How much does a kitchen renovation cost?
The kitchen provides the backbone of the modern home. More than just a place to prepare meals, the kitchen connects family, determines how welcome guests feel and leaves an impression on everyone who visits.
A kitchen impacts the look and feel of the whole home and renovations can vary in complexity. Planning a budget from the outset will help set realistic expectations to achieve the kitchen of your dreams.
What you can expect to spend:
Up to $20,000
A small to medium kitchen renovation will cost anywhere up to $20,000. This budget will include cosmetic improvements including:
- Removal of existing cupboards and cabinets
- Purchase and installation of new cabinetry
- Painting and decorating
This budget can improve the aesthetics of a kitchen within the existing layout without the need for complex building, electrical or plumbing work.
$20,000 - $40,000
If your budget allows more than $20,000, you can completely redesign the kitchen and improve the whole ambience of your home. For these larger scale renovations, allocate budget to engage with a kitchen designer to make sure your perfect kitchen is attainable in relation to the existing functionality and design of the house.
If you want to gut and rebuild your existing kitchen as part of a standalone project or a complete house renovation, you can expect to spend upwards of $40,000.
The costs involved for a renovation of this scale will include:
- Demolition and rebuild
- Design and styling
- New appliances
- Extraction fans and air conditioning
- Painting and decorating
- Installing fixtures and fittings
- Plumbing and electrical
There are no limits to the amount you can spend on a complete demolition and kitchen re-build. Start with an extensive wish list and work backwards to suit your budget as adding elements as the kitchen renovation progresses is a guaranteed way to exceed your budget before the renovation is complete.
SERVICE.COM.AU TIP: "To reduce costs, consider keeping or servicing existing appliances such as the fridge, freezer, dishwasher and oven. If they don't suit the design of the new kitchen, you can modernise the room by concealing them with new cupboards or cabinets."
How long does a kitchen renovation take?
One of the most obvious questions to ask before you start a kitchen renovation is ‘how long does a kitchen renovation take?'. The kitchen renovation is likely to cause disruption with the potential to frustrate the whole household if a strict timeline isn't observed.
There are many factors to consider for a kitchen renovation with coordination between tradies essential. The time it will take to renovate a kitchen will depend on the scale of the transformation. The most basic kitchen renovation may take up to four weeks. This will involve removing and installing new cabinets and worktops, and painting and decorating.
Once the initial planning is complete, allocate the following amount of time for additional elements:
Demolition and removal of existing cabinetry: Between two and five days.
Ordering and installation of cabinetry including bench tops, cupboards and splashback: Anywhere from one to six weeks
Electrical installation: Up to three days
Plumbing: Up to three days
Installation of appliances: One day
Flooring: Up to three days
Tiling: Up to one week
Painting and decorating: Up to one week
SERVICE.COM.AU TIP: "Time management for a kitchen renovation needs to be meticulous. While it may be tempting to set shorter timelines to minimise disruption on the home, factor in time for encountering minor problems so small obstacles won't affect the schedule of the whole kitchen renovation."
Which tradies do I need for my kitchen renovation?
Regardless of the scale of your renovation, you'll need the skills of a variety of professional tradies to bring your dream kitchen to life.
If you're planning a more extensive kitchen renovation which changes the floor plan and design, a builder will advise on and deliver any structural changes including demolition and rebuilding.
A cabinet maker is necessary for all kitchen renovations. They will give professional guidance on the design, functionality, material and style of cupboards, benchtops and workstations. A cabinet maker will help create your vision while staying within your budget. You'll work closely with the cabinet maker over the duration of the renovation so choose someone you're comfortable with who understands what you want and need from the new kitchen.
Tiles are durable and often found on kitchen walls and floors as they're easy to clean and won't be damaged by spills and stains. A tiler can advise on the most appropriate tiles for your budget and lay tiles to suit the requirements and style of the kitchen.
A flooring expert will help you choose the colour, material and design to provide a floor that's the perfect combination of style and functionality to complement your new kitchen.
An electrician can remodel existing electrical circuits to make sure power sockets meet all the needs of your initial design. An electrician will also create lighting that is practical yet creates atmosphere, and make sure appliances are installed practically and safely.
If you're asking yourself ‘which tradies do I need for my kitchen renovation?' a plumber is almost always the answer. A plumber will move or install taps and piping, install the dishwasher, fridge and water cooler and can provide guidance on everything including the kitchen sink!
SERVICE.COM.AU TIP: "Remain in constant communication with all tradies to make sure you're aware of any delays or problems to minimise the impact before they escalate and affect the whole renovation timeline."
How to choose the best tradesperson for my kitchen renovation
A kitchen renovation requires the skilled input of many tradespeople. With so many moving parts to coordinate, it can be overwhelming to know where to start when choosing the best tradesperson. To minimise room for error and therefore disruption to daily life, consider the following:
At Service.com.au you'll find a directory of local tradies who deliver exceptional standards in kitchen renovations. We have many tradies who are fully licensed and reputable. Our quote comparison guide will help you choose a tradie within your budget that meets your specific requirements.
What to look for:
Once you've found a tradesperson for the kitchen renovation, make sure you're satisfied that they can deliver on your project.
You may need to ask them the following:
- Is your time frame realistic?
- Do they have a contingency plan if they encounter delays or hurdles?
- Who's responsible for the sign off on work?
- What hours do they work?
- Do they offer a guarantee on their work?
Check reviews and testimonials
To confirm your kitchen renovation is in safe hands, check reviews and testimonials to verify whether the tradie has experience of delivering within the scope of your project. An experienced tradesperson will have a portfolio of previous kitchen renovations for you to view the quality of their finished work but - just as important - is the level of service they deliver. Customer testimonials are imperative.
Does my kitchen renovator need to be licensed?
Before you renovate your kitchen, it's essential you understand the licensing regulations surrounding all the tradies involved in the project. If your kitchen renovation is taking place in Queensland, refer to the Queensland Building and Construction Commission to review the licensing requirement for your chosen tradies. Once you've selected the company to carry out your kitchen renovation, you can also check the validity of their licenses to make sure they're current here.
Licensing requirements may change between each state and territory across Australia so you must check in the state or territory where the kitchen renovation is taking place.
- New South Wales Tradesperson Licence
- Victoria Tradesperson Licence
- Western Australia Tradesperson Licence
- South Australia Tradesperson Licence
- Northern Territory Tradesperson Licence
- Tasmania Tradesperson Licence
If you choose a kitchen renovator to lead the project, they will enforce the licensing requirements for their chosen sub-contractors, however, it's your responsibility to be aware of the requirements. If an unlicensed tradesperson causes any damage in your home, your insurance policy may be invalid, so you must take the responsibility seriously.
SERVICE.COM.AU TIP: Always view the license and insurance paperwork of tradespeople working on your kitchen renovation to make sure you're covered for any loss incurred as a result of accidental damage caused to your home.
Kitchen renovation step-by-step guide
Step 1: Planning
A kitchen renovation is detailed and must be well-planned to make sure both the long and short-term needs for the kitchen are addressed. The more thorough the planning stage, the less likely you are to face disruptions as the renovation progresses.
During the planning stage, consider the following:
- Will you be demolishing the existing kitchen or making only minor adjustments?
- Will there be more than one person cooking at a time?
- Do you plan to entertain a lot?
- Is your family or household likely to expand changing the needs of the kitchen?
Step 2: Demolition
If you're planning on a full refurbishment, you may knock down walls and remove all cabinets, benches, tiles and flooring. While smashing up the kitchen may feel like a tempting way to ease away the frustrations of a hard day, demolition should be approached methodically by a professional who will avoid compromising the structural integrity of the building.
Step 3: Replace or install plumbing
Once demolition is complete, you're left with a fresh canvas to replace any old and deteriorating pipes and install new plumbing to suit the design and purpose of the kitchen.
Step 4: Replace or install electricals
Either working after or alongside the plumber, an electrician will rewire cables, install lighting and prepare electrical circuits for the required appliances within the scope of your brief.
Step 5: Plaster and paint the walls
Once the plumbing and electrics are complete, it's time to prepare the walls with plaster or drywall before painting and decorating the walls and ceiling.
Step 6: Install flooring and cabinets
Whether the flooring is installed before or after the cabinets is up to the discretion of the kitchen renovator. Usually, the floor is laid first, but this will often depend on the type of flooring chosen and the design of the kitchen. You must use a professional kitchen installer to fit cupboards and cabinets correctly and within the scope of the specific design.
SERVICE.COM.AU TIP: "Where possible, coordinate tradies to work alongside each other to reduce the risk of delays if problems arise."
How to plan your kitchen renovation
1) Seek inspiration
While you will have your tastes and preferences, it’s important to make sure your design inspiration is both practical and functional.
Immerse yourself in kitchen renovation magazines, visit showrooms, and carry out online research using websites and apps such as Pinterest. Create a vision board of everything you like the look of so you don't forget anything once the design phase begins.
2) Prepare a budget
Consider the cost of everything you’d want in your dream kitchen, set a realistic budget and work backwards until the two correspond.
Include elements such as:
- Fixtures and fittings
- Labour costs
- Planning permission
- Cost of meals or eating out while the kitchen is inoperative
3) Choose tradies
A kitchen renovation requires significant coordination between tradespeople. Depending on the scale of the kitchen renovation, you may need a designer, builder, cabinet maker, plumber, electrician, tiler, and painter and decorator. Spend time researching the best tradie for each element to make sure your chosen team can deliver your project on time and within budget.
4) Design and build
Now the fun starts! Draw up the plans of your dream kitchen with the kitchen renovator who will set a timeline for the renovation. The kitchen renovator will also brief you on what you can expect, which periods will be the most disruptive to the household and – most importantly – when you can unveil your new kitchen!
SERVICE.COM.AU TIP: "Get input from the whole family regarding the design of the kitchen. Involving every member of the household will increase excitement for the results which will reduce any stress caused by the disruption of the renovation."
What are the benefits of renovating my kitchen?
A kitchen renovation can improve the look and feel of the whole home, but there are even more reasons to renovate a kitchen than design:
Benefit #1: Increase functionality
Kitchens have traditionally served one purpose, to make food. These days, a kitchen renovation can make better use of space, and increase functionality to make life easier in a busy world.
Benefit #2: Improve safety
A kitchen can be filled with potential hazards including electrics, water and cluttered spaces. As a family grows, so does the need for a safer design. A kitchen renovation can improve safety by adding more storage, removing any risks such as improper storage of sharp knives, and include features such as child proof cupboards, non-slip floors and self-closing drawers.
Benefit #3: Increase appeal for the property market
Potential buyers flock straight to the kitchen to gauge the overall ambience of a home. It doesn't matter what the rest of the rooms look like, if the heart of the home is clean, modern and well-designed, it's likely to encourage buyers and increase the price of the property in the process.
Benefit #4: Increase sustainability
The world is meeting the need for sustainability including lower energy output appliances, a focus on recycling, and minimising waste. A shift towards reducing your impact on the environment is possible with a kitchen renovation that also performs in the style steaks.
SERVICE.COM.AU TIP: "The benefits of renovating a kitchen far outweigh any disruption but properly plan for meal times during the bulk of the renovation. Consider meal delivery services, weekly meal preparation at a friend or neighbours house, and setting up a makeshift outdoor kitchen with a barbecue."
How often should I renovate my kitchen?
How often you should renovate your kitchen depends on your property goals. A full renovation can be a lengthy and costly exercise and the design should be classic enough in style to remain current for up to ten years.
Kitchens are used daily, and décor can deteriorate quickly with regular foot traffic and exposure to abrasive elements such as heat and steam. If you're preparing your property for sale, a kitchen renovation should always be considered as a well-maintained kitchen will increase the overall value and saleability of the home.
SERVICE.COM.AU TIP: “Whether an intimate soiree, a bustling gathering, or a formal meeting, the kitchen will leave an imprint on everyone who enters the home. Consider renovating as décor becomes dated and signs of wear and tear start to show.”
Service.com.au provides access to the tradies that will turn your kitchen renovation dreams into your everyday reality.