Along with bathroom replacements, new kitchens are amongst the UK’s most popular home improvements. Whether it’s to improve the quality of your home life, or to increase the value of your property with a potential sale in mind, a refreshed kitchen can make all the difference, and turn your residence from a house in to a true home.

Redesigning an existing kitchen is one thing, but building a new one from nothing is a different challenge. Here is some guidance on how to go about it:

Effective planning and research

Don’t see yourself as a passive recipient of services when it comes to any home improvement project. Make sure you have a clear picture of what you want, and also negotiate potential obstacles.

In most cases, a kitchen build from scratch will come under the heading of ‘Permitted Development’, but it’s always best to check whether you need planning permission from the council, especially if you’re extending to the rear or side, or knocking down walls. When it comes to your objectives, you don’t have to be an architect, but any sketches you can provide to potential contracts can only be of assistance in clarifying your vision. Furthermore, make sure everybody who needs to know is aware of your budget, and can assure you they will work within it.

Go for a chain of joined-up services

Whether you go for one of the big high street retailers or an independent, do try to select a provider who can deliver the completed job to you in an end-to-end process. Research the provider, and the contractors they use. Look for feedback on websites and community forums, then choose a single overall company that will coordinate and schedule the whole process for you.

You may, for example be dealing with a building firm that will gut the old room and create a new space, before handing it over to a standard supplier to fit the new kitchen. Having done your homework previously on all the links in the chain, you’re more likely to have confidence at each stage. Moreover, you avoid the stress and hassle of having to deal with multiple, unrelated contractors – in such a situation, the scheduling would be down to you, and that’s a job you could well do without.

The kitchen layout itself

If you have plenty of space available in your new kitchen area, you may opt for an island. A central fixture where food preparation can take place, as well as serving as a breakfast bar area. When it comes to surfaces, the choices will largely be between glass, Corian, granite, quartz, solid wood, or Formica. All the surfaces have their pros and cons, but do establish that quality components are used, from branded providers.

Remember the basics

Finally, there are always so many factors in a new kitchen project, it’s sometimes easy to forget the formalities. For example, a common mistake is failing to make sure enough power sockets are provided.

Moreover, do discuss with your kitchen supplier the most forgiving surfaces when it comes to cleaning. You don’t want to have work too hard, after all, in the kitchen of your dreams.