How to plan a successful kitchen renovation

A kitchen renovation is a big project and not one that you should embark upon without prior planning! Here are five easy steps to take right at the start to ensure that your kitchen renovation is a success –

1. Determine your budget

It’s the part of the renovation that no one likes to think about – the budget. Whilst the initial figures may be enough to make you start reconsidering your renovation plans (those burnt orange benches and brown floral tiles aren’t looking so bad now are they?), having a clear budget will help you to avoid spending more than you want to – or can afford to. This will then help to reduce stress levels down the track! When deciding on your budget it is important to consider why you’re renovating to begin with. If you are renovating to sell, you don’t want to overcapitalise and considering the overall value of your house would be vital to ensuring you have an appropriate budget. However, if you are renovating a kitchen that you plan to use for many years to come, the overall value of your home will be less important compared to ensuring you get as many “wish list” items as possible for your dream kitchen.

2. Determine your layout

This is where the budget starts coming in to play. Consider the layout of your current kitchen. Is it functional? Could the functionality be improved by simply moving the location of the sink, oven or fridge? Changing the footprint of your kitchen cabinets can be an expensive task, as it is very rare for the flooring to continue underneath the cabinetry – meaning you could potentially need to budget for new floor coverings on top of your kitchen requirements. Any structural changes can also be costly, as you may require an engineers certification for the removal of any walls, doors or windows, or changes to the ceiling.

3. Determine your style

Is your home minimalist and modern or industrial, or perhaps you’re wanting a charming country style kitchen to complement a cottage? Regardless of if you have defined your style, start looking at examples of kitchens and collect images of things you love. This will not only give you a good idea of what trends appeal to you most, but it will be much easier to show your kitchen designer images of that striking two-tone marble and timber benchtop with display nooks than it will be to describe it.

4. Find your specialist

Speaking of designer, it’s time to find one! At this stage you’ve now got a good idea of your budget, you’ve considered some possible layouts, you’ve researched styles and trends that you like – in other words, you’re armed with all the information you need to make an educated decision as to who you want to look after your kitchen renovation. Bearing in mind that a kitchen renovation can take anywhere between 4 weeks and 4 months, it’s important to find a specialist that not only has the skills required to undertake such a monumental task, but also has the right attitude. After all, you’re going to be working with them for quite some time, so you want to be sure that they don’t drive you crazy!

Where possible, read what other clients have said about the company to get an honest opinion (every company’s website will say that they are the best at what they do, but customer opinions will be unbiased). Websites such as allow customers to review companies, both positively and negatively, without the companies being able to hide, remove or alter the review. This is a great place to start looking for a specialist. Once you have a shortlist, make some appointments, and go prepared with questions you may have about their processes (from design through to handover) and discuss some options for your budget. Make sure you select a specialist who really listens to what you want, will provide a fixed price, and can show you exactly what your finished kitchen will look like before beginning the renovation.

5. Find a good wine!

Kitchen renovations are stressful. They can take months, they are messy, and you will be washing dishes in your laundry and have a fridge in your lounge room. During the renovation period, it’s important to stay calm and focus on the end goal – an amazing new kitchen that will have been custom designed to suit your wants and needs. Be prepared to have a lot of barbecues and easy meals and try to make some space for your kitchen items in another room of the house (the dining room generally works best as it’s most convenient for a makeshift kitchen bench and pantry area). And if planning and preparation fail to calm your nerves, a nice cold drink may do the trick!