Kitchen Installation Considerations – Pre-installation Tips
One of the most important things to consider when planning a kitchen installation is the location of your kitchen in the first place. You should give careful consideration as to whether your present kitchen is in the most suitable place in your house. For example if you do a lot of outdoor eating it may be an idea to move the kitchen so that it opens up onto the garden if it does not do so already. This has several advantages, such as being close to where you would hang out your laundry, being able to supervise children when they are playing in the garden, and having a more light and open feel.
On the other hand, you could decide to move the kitchen upstairs to take advantage of better light and space and move some bedrooms to the ground floor or a basement. All of these things should be discussed with the architect or designer prior to making any decisions. But if you really feel that the kitchen is the centre of your home then don't be afraid to think about reshuffling the rooms so that the kitchen gets the most ideal location and can take advantage of outdoor spaces and natural light.
If you are building a house from the ground up or doing a total refurbishment, then think about where you want your kitchen to face. It is ideal to orientate it eastwards where it will have an opportunity to benefit from solar gain in the mornings. The kitchen is usually the first room after the bathroom that you make use of in the mornings and so for it to warm up and be flooded with natural light creates a pleasant start to the day.
When thinking about your kitchen installation do not rule out restructuring the space by knocking down walls, taking out doors or removing windows. Any structural alterations will need to be overseen by a professional prior to any kitchen installation. Building regulations and local planning rules can vary so make sure to check with the local authorities. Kettering, Wellingborough, Northampton, and Milton Keynes will all have slightly different approaches to what they allow in terms of modifications to houses.
Whichever layout you prefer, make sure that it coordinates practically with any entrances, staircases and hallways. If you plan to have your kitchen leading onto the garden, it might also be a good idea to add a porch or lobby where you can keep your umbrellas, shoes and coats. In many of the terraced homes in Kettering, Northampton and Wellingborough, the kitchen acts as a corridor from one part of the house through to the back garden and often becomes quite a busy walk-through area. If this starts to annoy you then it could be an idea to add an alternative back exit somewhere else in the house.
A larger kitchen isn't always better than a smaller one. Practical layout is much more critical than the size of the kitchen. In fact very large kitchens can sometimes be impractical if the appliances that you work with are not ergonomically positioned. Just because you have a small kitchen, it does not mean that you have to compromise on style or function. There is an advantage to a smaller kitchen in terms of quality, in that because of its smaller surface area you could potentially afford to spend more on higher quality materials than you would have been able to with a large kitchen.
When considering your total kitchen installation, bear in mind that if you wish to add any rooms or change any part of the front elevation of your house, you will probably require planning permission. So make sure you contact your local planning department even prior to commissioning any kitchen plans or designs. Polaris Kitchens can help you through the building regulation and plannng permission process where necessary. By planning in advance you will have an idea of the maximum potential of the kitchen installation.
If you’re planning on installing a kitchen into a disused basement, it is likely that this will constitute a change of use, and therefore you will need to notify the planning authorities of this. If you live in any of the conservation areas of Kettering, Wellingborough, Northampton or Milton Keynes (the old village mainly), or live in a listed building, you are going to need listed building consent for any changes that you make that might affect the property's character.
You will undoubtedly need building regulations approval for any structural alterations, such as the removal of chimney breasts, or putting a door in a structural wall. Often you need building regulations approval even when you might not need planning permission for certain works. It is the responsibility of an architect to seek these permissions, if you have hired one. If you are undertaking all the work yourself, then you need to liaise with the building inspector and ask his advice on any other organisations within the local authority whose permission is needed for the works.
Please speak to Polaris Kitchens if you are considering any of these works and we will be happy to provide advice and guidance.