ARTICLE Stephanie Matheson PHOTOGRAPHY Scott Espie CONCEPT PLANS Refresh Design
Make the most of your kitchen space with adjustments to its layout, plus new cabinetry, countertops and appliances. A mid range kitchen renovation in Australia is likely to cost in the region of $35,000 - $50,000. Our simple tips below will help you keep your costs in check. Read on to find out what you can get for your money, or view our basic kitchen renovation estimate if you are looking to spend less or our top end kitchen renovation estimate if you are looking for something a bit more glamorous.
How much does it cost to rework my kitchen layout?
A substantial kitchen renovation with new appliances can start from as low as approximately $28,000 if most of the layout stays the same. Quite frequently, however, the floor plan needs to be adapted to suit our modern lifestyles. This means that the plumbing and wiring will need to be redone. Taking this into account, a total kitchen makeover with engineered stone tops, a kitchen island, new appliances, soft-close drawers, splashback and flooring is likely to start from around $35,000 to $40,000 onwards.
The shape of your kitchen – be it U-shape, L-shape or galley – will dictate which layout is most appropriate, and your architectural designer will work with you to draft a floorplan.
What type of cabinetry and doors suit my budget?
Custom-made cabinets across your whole kitchen will allow you to make the most of your available space and add the kind of style and design finishes you can’t get with standard cabinets. Differences in price mainly depend on the material and finish. Melteca and melamine are two common and affordable materials that are widely used in Australian kitchens. Other options include vacuum formed vinyl, where the material is vacuumed onto the face of the door and drawers, and spray painted lacquer, which is a two pot paint finish that is generally more expensive than the previous materials. Timber veneer and solid wood are further door options, however, they are priced at the higher end of the spectrum for cabinetry.
The different kinds of panel doors and details you are after all add to the overall cost. Cabinet components such as hinges, soft-close drawer systems and storage inlays also add to the bottom line. There are vast variances in quality and functionality, so make sure to look into these details early on when you are setting your budget.
What kitchen appliances do I need?
Quality induction or gas cooktops and one or two built-in wall ovens – that’s what every aspiring cook dreams of. Induction hobs have become much more affordable in recent years, and their advantage of heating metal (and only metal) up instantly makes them the perfect kitchen companion. The range of available styles and brands is endless, but where possible it pays to opt for higher end, possibly European designed products that offer proven performance and will stand the test of time. When it comes to the rest of the appliances such as dishwashers and fridges, you could opt for plainer models that can be covered by cabinetry. This has the pleasant side effect of creating a clean, unified look. Make sure you go for energy star rated products that will help you save money over their lifespan.
Last but not least there is the range hood to think about. This product is often a design feature in a kitchen as it’s one of the most prominent appliances. It pays to pick a high-end version that will set the tone for the rest of your kitchen. An external motor on your range hood’s extractor fans is a good investment as it keeps noise levels down.
What countertop options do I have?
Engineered stone is an ideal countertop for your kitchen. Starting from around $700 per square metre and made from crushed stone, it is more affordable than natural stone while still offering its natural beauty. It’s extremely hard and durable, more resistant to wear and tear than natural stone, and can be manufactured to your exact specifications. Many types of engineered stone are anti-bacterial. Relatively new to the market, quartz composite benchtops are becoming more popular as they are low maintenance and come in a myriad of colours. Granite is slightly more expensive than engineered stone, and is one of the oldest and most durable materials used for countertops. The thickness of the stone will impact on costs. Marble is another option that you can also use elsewhere in the house, for example around fireplaces.
Along with your chosen countertop, pick a sink and tap to match the look and feel you want to create. There is also the splashback to think about with glass as a great material option.
What can I do about kitchen storage?
Having a space in your kitchen to entertain guests or have a relaxed breakfast with your family is becoming a standard feature that Kiwis value. The centre kitchen island does better than most other solutions. A plain, engineered stone island for three to four barstools (with drawers but without a sink or power points) should cost you in the range of about $4,000 to $6,000.
A kitchen island typically adds at least two or three extra drawers for storage of cutlery and crockery or other kitchen items. If your space allows it, adding a walk-in pantry to your kitchen is a great option to maximise storage space. It doesn’t have to be a huge space, but it should be large enough to house all your foodstuffs plus some additional items such as extra bowls or small appliances that aren’t often used. A separate pantry may also mean that you can save on costly cabinets, as you need fewer of them.
What kind of lighting should my kitchen have?
In addition to the necessary task lighting, which is more often than not provided by recessed LED light these days because of their longevity and low heat emission – the kitchen is a great space to include feature or ‘mood’ lighting too. We tend to spend a lot of our time in the kitchen – entertaining guests, meeting as a family or simply cooking and baking – and light has a large impact on the mood and atmosphere of a space and how we feel in it. An easy and affordable way to achieve an indirect flow in your kitchen is by installing recessed LED strips above overhead cabinets or underneath benchtop stone ‘waterfalls’. This is especially effective on a centre kitchen island, and you could even choose lights that can change colour. Two to three metres of strip lighting should only cost you around $400 to $500 including installation. Strip lights are also often used in pantries now, and will turn off automatically when the pantry door is closed. As an additional lighting feature, you could consider installing a set of pendants above your island or breakfast bar. They can add a bit of style and colour, even while not turned on.
Depending on your budget, you might like to read about kitchen renovation options with a Basic budget or a High-end budget.
If you would like to discuss options and ideas for your kitchen renovation project, please use the enquiry form on this page to provide us with your contact details. We will get in touch with you at a time that suits you to discuss your project. If you would like to provide us with more information about your project, we have a more comprehensive enquiry form on our "Get in touch" page too.
*Costs are rough estimates and are subject to change. For a fixed-quote accurate to your specific project, please consult your local Refresh Renovations specialist. All Refresh Renovations franchises are independently owned and operated.