Kitchen Renovation Ideas

Why is kitchen remodelling so expensive?

Kitchens are made up of many different components, with considerable cost variation across the ranges. The price for a complete kitchen renovation can vary dramatically. For many people who have never renovated before, the first question that plays out in their mind is, how much does a kitchen renovation cost? It’s a logical question, and an important question that needs to be answered before you can truly start planning and moving forward. At Hitch Property Constructions, we have an extensive range of kitchen renovation Melbourne to take the hassle out of deciding the right furniture that matches.

Kitchen is expensive to renovate

The kitchen is the most common – and the most expensive – room in the home to renovate. 

The Housing Industry Association (HIA) projects there to be around 149,352 kitchen renovation jobs happening in Australia in 2018–19, and the average cost of a kitchen installed as part of a renovation to be $26,280.

Kitchen Renovation Ideas

The cost of kitchen renovations can vary dramatically depending on the size of the space, the quality of the materials used and whether the kitchen layout is altered. 

For a budget renovation you might install cheaper materials and appliances; a mid-range renovation might include higher grade tiling and granite benchtops; and a luxury renovation could involve a new floorplan, the inclusion of expensive European appliances and high-end fittings.

Deciding how much to spend on your kitchen reno will depend on several individual factors: what you can afford, where you live, your desired design and style and, most importantly, your home’s current value. 

To avoid overcapitalising, a common rule of thumb is to spend between 5 and 10% of your property’s total value on the renovation.

As a general guide, new kitchen cabinetry and hardware will take the biggest bite out of your renovation budget, followed by labour and installation costs, new appliances, ventilation and benchtops. Other costs include flooring, lighting, doors and windows, walls and ceilings and plumbing.

Kitchen renovation mistakes costs more money

Poor kitchen design

Your kitchen’s design will determine both its functionality and appeal, so it’s important to strike a good balance between the two in the planning stages. Otherwise you’ll end up with an impractical kitchen that looks good – or an effective kitchen that doesn’t suit the style and character of your home.

When planning the design of your kitchen one of your first considerations should be how the space needs to work for the people who’ll be using it.

Whether it’s families with young children or teenagers, people with disabilities or people who are ageing, the way a kitchen works can make a big difference to their quality of life. Differences in height and abilities should be factored into the design of the kitchen.

The ‘kitchen work triangle’ is a simple, well-established principle for designing functional, ergonomic kitchens, stipulating that you should be able to draw a triangle between the kitchen sink (where you clean and prepare food), the stove/oven (where you cook) and the refrigerator (where you store food).

But this classic kitchen design is evolving alongside our changing needs in the kitchen. The triangle is still fundamental to kitchen design but has long since ceased being the main game. Creating zones in the kitchen is now a focus; for example, people cooking are now likely to refer to a recipe on a device and there needs to be power and space where it won’t be damaged by heat or water–something that wasn’t as much of a worry with cookbooks..

DIY overwhelm

Depending on your skill level and the extent of the kitchen renovation, it’s certainly possible to successfully renovate your own kitchen, especially for cosmetic renovations like replacing wall tiles and grout, painting and even installing cabinetry.

If you think you’re up to the task of project managing the kitchen renovation yourself, then you’re talking big savings. It all depends on the time you have to invest, the level of responsibility you’re willing to take on, how much you trust your creative and organisational abilities, and the budget you’ve allocated. But without the necessary skills, time and resources, it’s likely you’ll be overwhelmed by the task and need to call in the experts to finish the project, costing a lot more money than you’d originally intended.

Then there are the tasks you aren’t legally allowed or shouldn’t do yourself. Hooking up your sink and dishwasher to existing plumbing (or installing new plumbing to suit your new kitchen layout), along with electrical work and gas fitting, should be done by licensed, skilled and experienced plumbers and electricians.

It’s important to understand that issues with DIY aren’t just around skills and abilities; there are also issues to do with safety, compliance with the building code and Australian standards. 

Using tradespeople who are registered, licensed and have the correct insurance means you’re covered if something goes wrong, but if you DIY and you make a mistake the responsibility will fall entirely on your shoulders. Looking for kitchen renovation Melbourne? Look no further? Hitch Property Constructions has you covered. 

Prioritising style over function

You want your newly renovated kitchen to look good, of course, and to appeal to potential buyers in the future. But for it to be effective as well as attractive, there are some necessary functional elements to consider.

Optimal lighting, ventilation, storage, bench space, durable materials and room to move should all be considerations when planning your kitchen.

To make the most of your kitchen reno, you don’t want to choose materials or a colour scheme that will date after only a few years, so be clever about the style you choose. 

Your builder, project manager and/or a kitchen design specialist can offer you expert advice on how best to achieve this, taking into account the style of your existing home and how you use your kitchen.

Issues of style come down to personal taste and it’s always possible to integrate style and practicality. However, trends may or may not be appropriate for how you live so it’s important not to prioritise trends over what works for you at this stage of your life. For example, having natural marble benchtops won’t necessarily work if you have young children and want to keep your benches stain free.

Making changes after work begins

Ideally you’d be 100% happy with the design of your new kitchen before the work starts to avoid extra costs from changes you make during the project. The best way to achieve this is to have open communication with the builder from the get-go.

Selecting the right builder and communicating very opening and honestly with them will help you achieve your desired outcome. Clarity of communication between builder and client around style expectations will produce the best results. As well as being as clear as possible about what doesn’t work with the current kitchen, the changes you want to achieve and the style, it’s vital to be honest with your builder about your budget as they can help you maximise what you can achieve if you’re clear about the budget from the beginning

And whether you’re buying new appliances or using old ones, make sure your designer and builder/project manager know their exact dimensions so they fit the new layout and suit the overall style of the kitchen. Otherwise, you may need to change the kitchen design, which will cost more time and money. Check out our range of kitchen renovation at Hitch Property Constructions.

Going it alone on a flat-pack kitchen

A flat-pack kitchen can be an excellent money-saving option for some homes. They’re cheaper than customised kitchens and relatively easy to put together, and you can choose between budget or quality prefabricated kitchens and components such as hinges, drawer runners and drawers. 

They come in a range of styles and standard sizes and some are even customisable so you can fit it specifically to your requirements. You can employ a carpenter or kitchen installer to fit them for you, or assemble them yourself if you want and you have the time. 

However, installing your new flat-pack kitchen cabinetry is actually only half the job done: benchtops, splashback tiling and flooring are also essential in a kitchen renovation. These may come at an additional cost and require a certain level of skill to install.

So unless you feel confident in your abilities, don’t tackle this one without some expert guidance or help – or you could end up being forced to pay a professional to come in at short notice to finish the job for you.

What to consider before you start a complete kitchen remodel?

Before you start thinking about the aesthetics like taps and tiles, make sure you take a long, hard look at the space you have and consider the following:

  • What do you want from the space?
  • How do you want it to look and function?
  • Is the size and configuration right? 

Budget and resale value.

Once you have considered these three things, you then need to ask yourself how much you’re willing to spend. If you think you may sell up and move one day, it’s really important to keep your home’s resale value in mind when considering costs.

The industry generally says to spend three to eight per cent of the home’s value on a full kitchen renovation if you want to make a profit or break even when the time comes to sell your home.

In other words, with the average house price in Sydney standing at $1.1m, the average homeowner can typically spend $33,000 to $88,000 on a kitchen renovation without negatively affecting the resale price.

Help – I don’t have a budget that size!

If you don’t have a budget of that size but still want to refresh your kitchen, you do have some alternative options:

  • Reface or refinish your cabinets instead of replacing them.
  • Refinish your appliances if they’re outdated or need that stainless-steel look to increase visual appeal.
  • Replace things in stages rather than doing everything at once.

The design and layout process.

If you’re looking to alter the layout dramatically you should expect a base cost of at least $30,000.

This is because you’ll need to engage a registered architect to file a permit application with your local council, proving that the new space will be compliant with building codes and laws.

The cost implications of changing the existing framework and footprint will incur additional labour and material costs, along with the design and permit filing fees of around ten to 15 per cent of the total project value.

Key considerations for the layout of your kitchen.

In most cases, the size and shape of your room will determine the most suitable design, but it’s always helpful to consider the classic ‘working triangle’ when thinking about the layout of your newly renovated kitchen.

This concept is designed to minimise effort and walking distance between the sink, fridge and oven by placing each appliance on three points of a triangle.

This approach works with most kitchen layouts, although, if you have to run all the appliances and the sink along one wall, you may need to ‘flatten’ the triangle. To do this, position the three points in a line with just a few steps to walk in between.

How much do materials cost?

Your kitchen material costs are broken down into three key parts:

  1. Cabinets.
  2. Benchtops.
  3. Detailing.

Cabinetry costs.

New cabinets are a real game-changer in terms of the overall look and feel of a kitchen, so it’s no surprise that they eat up around 30 per cent of the budget. Stock cabinets, like those you can buy off the shelf at home centres typically start at $80 to $400 per cabinet.

Semi-stock cabinets (such as those at IKEA or Bunnings that you custom-order from a company’s inventory) are of higher quality and therefore more expensive, costing around $150 to $1,000 per cabinet.

If you want completely custom-made cabinets you can expect to pay around $500 to $1,500 per cabinet.

Benchtop costs.

Benchtops typically account for around 10 per cent of your total budget, depending on the material and kitchen size. Material costs range dramatically per square metre and the style of the edge you choose and thickness of the counter will also bulk up the cost.

Top tip: Designers tend to choose a less expensive counter material for large stretches, and save the expensive stuff for the island.

Final touches.

Once the big pieces are in place, the real style comes in the form of the final touches. Appliances can make a space, so budget around $1,000 to $5,000, depending on your desired luxury level.

Picking a tile backsplash is the fun part of design – and the options are almost endless (the average backsplash costs $1,845). Kitchen lighting makes a huge difference, too; recessed lights cost about $150 a piece to install, and over-the-island pendants start around $150. Kitchen mixers are a final consideration – they start at around $250 but can cost as much as $1,000.

How much does labour cost?

Even if you’re just remodelling fixtures in your kitchen, you need to account for labour costs (demolition, disposal and installation).

It’s also important to plan for unexpected costs. For example, if the wall tiles are removed you may discover that plasterboard needs to be repaired, in which case it will cost an average of $2,000 to strip the space pre-installation.

Other costs to consider include prep work to protect the floors ($600-$900), waterproofing (about $1,000), electrical and plumbing permits ($900-$2,000), and plumbing work ($2,000-$3,500).

Getting More Luxury for Less

As mentioned above, average costs can be misleading. One budget renovation can cost under $10,000 while another can cost $25,000 or more. If you want a luxury kitchen at a budget price, there are a number of things you can do to save on costs:

  • Choose a flat pack kitchen and do some of the installation work yourself.
  • Leave your sink and electrical outlets in their current position to save on plumbing and electrical installation costs.
  • Choose stylish acrylic splashbacks instead of expensive wall tiles.
  • Lay vinyl flooring instead of ceramic or porcelain tiles.
  • Keep some of your existing appliances if they are still in good nick.
  • A stylish flat pack kitchen from IKEA can cost less than $3,000. If you remove your old kitchen and hire a kitchen installer to help you, it might cost $1,000 to $2,000 more. Add $40 to $60 per square metre to have vinyl flooring installed and you can have a budget kitchen reno for around six to eight thousand dollars. The price will be higher for a larger kitchen, but even with appliances thrown in, the total cost can be much less than the “average” price of $22,000.

Don’t let the averages scare you. Quality and style doesn’t have to cost more if you choose carefully. If you need help, kitchen designers are trained to show you all your options, not just the most expensive ones. Get quotes, compare them by price and quality and you can have your dream kitchen reno.

Kitchen renovations depend on whether it’s a budget, luxury or “ultimate” project. Budget renovations start at $22,000 and “ultimate” renovations start at $40,000 and go up from there. Price will be dependent upon appliances, installation, plumbing and electrical work.

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