A kitchen fit-out transforms a bare space into a functional kitchen, making it ready for occupation. It isn’t kitchen renovation, where you revamp an old lived-in space or already workable to give it more upgrades and aesthetics.
There are many things to consider in a fit-out project. Whether you simply want a cooking center in your house or aim to turn your love for cooking into a business right in the comfort of your home, here are things you need to remember to ensure a successful kitchen fit-out.
3 Major Categories of A Fit-Out
A fit-out project is divided into three major categories: shell & core, category A, and category B. The first category is installing a building’s basic structure, which creates the “shell.” It allows you to custom-fit the “shell” or inside a building to certain specifications, as follows:
- Base flooring
- Standard wallings
- HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) systems
- Elevator and stairs for evacuation
- Local building codes
- Constrictions adaptations
Secondly, in a category A fit-out, the space is functional but still lacks secondary design features. For example, it may have basic utilities in place without a bulkhead. A kitchen bulkhead is a lower portion of the ceiling used to conceal electrical wires, duct work, exhaust fans, and plumbing pipes.
Lastly, the category B fit-out is where you consider the aesthetic design of your home or restaurant kitchen’s aesthetic design. For companies, this is where you’ll integrate and tap into your business’s style, culture, work ethics, protocols, and team size to create a compelling brand image.
3 Phases of A Fit-Out
A fit-out construction has three phases: pre-construction, construction, and post-construction. The pre-construction is especially critical if you’re doing a fit-out for commercial purposes. This phase involves the following:
- Inspecting the actual site
- Planning interior design and space
- Estimating quantity and cost
- Preparing for the construction
If you ask for help from a professional, ask for an initial quote beforehand and confirm and review whether it’s comprehensive. It should include the following:
- Design brief – outlines the core details—goals, scope, and strategy—of a design project
- Technical plans – outline the list of activities, costs, and schedules
- Building assessment
- Project management
- Material delivery
However, you can start the construction stage if you only want to build a restaurant-style home kitchen with little or no professional help. This phase involves works related to:
- Electrical and Structured Cabling
- Fire Safety
- Plumbing and Sanitary
Lastly, in post-construction, businesses must process an as-built plan, occupancy permit, site turn-over, testing and commissioning, and warranty. For homeowners, there’s no need to pay attention to this part.
Tips for A Successful DIY Kitchen Fit-Out
It’s possible to do a fit-out project yourself. This is recommended for those on a tight budget but willing to spend more time and want more creative freedom. However, do a lot of research and learn the basics before starting.
To ensure a successful DIY kitchen fit-out project, here are some tips to remember:
- Plan Well – Take your time planning to avoid costly structural setbacks and regular refurbishments. If you’re unsure where to start, get inspiration from other fit-outs. However, in terms of business, having a personalized fit-out design helps set brand awareness and gain a competitive edge.
- Pick the Right Layout – The right layout can fit your kitchen’s space, dimensions, appliances, storage, and communication. Otherwise, it’ll result in insufficient space, which can hinder your back-of-house operation and its efficiency. Moreover, opt for a layout that can accommodate your present and plans. More importantly, aim to have a dynamic yet functional kitchen with a pleasant ambiance and presentable outlook.
- Refurbish Old Stuff – When you’re on a tight budget, reusing old kitchen appliances, furniture, and interiors instead of tossing them can help save you money. They also work well in improving your kitchen’s ambiance.
- Update Energy Usage – Another money-saving tip is to make technical updates in your kitchen. Examples of these upgrades include energy-efficient bulbs and kitchen appliances. It may require upfront investment cost, but it’ll be cost-effective in the long run, especially if you run your kitchen on full steam the entire day. They’re also helpful for your business operations’ efficiency.
- Set up A Budget – The overall cost of a fit-out depends on your plan. The expenses may also vary, but they usually include a project’s extent of work, size, space’s initial condition, required materials, quality, and concept. Take all cost factors into account before setting a ballpark figure that aligns with your budget. When opting for budget-friendly alternatives, ensure not to fall into a costly false economy.
A kitchen fit-out project becomes successful when it meets functionality, aesthetics, and practicality. However, it involves a great deal of tasks, which can be complicated for some. It’s highly recommended to seek professional help to avoid costly mistakes and ensure you’re getting the best out of a fit-out.