Adding on and upgrading kitchen: consult architect or kitchen designer first?
Nicole Luther
April 13, 2013 in Design Dilemma
We have a 10'6" (the length of the exterior wall that borders the kitchen) x 13'6" (the length of the exterior wall that borders the family room) alcove (currently serves as a covered outdoor porch) that we're going to have enclosed to become part of our existing kitchen. In that remodel we're also going to redo the kitchen--new appliances, floors and cabinetry. With the added space, we'll be able to have an island where the kitchen table currently sits and put in a pantry (on the same wall with the majority of the existing cabinetry in the new space??). We have identified a contractor that we'd like to work with based on excellent references we've received from others in the neighborhood and the fact that the estimate he provided us was very competitive. Here's the dilemma: the contractor wants architect drawings (one main reason is for the architect to determine structurally just how open we can make this floor plan, or if necessary where portions of existing exterior walls must become interior walls for structural integrity). We are aiming to keep existing appliances in the same place to keep costs down, but with that there is still room for a kitchen designer to help us. I figure the architect will be useful not just for the structure, but to help us where windows and doors would be best, and how to blend the thicker walls that are required based on new building codes with the existing house. We want to be as succinct as possible with both architect and kitchen designer, to keep costs down for their services. So here's my question: which do we engage first? Architect or kitchen designer?

In included a porch picture so hopefully between all of these pictures you can piece together how the new space sits in relationship to the existing space. I'm also interested in hearing any advice you may have for the space. Our main goals in remodelling the kitchen are to get rid of our dreadful oven/range (leaning toward a smooth top induction range/oven since although we have gas in the house my husband has never cooked with gas and is convinced he would rather not start) and improve food storage (we currently have those two floor to ceiling pantry cabinets that are small, dark and make finding anything difficult). I want to make getting spices and seasonings out very easy. Also need more small appliance room (we have a rice cooker, microwave, griddle, toaster and griddle that we use several times a week each, plus a food processor, stand mixer, hand mixer, crock pot that we use regularly and more crock pots, waffle iron, popcorn maker and bread machine that we use occasionally). I'm thinking of hardwood floors (continuing the oak that is in the formal LR/DR into the whole kitchen).
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If you are going to redo and add space and move walls, I'd consult the architect first. Then, when you consult a kitchen designer, they will know exactly what space they have for the layout.
April 13, 2013 at 7:04AM   
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