What you need to know about kitchen renovation costs
Before your renovate your kitchen get an idea of the costs whether it's a budget, standard or luxury remodel.
A complete kitchen renovation is a big commitment for any homeowner. It requires careful planning as well as an understanding of the financial resources required for the project. While materials will constitute the majority of your costings, direct labour and installation costs are also major considerations for your budget.
From budget to standard and premium renovations, the costs of revamping your kitchen will vary significantly depending on the location, size and condition of your property as well as the quality of materials used.
The intended use for the kitchen will help forecast your budget planning. If you’re a cooking enthusiast, you may opt for higher end appliances with standard fittings, whereas if you’re more concerned with the aesthetics of your kitchen, you may spend more on upgrading cabinets and floors, as opposed to appliances.
While some jobs can be done through DIY projects, it is recommended that you consult licensed professionals such as kitchen renovation specialists, architects or carpenters before embarking on your renovation project.
According to the 2018/19 HIA Kitchen and Bathrooms survey, the average cost of a complete kitchen renovation in 2016 was on average $19,553.
In this cost the average cost of trades for a kitchen renovation is $56 per hour, however, this cost can vary significantly depending on the extent to which a kitchen needs to be altered and which state or territory you are in. With the full range being between $50 per hour up to $77 per hour and this is for labour alone you then need to add the costs of installation and appliances. Typically, kitchen renovations can be segmented into three categories: budget, standard and premium.
According to the Australian Institute of Architects combined with a 2015 finder.com.au study, a basic kitchen renovation in Sydney costs $23,061, a standard renovation costs around $41,800 and a premium kitchen renovation is estimated at approximately $68,961.
These estimates vary between low, standard and high renovation costs depending on the materials used, as well as the labour and detail of work required. These costs include all new appliances, installation, plumbing and electrical work.
Kitchen Renovations at Different Price Points
Before remodelling the kitchen, you should do some research into the material and installation costs to help plan for your renovation. It is recommended that you choose materials, appliances and fixtures before you begin the project to ensure that you stay within the parameters of your budget.
A budget upgrade may involve simple additions to the kitchen such as new cupboard knobs, light fixtures, or adding a tile splashback. This type of kitchen upgrade will generally include DIY projects where the shell of the kitchen, such as the floors and ceiling, will remain in tact.
Building expert Samuel Tastzidis confirms that a budget kitchen renovation would generally involve basic upgrades to the existing structure:“You’d probably change the light fittings, upgrade appliances or even install new stone benchtops to give the kitchen a facelift.”
While a budget kitchen renovation is estimated to cost between $10,000 - $22,000, Tastzidis says there are ways you can get better value-for-money: “You can find cheap DIY kitchen kits with all appliances from Bunnings or Masters for around $5,000 which can be easily installed. But it goes without saying that the overall finish won’t be as good as a custom-made kitchen built and installed by a professional cabinet maker.”
It is critical that you choose your materials wisely by observing warranty terms and opting for reputable brands, Tastzidis explains: “I would always recommend paying a little more for appliances with extended warranty periods and sourcing quality materials such as laminate or Formica® doors which are much cheaper and more durable than polyurethane.
(‘Kitchen Renovation Tips’, Homelife).
Get More Luxury for Less
If you’re after luxury at a budget price tag, there are several ways you can minimise your costs:
- Leave your plumbing and electrical outlets in their current position to save on plumbing and installation costs.
- Choose an acrylic splashback instead of expensive wall tiles.
- Opt for vinyl flooring rather than costly ceramic or porcelain tiles.
- Keep some of your existing appliances as long as they are still in good working order.
For a standard kitchen renovation, you can upgrade your kitchen and make some changes to the kitchen’s shell structure, such as new flooring, replacing a window or relocating lighting. However, this price point assumes that the major features of the kitchen will stay in place and the floor plan will not be changed dramatically.
Tastzidids reveals the factors that influence the cost of a standard kitchen revamp: “The cost really depends on the size and existing condition of the kitchen but I would say that a standard upgrade would set you back between $20,000 to $45,000.”
With respect to items such as your benchtop, Tastzidis explains that certain brands stand above others:“I would always choose Caesarstone or Corian benchtops as these are extremely durable and not easily damaged by moisture . Your cabinet maker will supply and install these benchtops, or they will employ a sub contractor who specialises in stone benchtops to measure, cut and install the benchtop for you.”
“Kitchen styles have become a lot more open planned over the past 15 years so removing walls is always a possibility. Island benchtops and breakfast bars are becoming very popular in today’s kitchen designs.”
When choosing the functionality design for your cabinetry, Tastzidis demonstrates the importance of choosing quality hardware: “In a standard kitchen renovation I would always install cabinets with soft close drawers but be careful of manufacturers using cheap hardware as this will not last. I recommend using Blum hardware which is a reputable brand that sets the industry standard for cabinet making.”
A larger scale renovation may include a new layout of the kitchen space or addition of walls leading to adjacent spaces. According to Tastzidis this could involve extensive alterations to your kitchen: “A premium kitchen renovation could involve relocation of the kitchen, removal of major walls, installing high end European appliances, auto-opening drawers, heated flooring, hot water taps or installing new windows. For this type of renovation, you’d need to budget between $40,000 - $70,000 plus.”
In terms of the increased functionality of premium appliances, Tastzidis states:“All your appliances would be built in and will work in a seamless manner. For instance, your fridge and dishwasher will appear to be a cabinet, but when opened will function as a fridge or dishwasher respectively.”
“The major difference between a budget and a premium renovation is the quality of the materials used. You can look at a budget kitchen and it may be aesthetically pleasing, but it won’t have the durability, functionality or longevity of a premium kitchen. Sometimes it’s worth investing now to reap the benefits later, you need to think about how this project can add substantial value to your home.
You could also consider a personal loan to fund your renovation
By understanding the costs of each component of your project, we break down the itemised costs for each type of kitchen renovation: budget, standard and premium.
The size of the area as well as the material selected for the kitchen floor, will greatly impact the overall cost of the flooring. Inexpensive materials such as vinyl and linoleum may reduce costs in the short term, but you need to consider whether these materials will endure wear and tear. Wood and tile, on the other hand, require a larger upfront investment, but they will last much longer.
Based on national averages, it is estimated that the materials and installation of new kitchen flooring can cost approximately $3,000. That’s why it’s important to know exactly what kind of material is desired and how many square meters need to be covered.
|Vinyl (not including a sub-floor if needed)||$6.50-25/m2||$35-$45m2||$55-$90m2 (vinyl plank flooring)|
|Tiles||$35-$50/m2 (ceramic or porcelain)||$50-$100/m2 (high quality porcelain)||$80-$130/m2 (high quality natural stone)|
|Floating floors (add $5-$10 for thicker underlay)||$15/m2||$40/m2||$100/m2|
- Basic: Vinyl flooring is a popular option amongst budget kitchen renovations. It is estimated that the supply and installation of vinyl flooring costs approximately $57 per square meter. So for a 13 square meter kitchen, the total flooring cost would be around $741 on average.
- Standard: A mid-range option is tiling your kitchen which can be a popular option as they are durable and easy to clean, there are multiple options for kitchen floor tiles that range in price but if we opt for the high-quality natural stone tiles you can expect to pay from $80 per square meter which for a 13 square meter kitchen, the total cost of flooring would be around $1,040.
- Premium: Solid hardwood flooring such as spotted gum would often be seen in a premium kitchen space. This material would cost around $100 per square meter for high-grade wood, and sanding and polishing would also be $54 per square meter. For a 13 square meter kitchen, this premium flooring cost with a premium finish would be around $2,002.
You would then need to add the cost of installation with the average cost of trades in Australia being $27.50 per square meter, that's a range of $22 per square meter up to $38 per square meter however this can differ depending on the material used and what is involved in the installation process.
Having adequate storage is a crucial consideration for any kitchen space. Utensils, Tupperware containers and cooking ingredients need be stored and organised efficiently. You need to decide whether you would prefer a standard set or a custom fit, as well as choosing a design and colour scheme for your cabinets.
Your choice of hardware, such as your handles or knobs, can provide you with versatility with respect to the aesthetics of your kitchen. You can change the look and feel of your kitchen by alternating between your hardware. For example, knobs come in a range of finishes from glass to ceramic so you can make your cabinets look more traditional or contemporary based on your preferences.
- Basic: If you just need to touch up or modify your existing cabinets, it could only set you back $100 - $460.
- Standard: Upgrading cabinets using high quality laminate and mid range hardware could cost between $3,000 - $4,500.
- Premium: Installing high end hardware using polyurethane timber, stainless steel knobs and handles could cost between $5,000 - $12,000.
You will also need to include the cost of having these professionally installed which can be on average a cost of $50 per hour for an experienced cabinetmaker, however this is an average and the cost can range from $45 per hour up to $55 per hour depending on labour, size of the kitchen and the materials the cabinets are made from. Make sure to clarify when you get your quote if the cabinet maker is quoting just for labour or if it includes the materials to build the cabinets, if you have your own cabinets purchased elsewhere this will obviously save on cost.
One of the most influential kitchen renovation designs you’ll make is selecting the right countertop for your lifestyle. Factors such as durability and style are likely to guide your choice when contemplating different countertop materials. Are you all about an easy-to-maintain surface? Do you value stain-resistance? Or maybe you dream of launching a hot pot on a granite counter without making a burn?
Surface materials range from less expensive choices such as Formica® to more expensive surfaces like marble, stone or quartz.
|Granite or Marble||$700-$800/m2||$1,100-$1,400/m2||$1,500-$2,000/m2|
- Basic: Repairing or adjusting existing fixtures including re-sealing the joints between the splashback and the benchtop could only cost just $450 - $800.
- Standard: Upgrading benchtops to a quality stone countertop could cost between $700 - $2,000.
- Premium: Using high quality material or something more unique such as polished concrete that may have a bit more labour involved in construction could cost $10,000+.
When making the decision as to how to update your benchtop you should also consider the labour costs that can range from $50 per hour up to $77 per hour with an average of $66 per hour across Australia. If you are just doing a touch-up of your existing countertop you will obviously save a substantial amount compared to if you were getting a whole new benchtop created and installed.
Sinks range from simple undermount models to fully integrated, professional-grade sinks designed for heavy duty cooking.
From basic models with two-way handles to trendy curved taps, there is an infinite choice of sink types to suit every budget.
- Basic: For a basic kitchen sink, including taps and installation, you could spend just $500.
- Standard: For a mid range sink and tap, including installation, or if you are replacing existing fixtures, you could spend about $1,500.
- Premium: If you’re installing a new sink with premium features such as filtration and no touch capabilities, you may need to budget around $3,500.
The final thing you need to consider whether you want to redo or just touch up is your splashback and walls under between the kitchen cabinets, there are multiple options for all budget types and tastes available. Whether you want a simple tile or a more flash featured glass there is an option to suit your needs.
|Glass||$300 (clear painted glass)||$400 (low iron painted glass)||$420+ (depending on what is placed behind the glass and finish)|
|Mosaic sheets||$33 per sheet (pebble effect 300mmx300mm)||$47 per sheet (interlocking 300mmx290mm)||$59 per sheet (polished silver metal 300mx300mm)|
- Basic: For a basic upgrade to your splashback you could just opt to paint the existing one which would breathe a bit of freshness into it for only $100-$200. If you are doing a complete redo of the kitchen another option would be to just paint the plaster board or add wallpaper to add something different and this may range from $100-$500 depending on the paint or wallpaper. Although with all the mess that's created in the kitchen you will want to make sure it's durable.
- Standard: If you are wanting to add a bit more texture or just want something that is easier to clean the mess off you could opt for some tiles on your walls which cost around $20 per square meter for basic subway tiles or $47 per sheet of interlocking mosaic tiles. Although slightly more expensive you could also opt for an acrylic splashback which mimic glass and with prices starting at around $247 per square meter it is reasonably priced.
- Premium: There are so many new options in splashbacks these days you could really go all out if your budget allowed with mirrored splashback becoming extremely popular as a way of increasing the feeling of space. Although there is also the option of painted starfire glass which have become a very popular option as it can add a unique splash of colour without the worry of damaging the paint as it is on the underside of the glass, these are typically priced at around $420 per square meter.
You can expect to pay somewhere between $37 per square meter up to $50 per square meter for tiling and between $300 up to $800 for installation of the single piece splashbacks such as glass with cut-outs for power points anywhere from $50 each and any added protection for the glass ranging from $65-$100 per square meter.
New appliances will influence the appearance and functionality of your kitchen area. By purchasing Energy Star-rated appliances you conserve energy and lessen your electricity expenses.
- Basic: Repair existing appliances through routine maintenance, such as cleaning your oven, which could cost around $200 - $300.
- Standard: You could replace your oven and cooktop for about $5,000 with mid range appliances, as well as replacing your electrical appliances for as little as $100-$300.
- Premium: You can upgrade your cooktop and oven with premium European branded appliances, such as Smeg, for around $10,000+.
Undergoing a kitchen renovation is a considerable task that requires financial and managerial commitment. Having realistic expectations of your costs will facilitate the renovation process, regardless of your budget. Selecting the right materials, design and tradesmen can also be instrumental in successfully completing your kitchen renovation project.
While renovating can be a costly option, it can add considerable value to your home and improve the space and functionality of your kitchen. It is estimated that the percentage of the project recovered upon resale of your home could be 75-100%, depending on your suburb.
According to Tastzidis, renovating an existing kitchen is the fourth highest value-adding renovation type in Australia.
To finance renovation costs, many people will choose to take out a "line of credit" or "home equity loan". These loans let you borrow against the equity you have in your home. Your equity is the value of your home minus the amount you own on it. For instance, if you owe $200,000 on a home that's valued at $500,000, you would have $300,000 in equity.
Line of credit home loans enable you to capitalise on this equity, acting as a flexible transactional mortgage that allows you to access funds when you need them. To compare line of credit home loans, check out our table below:
Compare line of credit home loans
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**Costs in this article are indicative and should only be used as an estimate guide.
**Prices vary locally and are subject to market forces.
** Some estimates were sourced from Housing Industry Association (HIA), hipages, Refresh Renovations, Choice and serviceseeking.com.au.
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