should if you don't have a skilled & experienced install team. Loads of people call themselves kitchen installers, handymen & builders. However the finish of your kitchen is all in the detail and a skilled installer will make sure your NZ made world class cabinetry fits like a glove. After all spending all that money you want the best result, don't skimp on the installation.

Kitchen project checklist to think about:

  • Carpenter/Builder

  • Gib Fixer

  • Gib Stopper

  • Painter

  • Electrician

  • Plumber

  • Gas Fitter (if you have gas or a gas hob)

  • Flooring contractor

  • Appliance installation

  • Rangehood installation and supply

Tasks/ issues that need to be considered:

  • Remove existing kitchen (Trade me is good for selling the old Kitchen)

  • Plumbing disconnection of your existing kitchen

  • Wall relocation (if footprint of kitchen is changing)

  • New plumbing location

  • Drawers under sink will need to be templated once the plumbing is fitted

  • More electrical plug locations and if appliances are shifting you will need appropriate electrical switches installed

  • New Flooring or Flooring repairs

  • Kitchen Lighting location, discuss this with your designer.

  • How will you cook while you are without a working kitchen? (could be several weeks if your having a solid benchtop)

The kitchen installation process:

Installing of a new kitchen will not usually happen in 1 day. There are multiple trades to plan around. A normal timeline could look like this:

  1. Day 1- Kitchen delivered and first day of your Kitchen installation commenced.

  2. Day 2- The cabinetry install is completed and your benchtop is templated (if you are having a solid surface benchtop)

  3. Day 3 to 12- Your flooring installed

  4. Day 12- Solid surface benchtop is installed

  5. Day 13-Plumbing & Electrical connected

  6. Day 14 - Second install-panels, toe kicks and any cabinetry that sits on the benchtop, Glass doors or shelves installed.

  7. Day 14-Glass splashback templated

  8. Day 24-Glass splashback installed.

So, although all these processes might not occur in your renovation, it is important that you are aware that this is the process that maybe required. We will help you work through your project and give you the best information possible on the expected timeline for your new kitchen

Finally, good luck with your kitchen renovation! Choose the right Kitchen company and the process will be straightforward fun and easy.

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