Why you should choose appliances before designing a new kitchen

Sort it: Choosing your appliances early means no surprises for the builder

Things that influence the design of the kitchen include whether you want eye-level ovens or have a particular preference for the hob set-up.

Things that influence the design of the kitchen include whether you want eye-level ovens or have a particular preference for the hob set-up.

 

The starting point for a kitchen renovation or redesign project is often the aesthetics. Hours are spent poring over inspiration images to decide on style, colour and other finishes. The last consideration for many people is the appliances.

But now more than ever, these humble devices need to be the first things you choose. Here are four reasons you should always choose your kitchen appliances before you start designing your kitchen.

Learn about the latest innovations

There have been tremendous innovations in appliances in recent years. It’s the one area in kitchen design where most advances have taken place. The choice available now is different to what was on offer 10 years ago.

“Many people buying appliances today might not have bought appliances for the past 10, 15 or 20 years,’ says Cyril Mangan from KAL. “There are lots of new terms such as induction, non-drip hoods or downdraught extraction that many people won’t understand. So there’s often a training process required for many people when shopping for appliances,” he explains.

Allowing adequate time to bring yourself up to speed with the latest innovations is essential. Without this kind of planning, you risk falling into the trap of picking appliances that are similar to what you have. “You don’t want to put a considerable amount of time into the design of your kitchen cabinets and not future-proof the appliances,” says Mangan. “Just because you’ve always had a double oven doesn’t mean that’s what you should go for now.”

They will determine design/influences/style of your kitchen

Your choice of appliances will affect the overall look and style of your kitchen. Appliances are probably the most critical thing to decide upon when starting with the kitchen design, says kitchen designer Ed Rhatigan of Rhatigan and Hick. He explains that one of the first questions he asks clients at the beginning of the design process is related to their choice of appliances. Do you want a range cooker? Are you planning on getting a big statement fridge, or do you want to go with fully integrated appliances? These are some of the first questions a kitchen designer will ask, so it’s worth considering all of this before your first meeting.

Having a good indication of the type of appliances you want in your kitchen is very helpful. It provides a strong starting point for your kitchen designer.

“If you are going to go for an Aga or a range cooker, you will be going in a very particular direction with the design of your kitchen,” says Rhatigan. Other things that influence the design of the kitchen are whether you want eye-level ovens or if you have a particular preference for the set-up with your hob. So it’s essential to communicate these things to your kitchen designer as early in the design process as possible.

Selecting a downdraught hob, for example, will have a significant impact on your kitchen design. An integrated extractor unit within the hob will open up many more possibilities regarding the layout and where you position it. The induction versions are very sleek and streamlined in design, making them ideal for locating on an island unit as you hardly notice them. 

Help avoid cost overruns 

Choosing your appliances early on means there will be no surprises for the contractor during the build. Depending on the appliances you select, you might require additional plumbing or wiring. For example, some steam ovens need to be plumbed in, meaning you will need to fit a water supply and install a waste pipe. A hot water tap will require power to heat the water, which means extra wiring. 

The contractor must know in advance what appliances you intend to put in your kitchen. Otherwise, you may find there will be additional costs after the work has started for which you hadn’t budgeted.

Long lead times

Disruption to global supply chains has affected almost every industry. Kitchen appliances have also been affected, with some appliances becoming very difficult to source. There is no guarantee you’ll be able to get precisely the appliance you want when you want it, says Rhatigan. Appliances that, until recently, were on a small- to no-lead time are now on six- to 10-week lead times. Some range cookers can take as long as 16 weeks to arrive. 

“When you have a construction time of about 10 weeks for a bespoke kitchen, having a 16-week lead time on a cooker is unworkable,” says Rhatigan.

The delays have become such an issue that some brands are lending temporary appliances to keep projects moving and let people move back into their homes. Rhatigan stresses that forward planning is critical and urges people to place orders as soon as possible. 

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