Give your property a new lease of life with a kitchen renovation
Your kitchen is the heart of your home and often a place where you spend a lot of time cooking, eating, and entertaining. That’s why it’s so important that it not only functions well but is also a beautiful space you enjoy using.
Because your kitchen is a high-use area, it’s very noticeable if the layout is poor. It’s also subject to more wear and tear than other parts of your home. Heat, moisture, harsh cleaners, lots of foot traffic, and constant opening and closing of cupboards can leave your fixtures and fittings worn and tired.
A kitchen renovation will give you a huge quality of life upgrade, making your space functional, efficient, and a pleasure to be in. Done well, it will also add value to your home. An old, tired kitchen can often put buyers off because they assume it will cost a lot to renovate.
Why consider a kitchen renovation?
Renovating your kitchen gives you the opportunity to move things around, creating the ideal “kitchen work triangle” for easy flow. It also allows you to add ventilation, better lighting, and better-quality appliances.
Increase home value
Kitchens and bathrooms are often the main selling points of a home. A study by UK kitchen retailer Magnet found that a well-planned kitchen renovation usually increased a home’s value by around 5%.
An old kitchen can really date your home. Who can forget the orange cupboards and olive-green countertops of the 1970s? Even a modest kitchen renovation can make your kitchen look clean, modern, and beautiful.
If your kitchen renovation includes new appliances and light fittings, it’s the perfect time to choose energy efficient options like LED lights and induction hobs. Look for the energy star rating sticker when buying fridges, dishwashers, and ovens.
Planning your Auckland kitchen renovation
Embarking on a kitchen renovation is an exciting endeavour that can breathe new life into your home and enhance your daily living. To ensure a successful project, it's important to follow a plan that includes the following steps:
First, get together for a chat with your designer or builder. This phase is an opportunity to express your ideas, expectations, and requirements for the renovation. Share your vision for the space, your design preferences, and any unique features you'd like to incorporate. Additionally, discuss your budget constraints and any specific issues, such as timelines and regulations. The initial consultation sets the foundation for a collaborative working relationship and allows the professionals to understand your vision.
This step is where your design takes shape as you explore concepts and ideas that align with your vision. It’s your chance to explore the possibilities and find creative solutions to enhance the functionality and aesthetics of your kitchen. Consider elements such as layout, cabinetry styles, countertops, appliances, colour schemes, and lighting.
Measurements and photos
Accurate measurements and detailed photos of the existing space are the foundation of a successful kitchen renovation. They serve as the basis for creating a layout that maximizes your kitchen's potential and ensures a perfect fit for cabinetry, appliances, and fixtures. The measurements and photos also help identify any structural considerations and potential challenges that may arise during the renovation.
Emotional and physical environment
Reflect on how you want your new kitchen to make you feel – whether it's cosy, efficiently modern, or nostalgically rustic. Consider factors like the flow of the kitchen, the balance of open and closed storage, and incorporating features that enhance your comfort. Thoughtful planning ensures that the new kitchen not only meets your practical needs but also makes you happy when you’re in it.
Budgeting for Your Kitchen Renovation
A kitchen renovation doesn't have to break the bank. With a focus on cost-effective solutions, high-quality materials, and budget-friendly tips, you can achieve a kitchen transformation that's both beautiful and budget-conscious.
You don’t necessarily need to replace everything brand new to achieve the look and feel you want for your kitchen renovation. Sometimes, a fresh coat of paint, updated hardware, or refacing cabinets can give your kitchen a new look without the cost of full replacement. Refinishing existing flooring or opting for vinyl or laminate can be a more economical choice compared to hardwood. Additionally, consider keeping the existing kitchen layout to save on plumbing and electrical reconfiguration costs.
While it’s important not to over-capitalise on your renovation, high-quality materials that stand the test of time are a good investment. Choose durable countertops and backsplashes that look great and last for years. Opt for quality, well-constructed cabinets that to ensure they can withstand daily wear and tear. Investing in energy-efficient appliances may have a higher upfront cost but can lead to long-term savings on power and water bills.
Small changes can make a big impact on your kitchen's overall look and feel. For example, open shelving, which is more affordable than additional cabinetry, can showcase your favourite dishware. Shop the sales for appliances, lighting fixtures, and faucets to save money without compromising on style. Consider engineered stone instead of marble for your benchtops. Hit the op-shops to find unique cabinet hardware or sinks. Reuse existing elements wherever possible.
Popular kitchen renovation styles in Auckland
Contemporary kitchens have clean lines, sleek designs, and an emphasis on simplicity. Their minimalist aesthetic includes flat, handle-less cabinet doors and a focus on functionality. White, grey, and black dominates the colour palette. Contemporary kitchens often use industrial materials such as stainless steel, glass, and concrete. Smart appliances and integrated lighting systems contribute to the modern feel. These kitchens often have open layouts, making them ideal for socialising and entertaining.
Traditional kitchens exude a classic, timeless charm. They feature ornate cabinetry, decorative hardware, crown mouldings, and raised-panel or glass cabinet doors. The colour palette is typically warm and inviting, with rich wood tones and earthy colours like cream and sage green. Countertops are made from natural materials like wood, granite, or marble. Traditional kitchens are an excellent choice for those who appreciate a sense of history and enduring style.
Shaker style kitchens are known for their simplicity and functionality. They draw inspiration from the Shaker movement, emphasising clean, unadorned design. Cabinet doors are typically made of flat panels with minimal detailing and sometimes a recessed centre panel. The understated colour palette favours whites, creams, and natural wood finishes. Shaker kitchens focus on practicality and storage solutions, with built-in features like spice racks, pull-out trays, and open shelving.
Stylish and compact
Stylish and compact kitchens are designed to make the most of limited space without sacrificing aesthetics. They often feature clever storage solutions, such as pull-out pantry cabinets, under-cabinet storage, and built-in appliances. The colour scheme is often light and bright to create an open and airy feel. Compact kitchens often incorporate multifunctional elements, like islands that double as dining tables or breakfast bars. These kitchens are ideal for small apartments, urban living, or anyone looking to create a stylish, functional kitchen in a limited area.
Choosing the right materials for your new kitchen
Your kitchen cabinets should provide a combination of strength and aesthetic appeal. Hardwoods such as oak, maple, chestnut, or beech are durable and beautiful. Consider the style that complements your overall kitchen design, whether it's the sleek and modern look of flat-panel cabinets or the timeless elegance of raised panel doors. Ensure the finish is resilient and easy to clean, making it suitable for the demands of a busy kitchen.
Benchtops serve as both a functional workspace and a visual focal point in the kitchen, so you need to select materials that balance durability with aesthetic charm. Granite and quartz are popular choices, or you could opt for engineered stone to save money. For a more cost-effective option, consider durable laminate surfaces that mimic the appearance of natural stone.
The right hardware can make all the difference to your kitchen design. Choose hardware that matches the style of your cabinetry, and finishes that that align with your preferred style, such as brushed nickel for a contemporary feel. Ensure the hardware is not only visually appealing but also ergonomic and functional.
The process of designing kitchen cabinetry
Drawing up plans
The first step in creating your new kitchen cabinets involves drawing up detailed plans that include the layout, dimensions, and style of the cabinetry. These plans serve as the blueprint for your kitchen renovation and take into account the arrangement of upper and lower cabinets, the location of your appliances, and your choice of materials and finishes.
Once your plans are established, it’s a good idea to visit a kitchen showroom, where you’ll be able to examine various cabinetry styles, hardware, and finishes. It's a chance to visualise how your kitchen will come together and make any necessary adjustments to your design based on what you see. If you’re choosing flat-pack cabinets, you may need to do this step first to find out what components and dimensions are available before drawing up your plans.
Deposits and scheduling
After finalising the design and selecting your preferred cabinetry, you will normally need to pay a deposit to secure your order. Once your deposit is paid, your cabinet maker will schedule the timeline for the manufacturing and delivering your cabinetry. This stage ensures that all necessary materials and components are available when the installation phase begins.
The design process culminates in the installation of your cabinets in line with your plans. Often the countertops, appliances, and hardware will go in at the same time, resulting in a functional and beautiful kitchen.
How the builder and kitchen installer work together
Cabinet making is a specialist trade, so your builder will normally work with a dedicated cabinet builder to complete your project, following these steps.
1. Initial consultation and planning: Builders and kitchen installers collaborate to understand the project's scope, your design preferences, and the desired layout, creating a foundation for the renovation.
2. Cost estimation: After the planning phase, your builders will work on estimating the costs associated with structural changes, demolition, and site preparation, while the kitchen installers will calculate expenses related to cabinetry, countertops, and appliances. Their combined expertise ensures that the project remains within budget.
3. Permits and approvals: Your builders will help you get the necessary permits and approvals for the renovation project. The kitchen installers will provide essential input regarding the kitchen's design and layout.
4. Demolition and site preparation: Next, your builders will prepare the site, including demolition of existing structures and the creation of a clean canvas for the new kitchen.
5. Structural work: Your builders will take care of the structural changes required for the kitchen renovation, such as removing walls, or adding new windows and doors.
6. Electrical and plumbing: Cooperation between builders and kitchen installers is vital when dealing with electrical and plumbing work. Your builders will ensure that the infrastructure accommodates new fixtures, while the kitchen installers will provide information about the placement of outlets and water lines.
7. Installation of kitchen: This is the pivotal phase where kitchen installers take the lead. They bring the design to life by installing cabinetry, countertops, and appliances, ensuring that all elements align perfectly and function smoothly.
8. Quality control: Both your builders and kitchen installers will keep a keen eye on quality throughout the process.
9. Final inspection and handover: The project concludes with a final inspection where your builders and kitchen installers will review the renovation to ensure it meets the highest standards. Once satisfied, they will hand over your new kitchen, ready for you to enjoy.
10. Post completion support: After the renovation, both the builders and kitchen installers will provide support and assistance for any post-completion inquiries or adjustments that may arise, ensuring that your dream kitchen continues to meet your expectations.
Double-checking plans: During the installation, the plans will be double-checked to make sure everything is placed correctly.
Quality control measures: Fully-qualified tradespeople will take care of specialist tasks, like electrical installation and plumbing, to ensure a top-quality and regulation compliant job.
Final inspections: Before the project is declared complete, it will be checked to ensure everything is correct and functional.
Frequently asked questions
The cost of your kitchen renovation will reflect the level finish that you’re trying to achieve.
A basic renovation will range from around $20,000 - $35,000. For this, your layout will remain largely the same, and you’ll be using materials like laminates, ceramic tiles, and modular cabinetry.
A mid-range renovation will range from around $35,000 - $50,000 and accounts for layout changes and any associated updates to plumbing and wiring. The upper end of this budget would also include new floors, engineered stone benchtops, and new appliances.
A high-end renovation will range from around $50,000 upwards. This cost includes major layout changes, luxury tapware, stone benchtops, custom cabinetry, and top-end appliances.
Contact us with your kitchen ideas, and we’ll let you know what kind of cost you can expect.
How long your kitchen renovation will take depends on the amount of work involved. If you’re just swapping out some of the existing fixtures to refresh the look, it could be as little as a week. But if you’re planning to strip it bare and start again, or even remove some walls to create an open-plan space, it could take up to four weeks or longer. The best way to find out how long your project is likely to take is to talk through your options with our experienced team.
The best materials for your kitchen renovation will depend on the look you’re trying to achieve, but generally wood, stainless steel, tiles, and natural stone are popular. If there are budget constraints, you can achieve the same effect with laminates, engineered stone, and MDF (medium density fibreboard).
There are plenty of ways to bring a fresh new look to your kitchen without spending up large. Our top tips include:
- Rather than replacing your cabinetry, update it with a fresh coat of paint, new hinges and handles. Sometimes, just replacing the doors can make all the difference.
- Update your power outlet covers and light fittings. Stainless steel outlet covers are inexpensive and create a premium look.
- Replace your kitchen tap rather than the entire sink.
- Upcycle a counter-height table instead of installing a kitchen island.
- Use paint creatively to give the illusion of space or change the colour of a tiled splashback.
- Reuse your existing appliances.
- Consider luxury vinyl plank for your flooring. It looks like wood, is hardwearing, waterproof, and warmer underfoot than tiles, but is a fraction of the cost of hardwood flooring.
Based on the Shaker movement, a Shaker style kitchen is a minimal design that focuses on simplicity and functionality, with a neutral colour palette.
Contact us to discuss your kitchen renovation!
A kitchen renovation is one of the most impactful renovation projects you can do in your home. Transforming such a busy room into a beautiful and functional space will make it a joy to use and spend time in. Even if your budget is limited, there are still lots of ways you can give your kitchen a new lease of life and improve the value of your home. With careful planning and collaboration between your builders and kitchen installers, you can create the new kitchen of your dreams.
If you’re keen to explore the options for renovating your kitchen, get in touch with us. We’ve been renovating Auckland kitchens for over a decade and have some great ideas to get you started.
Do I need a building consent? Interactive tool
Talk to the professionals
Once you have your ideas, and perhaps inspiration from the internet or magazines, it is a good idea to talk to the professionals at Build Right Contractors. Our team can tell you whether your ideas will work in practical terms. If not we may be able to suggest solutions that won’t compromise your plans too much. You’ll also get an idea of whether your kitchen renovation is within your budget or whether you need to revise your plans.