When in pristine, sparkling order there are two rooms that can dramatically increase the value of your house. Breathing new life into an old bathroom, saving a period kitchen from falling apart or even renovating a whole house can be unbelievably fulfilling. Be that as it may, before you eagerly get on with your project ensure you have done your research ahead of time. Within this ultimate guide to bathroom and kitchen renovations we will talk about how to get inspired for your next renovation project, some of the planning you will need to undertake and how to go out and find the right contractors to help you complete your project.
But before all of that, lets talk a little more about why you are here and reading this post. Starting at the very beginning. You are probably looking for inspiration and ideas, lets talk about some great sources of inspiration that have helped our customers with their projects.
What do you want the end result to look like?
You will no doubt know that you do not like your current kitchen or bathroom, perhaps that Avocado toilet and sink have gotten to much. Do you have leaky taps? Are your appliances looking dated, your kitchen looking beaten up. It’s right that you want to renovate these two essential rooms but where do you start? Start by identifying what you want the end result to look like, do that by seeking inspiration from any or all of these three sources.
Houzz is a website that is dedicated to interior design and architecture. If you haven’t visited that site yet please do. So many of our clients know that they would like to renovate their kitchen or bathroom, they even have some great ideas but when it comes down to the detail they aren’t yet quite sure. This is where Houzz comes in.
Houzz.co.uk is specifically set up to help you find the finished look that you are after. You can search by room or by style. You can snoop inside the biggest and richest homes and magpie inspiration from homes and houses all over the world. Login, set up an account and start saving what you like. Use their tools to define the layout and look that you would like in your home. Start to define the style, look and feel that would best suit your home. Houzz.co.uk is totally free, so make this your first stop for inspiration.
For a long time now, home and garden magazines have provided an array of innovative design schemes, as well as information on new products. It’s a good idea to buy or subscribe to two or three magazines on a regular basis. Many home-design magazines illustrate newly built luxury homes, but they also feature alterations, renovations and extensions to more modest houses. These magazines often list useful contacts and provide information on building costs too.
By keeping a record
You can learn a great deal from other people’s experiences – both good and bad – but remember, ideas and suggestions can easily be forgotten unless you write then down. Throughout your project it is worth maintain a scrapbook or having a folder where photographs, notes, magazine articles and snippets of information can be kept.
Renovating your Kitchen
Renovating your old kitchen means out with the old and in with the new. This could mean ripping out the old kitchen in its entirety or more sparing measures like replacing tiles, repainting or ditching old appliances.
Kitchens are the centre of the home, they need to be both functional and beautiful spaces to live, eat and welcome guests in. How many times have you ended up in the kitchen at a family or friends get together? They are social spaces and need to function accordingly.
The quality of kitchen furniture and fittings varies enormously – but every well-designed kitchen should incorporate the following features.
A labour-saving layout
Preparing meals can become a chore unless the facilities for food preparation, cooking and washing up are arranged within easy reach of each other – in order to avoid unnecessary movement – so the layout of the kitchen forms an efficient work triangle’. Ideally, the combined length of the sides of the triangle should not exceed 6 to 7m (20 to 22ft).
Storage and appliances
If the work triangle is to be effective, a kitchen must incorporate enough storage space in each area. The fridge and food- stuffs should be close to where the meals are prepared; also, adequate work surfaces need to be provided in appropriate locations. You may be able to find a place for a freezer elsewhere – although it needs to be somewhere conveniently close to the kitchen. The hob and oven should be grouped together, with heat-proof surfaces nearby to take hot dishes. Cooking equipment should be within easy reach.
Appliances that require plumbing are best grouped, together with the sink, on an outside wall. In a small house the kitchen area may contain a dishwasher, washing machine and tumble dryer, although a separate laundry room is really the ideal solution.
Plan your kitchen storage carefully, to provide safe and efficient access.
The Kitchen Renovation plan
By breaking your Kitchen renovation plan into some simple steps you’ll make sure that your finished article will be as you need it and without hiccups that you may later regret.
1) Assess your requirements – how much space do you need? That is for people and for all of the items stored in your kitchen. Make sure that you plan for enough units and shelving to store what you already own.
2) Don’t forget the plumbing and heating – It costs money to move plumbing, is your sinkhole in the right place, does it need to move? Would you prefer a better view from the hob or sink? Heating needs to be considered to. Removing old radiators and replacing with underfloor heating increases wall space and makes for a cosier room. Make sure that you check out all of your alternatives before committing to a plan.
3) Have a lighting plan – lighting can make a kitchen dramatic, even stunning but you mustn’t forget that you’ll also need practical lighting so that you can see when preparing your meals.
4) Choose a design that compliments your home – Unless you are planning on renovating the whole house – and you may well be – make sure that the design of your kitchen doesn’t clash with the rest of your house. That being said, don’t be held back in the kitchen, its an opportunity to create an amazing room and a stunning kitchen also puts a lot of money on your houses value.
5) Seek professional advice – Sometimes it can be all to much planning the layout, so many things and items to consider. You can take professional advice directly from a kitchen designer or your local DIY store will also have a design team that will be willing to help as well.
6) Make a budget – and stick to it!
Worktops, floors and finishes
Following on from our last point on budget, here’s where the budget sometimes gets a little stretched. It is a common mistake that the building works, cost of the kitchen and appliances etc are considered but the items that really finish a kitchen off nicely are forgotten. This is the most common cause of going over budget. You need to make sure that your finishes are considered alongside the total budget from the very beginning.
What worktop do you want? Perhaps you have gone for the white gloss kitchen look and you want to finish with a beautiful oak breakfast bar. Maybe Marble is your thing? Don’t forget the tiles, how much floor space have you got to cover? Will your budget stretch? Or if you are having handles, which handles on your drawers and cupboards. Even the cheapest kitchen units can be made to look amazing with the addition of some vintage or reclaimed finds.
Here’s some links to the top rated Kitchen Renovators in Chelmsford:
- Luxe Kitchens; 1 New Street, Chelmsford, Essex.
- Galleywood Kitchen Studio, 2 Skinners Lane, Chelmsford, Essex
- Regal Kitchens, 2 Navigation Road, Chelmsford, Essex.
- Bentons Kitchens, 23 – 27 Moulsham Street, Chelmsford, Essex
- Wren Kitchens,Chelmer Village Way, Chelmsford, Essex.
Renovating your Bathroom
Bathrooms are usually the whole hog renovations. Although it is possible to replace tiles and taps or even fit an amazing power shower to replace that drippy old one that you have so long persevered with, we find that our clients are usually looking to renovate their whole bathroom. Next we’ll talk through some of the practicalities that you will need to consider when upgrading your bathroom as well as some hints and tips to make that perfect relaxing room.
If the bathroom does not provide the amenities you require, estimate whether there is space for extra appliances, even if this means rearranging the existing layout or perhaps incorporating an adjacent toilet. Is there a separate toilet for use when the bathroom is occupied? Can a ground-floor toilet be installed for the disabled or elderly? If the bathroom isn’t accessible to all the bedrooms, it’s worth investigating the possibility of installing a second bathroom, wet room or shower cubicle elsewhere. Alternatively, consider plumbing a basin in some bedrooms. Make a note of electrical installations in the bathroom. If they do not comply with accepted recommendations, they must be replaced with new units.
Selecting a Bath
Nowadays, the majority of baths are made from acrylic or glass-reinforced plastic – light and relatively cheap materials offering a wide variety of shapes. The surfaces are warm to the touch, and some freestanding models are ‘double glazed’ with an insulated twin-skin construction to help retain heat. The surfaces are vulnerable to abrasive cleaners and bleach.
With their enamelled surfaces, pressed-steel and cast-iron baths are much tougher. They are heavy and it will take at least two people to carry a steel bath, and perhaps more for a cast iron bath. Resin / stone composite baths are becoming more popular and are warm and practical.
Baths can be built in, panelled, sunken or freestanding. Corner baths can allow a bigger bath in a smaller space, while for very small bathrooms there are compact units (1200mm) long. There are also side-opening baths for those who have mobility problems.
Many baths can now be supplied fitted with a spa facility, where a powerful pump circulates water through a series of nozzles fitted in the sides of the bath – DIY kits are also available to retro fit to existing baths.
Selecting a Washbasin
Wall-hung and pedestal washbasins are invariably made from vitreous china, but basins that are supported all round by a counter top are also available in pressed steal and plastic.
A great tip is to select taps at the same time, to ensure that the basin of your choice has holes at the required spacing to receive the taps – or no holes at all if the taps are to be wall mounted. There is a huge array of shapes and sizes and which one you decide in invariably comes down to space and taste.
Basin shapes include:
– Pedestal Basins, those that sit on a pedestal.
– Wall-hung Basins, that are attached directly to the wall.
– Corner basins, that are space saving and sit in the corner of smaller bathrooms.
– Recessed Basins, for even more space limited bathrooms
– Counter Top Basins, that you can neatly fit into counter top.
Selecting Cisterns and WC suites
From antique-style high-level cisterns to discreet close-coupled or concealed models, the choice is so wide that you’re bound to find one to suit your requirements. Before buying, make sure the equipment carries the British Standard Kite mark’ or complies with equivalent EC standards.
If you simply want to replace an old- fashioned high-level cistern without having to modify the pipework, comparable cisterns are still available from plumbers’ merchants.
Standard low-level cistern
Many people prefer a cistern mounted on the wall just above the WC pan. A short flush pipe from the base of the cistern connects to the flushing horn on the rear of the pan, while inlet and overflow pipes can be fitted to either side of the cistern. Most low-level cisterns are manufactured from the same vitreous china as the WC pan.
Compact low-level cistern
Where space is limited, use a plastic cistern, which is only 114mm (4%in) from front to back.
A low-level cistern can be completely concealed behind panelling. The supply and overflow connections are identical to those of other types of cistern, but the flushing lever is mounted on the face of the panel. These plastic cisterns are utilitarian in character, with no concession to fashion or style, and are therefore relatively inexpensive. Don’t forget that you will need to provide access for servicing.
A close-coupled cistern is bolted directly to the pan, forming an integral unit. Both the inlet and overflow connections are made at the base of the cistern. An internal standpipe rises vertically from the overflow connection with the pan to protrude above the level of the water.
When visiting a showroom, you are confronted with many apparently different WC pans to choose from, but in fact there are usually only two variations on the washdown pan – those where the cistern is connected by a pipe, and close-coupled. Be sure to choose the most comfortable for you. Soft close lids add a touch of luxury to any bathroom renovation.
Tiles, floors and finishes
As with kitchen finishes here is where your budget can come unstuck. You can literally go crazy with the finishes. Tile floor, but how about tiling half way up the wall, even to the ceiling. Make sure you measure accurately and see what your budget can stretch to. What are your taps going to look like? Perhaps a retro radiator is your thing or a heated towel rail. If you have a smaller bathroom why not try this design trick and use a piece of mirrored glass, make sure it goes wall to wall to make the whole room feel larger. From neat little bins to additional shelving space try using budget units and accessorising with reclaimed handles, even old timber or reclaimed scaffold boards.. Old and new cleverly combined can look stunning and can be made to fit any budget.
Here’s some links to the top rated Bathroom Renovators in Chelmsford:
- Ripples Bathrooms, 100 Springfield Rd, Chelmsford, Essex.
- The Bathroom Showroom, 10 Bilton Rd, Chelmsford, Essex.
- Barefoot Bathrooms, Great Baddow, Chelmsford, Essex.
If you are planning kitchen or bathrooms renovations in the near future make sure to understand exactly hat you want. Seek inspiration, check out your friends and families homes, identify exactly what look and feel you are after then go and research it. Remember to shop around, check out the big retailers and reclamation yards, there is so much choice in and around Chelmsford, and if you spread your research a little further there is even more great places to find exactly what you want in Essex.
Best of luck renovating!
If you are considering renovating your house, why not get in touch with First Call Electrician. We can work alongside your designer or builder and help you to achieve what you are looking for. From kitchen rewiring to adding great lighting to your new bathroom we can help your project go without a hitch. If you are planning a kitchen or bathroom renovation shortly make us your first call.
Contact First Call Electrician today on 01245 330428.