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Using a Professional Kitchen Planner

By: Chris Hogan MSc - Updated: 23 Jun 2010 | comments*Discuss
 
Kitchen Planner Kitchen Planning Kitchen

Using a kitchen planner is probably not the first thing on your to-do list when you're renovating a kitchen. But it's worth considering as some help with the planning process could lead you to a better laid out and more functional kitchen than if you flail around with it yourself.

To some extent, whether or not a kitchen planner is worth the investment depends on the size and scope of the project. If you're just replacing kitchen units and making small changes then it's probably not going to be worthwhile.

Working Around Limitations

Apart from anything else, there are a number of givens with kitchen design which are expensive to move or change. They are the positions of doors, windows and radiators, and then the locations of sinks, washing machines, tumble dryers and dishwashers, because of the plumbing supply points and waste outlets.

Although a kitchen planner may well be able to offer some creative solutions to those restrictions, they really come into their own when you are doing a complete kitchen re-fit, an extension to the house, or even a complete self-build house. In these cases you have no limitations apart from cost and a kitchen planner will be able to offer a valuable unbiased viewpoint on your kitchen design.

Access the Knowledge of Kitchen Planners

Kitchen planners will know a lot of kitchen design fundamentals that people who only use kitchens will not be aware of. These are things like the minimum clearances that you need to allow between doors, cupboard doors and opening appliances. Then there are workable heights for kitchen worktops, minimum distances between worktops and walls cupboards, and many others.

Kitchen planners will also ask you about how you will use the kitchen as a family, which appliances and gadgets you have and how you use them, before deciding on a layout. As well as placing the various kitchen units, they will be aware of the traditional kitchen planning triangle between the oven, sink and fridge, where having those items in close proximity to each other will make cooking easier and less frustrating.

However, a good kitchen planner will not be a slave to these rules and will know when to modify them to suit your cooking style. You might use a combination microwave oven more than a traditional oven, for example, so that might need to be brought closer in to the workspace triangle.

Independent Kitchen Planners Bring More Benefits

The most useful kitchen planner will be an independent kitchen planner. Someone who is working for a kitchen company or a DIY shop will of course use their employer's products. But an independent kitchen planner will be able to design a layout for you to take to any kitchen manufacturer, leaving you to decide on the style, colour and so on.

Even better than that, an independent kitchen planner who has a lot of experience will be able to help you to decide which company to use., They will have the experience to know which ones are not the best quality and which have caused problems for installations in the past.

Kitchen Planning and Project Management Services

Finally, many kitchen planners will also act as project managers, taking on the planning and implementation of the build process. This can be invaluable for busy families who do not have the time or the skills to integrate the work of plumbers, electricians, decorators and then kitchen fitters.

A kitchen planner will know the answers to all those professionals' questions, having been responsible for the kitchen design in the first place, so they'll be able to take that load off your shoulders too.

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