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21

Dec

The Perfect Kitchen Design For Entertaining

Lots of people are using their kitchen as the primary space for home entertaining. There are a lot of ways to ensure the functionality of this home hub, both for cooking and entertaining! Here’s some simple tips on how to either design or look out for kitchen designs that provide an ease of conversation and movement, while still allowing plenty of room for the chef of the house to get on with what they do best – cook up a storm!

Bring The Indoors Out

If your kitchen opens out to an alfresco area, large bi-fold doors look super chic and can easily transform the kitchen into a large entertainment area. An indoor/outdoor design makes the most of the space you have available and encourages movement between the kitchen, the living area, and the deck or patio. Do away with the dividing wall between the kitchen and dining room too, so even when you’re playing the perfect host, you can still enjoy the party and mingle with guests.

Get Organised

It’s much more inviting for guests to arrive to a tidy space. Think carefully about what needs to be stored or presented in your kitchen and how to do it. Deep drawers are a great way to store plates, pots and pans as they provide easy access to your most used kitchen supplies. Maximise the space you have to avoid cluttering work surfaces, and utilise that space under the sink! Most importantly, you need a functional kitchen that you and your guests will enjoy being in.

Out Of Sight

If you can afford the space, a butler’s pantry is the ultimate utility room to keep storage and cleaning away from the main kitchen and entertainment area. Fitted with a sink, it keeps dirty dishes out of sight, showcasing your kitchen as a glistening focal point for eating and socialising in.

Install An Island

An island in the kitchen provides guests with room to sit, eat and socialise on one side, while still giving adequate preparation space on the other. This allows everyone to gather together and share occasions without feeling overwhelmed or confined. Islands can be placed vertical, horizontal, or diagonal to the rest of your kitchen and can be made even better with bar or stool seating, which also makes a fantastic breakfast bar. Adding a second sink or small wine cooler to your island can transform it into a wet bar to further impress your guests and make it even easier to entertain while cooking.

Functionality Above All

The kitchen design should never come at the cost of functionality, as you can’t effectively entertain at home if you can’t prepare and cook efficiently.  Plan for the essentials first: your stove and oven, fridge, and sink. Where each of these appliances is located will impact your ability to cook and socialise in your new kitchen while entertaining guests.

For more ideas on designing the perfect kitchen for entertaining, browse through our extensive range of designs and display homes or contact the PJ Burns team today for a consultation.

7

Dec

Choosing A Builder On A Limited Budget

Choosing a builder on a limited budget can be a daunting task, especially if you’re unaware of what things you should be looking out for. Many people are distracted by extravagant display homes and don’t investigate factors such as builder experience, reputation and the existence of hidden costs in their contract. Use our simple checklist below when choosing a builder to ensure you end up with a quality built house to call home for years to come.

Interview the Builder

Many people make the mistake of just meeting their builder, but it’s far better to treat the meeting like a job interview. Ask the builder detailed questions about how they can meet your budget and timeline expectations. After all, you’re going to be dealing with your builder for many months and a close working relationship will be critical to ensure a successful outcome. Make sure you understand who it is that you will be dealing with from day to day, as some builders will prepare the quote and be the primary builder on site, while other building companies may have a team of people and you may never see the person who prepares and presents the quote.

Reputation

Not talking to current or past clients can be a crucial mistake. Asking builders for references results in them providing only the details of those people who will say the right thing. Instead, ask the builder for the contact details of some current clients who can provide you with more useful feedback, as they are still immersed in the process.

Hidden Costs

Contract documents for building your home may look scary, but it’s so important that you take the time to thoroughly read and understand them. Your contract is the key to learning exactly what you’re paying for. Far too many people choose a builder based on quotes that have a lot of important items missing and that are not transparent. Beware of contracts with a long list of ‘estimates’ and ‘TBA’s’ and to avoid a blow-out in costs, ask for a fixed price.

Understand What’s Included

Leave no stone unturned and ensure you have information about every cost. Keep an eye out for clauses such as ‘pending soil test’. Regardless of how detailed and exhaustive the drawings may appear there will generally many things missing that the builder needs to prepare a comprehensive quote. Some builders won’t even construct many of the impressive features they have on show within their displays, so it pays to ask if they will build the home ‘as displayed’ and to provide you with a fully itemised cost.

PJ Burns Builder is an award winning residential and commercial builder. Our team can offer you a direct, personalised service to provide you with a home to suit any block on any budget. Browse through our extensive range of designs or contact us today!

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