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How much does a kitchen renovation cost?

Want to know how much a kitchen renovation would cost on average? Use this guide to set your budget.

It's often said that the kitchen is the heart of the home. In fact, experts believe that a renovated kitchen can add to the value of your property.

Even if it's not about adding value, you're probably using your kitchen every day and having a nice space to prepare your meals can change everything.

Renovating your kitchen is a commitment, however. So if your kitchen needs updating, it's important to be aware of the costs and challenges before you get started.

How much does a kitchen renovation cost?

Kitchen renovation costs can vary widely. It depends on what appliances you want to include, as well as the installation, plumbing and electrical work required – not to mention the size of the kitchen you're renovating.

Different sites will tell you different estimations, but they can range from:

  • $10,000 to $22,000 for a budget renovation
  • $15,000 to $45,000 for a mid-range renovation
  • $35,000+ for a higher-end renovation

According to a 2022 study from renovation group Houzz, Australians spent more on renovations in 2021 compared to previous years. The median renovation spend jumped to $30,000 from $21,000 in 2020. This is more down to homeowners having higher budgets than an increased cost of materials.

5 reasons to renovate your kitchen

  • Boost your home's value. If you're planning to sell your property, you might want to renovate to increase its value.
  • Upgrade to fit your personal style. If your style has changed over the years or you bought a home with a kitchen that's not to your tastes, you could renovate to suit you.
  • Create a space that better meets your family's needs. Maybe you need more counter space or storage or you're keen to add in some gourmet features.
  • Update an awkward layout. Eliminate the inconvenience of a space that hasn't been updated in a while by improving the functionality.
  • Increase energy and water efficiency. An upgrade to your appliances can help you save on energy and water.

What impacts the cost of a kitchen renovation?

In general, the factors that impact the cost of a kitchen renovation include the materials you choose to use, the appliances you select and the size of your kitchen. Labour cost and the complexity of the job can also affect the overall cost.

Here's an idea of what the range of costs can look like:

  • Appliances. Ovens can cost anywhere from around $380 to $15,000+ depending on how high-end you want to go. A dishwasher can range in price from $400 to around $5,000.
  • Materials. For example, you could spend from about $350 per square metre for laminate kitchen benchtops to $4,800 for a square metre of premium marble.
  • Size. According to Sydney Home Centre a small kitchen (<6m2) can cost about $15,000 to renovate but a very large kitchen (40m2–70m2) can cost up to $175,000.
  • Tradespeople. The cost of tradespeople will vary depending on how long the renovation is scheduled to take and how many tradespeople are needed.

How can I finance a kitchen renovation?

  • Credit card. If the cost is small enough and you can source a card with low interest rates, you can consider using a credit card. While you might have the added benefit of earning frequent flyer points, you should also be aware of the higher interest rates. Also note that failing to pay your credit card balance off in time can add significant interest charges to your kitchen renovation costs.
  • Personal loan. Whether secured or unsecured, personal loans can be useful for a lower-budget kitchen renovation. It's a flexible option but rates are generally higher than a home loan.
  • Home loan. For bigger jobs with a large price tag, you can consider refinancing or restructuring your home loan with a line of credit.

Steps to take before you start a kitchen renovation

  1. Work out your budget. Figure out how much you want to spend on the renovation. Don't forget to include a buffer (ideally of about 5–10%) for any unexpected emergencies.
  2. Apply for any credit. Whatever credit option you're choosing, you will need to apply ahead of time to get the finance.
  3. Choose your design. Visit showrooms, research online and consider consulting a kitchen designer for a professional opinion.
  4. Create a schedule. Like any project, you'll have to work out a plan for the sequence of events and when things actually need to happen.
  5. Hire professionals. Undertaking a kitchen renovation is no easy feat so make sure you hire tradespeople that can help the project go smoothly.
  6. Order all the appliances, fixtures and fittings. Some items can take multiple weeks to arrive and the cabinet maker will need to know what you've chosen before they start.
  7. Get packing. Pack up all your kitchen items so your workers can do their job without clutter.
  8. Set up a temporary kitchen. Take the bare essentials and basic tools you'll need during your kitchen renovation and put together a temporary kitchen space. You'll need a space for prepping, somewhere to wash dishes and options for cooking such as your microwave, a hot plate or a BBQ.

The step-by-step process for renovating a kitchen

  1. Demolish the kitchen. Time to get the sledgehammer out and get rid of the old kitchen.
  2. Update plumbing and install the electrical. Get your space ready for all the fixtures and fittings with any necessary rewiring and replumbing.
  3. Lay the flooring. This is dependent on the material and personal preference. Concrete floors need to be installed ahead of final finishes because it's a messy job. Other options can be done once the kitchen is completed.
  4. Paint the walls. The optional step is completed before the kitchen cabinet carcasses are installed.
  5. Install the cabinets. The cabinet makers will install the cabinets in place, attaching them to the wall using glue and screws.
  6. Install the cabinet panels. These are the panels which finish the exposed sides of the kitchen including the pantry, island and wall ends.
  7. Install the benchtop and sink. Your chosen benchtop is cut to size and installed, along with the kitchen sink.
  8. Install draws, doors and kickboards. The finishing touches of your kitchen are now completed.
  9. Connect the services. Once everything is installed, the electrician and plumber can connect appliances, sinks, taps and lighting.

How long does a kitchen renovation take?

Not including time spent on the design phase, the average kitchen renovation takes between 4 and 8 weeks to complete. Smaller renovations can take as little as 2 weeks, while more complicated luxury projects can easily take months.

How to find tradespeople for kitchen renovations in Australia

Word of mouth is still one of the most popular options for choosing a tradesperson for a kitchen renovation. If your friends are coming up short, then there are some online options that can help you find the right contractors for the job.

  • Hipages. Hipages has been around for over a decade and it's all about home improvement. It has a dedicated trust and quality team to check the qualifications of all tradespeople.
  • ServiceSeeking. Businesses on this site have all completed an ID check and ServiceSeeking has a "two complaints and you're out" policy to weed out poor service.
  • Oneflare. Oneflare is a platform which allows you to get free quotes for a variety of jobs. Each business gets a profile score and verified workers are highlighted. You can also read reviews from other customers.
  • Airtasker. With over a million registered workers, you'll be hard-pressed not to find what you're looking for here. Airtasker verifies the identity of all its workers and you pay via its inbuilt payment system for extra protection on both sides.

Questions to ask before hiring a tradesperson for a kitchen renovation

  • Can I see your licence and qualifications? Make sure they're fully qualified for the job.
  • Are you insured? Public liability insurance will cover them for mistakes or accidents.
  • Do you have references I can contact? Speak with past clients to check recent work and conduct.
  • Can I see examples of your workmanship? Make sure they can do quality work and their style fits with your own.
  • How long have you been in the business? Your job might be complex and require a tradesperson with multiple years of experience.
  • What are the terms of payment? Do you want to pay a deposit upfront or prefer to receive the total bill once the work is completed?

How to negotiate with a tradesperson

Negotiating is a fine art for some and others steer well clear away from it. With the right approach, both parties can step away from a negotiation with a positive experience. Here are our top tips to get the best price for your kitchen renovation:

  • Know how much you want to spend in advance and how high you're willing to go
  • Do your research or have a knowledgeable friend assist you
  • Be aware of the sales tactics commonly used by tradespeople
  • Try not to come across as desperate to get the job done or to work with highly rated tradespeople
  • Make it clear you're looking for a quality job as well as the best price
  • Offer something in return to help bring the cost down, like paying a deposit upfront

Pros and cons: Is a kitchen renovation worth it?

Pros

  • Increase the value of your home
  • Improved look and aesthetics
  • Increase your home's energy and water efficiency
  • Add more counter space and storage

Cons

  • Can get expensive, especially for luxury renovations
  • Downtime without a kitchen
  • You won't necessarily make back what you've put in if looking to sell

Bottom line

Whether you're keen to increase your rental return on an investment property, top up the value of your home before you sell or spruce up your forever home, a kitchen renovation is a solid choice. Check out all your options for financing a home renovation so you can start planning your kitchen makeover.

Frequently asked questions about kitchen renovations

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