Designing the perfect kitchen

By Angie Kendel

There are many things to consider when planning a kitchen reno. Your floor plan, overall style or look of the new space, budget, colours, blending the new design with the existing space are all important considerations. What are some of the concerns with your old space that you would like the new space to address? Do you have adequate storage? Does the floor plan work? Do you have adequate lighting? What is your budget?

If you want to remove walls, we need to determine if they are load bearing walls. It is always best for the homeowner to check with the City of Winnipeg to determine if a permit is required. Make sure you work with a contractor who will pull the proper permits. If permits are not taken out when required, the City can hold up the sale of your home later and order you to redo work that is not to code, and even fine you, before they allow you to sell your home. Some contractors don’t like pulling permits, so make sure whoever you work with ensures they do things right.

In addition, if you have had work done in the past, it is a good idea to make sure all open permits for your home have been closed. Simply go to the City of Winnipeg website under permits and check your address for any open permits.

Having a functional floor plan has a huge impact on how well the space works for you. You want to take into consideration how many people use the space at the same time. Do you cook together as a family? Do you need two or more work areas? How about storage options? I have our clients measure their largest small appliances that they need cupboards for and ensure we custom design storage to accommodate them. It is important to plan this out before cabinets are ordered so we can incorporate their specific requirements into the cabinet design.

What style are you looking for? What colours and materials do you want? How will the new look blend with the overall style of your home? The Appraisal Institute of Canada recommends homeowners keep the style consistent throughout their home when doing renos to increase the homes desirability upon resale. How do we transition colours between spaces? This can be a matter of paint or flooring, while bringing in accent pieces that incorporate colours from different rooms to tie the whole space together.

Lighting plays a huge role in any space. Adequate lighting makes a space easy to work in. Task lighting or accent lighting can make a huge difference during dark winter months. Some lighting options are pot lights, under counter lighting, specific ceiling fixtures, and hanging island or peninsula lighting. There is also halo lighting above the top cabinets, toe kick lighting, or even under counter strip lighting. Any combination of these can create a functional, decorative or dramatic effect!

Budget is always a determining factor. It is important to work with a contractor who respects your budget. Never pay someone in advance for the whole job. A deposit is normal upon signing. Payment for any custom order materials is often required in advance. However, the homeowner should always hold back a portion of the final payment until all work has been completed. Any additional work should be quoted by the contractor and agreed to by both parties in advance. Keep in mind any additional work often adds additional time to the job as well.

Timelines are also important. Find out roughly how long the reno will take. We typically determine the start of a project based on the delivery of the materials. We want to ensure everything is ordered well in advance and we have most items in before the reno begins. This ensures the minimum down time to your space. You want to check with past customers that the contractor finishes what he starts in a timely manner.

If we are waiting on inspections from the City Building Inspectors, those are expected delays. However, if the contractor doesn’t show up or call when they were supposed to be there, you don’t want to be waiting for weeks or months.

Communication plays a huge role in how quickly and smoothly a project goes through. Once we start your project, you are our priority. I want to move your project through from start to finish in a timely manner.

If you are looking for great ideas on renovations, come check out the Winnipeg Renovation Show this weekend, January 10-12 at the RBC Convention Centre. I will be presenting on stage Friday at 4 pm, Saturday at 2:30 pm and Sunday at 2 pm. Enter this link for 50% off all tickets for the show. Remember Kat Reno now offers AIR MILES REWARD MILES on all renovations!