Designing A Budget for Your New Kitchen
Designing a new kitchen is fun, creative and inspirational. It’s a time to dream, to look through catalogues, and to let your imagination go. In order to have a successful outcome, however, it’s also a time to realistically prepare for the costs involved, and make tough choices.
People dream for their kitchen renovation to cost less than 10k. Whilst that figure may be a hopeful ballpark, how far away is this from the reality of your plan? To design a workable budget for your new kitchen, you need to take a hard look at the costs involved, prioritise your desires, and then stick to a realistic budget.
In most cases, renovating a kitchen also means updating appliances. In Australia alone, there are over 80 different brand names of common kitchen appliances. Below are some general figures for an appliance pack that consists of an oven, cooktop, range hood, sink and tap. Also keep in mind if you need to add a dishwasher, microwave, or new refrigerator, as this may add to the budget too.
LOW END 2K
MID RANGE 4K
HIGH END +6K
Miele (pictured below) is a well-known high-end appliance brand. Competitively priced is Omega (bottom). Check the appliance specifications for specific details. Compare safety, warranty and servicing for kitchen appliances before making any decisions.
As a basic measure, you will need your old kitchen removed and the new one installed. This includes plumbing and electrical work. Depending on the job, you may also need tiling, your walls re-rendered, your ceiling fixed, and new flooring installed. Depending on the way your kitchen company is structured, you may be paying an average of 4K for labour. To save costs, you can source the trades yourself and let the experts just fit the cabinetry.
CaesarStone is a popular choice and is similar in price to natural stones such as granite and marble, depending on the slab. In general, stone adds a minimum of 1.5K to your kitchen. Adding features, such as undermounting the sink and increasing the stone to a 40mm or more edge, adds to the cost. Laminate benchtops are an economical alternative and come in a large range of colours and finishes.
A laminate benchtop with a bullnose edge. Available in hundreds of colours. The squareform edge is becoming popular and is now available in 31 colours.
CaesarStone benchtops add a touch of sophistication and style to your new kitchen and are also great for resale value. Pictured above is a standard 20mm edge. The right hand image shows a 100mm mitred edge, waterfall panels to the ground and an undermount sink.
It is difficult to give an average cabinetry price as there are so many variables. Different manufacturers and suppliers offer a variety of materials and hardware. You can downgrade all the way, but five years from now, if the quality is not there, it will be a real nightmare. Keep in mind that certain features cost more money, such as drawers, pull out bins, pull out pantries, etc. If a kitchen company quotes you less than 8K, you should question the quality.
Some companies will save costs by using cheap hinges and runners. Pictured (on top) above is a piano hinge that may be used on corner units in cheap kitchens. The tubular edging is exposed on the outside of the cabinetry. This not only looks bad, but it also functions poorly as compared with the Blum soft close hinge, pictured above.
Some cheaper manufacturers make drawers using MDF for their sides and base, with poor quality runners. For a quality kitchen, drawer runners should be soft close, have seamless runners with a lifetime guarantee, and include options to be multi-functional.
They key to designing a successful kitchen renovation is to first define your priorities. Decide what you simply must have, and where you can compromise. Spend on the must-haves, and be flexible in other areas. You may need to rethink high-end appliances, for example, or put in a laminate benchtop instead of stone. Look at sourcing your own plumber and electrician. Designing a budget, and sticking to it, will make your new kitchen renovation an easier, simpler, straightforward and rewarding experience.