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Kitchen Renovations: The Definitive Guide (2024)

There’s more to it than you think

Check to see if you are eligible for a home loan

In this post, you’ll learn how to do a kitchen renovation this year.

This guide also includes lots of:

  • Real-life examples
  • Money-saving tips 
  • Kitchen floor plan templates 
  • Advanced renovation strategies
  • Lots more

So if you want to get GREAT results from your kitchen renovation, you’ll love this new guide.

Let’s dive right in. 

kitchen renovation brisbane

Table of Contents

Kitchen Renovation Fundamentals

In this section, we’ll help you understand the fundamentals of kitchen renovations.

So if you’re unsure where to start or the details involved, this section will get you on the right track.

Then, later, we’ll show you a bunch of hacks to save money, as well as advanced kitchen renovation strategies.

How to manage your own kitchen renovation?

When my now-wife Monique and I bought our place and began renovating, we didn’t have a strategy in place. 

We started with a budget of $10,000 to update the kitchen… that quickly turned into a $100,000 major renovation!

This left us going through a game of trial and error to figure out how to renovate the kitchen in the easiest way possible. 

In hindsight, I know that managing a kitchen renovation can be a smooth process, but the important part, to begin with, is making a plan.

Map out and create a clear image of what you want to achieve so that you can prepare for building using the following steps.

Step 1: Set a budget

The first step is to consider if you will be giving the kitchen a simple cosmetic retouch or if you will be removing and changing the entire area.

Your budget will determine the quality of materials and professional services you can use. 

Consider the work you can do yourself, what materials you’ll use and any extra features so that you can make a budget. 

Will the plumbing or gas need to be updated, moved or changed? What about walls? 

A great tool you can use is Bunnings Kitchen Designer, which can help indicate costs with different styles of kitchens.

bunnings kitchen planner

Step 2: Measure the space

When making a plan, it’s important to size up the area and know the dimensions of the space. 

You will need to have the numbers on the following:

  • The width and length of the room
  • The height of the room 
  • The length of doors and walls
  • Height from floor to windows
  • Light switch locations and space for additional services and installations like plumbing or a dishwasher.

Step 3: Choose a design and layout

How your kitchen is set out will greatly impact the whole cooking experience. Make sure when designing that you think about how the space is used practically.

We recommend you use what is called the “golden triangle rule”.

Draw a triangle between the sink, fridge and cooktop and figure out how this can be configured in the most effective way. This area is called the golden triangle—the most used areas that need a smooth flow between them.

Kitchen renovations
How your kitchen is set out will have a huge impact on the cooking experience.

How to use colour and texture

Think about how your kitchen will look from a big-picture perspective. 

You can now buy kitchens that are made-to-order in line with exactly what you’re looking for. 

When carefully placed, textures like stone and marble and lighting throughout the kitchen will create a dramatic edge. You can add a pop of colour, pattern or texture for splashback to create interest. 

To help get a clear idea of what you’re after, jump on Pinterest and create a vision board for your kitchen. Pin colours, patterns and styles of kitchens that you like so that you can determine if they’ll look good in your own home.

Sketch your dream kitchen layout.

The good news is there are so many online sites that will make it easy to sketch out your kitchen. 

Ikea has its very own room planner, which makes it easy to plan out your kitchen layout. 

Try it: here

Pros and cons of different types of cabinetry

Choosing the type of cabinetry in your kitchen completely changes the look of the space. There are five different types to choose from. 

  1. Wood cabinets are a classic option and can be painted, stained or left natural. One of the major benefits of wood is that it can be easily repaired and quickly painted to create a new look. A disadvantage is that, over time, humidity can warp the wood.
  2. Eco-friendly cabinets are another option, and they use recycled materials. Yet sometimes, this type of cabinetry can be expensive to source or create due to the lack of consistency.
  3. Laminate cabinets are synthetic and made of compressed wood. This type of cabinet doesn’t really scratch or stain, yet any damage done is usually irreversible and will mean it needs to be replaced. 
  4. Thermofoil cabinets are made of vacuum-pressed vinyl and provide a range of design styles for a fair price. One of the problems, though, is that they may need heat shields, and if the vinyl is damaged, they are not repairable. 
  5. Metal cabinets can be purchased as brushed or shiny, and the heat does not affect them. They are stain-resistant but costly and highly prone to scratches and dents.
The type of cabinetry you choose in your kitchen will completely change the look of your space.

Step 4: Make a plan

Plan out the renovation process so that you can organise professional services and installations around the phases of building the kitchen. 

After the design is confirmed and your products are ordered, you will then need to follow a process similar to the following:

  • The old kitchen is taken out (1 day)
  • Plumber completes rough-in of any plumbing changes while electrician works on new electrical work.
  • Cabinets are set up and installed
  • The benchtop is added (laminate can take up to three days, custom benchtops take about three weeks from ordering)
  • Appliances are installed, and the splashback is added
  • Draws and handles are fitted
  • Kickboards and bulkheads are put in
  • Lighting and flooring to finish.
Plan out renovation

Costs of Kitchen Renovations

We have gone through the first step, which is to come up with the budget. 

Now it’s time to determine how the renovation will remain within budget. You’ll also need to realistically consider how a kitchen renovation will increase the value of your house. 

In this section, we’ll show you how to do just that.

What is the average price to renovate a kitchen?

Thanks to The Block, DIY home renovations are at an all-time high. 

According to the 2022 Houzz and Home Renovation Trends Study:

“Kitchens are both the most popular interior room to be upgraded and the room that commanded the highest spend at $20,000”

Kitchen Renovations
Kitchens are the most expensive part of the house to renovate.

On average, kitchen renovations can cost between $15,000 to $40,000, depending on the size and quality of products used within the space.

Below is an outline of the correlation between the size of the kitchen and the costs involved.

costs to remodel kitchen

The type of appliances you want to install will also affect the overall costs. Determine if you want appliances that are budget, standard or premium.

For example, an oven can cost between $380 to over $2,000, a dishwasher from $400 to $1,400, and a kitchen sink from $200 to $1,400. 

What is the ROI on a kitchen remodel?

Unfortunately, many buyers go into renovating without doing adequate research. They usually have no idea what the potential return on investment is when it comes to remodelling a kitchen.

Is a Kitchen Renovation worthwhile?

Regarding budgeting, Cherie Barber recommends aiming for less than 10% of the property value on cosmetic renovations. Within that budget, kitchens should take about 20% of that amount.

In other words, if your home is worth $500,000, you shouldn’t spend more than $50,000 on cosmetic renovations and no more than $10,000 on the kitchen.

Dave Ramsey believes kitchens are an equally important part when it comes to renovating a home, and according to a recent survey he ran, 80% of homebuyers placed the kitchen in their list of the top three most important spaces.

kitchen important in renovating home

When it comes to the ROI for a kitchen remodel, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. 

  • An updated kitchen changes the house’s whole feel, which could help it sell more quickly. 
  • It is not guaranteed you will get 100% of your money back.

Beware of overspending on your kitchen renovation.

According to Derek Gilbert, a top real estate agent, it is estimated that you will get back around 60% of your kitchen remodel costs when selling. 

Put another way, you could go and spend $10,000 renovating a kitchen, but it may only increase the value of your home by $6,000 – so beware of overspending.

Some other interesting data from HomeLight’s Top Agent Insights Report for Q1 2019 said that, on average, a kitchen upgrade costs around $23,140 and is anticipated to increase the sale price by $23,122.

Based on data from the USA, a minor kitchen remodel will return about $0.80 for each $1 invested – but a major kitchen renovation will have a much lower return and see only $0.59 for every $1 spent!

cost vs value kitchen renovations

Therefore, the ROI may actually end up being in the negative or, at best, breaking even. 

You will need to do some research on the sales prices of other properties in the area and consider the condition of your home and the price you’ll be selling it at. 

Many homeowners fall into the trap of thinking that the value of their house will increase significantly just by renovating a couple of things. This is why it’s important to do the numbers and keep within a budget to see if the investment in renovations will be worthwhile when selling a home.

kitchen renovations brisbane
The average Australian home contains over 300,000 items. A recent survey of 900 real estate agents found that a deep clean and decluttering would provide a much higher ROI than a kitchen renovation!

Research other properties in the area that sit within the similar value (price, land size and the number of bedrooms) and see what they’re selling for—renovated and unrenovated—to see the difference.

Read More: How to Research the Property Market in Your Area

How can I save money on my kitchen remodel?

Now that we’ve cleared the air around your return on investment, it’s time to start pinching your pennies a little harder. 

DIY Kitchen renovation can save money
There are many ways to save money on a kitchen renovation, including doing some of the stuff yourself.

Saving money on your kitchen remodel will help you benefit from the renovation, so here are some things you can do.

  • Leave the plumbing alone. Switching around sinks and the dishwasher can significantly increase the cost, so remove expenses from the beginning by skipping this step.
  • Purchase materials in bulk to save and potentially get a discount.
  • Get your tradespeople in on the same day so that they can work together and coordinate time efficiently.
  • Do some cosmetic renovations—adding a lick of paint, changing the colours of the cabinets etc. 
  • Use refurbished appliances with a warranty.
  • Try to stick to your plan and budget to remodel your kitchen in order to avoid overspending. 

Chat with our Mortgage Brokers today to see if you can get a loan to help with your kitchen renovations. Call us on 1300 088 065 or complete a free assessment today.

Read More: A complete guide to renovation loans.

Cheap Kitchen Ideas in Brisbane

Now that you identified the process and costs around renovating a kitchen and how to lower the cost generally, it’s time to get into the specifics…,. You can use the following cheap kitchen ideas to help renovate your kitchen on a budget.

How to get a ‘marble’ benchtop on any budget

Marble benchtops are all the rage at the moment, but our favourite budget hack is the following incredible alternative to marble…

Engineered stone (quartz) like Caesarstone and Silestone which are much more affordable. Quartz is popular for its durability, so it will remain smooth when dropping bowls or knocking the benchtop. Engineered stone is also much more scratch and heat-resistant, while marble tends to discolour and dent much easier.

You can use Ceaserstone benchtops to create that high end feel with the low-end cost.

What to consider when choosing your splashback

Splashback is often one of the main focal points of a kitchen, so consider the style of your home that you are trying to achieve. 

First, choose the material that you would like for the splashback. This is usually glass, stainless steel, pressed metal and tiles. Traditionally, tiles and pressed metal are the more common options.

Then when it comes to choosing the colour, ask yourself, do you want the benchtop or the splashback to take centre stage?

Kitchen renovations
Ask yourself if you want the splashback to take centre stage… if so, then use a bold color or design.
  • If your benchtop is a bold colour or texture, consider using a neutral splashback to avoid clashing. 
  •  If you’re going for a minimal look and style, consider using neutral tones for your benchtop and splashback. A unique idea is to use the window as a splashback which will also add light to the kitchen.

Which sink and tap combo is right for you?

When it comes to kitchen renovations, It’s all about the finishings.

The details in your kitchen can transform the overall look, and one of the finer details includes the sink and tap combination. 

Keeping in line with your kitchen’s decor is important at this point. To begin with, you’ll need to determine if your style is sharp and angular or soft and curvy.

The finishing of your sink matters too.

Three Most Common Finishes:

  • Enamel,  which is made from cast iron and then covered in enamel. These types of sinks are strong and weigh a lot, but the problem is that the enamel can wear away.
  • Stainless steel sinks are a popular, durable option and can come in other colours like copper and gold. However, an issue with this material is that it scratches easily and low quality can be noisy when washing dishes. So consider using heavier steel and adding insulation.
  • Composite is made from quartz, granite and resin. It is a highly durable and scratch-resistant material. However, sometimes boiling water can crack the composite, and watermarks may be left.

Now that you’ve decided on the shape and material of your sink, it’s time to figure out how it will be installed.

It’s now time to figure out how the sink will be installed.

Best Ways To Install Your Sink

There are three ways a sink can be fitted; top mount, under mount and flush mount. Which one you choose is determined by where the lip of the sink sits in relation to the kitchen bench. 

Best Ways To Install Your Sink
  • Top mount is when the sink sits above the bench. It is good for benchtops that need protection from water and moisture. The lip of the sink stops water from spilling out. 
  • An under-mount goes well with marble benchtops, as the benchtop is exposed to water and can handle it. 
  • A flush mount keeps the lip of the sink in line with the benchtop, giving it a clean, streamlined feel.

Best Tap Combos

To finish your sink installation, the perfect tap fitting is needed. One thing to keep in mind is to make sure that the tap extends up high enough to fit pots and pans into the sink under it. The tap should have just one handle to make it easier to go between temperatures. 

For a quick way to renew the look and feel of your kitchen, replace taps and handles to give it a new, modern look. Handles can change the entire look of your kitchen, so consider trying this first if you’re not quite ready for a total renovation.

Change your tap for cheap kitchen renovation
If you are not ready for a total renovation, you can switch out your tap fittings.

Proven Kitchen Floor Plans

Now that you’ve got a clear idea of the finishes and designs you’re after, it’s time to get your floor plan in order.

In this section, we’ll show you how to ensure your kitchen layout maximises your space. We will also show you some of the most popular kitchen layouts.

Kitchen floor plan preparation

Start by taking the measurements of your room and determine if the current kitchen space being used is missing anything – i.e. space for a pantry or dishwasher.

Now it’s time to choose the layout of your kitchen to maximise your space. Here are the most popular layouts, with the benefits and downfalls of each.

Floorplan one: The island bench

In our family home, the island bench ruled the kitchen!

It’s a social way to cook and adds so much extra space for preparation. But the downside is that you will need a lot of space in your home.

Size: The average size of a kitchen island is about 1 metre by 2 metres with a clearance of about one metre around it.


  • Can be designed with a built-in sink or hotplate.
  • Connects the kitchen and the home by adding a communal benchtop space.
  • Extra storage underneath can be utilised.


  • More space to keep tidy and clean
  • Leaves less floor space for the rest of the home

Floorplan two: U-Shaped kitchen

U shaped kitchen

U-Shaped kitchens have a wonderful flow when done in the right way. However, spaces too big can often make it difficult to move around easily.

This style of kitchen is good for families or multiple cooks working together. Put the dining table in the middle for a smooth transition between preparing and serving food.


  • The kitchen eases nicely into the living area
  • Great use of wall space
  • Fits many cooks so that families can work together


  • All the cabinets covering the U-shape can be bulky and closed in if not well considered
  • Not always considered a modern kitchen layout
  • Too much space between work zones can be a hassle

Floor plan three: L-Shaped Kitchens

L shaped kitchen

L-Shaped kitchens work well to combine dining space with the kitchen. Aim to put the tall items like the fridge, pantry and oven on one side and the bench with the sink on the other end. L-Shape kitchens work well for two people to cook together.


  • Popular layout due to the ability to fit in most spaces
  • Stylish and social


  • The flow of the kitchen doesn’t always work well  
  • Depending on the size of the kitchen, sometimes bench space can be lacking

Floorplan four: Straight-line kitchens

Straight Kitchen

Perfect for small apartments or those wanting to use the kitchen as a dining space too. Put appliances on each end of the bench and the sink and cooktop in between.


  • Great for square kitchen layouts with limited wall space
  • Minimal, simple style integrating the living area with the kitchen


  • The design can look cluttered, so pay attention to where appliances go.
  • Can be a small or cramped space if wall space is limited with limited bench space.

Floorplan five: Galley kitchens

Gallery Kitchen

A galley-style kitchen makes great use of space and works well in narrow houses with a small space. Corridors can be utilised as well as narrow areas, with a focus on function over a social layout.


  • Passageways and small spaces can be transformed into a kitchen
  • Full-length cupboards can make use of the total wall space.


  • In very small spaces, the kitchen can be small and dark.
  • The layout can be antisocial if it’s not closely connected with the dining room.

Floor plan six: peninsula kitchen/G Shaped

g-shaped kitchen

A peninsula kitchen/G shaped kitchen separates the kitchen from the living area using the bench. 

It is a great layout for small spaces and creates extra bench space. 


  • It is a social layout with the ability to add bar stools by the bench 
  • It opens up the kitchen area


  • It can be a waste of open space due to cutting off floor space 

Read More: Learn how to put no deposit down towards your Kitchen Renovation.

How To Renovate A Kitchen Yourself

Now, if you are feeling really adventurous, you can consider renovating the entire kitchen yourself.

With Ikea’s made-to-measure system tradespeople being more accessible than ever through tools like SeekingServices, now could be the right time to renovate the kitchen yourself and save some money. Steps in Renovating Your Kitchen

Are you ready to rip into your kitchen renovation?

Follow our step-by-step infographic (or download it here) to walk it through yourself.

steps to kitchen renovation

Advanced Renovation Strategies

Now that you’ve got the basics of remodelling a kitchen down, it’s time to dive into some advanced material.

Specifically, we will show you 3 advanced kitchen renovation loan strategies that you can use to get the work done quicker.

Let’s jump in.

Scenario 1: Increase Your Existing Home Loan

If you’ve owned your home for a few years, you might have some equity in your home.

In other words, if your property has increased in value since you bought it, you can borrow up to 90% of its value.

So if the property is now worth $500,000, you can increase your loan to $450,000 to cover kitchen renovations.

Best yet, in some cases, the bank might give you better interest rate discounts because you are borrowing more.

Speak with our Expert Mortgage Brokers to see if you can qualify for an equity loan. Complete a free assessment or give us a call on 1300 088 065. 

Read More: Equity calculator: how to work out your usable equity.

Scenario 2: Construction Loan

Similar to increasing your existing home loan, a construction loan will take into account the ‘on-completion value’ of your home after renovation.

Put another way, if your house is worth $500,000 with a rubbish kitchen and the valuer thinks your $20,000 renovation will increase the property value to $520,000 – the bank will lend off this higher value.

So if you’re looking for more money and there isn’t equity available, a construction loan might be a good option.

Scenario 3: Personal Loan

you can get a personal loan for kitchen renovation
A personal loan is only advised if you are doing a few cosmetic renovations. But you should still tread carefully because interest rates on personal loans are higher than home equity loans.

If just a few cosmetic renovations are what you have in mind, then a personal loan could be all you need.

You’re looking at around $30,000 max, but there is a catch… Interest rates on personal loans are higher than on standard home equity loans. So proceed with caution and do your research.

While many guides might say a personal loan can help you get the renovations started quicker, they forget to mention that the advertised interest rate is more of a starting rate – rather than the final rate.

If you’re considering a personal loan, speak with our expert mortgage brokers to see what your options are – or give us a call on 1300 088 065. 

Read More: Renovations Loans

Scenario 4: Credit Cards

Caution ahead! Credit cards can have interest rates of more thank 21%

Caution ahead!

If you’re considering making just a few minimal renovations, this one could be good for you.

But interest rates are often a lot higher in credit cards compared to mortgage rates. We are talking 21.45% interest rates here!

So while lots of different guides suggest you use a credit card, we suggest you give it a second thought before jumping in.

You benefit here if the project is small—then it could work out better in the long term due to all the establishment fees you’re skipping out on.

And you can potentially refinance the credit cards if you have increased your property’s value.

Read More: How Can I Do a Kitchen Renovation with No Money Down?

Kitchen Renovations Brisbane Reviews

Now that you have all the knowledge needed to proceed with a kitchen renovation, it’s time to decide on the professional services you will hire.

Let’s take a look at some of the kitchen renovators around Brisbane and what people are saying about them.

Kitchen renovators in Brisbane

Company & Location



Reviews said…

Makings of Fine Kitchens & Bathroom – Based in Brisbane

High quality bespoke renovations and custom built.

Hamptons, industrial, modern, timeless. They work with you from the design to completion to assist you in making decisions easier.

  • Fresh and modern transformation
  • High quality and well organised
kitchen renovators in Brisbane

House of Kitchens – based in Brisbane

Family owned, bespoke kitchens, high-quality products and materials.

Modern, Hamptons, French.Turning the kitchen into an extension of your personality, designing and installing kitchens that reflect your taste.

  • Attention to detail
  • Courteous and punctual
House Of Kitchens Renovation Reviews

Maytain Cabinets-Based in Brisbane

Traditional and family-owned business, Kitchens are custom-made. 

Contemporary, provincial, farmers.We ensure that each project is suitable to a client’s individual needs and lifestyle, inspired by the latest style, trends and designs. 

  • Quality workmanship
  • Budget friendly
Maytain Cabinets based in Brisbane

Next Steps And Getting Your Renovation Started.

Are you wondering where to even begin with kitchen renovations? Our team at Hunter Galloway is here to help you get a kitchen renovation loan in Australia.  

Unlike other mortgage brokers who are just one-person operations, we have an entire team of experts dedicated to helping make your home loan journey as simple as possible.

If you want to get started, please give us a call on 1300 088 065 or book a free assessment online to see how we can help.

Hunter Galloway - Our Dedicated Team
Our team of home loan experts is here to help you with your kitchen renovation loan.

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