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A kitchen is a homeowner’s most cherished possession. Whether it needs a minor facelift or you want to do a complete remodel, you should work with a kitchen designer.
The engineering of kitchen design involves combining layout and appliances to form a cooking space that is easy to use and socialize in. The engineering aspect also incorporates the latest technology to give the kitchen a modern feel. Also, it gives the inside scoop on new materials, trends, and building codes.
What does a kitchen designer do?
If you’re doing a major kitchen overhaul, it can cost you thousands of dollars. And this is why most kitchen renovators will turn to professionals for help.
The role of a kitchen designer is to create blueprints based on the usage of the kitchen. Also, they oversee the operations of plumbers, cabinet makers, etc. When drafting a plan, they adhere to the stipulated building codes of each project. At the first meeting, you can discuss how you want your kitchen to look like.
A kitchen designer will help you reimage the entire look and navigate the entire process. One way of checking whether you’re working with the right designer is by asking the relevant questions. Are you investing in the right places?
There are different kitchen designers, so you must know who does what. You’ll come across:
- Designers affiliated with a particular showroom or product line – those in this category know the flooring, cabinetry, lighting, etc.
- Independent designers – they don’t have an official to specific products or services
- Kitchen designers affiliated with a larger design firm
When you work with a kitchen designer, anything must align with your budget and personal taste. The main roles of a kitchen designer include:
Helps with the layout
The designer may need to work on the space of the current kitchen or expand the space to give additional options for a kitchen layout.
A kitchen designer will help you decide on the arrangement of the major appliances, countertop, and storage areas. One of the considerations of the kitchen layout is choosing the best cabinetry solutions. Think about it – these professionals have a background that architects and interior designers won’t have.
Some kitchen designers specialize in cabinetry, so they will see how everything fits together. They look at your kitchen with fresh eyes and suggest the configurations to use.
The main types of layouts are G, L, U, Galley, and single. Each comes with specific decorative accents and cabinetry. Depending on the size of the kitchen, you can choose a layout that suits you best. The designer will help you choose what can accommodate your space. Some of the common layouts are:
In this layout, a work triangle is created from the center space, and the workspace is on adjacent walls. The benefit of this plan is that you can get a big working area, and it becomes easy to interact with guests.
This is a versatile kitchen layout for a large kitchen. It offers ample storage area, and the floor plan is spacious enough to accommodate multiple work stations. The main benefit of this layout is that different cooks can prepare meals without getting in each other’s way. A designer will help you keep the countertops clutter-free and maximize storage.
A storage option and counter space surround the cook on both sides. The only difference with the U-shaped version is that there’s a separate wall for additional cabinets. This layout makes your space feel spacious.
This is a common layout for small homes. You get additional storage space for the cabinetry. There are three kitchen zones around the wall.
Take accurate measurements of the required kitchen
A kitchen remodeling project can be complex, so you have to think through the possibilities. Maybe, you want to alter the size or relocate the kitchen entirely. A professional designer will tell you whether the project is feasible. Since you don’t want to renovate your cooking space every few months, you should incorporate new requirements.
The measurement will depend on the hardware, kitchen furniture, and appliances available.
Gives accurate price
How do you want your dream kitchen to look like? Do you want expensive benchtop? Do you want to install high-end appliances? A good designer will help you decide on the best materials. Furthermore, he will give you the timeline of the project and an accurate price of everything you need to do. Be transparent with your budget and ask the right questions.
The truth is that you don’t expect a designer to nail it the first day. Before any work begins, you can discuss how many plans you expect to see before the project kicks off. A great kitchen plan takes time to create, so you should give the designer enough time to work on your case. No matter how fast you want to see the outcome, you don’t want a rushed construction job. Once you say your project completion date, the designer will let you know if the deadline can be met.
Determines where the electrical systems and lighting will be placed for safety
The designer is responsible for showing the electrical system including, the switches, appliances, and lighting fixtures. Besides, kitchens are designed to handle the specific voltage, and you don’t want to pose any electrical hazard to the users.
When it comes to lighting, many people do it incorrectly. You could have a lot of light on one area and shadows everywhere else. A kitchen designer will help you come with a layered look. Ask any expert, and they will tell you that a modern kitchen will blend different types of light. This includes:
- Ambient lighting – it creates a warm glow that fills a room
- Task lighting- provides adequate light when reading recipes, chopping vegetables, etc.
- Decorative lighting – it adds sparkle to your kitchen space
- Accent lighting – it gives depth and dimension to your kitchen
The designer will also recommend the best energy-saving lights to use to ensure your lighting costs are not too high. A smart kitchen is both efficient and functional, so you should make clear use of the available space.
Suggests appropriate finishes
When it comes to finishing your kitchen, it’s not just about the themes and colors. The kind of materials you choose will not only influence the function but also determines how the décor looks. However, deciding on the finish you want is not an easy task. If you work with a kitchen designer, you can get creative in the kitchen finishes.
In a utilitarian place like a kitchen, you can go bold and try a variety of finishes. If you want a more organic look, the designer can help to play with the finish of the cabinets. For instance, you can combine black matte fixtures with a flat finish on cabinets.
Alternatively, you can warm the place with brass. Most people are scared of mixing metals, but with the help of a designer, you can finish your kitchen by adding touches of brass hardware. Still, you can add sparkle and shine with chrome. Ask any experienced kitchen designer, and they will tell you that every kitchen needs some shine and sparkle.
Chrome hardware also pairs well with stainless steel appliances for a brilliant finish. If you want to lean further into an industrial look, you can take a neutral-hued foundation for your cooking space. How about adding texture with a new wood stain?
Kitchens of multiple colors and materials require a lot of finesse. A designer will help you work on the lighting, fixtures, hardware, and bar tools.
The finish of the countertop matters. Depending on your priorities, a kitchen designer can help you choose a countertop like:
- Solid wood
Incorporates the latest trends in kitchen design
There are countless options when it comes to kitchen redesign. Depending on your taste, you can combine different colors and materials like ceramic, melamine, etc. In terms of taste, you can bring a style that gives a signature look.
With new kitchen designs popping up now and then, a designer can help you bring plenty of ideas that incorporate the latest trends. Maybe you want a bigger kitchen, or you want to introduce a new color scheme – a designer will guide you on what suits your space best.
Kitchen designers are familiar with the latest products and will work with reputable contractors. Also, they will have details like product warranties.
One of the latest trends recommended by many kitchen designers is double dining. This involves adding some space where family and friends can sit and have a great bite. Even if you don’t have a lot of space, you may want to have to create seating.
Advise clients on how to take care of their kitchen
A kitchen is a best friend, so you should take great care to ensure it serves you well. If you have a busy home, there’s always some activity going on. Since the kitchen comprises of many components like a cooker, dresser, sink, or table, a kitchen designer will help you make the most of the space.
Think about it- a kitchen is a place that should make you feel good and comfortable. A designer will explain how to make your kitchen safe by performing simple chores.
For instance, you should clean the area after a meal. If there’re leftovers, you should transfer to the fridge. Also, you should ensure there are no spills on the floor.
Another handy tip to ensure safety is having a space for everything. You should have space where you can keep the ingredients, appliances, and utensils. That way, you won’t waste time searching for items.
A designer will also show you how to label things. This step will make it easier to look for things when you need them.
But other things that can help to keep the kitchen in tip-top shape. If you want to enjoy a kitchen for a long time, ventilation is a must. The last thing you want to see is water vapor condenses on the furniture. Besides that, you should avoid placing hot cookware on countertops. Another important information is the type of detergent to use on countertops.
Advice clients on any additional features that may be of use
For most people, embarking on a kitchen remodel can be a daunting task. A good designer will help you go through a multitude of ideas. He will first evaluate the existing condition and then review certain elements like the doors and windows.
The new design process will address any shortcomings and give ideas of what you add to the existing space. For example, the kitchen designer may suggest more prep space. If you have a large kitchen that can be used by two or three cooks, then it makes sense to have more prep area. Also, you could have a peninsula that doubles as a serving station.
How about adding additional storage space? Depending on the room you’re working with, you may require more storage. For people with a large space, a walk-in pantry can be a great idea. It’s also a good option for people who forget to keep the space organized and would like to keep their kitchen door closed.
The kitchen designer can also suggest the installation of a tall cabinet with roll-out sleeves. That way, you don’t have to guess what is on the first row of supplies. You just roll out the shelf to see.
Another great feature would be to reconfigure the closet. If your kitchen space does not allow for a walk-in pantry, you may want to repurpose the existing cabinet to work as a pantry. The designer may also advise you to add:
- A new door with glass
Kitchen design is a collaborative process. The kitchen designer has to work with the client, so good communication will go a long way. Once you’ve agreed to work together, he or she will be clear of what you expect at the end of the project.
Wrapping it up
Your kitchen is not a leftover space for your project- it must be integrated into the project from the beginning. A kitchen designer will help you determine how best you can make your space functional. Beyond the style requested by clients, some things can be included in the entire project. They will make your kitchen functional, comfortable, and convenient. The best kitchen designers will help design commercial kitchens, residential kitchens, as well as cafeterias.
A septic tank is usually made up of concrete, plastic, or fiberglass where sewage flows in to undergo primary treatment. It is an underground chamber that is used in regions that do not have sewerage systems. The treated effluent that has undergone treatment is then released to the septic drain field, subjected to further treatment. Biofilters and aerobic systems are onsite wastewater treatment units incorporated with septic tanks to induce aeration artificially. Septage accumulation rate usually supersedes the decomposition rate; thus, the fecal sludge needs to be removed after some time by a vacuum truck.
Septic tanks are usually underground chambers of concrete, plastic, or fiberglass where sewage flows in to undergo primary treatment. An inlet wastewater pipe usually drains into the septic tank, while an outlet pipe at the other end usually drains into a septic drain field. The T pipe connections generally allow the liquid to flow in and out of the system without disrupting the crust’s surface. Wastewater flows in through the inlet pipe into the septic tank, giving room for solids to settle at the bottom while the scum floats. Further settlement usually takes place in this second chamber. One needs to conduct a percolation test to ascertain the soil’s porosity is adequate to act as a seepage field before installing the septic tank.
Desludging is the process of siphoning out fecal sludge from a septic system by a vacuum truck. Several health authorities prefer tanks to be emptied at certain times while others prefer an inspector’s decision. Various systems need to be pumped after several years, whereas others persevere for up to ten to twenty years before being pumped again. Anaerobic decomposition is usually ignited when a tank becomes full. You should not empty the tank as some settled solids need to be left behind to preserve the microbial populations to continue the process of anaerobic degradation.
How the septic system works
An inlet wastewater pipe usually drains into the septic tank, while an outlet pipe at the other end usually drains into a septic drain field. The T pipe connections generally allow the liquid to flow in and out of the system without disrupting the crust’s surface. Wastewater flows in through the inlet pipe into the septic tank, giving room for solids to settle at the bottom while the scum floats. Anaerobic digestion usually acts on the settled solids reducing their volume while the liquid proceeds on to the next chamber through the dividing wall.
Further settlement usually takes place in this second chamber. The remaining relatively clear liquid drains away into the septic drain field through the outlet pipe. One needs to conduct a percolation test to ascertain the soil’s porosity is adequate to act as a seepage field before installing the septic tank.
The excess contaminated substances are destroyed in the soil. The excess water is abolished through soil percolation, evaporation, and absorption by plants’ roots and is eventually abrogated either through transpiration or accessing groundwater or surface water. A trench filled with stones then distributes the wastewater all over the seepage field through drainage holes. The volume of sewage is directly proportional to the seepage field’s size, with the drainage field’s porosity being inversely proportional to the field’s size.
The entire system can function by gravity. However, where topographic considerations require, a lift pump can be used. Several tank models need siphons or other technologies to hasten the volume and the outflow’s speed to the seepage field. This, in turn, will evenly fill the drainage pipe and increase the field’s functionality by evading premature bio clogging. A two-stage septic system in which the sludge is digested in a different chamber is known as an Imhoff tank. This prevents the combination of digested sludge with fresh sewage. A second stage is introduced in specific septic tank models; the initial stage’s effluent undergoes aeration before being released into the drain field.
An odor free septic tank is usually deemed to be an effective operating system. Apart from timely inspections and desludging, the septic tank is generally expected to last for several decades, with few repairs being done to it.
During desludging, the fecal sludge is usually siphoned out by a vacuum truck. The solids’ input, the indigestible solid’s amount, and the ambient temperature usually detect how often the tank needs to be emptied. System characteristics, usage, and a guideline of the relevant authority also dictate how often the tank needs to be desludging. Several health authorities prefer tanks to be emptied at certain times while others prefer an inspector’s decision. Various systems need to be pumped after several years, whereas others persevere for up to ten to twenty years before being pumped again. Anaerobic decomposition is usually ignited when a tank becomes full.
It would be best if you did not empty the tank as some settled solids need to be left behind to preserve the microbial populations to continue the process of anaerobic degradation. Also, empty tanks are usually prone to destruction by hydrostatic pressure resulting in the tank partially ‘floating’ from the ground. This is typically common during floods or too wet conditions.
Some of the forms of neglect that may damage the septic system include:
- User’s behavior
- Drainage clogging is positively contributed by cooking oils and grease being drained into the system. They are usually hard to undergo degradation, thus resulting in odor issues and difficulties during desludging. Also, Flushing of inorganic waste products such as cotton swabs, condoms, menstrual hygiene products, or cigarette butts clogs the septic tank causing it to fill faster. You are being advised not to flush such materials into the septic tank. Doing food wastes into the system tends to exhaust the system with solids making the system more susceptible to destruction.
- Some chemicals tend to destroy the septic tank’s components and eliminate the bacteria required in the septic tank to operate optimally. Such chemicals include herbicides, pesticides, paints, solvents, and materials containing excessive bleach or caustic soda concentrations.
- Brine discharge emanating from water softeners potentially destroys the bacteria needed for wastewater breakdown. The excess wastewater usually mixes with the brine to reduce its effect on the septic system.
- Trees and shrubbery usually have roots that tend to protrude on top of the tank or seepage field, blocking or rupturing this tank. Trees surrounding the septic tank pose a risk to potentially penetrate the system as time goes by, resulting in the concrete developing small leaks and cracks. Such roots usually cause adverse flow issues due to clogging of the drainage pipes. Also, trees tend to grow tremendously due to the readily available nutrients from the septic system.
- Storage buildings and playgrounds also pose a threat to the septic system. Such structures are usually surrounded by impervious surfaces such as parking areas, which adversely affect the system’s efficiency and eventually destroy the tank and the absorption system.
- Exhaustion of the system by excessive water flowing into the system. Floods, unprecedented melting of snow, high rainfall may disrupt the operations of a seepage field. Such conditions may cause a black flow, disrupting the tank’s normal functions. High winter water tables may also cause the groundwater to flow back into the septic tank. Eventually, biofilms will form on the pipes of the seepage resulting in blockage. Such a failure can be referred to as “biomat failure.”
Odor and toxic gas emissions
Wastewater usually consists of sulfates, which, under normal anaerobic conditions, get reduced to hydrogen sulfide, a smelly and hazardous gas. Ammonia is also formed as a result of the reduction of nitrates and organic nitrogen compounds. Traces of methane gas may also be released. Fermentation usually takes place due to anaerobic conditions that end up releasing carbon (IV) oxide together with methane.
Nutrients in the effluent
A septic tank’s operations alone cannot effectively eliminate nitrogen compounds capable of causing algal blooms in waterways to which water from the septic system flows. The use of a nitrogen-reducing technology, or ensuring citation of the seepage field, is carried out effectively to eliminate any effluent risks flowing directly into water bodies. The fermentation process results in the septic tank’s contents to be rendered anaerobic with reduced redox potential. This results in the preservation of the phosphates in a soluble form. Phosphates released from the septic tank into the physical surroundings can ignite plants’ incredible growth, such as algal blooms. Such plants usually constitute blooms that potentially contain toxic cyanobacteria.
The soil usually can retain phosphorus, which is large enough to manage the wastewater via an average residential septic tank. There is typically an exception when the seepage fields are found in sandy or coarser soils in an area close to a water body. Due to the decreased particle surface area, such soils tend to be saturated with phosphate, which will then proceed past the treatment area, threatening the eutrophication of surface waters.
In areas having enormous population densities, the threat of groundwater pollution is always increasing. To minimize residential growth that might boost the demand for an expensive centralized sewerage system, the option of constructing moratoriums and subdivision property limitations is often imposed. Keeping track of the existing septic tanks is usually helpful but only for a short time. It usually tends to become less effective as a basic remediation plan as the population density increases.
Surface water pollution
Regions close to water bodies filled with fish meant for human consumption, septics that re-inefficiently maintained increases pollution levels that can force harvest restrictions and recreational harvest closure
Points to Consider
Some of the forms of neglect that may damage the septic system include the user’s behavior. This is because drainage clogging is positively contributed by cooking oils and grease being drained into the system. They are usually hard to undergo degradation, thus resulting in odor issues and difficulties during desludging. Some chemicals also tend to destroy the septic tank’s components and may even eliminate the bacteria required in the septic tank for it to operate optimally. Brine discharge emanating from water softeners potentially destroys the bacteria needed for wastewater breakdown.
Trees surrounding the septic tank pose a risk to potentially penetrate the system as time goes by, resulting in the concrete developing small leaks and cracks. I saw a really bad split septic tank when doing septic tank pumping Eustis FL. The tree roots had wrapped around the tank like an anaconda and the pressure made it split open. Playgrounds and storage systems are usually surrounded by impervious surfaces such as parking areas that adversely affect the system’s efficiency and eventually destroy the tank and the absorption system. To minimize residential growth that might increase the demand for an expensive centralized sewerage system, the option of constructing moratoriums and subdivision property limitations is often imposed. A septic tank’s operations alone cannot effectively eliminate nitrogen compounds capable of causing algal blooms in waterways to which water from the septic system flows.
A vacuum truck is always used to siphon out the settled solid wastes. A septic tank’s location in a community or even at home should be constructed away from water sources. Untreated wastewater usually contains harmful chemicals that end up polluting such water sources. Whenever water sources are contaminated with such toxic substances, people using the water from such sources stand a chance of contracting water-borne diseases. In areas where the population is considered high, enough considerations need to be put to ensure that the appropriate size and number of septic tanks are constructed to accommodate them.
Before you build a septic tank, you need to consider the location of water bodies around, the community it is going to serve, the structures and plants in the area you plan to construct the tank, and the weather conditions experienced in the area. Flood water and high winter water tables have been known to overpower the septic tank’s normal operations, causing a backflow disrupting the system’s operational capabilities. Just one wrong move when building the septic tank will not only jeopardize your health but the health of others. Technologies put in place to try and decontaminate water bodies should contamination occur is usually very expensive so we are advised to kindly preserve our water sources.