Kitchen install tips and tricks
We have collected some basic tips for people wanting to renovate their kitchen or build a new one.
1. Plan, plan, and then plan some more: Consider what appliances you want and their size. Do you want a wall oven or a free-standing one, a double fridge or a single, a single- or two-bowl sink? What about bench top material? What type of hob do you want/need and how it will be powered?
2. Budget: Be realistic. If you have a modest budget, stick to that. Know what is affordable for what you have.
3. Space: Work out your plans with a sketch. Does it include a dining area? For flow and storage, is it a walkthrough kitchen? What views do you want from your workspace? What storage do you need?
4. Choices: Things you need to decide on include flooring, wall coverings, colours, cooktop, splashback, tiles, window dressings, sink style, cabinets, handles, lighting, and bench finish.
5. Management: Work out how to manage during the building phase. Expect at least a week without a kitchen.
6. Tolerances: Allow tolerances for the standard units. There may be a need for filler panels between some of the units. These will not look out of place, but you’re better off allowing a bit more room than having it too tight.
7. Surfaces: Make sure all of your surfaces are in the right place for what they’ll be used for. Think about meal prep, dry spaces, wet use, ‘hang out’ areas. Ensure there is power where you’ll need it for toasters, coffee makers, slow cookers, and the like. 8. Levels: All soft-close drawers and cupboards will not close properly if the levels aren’t correct. Ensure your levels are true before installing your units.
9. High units: Get rid of high units when possible. Instead, do full wall units from floor to ceiling or have nothing at all when possible.
10. Touch to open: These units are the trend currently. Be aware that they are very sensitive and most light brushes will open them.
11. Colour scheme: You’ll seldom go wrong with white on white in the kitchen.
12. Engineered stone: This will be cheaper than granite. Colouring is also often more uniform, with more colour options available.
13. Production line: Kitchens from Peter Hay Kitchens are built on a production line in Auckland. Most kitchens (90 per cent) will be able to work around these standard units, only sometimes requiring some packing out to ensure a good fit into the space available.
14. Breakfast bar: When building a breakfast bar, avoid an overhang of any less than 280mm, otherwise you’ll likely find little room for your legs and feet under the bar.
15. Windows: Don’t forget to factor in where your windows are and optimize placement of units for sun and light. Over the sink is best and other light sources are worth considering for cooking, access, and general use of the space.
16. Vacuum warning: Do not let the builder use your vacuum cleaner. Building dust and debris can ruin a domestic vacuum cleaner. A builder’s industrialstrength machine is needed to clean up.