Budgeting your kitchen renovation

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It’s never easy to commit to a kitchen renovation. One is always concerned about the noise, disruption and the cost of renovating. While some disruption during the process is inevitable, at least when it comes to budgeting your project we can help. Here are a few tips on how to establish a renovation budget.
Identify what you want to keep
If looking to do the project within a budget one should consider re-using parts of their existing kitchen. Your oven, fridge, chimney and hob could be reused if in proper condition. If you are fine with the location of your water inlets and outlets then you can save on redoing the plumbing, and the same is true for electrical work. You might even consider reusing the original flooring.
Set priorities
What is the goal of the renovation? Do you want to Increase space, change the look and feel, or make it more functional for your changing requirements? Make a priority list of what you care about, this will help you pick and choose tasks when fitting the renovation into your budget.

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Modular Kitchen Renovation Cost Breakdown
Most modular kitchen companies will give you a rate that seems quite low, but one must note that they are only referring to the cabinets. When it comes to a holistic budget one needs to consider the cost of plumbing, electrical, tiling, painting etc.
The cost of renovating a typical 8’X 10’ size kitchen with branded materials and midrange specifications should be around Rs. 4 Lacks. The budget break down per task is as follows:
Modular cabinets: 40% (includes good quality hardware, and laminate finish)
Electrical: 17% (includes hob, chimney, fans and geyser)
Plumbing: 11% (includes kitchen sink and faucet)
Tiles: 7% (floor and walls)
Doors and Windows: 12%
False ceiling: 3% (includes recessed lights)
Kitchen Counter: 3%
Misc. civil work: 7% (includes demolition of existing kitchen, waterproofing, painting etc.)
Please note that this budget doesn’t include larger appliances such as a fridge, OTG or microwave oven.
Also it is always advisable to keep an additional 15% of the budget available for unplanned tasks that might come up once your old kitchen is removed.
This basic thumb rule guide should get you on the right track in terms of preparing a budget, you can go high end with your cabinet finishes if your budget allows it, or cut some costs down by choosing not to redo the electricals and plumbing as mentioned before.
And finally to avoid going above budget, stick to the plan
How much extra you spend is completely dependent on you, once you have decided on a reasonable number, stick to it. Making changes through the course of a project leads to cascading budget increases that will surprise you at the end.
Hope these tips help you plan your upcoming kitchen renovation.

Modular Kitchen Accessories: What to keep in mind (Part 2)

(Updated Feb 2019)

Here’s a few other modular kitchen accessories that you might want to consider when setting up a new kitchen.

Vegetable Basket pullout
A vegetable basket pullout gives you a space to keep all your fresh produce. Things like potatoes and onions will always be kept outside even if you choose to keep the rest in the fridge. Instead of keeping your vegetables in a basket on top of the counter, this just makes your space look neater.

Note: One often has a choice between wicker baskets and stainless steel baskets. While wicker looks nicer, it can be harder to clean than stainless steel. You will also need to choose whether to put a shutter on your baskets or leave them open – a shutter can help keep the dust out and the smells inside.

VegiBasket1
Source: Howdens

VegiBasket2
Source: 3plModularKitchens

Kitchen Pantry Unit
Pantry units come in a few different variations, and generally are in the form of a tall pullout with multiple shelves. The advantage of a pantry unit is that the things lying in the back of your cabinets become easier to reach, as opposed to needing to pull out all your jars in front to access the ones behind.

Note: Given the tall nature of these cabinets, you’ll still need a stepstool or a small ladder to access the upper shelves.

PantryUnit1
Source: Hettich

PantryUnit2
Source: Hettich

PantryUnit3
Source: Hettich

Appliance Garage
Appliance garages are becoming popular in India nowadays. They can be thought of as small cabinets on your kitchen counter to keep your appliances plugged in, and pulled out whenever you want to use one. There is usually a shutter on the front of the cabinet, hence the use of the term garage.

ApplianceGarage2
Source: Houzz.com

ApplianceGarage1
Source: Houzz.com

Drawer systems
Drawers come in many shapes and sizes in your kitchen. You can use drawers for cutlery, pots and pans, grains, flour and much more. They are often referred to as tandem boxes.

Note: The larger of these tandem boxes have weight capacities, so its important to figure out what purpose you’re going to use your drawer for. Also keep in mind that the pictures your modular kitchen company will show you usually show divisions/compartments in these drawers, but those attachments need to be purchased separately.

DrawerSystems1
Source: Hettich

DrawerSystems2
Source: Hettich

Other Kitchen Accessories or Appliances
We hope these posts have helped you understand the various inbuilt accessories that you might want to include your kitchen. Of course there’s another whole set of external appliances/accessories that you need to think about. These include your stove top, oven, microwave, refrigerator, toaster, kettle, blender and perhaps more. Don’t forget about these and where they might go in your kitchen too.

If you missed the first post in this series click here Modular Kitchen Accessories Part 1

Modular Kitchen Accessories: What to keep in mind (Part 1)

(Updated in Jan 2019)

When redoing your kitchen you’ll be spoilt for choice on the types, numbers, and brands of modular kitchen accessories out there. However, kitchen designers and hardware sellers are not likely to tell you about some of the more practical considerations of these accessories. So in the following post, we’re going to introduce you to some of the possible accessories you could install in your kitchen, while also giving you things to keep in mind when making your choices.

Inbuilt Kitchen Cutlery Trays
If you could only choose one accessory for your kitchen it would have to be a cutlery tray. This is one of the most useful organizers to have in a kitchen, and likely you’ll want more than one.

Note: Cutlery trays come in specific sizes, ensure your drawers are built to size else they may not fit properly, or you’ll have left over space on the sides. Rectangular trays (below image) tend to be more efficient on space, than angled ones (2nd image). Cutlery trays that are made of a firm plastic or metal are sturdier than the flexible plastic ones.

CutleryTray1
Source: Hettich

CutleryTray2
Source: Kaff

Garbage pullout
While you can easily ignore having a garbage pullout in your kitchen, it ends up being a neat way to organize your kitchen trash. Given the multiple boxes, you can start to segregate your dry and wet waste easily.

Note: Its important to note that most of the garbage pullouts in the market are quite small in size, and leave you feeling like you are wasting space below your sink. However, its best to go with what’s in the market than try to have your own built. Additionally, in our experience a pullout (left image) is more stable than the one you attach to the door (right image).

GarbagePullout1
Source: Hafelle

Kitchen Magic corners
Magic corners generally come recommended by kitchen manufacturers when you’re building a new modular kitchen. They make corners easier to use, and the things you store in there become a lot more accessible.

Note: However, there’s plenty you should know about magic corners before you decide how many, and what types to install in your kitchen.
• Magic corners can be frightfully expensive, especially if you go with the branded ones.
• Given the number of moving parts they have, they can get spoilt/damaged easily (be especially cautious when going for local brands).
• Do check what their max weight capacity is. The heavier they get, the more likely they are to break
• Often the storage space you get in a magic corner isn’t very much (pay close attention to the images below). You can’t stack your piles of dishes too high on there, if that’s something you were used to in the past.

Therefore, one would highly recommend taking a look at an installed magic corner in store before you give your kitchen company a go ahead.

MagicCorner1
Source: Hettich

MagicCorner2
Source: Hettich

MagicCorner3
Source: Indiamart

Bottle Pull Outs
Bottle pullouts are a convenient to put away your oils, vinegars, condiments and other jars you have.

Note: Measure the size of the largest bottles you expect to fit in there (e.g. 5L oil bottle) and make sure your pullout size is appropriate. Bottles when vertical can be a bit unsteady so you’ll need to keep the space quite packed up. Often pullouts are designed such that only one of the sides is fastened to the walls of the cabinet, making it a little shaky when pulled out.

BottlePullout1
Source: Hettich

BottlePullout2
Source: Hettich

Brands
The question of which brands of hardware one should consider often comes up so we thought we’d give our quick two cents. The hardware company that’s popular at any time keeps changing based on the push they are making amongst dealers. The ones that we typically suggest in the mid price range include Hettech, Kaff, and Ebco. Hafelle is slightly more expensive but has some good options not available in the others; Blum and Grass are also options in this segment. Godrej and Ozone are Indian companies also doing kitchen hardware, which have been known for years and have a trust in the Indian market.

Interested in more: see Modular Kitchen Accessories (Part 2)

6 Home Design Trends to watch in 2016

LED Lights

If you’re building or redesigning your home, you might be interested in what’s trending in home fashion these days. We’ve put together a few we feel are in vogue this season. If you have more to add, tell us about them on our Facebook Page.

1) Graphic Tiles: If you haven’t gone shopping for tiles lately, you might be in for a pleasant surprise. Gone are the days of monotone tiles. Todays graphic tiles are inspired by everything from art, to geometry, and come in textures and grains that leave you wondering if they are really tiles. Spice up your kitchens, and bathrooms with something that expresses your style.

Graphic Tiles

2) Open and Airy: Open design is changing how people think about boundaries between types of spaces. Transitions between living, dining, and kitchen spaces are being blurred giving a more spacious and airy feel to the house. It also allows for better ventilation.

Open and Airy Design Plan

3) Inbuilt Kitchen Appliances: Kitchen design these days needs to revolve around convenience and accessibility. Smart and Integrated appliances are the mainstay of every kitchen these days as people have limited space to cook.

Inbuilt Kitchen Appliances

4) LED Lights: There is a significant growth in LED lighting trends in home interiors in recent times. LED lights give your interiors a cool and futuristic look. They have additional advantage that they do not produce heat and are exceptionally energy efficient. They give the flexibility to segregate your task and ambient lights, thus creating an ambiance while being functional.

LED Lights

5) Designer Stairs: Modern staircase designs have become a stunning focal point and often set the tone for the entire house. Besides the practicality of connecting floors within a home, they also integrate fun and artistic interest.

Modern Design Stairs

6) Colorful Interiors: In recent times we have seen an increased use of color in interiors. People are now experimenting with color tones and adding a bit more drama to their interiors.

Color Interiors

 

6 Home Renovations to Plan When Getting Married

Home Renovation when getting married

 

Weddings are a good time to plan your home renovations. You may want to add an extra room or storage space to accommodate a new person’s belongings, and make a few more additions to make your spouse comfortable. Here are some changes we recommend while you plan your renovation.

Start Pinterest board together (e.g. http://ow.ly/YswK4) This way you can get a sense of each others design sensibilities and go through the tough task of shortlisting designs for your home before getting started on site.

  • Extra storage units:  You may want to add an extra cupboard or cabinets to store clothes and other belongings when you get married. You may want to mount a full length mirror on the cupboard or on a swivel, with the swivel revealing shelves and hooks- ideal for your belts, bags and scarves. Position a low chest of drawers at the foot of your bed and use it to store your bed linen. Think vertically, adding shelving to walls and possibly extending them to the ceiling.
  • The master Bedroom:  Look for Bedroom design ideas to help you put together the perfect bedroom to welcome your life partner home. Apart from adding storage, you may want to shift to a bigger bed and add a dresser or walk-in closet to it. Ensure you have a dedicated bathroom attached to the room. You should also look at adding more plug points to the room as the number of chargeable devices would increase once you get married.
  • The Bathroom: Bathroom designs can be tricky to implement. If you have the space, you could go in for his and her sinks. You could also add a tub or a Jacuzzi. If you don’t feel the need to include a bathtub; you can use that extra space for a large storage cabinet instead. Walk-in showers are also popular but bathtub with shower combos offer the best of both worlds. If space is a constraint, wall-mounted cabinets and medicine cabinets are helpful too.
  • The Kitchen: You should look for modular kitchen ideas to add style to the belly of your home.  Opt for open shelves instead of upper cabinets to provide display space and make a small kitchen feel larger. The most popular kitchen upgrade one can do before getting married is installing new state of the art energy-efficient appliances, such as a dual-fuel range with double convection ovens, a high-tech range hood, an energy star certified refrigerator and a water-saving paneled dishwasher.
  • Living Room: If at least one of you is a movie buffs, you may want a separate living room with a TV installed, to snuggle in and watch a late night flick. This space should ideally be separate from a formal drawing room that isn’t prim and proper all the time.
  • Another Bedroom: A spare bedroom is always good to have since guests visiting tend to increase after you’re married. Additionally, it could come in handy down the road when you start planning your own family. More so you can always benefit from the extra storage in this room, since there will almost certainly not be enough.

7 Kitchen Design Ideas to Best Utilize Your Space

A kitchen reflects your personality and style. Want to know how organised a person is? Just take a look at their kitchen.

The one common grievance everyone has at home is that ‘there isn’t enough space’. Thanks to innovations in kitchen design, today we have a number of kitchen hardware options in the market that help us organize ourselves and also save space. If you’re designing a new modular kitchen, or renovating your old one here are some tips for you.

  • Pull Out Cabinets– Pull out cabinets organize, de-clutter and help utilize every inch of your cabinet space. You can easily access 100% of your cabinet space without kneeling or stooping, and also get heavier items from your cabinets with minimal effort. It’s best to place pull out cabinets below the kitchen counters and push up cabinets overhead, to make things more accessible and provide better ergonomics of working within the kitchen.pull out cabinet
  • Corner Sink/Wash Casket– The kitchen corner is often the toughest space to utilize, whether its inside the cabinets or on top of the counter. A corner kitchen sink, though often more expensive than a straight one, can be a good way to utilise the corner. Corner sinks are now being manufactured in India by brands such as Nirali, and are easily available. Corner sinks also add a unique visual appeal to your kitchen.

Corner-Sink

  • Magic Corners– Magic corners have also made a significant impact on how corners are used, these days. With these circular shelves pivoting around a rod, all you need to do is swivel, and things kept at the far end come to the front. There are L-Shaped variations to these as well, wherein the front part is pulled out and a side shelf magically appears.

Magic Corner

  • Dish Drying Cabinet– Having a dish drying rack over the sink makes life very convenient as the water falls into the sink straight. The rack can be concealed with a wooden front cabinet cover, like the rest of the shelves in the kitchen, so that it blends with the rest of the kitchen design. Thus the utensils can be dried without making the Kitchen look cluttered and compromising the design.

Dish drying rack

  • Piped Gas (Instead of cylinders to save on space)- If you live in an area where gas pipelines are available, you may want to consider getting a connection as it saves on space and is safer to use. However, if you don’t have that option, you could create a rack outside the house, to place the cylinders and connect it to your burner via a pipe.
  • Drawer Systems/Organizers– What could be more delightful than finding the potato peeler exactly when you require it? Modern kitchen drawer fittings transform cluttered drawers of cutlery, cooking spoons,or snacks, into an organizers delight!There are also plenty of attachments that can help you organise your pots and pans so you don’t have to sift through 10 of them before finding the one you’re looking for. Imagine the difference this could make to your cooking routine.

modular cutlery drawer

  • Wine Glass Holders– Keep your stemware protected and sorted using a Hanging Wine Glass Rack. The rack, which is easy to install, is placed on the ceiling of the cabinet and helps save shelf space the glasses would have otherwise taken up. If you’re wondering, these attachments are fairly easy to clean as well.

Wine Glass Rack

We will keep updating this list from time to time, to help you organise your kitchen better. In the interim, do share your ideas with us in the comments section.

Update 16 feb 2019

Here are some more innovative ways to maximize storage efficiency in your kitchen.

 

Hanging

Add hooks to any free areas to create hanging space for your pots and pans. This might be under the top cabinets or above the window.

 

 

Use the tops of your cabinets

Put rarely used crockery and cutlery into fill-up bins and store them above your upper cabinets.

 

 

Put in a shelf above your window

Window walls are usually wasted, add a shelf to make the most of the space.

 

Add shelves to your splash wall

Use the space between above and lower cabinets to store glasses and other small containers.

Hope you find these tips useful, we will be back with more shortly!

Be sure to leave your comments and suggestions.

Things to keep in mind while planning a Modular Kitchen in India

The Kitchen is the most used (read: abused) part of the house. Many women and families end up spending maximum time in the Kitchen. Some use the space as a family gathering space too, while cooking elaborate meals. Others prefer quick meals or hire professionals. Hence each person has distinct needs which need to be catered to, while designing a kitchen.
Before you begin planning a new kitchen, here are somethings you should be clear about:
1) Family Setup: If you live in a joint family with elderly people and children, then you should plan your storage at lower levels.
2) Will you hire professional help who will use the kitchen mostly? then you may want to store things used most by the help separately.
3) Stocking patterns: Do you stock for a week or for a month?
4) The budget: which is obvious
Once you have these steps sorted, think about the work flow. Usually, a kitchen involves cooking, stocking, washing, and an area to keep prepared food. Usually these areas should not be less than 3 ft apart, to avoid a crampy look. But much depends on the space you have.
Here are some layout designs you could consider: 
Straight Line Kitchen
Straight Line Kitchen

The Straight Line – this is most suited for small narrow spaces. In this layout, all the work area is set against a single wall. The production chain is linear. It is cost-effective and looks sleek. However, this kind of layout does not provide for adequate work and storage space.

Galley Kitchen
Galley Kitchen

The Galley – in this kitchen plan is flanked by work platforms on either side. Many consider this to be an ideal layout in terms of efficiency. Less movement per task. The only major drawback is that if the space is too narrow, the space would get easily crowded.

U Shaped Kitchen
U Shaped Kitchen

The U-shaped Kitchen – this type of design is ideal for a large space. It has platforms running along three walls, forming a U. this design provides for a lot of work and storage space. However if the space between the platforms is too wide, the travel distance during a normal cooking process will be too long and could be tiring.

L Shaped Kitchen
L Shaped Kitchen

The L-shaped Kitchen – this is the contemporary kitchen design in India. The platform runs along two perpendicular walls. The principle of the work triangle can best be demonstrated in the kitchen.

Peninsular Kitchen
Peninsular Kitchen

The Peninsular kitchen – again applicable to a large space, This layout has an independent counter which can be used for breakfast or snacky meals. This layout works best in open kitchens.

Island Kitchen
Island Kitchen

The Island Kitchen – the distinct feature of this kitchen layout is that there is a counter in the middle of the room. This type of plan requires a huge amount of space, but it works well for families that spend a lot of time in the Kitchen. Also, this layout works well in planning commercial kitchens.

Standard Measurements

Here are some standard measurements you could follow as thumb rules.

•    Height of counter-top from floor to work surface – 36″
•    Width of platform – 24″
•    Thickness of stone used for platform – 1 ½ ”
•    Thickness of platform skirting – 1″- 4″
•    Height of base unit – 34 ½ ”
•    Width of base unit – 24″
•    Distance between platform and overhead wall unit – 24″
•    Height of wall unit from counter – 18″
•    Width of wall unit – 9″-18″
•    Thickness of shelves – 3/4″
•    Maximum total height from the floor to overhead cabinets – 78″

Fire and Ventilation

Since Kitchens are synonamous with smoke and fumes, one should provide for efficient ventilation and the best way of doing this is with large windows. Where this is not possible, exhaust fans and chimneys are practical alternatives.The exhaust should be placed close to the hob and should have a separate plug point.

If you are planning on installing a chimney, the ducting has to be done in the initial stages of renovation itself. It should be placed directly over the hob at a minimum distance of 24″. Ideally, it should be fitted on an exterior wall.

Vastu Tips:

Here are some Vastu tips you must consider:

  • The Kitchen should be in the South-East corner of the house as the Element Fire governs in that direction. However, the North-West could be taken as an alternative.
  • Ideally, the hob should be placed in the South-East in such a way that while cooking the person faces the East.
  • Water should be in the opposite direction of the cooking gas.
  • Avoid placing the dining table in the center of the kitchen, and place it  in the North-west direction, if possible.
  • Electric equipment like microwave, oven or refrigerator should be placed in South-west.
  • The slope of the water flow should be from Southwest towards Northeast.
  • The exhaust fan should be installed either in the Northwest corner or the South wall.
Happy Kitchen Planning and cooking.
Interested in Kitchens? Check out our post on the practical side of Modular Kitchen Accessories
Updates on 6 feb 2019:

TOP trends in kitchens for 2019

As this article on our blog continues to garner a lot of interest, we decided to bring it up to date with the latest trends in kitchen planning, so here is a quick summary of top trends in kitchens for 2019:

NO UPPER CABINETS

Get a contemporary and differentiated look by replacing upper cabinets with open shelves to display your crockery, works best in open kitchens.

WOODEN COUNTER TOPS

This trend is not the most popular yet, slowly but surely this new trend is making its way to the average home owner’s imagination. Use chemically treated wood to avoid staining and termites.

GLASS BACKSPLASH

Another new trend in kitchen highlighters is to replace the tiles behind the counter (backsplash) with larger panes of acrylic glass.

Do leave your questions and comments and if you are looking for a home renovation visit us at www.buildingblox.in to get a free estimate.