Renovating your kitchen: Everything you need to know
A kitchen renovation can be daunting.
Where do you start? How much will it cost? What tradies will you need? And in what order?
These are just some of the questions that need answers before launching into a kitchen reno.
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Hipages celebrity tradie Jason Charles, of Charles Bro Building Contractors, said it was important to not go in blind.
“If they have some ideas of what they want that makes it a lot easier,” Mr Charles said.
He said kitchens were usually the most expensive room in a house, but also the most likely to impress buyers when it came time to sell.
“A kitchen can cost from $15,000 to $100,000, and appliances can range from $3000 to over $100,000,” he said.
“It is important to have a bit of leeway in your budget, go to a cabinet maker in the early days so you can prepare for what it will cost alone before appliances and everything else.”
BEFORE YOU START
Planning a kitchen renovation starts with a budget (see cost breakdown at bottom of page).
Research all your costs thoroughly beforehand, including materials, tradespeople and permits.
Also allow for a buffer of 10-20 per cent for unexpected costs.
Research your local council regulations to know what permits you need.
Body corporate rules might also need to be considered for those in apartments or units.
Always check your tradie is licenced and insured in case there’s an accident or they damage your property during works.
A kitchen designer will be helpful if you are altering the floorplan and moving plumbing and electrical connections. Your kitchen builder might include this as part of their service.
The builder will take care of the demolition and strip out. Depending on the size of your kitchen it could take a day or two to remove cabinetry, benchtops and tiles.
You will also need a skip bin to remove all the demolition.
Apart from your builder, you might also need a cabinet maker, a plumber, an electrician and a tiler/floorer.
FITTINGS AND FIXTURES
There are several different options for kitchen benchtops and they also vary in price.
Laminate is the cheapest, followed by timber, composite stone, concrete and natural stone.
The most practical sink is one flush with or sunken below your benchtop surface as this makes cleaning much easier. You will also need to choose a single or double sink.
A wide variety of tapware is available to accompany the sink, including mixer and wall mounted taps.
Appliances needed for a kitchen include a stove, oven, fridge, microwave and dishwasher.
It is important to correctly measure all the spaces for these appliances. You don’t want to buy a fridge and then find it doesn’t fit the space.
Mr Charles said stone splashbacks were replacing tiles and glass in the popularity stakes.
“The island bench will be a feature stone, the other benches normal stone and then the feature stone for the splashback as well,” he said.
“A lot of people are also using LED lights in the cabinetry and kickers, it is going crazy.”
A high-end apartment for sale for $950,000-$1.045 million at 1803/35 Malcolm St, South Yarra has LED lights illuminating the stone splashback. The splashback is the same stone used around the island bench, with a different stone forming the benchtop.
Bi-fold and servery windows are also becoming a popular feature in kitchens. The house for sale for $2.65-$2.9 million at 22 Wentworth Ave, Sandringham has a servery window plus integrated appliances.
ALL IN THE TIMING
It can take up to four weeks to research, plan and design a kitchen.
This includes time to develop the design, select materials and fittings and get quotes from local tradies.
Custom cabinetry can take three to six weeks to be built, depending on the materials chosen.
And, depending on the size of the project, allow two to four weeks for the job to be done.
Here is a timeline for a kitchen renovation.
1. Strip out existing kitchen, including cabinetry
2. Disconnect appliances and plumbing
3. Start structural work, including framing
4. Install new plumbing and electrical
5. Pour concrete floor
6. Install cabinetry, can take 1-3 days
7. Get benchtops measured, cut and installed
8. Connect plumbing to kitchen sink and dishwasher
9. Install splashback
10. Install flooring
11. Paint walls
12. Test and handover
COUNTING THE COSTS
Expect most new kitchens to cost $15,000-$40,000-plus, depending on the quality of the materials and appliances, the size of the kitchen and the extent of the renovation.
It can be broken down into three cost tiers, as a guide:
■ $15,000-$25,000 for a cosmetic renovation using budget materials.
This will get you laminate kitchen cabinetry and benchtops; a tile splashback; vinyl laminate or ceramic floor tiles; entry-level appliance brands, with your services kept in place.
■ $25,000-$35,000 for an average size renovation using mid-range materials.
This will get you a design by a professional; engineered stone benchtops; glass or tile splashback; polyurethane fronted cabinets; hardwood or porcelain floor tiles; mid-range appliance brands and some changes to your services.
■ $35,000-$40,000-plus for a premium renovation using top of the range materials.
This will get you major changes to the layout and services; 3D design and plans by a professional; engineered stone or natural stone benchtops; polyurethane cabinetry; premium porcelain tiles or hardwood flooring and quality imported appliances.
It is also important to factor in all the different trades you will need and what they will cost.
■ Cabinet makers — $100 an hour.
They can help design and install custom overhead cabinets, deep drawers and walk-in pantries.
■ Plumbers — $100-$150 an hour.
They‘ll connect your sink, dishwasher and make any changes if you move services.
■ Electricians — $70-$95 an hour, plus $100 service fee.
Sparkies can install lighting, additional power points and wire up all your appliances.
■ Tilers — $40-$60sq m for labour.
The cost of tiles is additional. Expect to pay $20-$28sq m for standard white ceramic wall tiles, $50-$100sq m for high quality porcelain floor tiles and $80-$130sq m for high quality natural stone floor tiles.
■ Flooring — $40-$150sq m. Quality floating laminate floorboards start at $40sq m but you can pay $150sq m for more solid timber flooring. Installation should cost $30-$40sq m.
■ Plasterer — $30-$70sq m for hard plaster, $45-$90sq m for wet plaster application.
If you are removing wall tiles a plasterer can make your walls look like new after the plumber and electricians have finished their jobs.
■ Kitchen benchtops — $350-$2000sq m.
Expect to pay from
$350sq m for laminate, $550sq m for composite stone and $2000sq m for natural stone.
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