10 Things to Know Before Renovating a Kitchen

hamptons style kitchen in brisbane with large pendant lights

When it comes to kitchen renovations, many people haven’t renovated a kitchen in their lives, so it can be daunting as there are a lot of decisions to make. It’s important to arrange a specialist kitchen design and renovation company to guide you through the process and work with you to achieve your goals.

The last thing you want is to create regret and end up with a kitchen unsuitable for purpose. A new kitchen is the showpiece of your home and, when done correctly, adds value to your home and will improve your lifestyle and last for years.

Because you’ve only got one chance to get it right, look at the top 10 things you need to know before starting a kitchen renovation so you don’t send dollars down the drain.

1. What’s your goal, and do you have a realistic budget to achieve it


So, is your new kitchen entering your dream home, an investment property or being renovated to sell your home in a few years? All these things will determine the type of budget required, and a reputable kitchen company will give you an idea when you first call them.

There are three main areas to consider that make up the total cost of your new kitchen: The kitchen cabinetry, benchtops, and splashbacks, then there are the appliances, sink and tap, and then the trade works, and each can vary considerably in price depending on the project.

A kitchen defines a home; if it’s your dream home, you should dream big and have everything you would like that suits your needs.

Knowing what is a must-have and what you would like is usually a good idea, and starting with the dream kitchen is better. If the budget doesn’t quite stretch, then options are always available to get a similar look and design with simple saving options. Then again, you may be pleasantly surprised and get everything you want within a realistic budget.

It must be on par with other properties in your area if it is an investment property. It’s easy to go cheap and lose quality, high-paying tenants because comparable homes in the same area have better quality finishes than tenants expect. There are many ways to have a quality kitchen that will stand up to tenants while increasing the value of your property and having the wow factor without blowing the budget.

A custom-designed kitchen doesn’t have to cost a fortune.

So start by setting your Goal. Get an idea of the appliances you want, the sink and tap, and work out what finishes you like so grab a pen and paper and write it down, print off pictures of what you’ve seen and liked, and put together a kitchen folder of all your ideas. Highlight what’s most important and what you can compromise on if the budget doesn’t stretch. Then, a good kitchen builder/designer will be able to walk you through the endless options and possibilities to help you achieve it

2. Getting professional help can make for a better result

From cabinet makers to plumbers, electricians and tilers, kitchen renovations require the coordination of many different trades. Hiring someone else to handle the project management aspect of your renovation can prevent it from becoming a long, drawn-out process. It can also help you better achieve your desired result and save you a lot of headaches.

While it might seem straightforward, “sink here, fridge there”, there are so many aspects to consider when designing a new kitchen. You’ve only got one chance to get it right, and kitchen designers have seen it all before. A kitchen designer is invaluable When considering where you’ll store the bin, how to overcome corner cupboards, and nailing the kitchen work triangle for a functional cooking zone.

3. Layout changes will add to your cost

Think about building, plumbing and electrical work before you start designing your kitchen renovation. If changing the layout of your kitchen will improve its functionality, you should take the opportunity to do this. But be aware! Changing the position of your stove or sink will add to your renovation cost.

A full kitchen renovation can quickly become costly because you don’t know what’s lurking behind your existing cabinets. Undertaking structural work can also throw up unforeseen problems like hidden asbestos, outdated construction methods or the need for new wiring.

Having a contingency fund for your kitchen renovation will help, but ensure you’re prepared to spend it if you’re stripping back to start from scratch.

4. Choose a timeless design over the latest trend

Renovating a kitchen is expensive, so it should look good for many years. Understated, sophisticated designs such as a classic Hamptons look, or country-style kitchen are timeless. They allow you to make subtle changes without completing a kitchen renovation as your tastes change.

hamptons style kitchen in brisbane with marble island benchtop

Focus on what you want your focal point to be. Is it an oversized island bench? A tiled splashback? A custom range hood? Do you want to keep the rest of your kitchen warm and welcoming?

5. Timelines are only a guide

A kitchen renovation can take anywhere from 1 week to 6 weeks. It will vary depending on the size of your kitchen, the complexity of your renovation project, your finishes, and how well-organised the project is.

Everything must be scheduled in order, and a good kitchen renovator/designer can help coordinate this for you. If the trade order is mixed up or has too many there at once, it can go pear-shaped quickly.

That being said, renovations can often throw up surprises, leading to delays, so you should be prepared for these things.

6. It might just be easier to move out during a kitchen renovation

It may seem extreme, but depending on the scope of work and your situation, it may be easier to move out of your home during the renovation process, for example, if asbestos removal is required or if new flooring will be installed or major wall changes and associated renovations. Building work can be messy and dusty.

You’ll need to set up a temporary space in your home for cooking and cleaning, and if you have a young family or pets, organising alternative accommodation might be the best bet if you’ll have trouble keeping them out of what will be a worksite for an extended period.

7. Using your existing appliances can save you thousands

If you’ve recently upgraded your refrigerator or your stove is still in good condition, reuse them instead of investing in new appliances. As long as they work with your planned aesthetic, there’s no reason you can’t continue to use these appliances until the end of their lives.

Best of all, reusing your appliances will save you money that you can then use to invest in items that can’t be as readily changed, such as waterfall countertops or feature tiles.

8. You will need a plan for lighting and power points

There’s nothing worse than wishing you’d put in more power points after a kitchen renovation or cooking your first dinner and realising you can’t see what you’re chopping. So, with electrical work, have a plan for that, too.

Work closely with your kitchen designer and electrician to have points that will allow you to connect appliances where they can be hidden away, such as a walk-in pantry. Additionally, you should carefully consider where you’ll work and how these areas will be lit to avoid shadows.

9. Take the ease of cleaning into consideration

A glass splashback can be a real wow factor in a kitchen. They can be easily wiped over because they don’t have grout lines, like tiles.

Regarding new cabinets, gloss cabinetry is the easiest to clean but can show fingerprints and scratches; matte colours show fewer fingerprints and are more forgiving of scratches. Stone countertops are hard-wearing and pretty much trouble-free.

The most important thing when it comes to choosing materials is research. Go for materials that are long-wearing, easy to care for, and look good.

10. Make your kitchen multifunctional

The old saying ‘the kitchen is the heart of the home’ still stands. So, a kitchen reno is an ideal time to add upgrades that acknowledge how we use our kitchens today.

Once upon a time, a functional family kitchen would have featured power points on the island bench to plug in tablets and phones for charging. Nowadays, you can add invisible wireless phone charging directly to the countertop to keep it free of cords and clutter (but it is expensive).

Make sure your kitchen has a place for kids to do their homework, stack unpaid bills, keep track of a shopping list, and even somewhere to base your virtual assistant.

Kitchen renovation specialists can make your dreams come true.

Doing as much research and planning as possible is key to a successful kitchen reno. You don’t want to be making changes once the renovation is complete. Or worse, living with renovation regrets.

For professional help designing your kitchen renovation in Brisbane, call Easy Living Kitchens on 1300 650 681 for a free design consultation.

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