How to project manage your kitchen renovation

Taking on a kitchen redesign is a big job, follow our expert advice for easy ways to get organised

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Taking on a kitchen redesign is a big job, so it pays to find easy ways to get organised.

Refine your chosen look

Whether you’re updating your current kitchen or extending to create a new space, one of the first considerations should be which style to go for. Do your research and collect images that inspire you to help develop your scheme, and consult kitchen design specialists to make sure you consider all possibilities, when it comes to style and space planning.

Consider practical requirements

You’ll be living with your new layout for a long time, so think about how to make the space work for your lifestyle. ‘Decide what you want and need in your kitchen,’ advises B&Q interior design manager Cat Dennison. ‘How many people will be using it? Can it fit into your current footprint, or would it work better in a different setup?’

Consider activities beyond cooking, suggests David Vine, kitchens project leader at Ikea: ‘Do you need a work area, or a place to socialise? A place for pets or for laundry? Look out for smart kitchen solutions that will help you design a functional yet beautiful space.’

Be confident about measurements

‘Check the condition of your walls and floors, as any remedial works may affect the measurements of your space,’ says Michael Burke, divisional installation manager at Homebase. ‘Consult a local builder to give advice on the floor level and any re-plastering. Get a second person to re-measure and check your measurements.’

Plan and budget

Once you have a clear idea of both your practical and design requirements, draw up a plan dividing up the project into specific tasks with deadlines, and assign segments of your budget. Don’t forget to factor in lead time for the fittings and fixtures you’ll be ordering.

Finalise your design

From DIY warehouses to bespoke kitchen companies, kitchen design specialists are there to help you with planning your scheme and usually supply drawings so that you can fully visualise your transformed space. You’ll need to select your fittings and finishes, including cabinetry, worktops, appliances, lighting, flooring, tiling and splashbacks. You can also hire an architect or building contractor to help manage the work if it’s a large project.

Hire a contractor

‘Ensure that you employ a qualified tradesperson to fit your kitchen, and for any gas and electric work,’ advises Michael Burke of Homebase.

If using a contractor, get at least three different estimates, and look for members of relevant professional bodies to give you greater protection if something goes wrong.

Make time for snagging. Most projects will need a little refining, so after the major work has been completed, make a list of details that have been forgotten, are missing, or wrong. Your contractor may have to return to finish these off, so allow for this in your deadline.

Image above: Julie and Nick Thorne’s ambitious kitchen-diner extension allows the couple to enjoy their light-filled space throughout the whole year.