There are 10 grievances property owners have when it comes to remodelling or installing a new kitchen, according to new research.
Cherie Barber, the person behind “Create Your Perfect Kitchen”, has revamped more than 50 kitchens over her 30-year career as a professional renovator.
During this time, she’s found that there are 10 common fears property owners have that make the process more tedious than it needs to be.
1. Getting ‘ripped off’ by tradies
“Tradies know what they’re doing and will know if you don’t. And some (not all or many) will take advantage of this fact by tweaking their invoices in their favour,” Ms Barber said.
“How to avoid inflated numbers? Act like you know what you’re doing (even if you don’t!) Get three quotes and don’t say ‘This is my first reno’ out loud.”
2. Lack of planning approval
“This one is a no-brainer. If you don’t know if you’re allowed to knock down a wall, don’t knock down a wall,” Ms Barber said.
“It’s better to be safe than sorry because it’s really hard to un-knock down a wall. And being ‘sorry’ involves stop work orders and fines. Check with your local council first unless you like funding government revenue.”
3. Wrong materials
“How will your kitchen be used? Ask this question. To yourself. To your family. To your imaginary prospective buyers. And then design to the answer.
“Do you have a big family who enjoys Taco Tuesdays? Don’t install a mirrored splashback. Are you a clumsy wine connoisseur? Steer clear of porous marble benchtops. Are you selling to a single person? Forget the 90cm cooktop. Think long and hard about who’ll be using your room and how,” Ms Barber said.
4. Paying too much for materials
“Big stores have big advertising budgets and (sometimes) big prices to pay for their big advertising budgets, so don’t fall in love with the first oven you see,” Ms Barber advised.
“Look for the bargains. Smaller stores can be really competitive on price. Paint goes on sale so buy all your bits and bobs when they’re on sale.
“Buy items such as your cupboard handles in project packs… A 10-pack of kitchen handles will be almost half the cost of buying all your handles individually. Check eBay or Gumtree for new items that didn’t work for another renovator because of one of the reasons on this list. There are many ways to bring the price down, just invest the time looking.”
5. Wrong style
“Your kitchen needs to last at least 20 years. Trends and fads don’t need to last and rarely ever do…
“Industrial kitchens used to be cool and the thing to do, but nowadays are only appropriate in lofts, city dwellings and real industrial buildings. Predict the future if you can to ensure your kitchen style will last the test of time,” Ms Barber said.
6. Lack of cohesion
“Think of your kitchen like a well-designed outfit. Every fixture and fitting within it, needs to make sense,” she said.
“The layout, materials and colours within this room need to fashionably blend together, especially with other rooms in your home.”
7. Getting your layout wrong
“Kitchens have demands. Cupboard doors prefer to not hit feature lights when they’re opened. Drawers have a real problem knocking into each other. Fridges hate being forced to live out their days right next to their arch enemy, the stove.
“An easy way to not make your kitchen mad? Learn good kitchen design by memorising the ‘working triangle’.”
“This is what real nightmares are made of. Buying something that you ‘love’ and ‘must have’, paying for it then having to rip it out because it’s the wrong dimensions, material, colour, whatever…
“To avoid middle-of-the-night screaming, familiarise yourself with the correct sequence of construction, before you start. Make sure your layout is correct and your measurements are accurate. If possible, borrow another set of eyeballs to double check both,” Ms Barber advised.
9. Unplanned surprises
“Surprise birthday party? So fun. Surprise promotion? Yes, please. Surprise water rot under your floorboards with no money in the kitty to deal with it? Worst thing ever,” Ms Barber said.
“You might be naive to think this won’t happen to you, but it will. You know why? Because you can’t see what you can’t see. In order to deal with the unknown risks of renovating your kitchen, plan 10 per cent contingency for surprises along the way.”
“Do. Not. Spend. More. Money. Than. You. Should.
“If the cost of your kitchen renovation is starting to exceed the value this update adds to your property, then you’re knee deep in #10. This is a big no-no.
“Have a budget and stick to it. A renovated kitchen should cost no more than 3 per cent of your current property value. Not. One. Gold. Coin. More,” Ms Barber concluded.