Kitchen Improvements - a fast and cost effective stragegy for kitchen renovations

There was no doubt that when it came to this property, the old kitchen needed to go, there was wasted space, cabinetry that was near death and a hot water cylinder taking up storage space. Though budget and time was incredibly tight (the two things you traditionally need in order to design a great kitchen) we were realistic, we knew that we needed to keep costs to a minimum and be decisive in what we wanted to design. The kitchen would be the most expensive part of our renovation and would consume the largest portion of our targeted $30k budget, with that every decision made needed to be considered with price and budget in mind.

You could spend months designing a kitchen, there are so many options of what to do in terms of layout and design. To limit options and take a focused approach to this kitchen renovation, we identified the areas that needed to be changed within the existing kitchen and then problem solved to have answer to that need. Rather than taking the approach; what can we do, we instead asked what do we need to improve.

Improvement #1: Layout

There were a few problems with layout being  the under utilisation of space, the half height feature walls and the hot water cylinder. Though to remove these would increase our spending, there was a need to remove both in order to gain that most value within our new kitchen.

Though Caleb’s preference was to remove both walls and have a completely open space I felt that it would compromise the living room layout, we agreed to reinstate the wall between the kitchen and lounge while removing the wall between the kitchen and the dining space. The main layout decision was whether we went with a U shaped kitchen utilising the end wall, or with a galley styled kitchen with an island facing the dining room. Our preference was for the galley kitchen as it provided access to the kitchen space from both ends allowing better access and flow while creating a linear and clean feel to the space. From a cost perspective, by avoiding the use of corner cabinets and the need to create joins in your benchtop you can save a few pennies.

A common feature of houses built in the mid-1900's is the placement of the hot water cylinder in a cupboard within the kitchen. Whilst this may have been a practical location 50 years ago, kitchen space has become a lot more valuable and open in modern living. Our last 3 renovations have all had the HWC in the kitchen and we have got a good solution to reclaim that space - relocate your HWC outside. We would have replaced the HWC regardless to upgrade to mains pressure and external HWC units themselves are well insulated and priced similarly to an indoor unit. Insulation of the pipes is important to get efficiency on your heating and locate it as close to your kitchen and bathrooms as possible to get hot water to your taps quicker.


Improvement #2: Appliances & Fittings.

With a brand new kitchen, the old appliances and fittings were not worth keeping to ensure we created a 'new' interior throughout. Appliances come in a wide range of price and options, we did our research to find something that would be good value and a point of difference - rather than the standard stainless steel look. We purchased our appliances and kitchen mixer from the TradeDepot in Takanini, they import a range of products and have a great range of options with some sharp pricing. To add a bit of impact in our kitchen and add some contrast to the white we went with a black sink mixer, rangehood, stovetop and oven. Just because your products are affordable doesn't mean you can’t create some impact. The result meant our kitchen had a bold statement through the use of black and white and an added design element.


Improvement #3: A Feature

With every room you design, there should be a hero or point of difference. A lot of people think that needs to be an expensive art piece or bold colour, but a little pre-planning and attention to detail for can achieve a memorable element to your space without spending much at all. With our builder only on site for 1 day, Caleb got him to create a small recess on the blank wall in the kitchen. We had a few ideas what we could put here, but decided a green herb wall would not only create some impact and add life, but also be practical. Caleb made some simple pine planter boxes, lined them with plastic, purchased some plants and voila - ready to use herbs right where we need them. You can learn more about how to build this in our projects blog “Recessed Planter Box”.



Cost Summary

Key costs for our kitchen and suppliers and tradespeople used summarised below:

  • Kitchen (including sink) - $5,450, KitchenMania

  • Kitchen Install - $620, Professional Installations - arranged through KitchenMania

  • Appliances (including dishwasher): $1,700, Trade Depot

  • Sink Mixer: $150, Trade Depot

  • Tiles for Splashback: $100,  Tile Depot

  • Tile Splashback Install: $350, through Builderscrack

  • Light fitting: $100, Eden Light

  • Trades Costs for Labour & materials (approximated as costs part of total renovation cost)

    • uilder - $400, Kingdom Builderz

    • Plumbing Kitchen - $1,300, Steel Plumbing

    • Plumbing, new HWC and relocation - $2,400, Steel Plumbing

    • Electrician - $1,300, Pro-Spec Electrical

    • Plasterer - $250, through Builderscrack

  • Total: $14,020 (incl GST)

Posted on March 2, 2016 and filed under Renovation.