Converting old stables into a new kitchen, ideas and advice needed!

(7 Posts)
VikingVagine Wed 14-Nov-12 15:26:24

So, after three years of hasseling gentle persuasion, I have finally managed to get DH to agree to a new kitchen.

We currently have a 2m by 5m atrocity, with nothing fitted, just all the random appliances, cupboards and shelves we had acquired over the years from our days as students .

To the side of our house is a huge room, which once used to house the odd horse or two (we think), and now holds the central heating burner and fuel tank (don't ask, yes, they're both in the same room, yes I realise how bad this is), a loo, a sink, the washer and dryer.

The burner, loo and sink can relatively easily be moved into our current kitchen and a partition wall can be put up in the stable to separate the fuel tank, leaving us with about 4m by 5m to play with.

The floor is currently concrete, we could tile it easily enough, the walls need to be insulated and plaster boarded, as does the ceiling. The whole room needs rewiring and replumbing.

There is a big door (roughly double horse sized) and a small window which will both need replacing.

We're giving ourselves about 2.5 years to save up before any work starts, but have no idea how much it's going to cost.

Where the hell do I start?

Get a builder over - preferably one that is through recommendation. If you do not have anyone who can recommend one (try a local pub/restaurant that has be refurbed recently if all else) then I personally would try phoning your local Howdens (they do kitchens/joinery stuff but only sell to trade - ie to builders). Ask them if they can give a recommendation. If you are vaguely listed/conservation then you could phone your local conservation officer at the planning/council for recommendations.

Get the builder to give you some idea of prices for what you want to do. It doesn't have to be a full quote at this stage. You are not committing to this builder or to anything.

Not sure if this is the right approach - but it is what I would do.

betterwhenthesunshines Wed 14-Nov-12 19:58:52

Magazines and google images and just keep a file of kitchens that appeal to you. After a while a pattern will appear. I didn't like Howdens, and didn't think they were good value either - would rather have IKEA if going modern, but we are having one built to measure for a similar price.

Cost? Think of a number - and double it grin

VikingVagine Wed 14-Nov-12 20:17:31

Thank you, the local builders are either reasonably priced and awful, or outrageously priced and excellent! I think we're just going to have to bite the bullet and fork out the money to get it done right first time round.

I've had a go on the ikea kitchen planner thingy and have come up with an organisation which seems good, but I don't think I'll be getting the kitchen from them. There is a cabinet maker in our village, so I'm going to get a quote from him and see how it compares to off the shelf stuff.

Does everybody respect the triangle of fridge/cooker/sink? Our fridge is quite big so I'd want to put it in a corner, a little out of the way from the rest of the kitchen, or is this are ally bad idea?

I saw on another thread someone mention not getting glass fronted doors because it means everything inside has to be tidy!

How many plugs, and where do I put them?

What kind of sink (love the big white double things, but stainless steel is so much more practical)?

The big white sinks - Belfast ones - check your height in a showroom - can be too low for some people.

Sockets. - Where will you have toaster/kettle/microwave/coffee machine? Add in a phone charger. And a laptop charger. Then you will sometimes be plugging in a breadmaker? liquidiser? Steriliser? Mixer....where will you use them (ie do you need plugs on the island if you are having one?) Do you want any in a cupboard.

You will need electrics for your fridge, cooker, extractor, washing machine, dishwasher too.
Do you want lights under the cabinets?

Try and work out how you want the space to work. I knew where I wanted to stand - my butt on the range. Then everything else kind of grew out from there. I wanted my food all in one part of the kitchen so I have 2 larder cupboards either side of the fridge. I have a part of the worktop for my coffee maker and the cupboard above will be where mugs/tea/sugar are kept.
I have 2 big pan drawers - full openable yet near the dishwasher - so can lift stuff from d/w and put away. A cupboard for my bin.

So, waffling aside - as well as thinking pretty picture/images think pragmatically. How do you use your current space - what is good? What is bad (in our old one you had to empty the dishwasher onto the worktop because it was in such a stupid place you could not open/get to the cupboards at the same time).

Once you have a pragmatic plan (food here, pots here, appliances here) then you may well find it all fits into place. Or certainly it will be easier to plan with a kitchen designer.

And enjoy - tis quite good fun!

And fridge out of the way.....mid stir fry and you want a handful of mange tout from the bottom of the fridge....where/how far is far enough to travel? Back to stirring - you need a splash of orange juice for the sauce (I know, weird recipe)...back to the fridge.

Don't have to be a triangle but not too far. MIL is a trek around a biig table from her cooker to fridge - total PITA.

VikingVagine Thu 15-Nov-12 07:04:42

Hmm, I'm 5'8" so a deep sink wouldn't be any good at all.

The fridge 'out of the way' means about 2m from the sink and 3m from the cooker with no obstacles except maybe children or cats but that doesn't count in planning a kitchen .

Hadn't thought about lights under cabinets, what a good idea! <out of touch with modern kitchens>

Also the idea of having food cupboards next to the fridge so all the food is in the same place seems so obvious but it wouldn't have even crossed my mind!!!

I'd love a big range style cooker, but my current oven/hob works perfectly and I happen to be the south of France so having any kind of fire going in the kitchen would be impossible from about May to October.

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