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Kitchen Renovations: The Definitive Guide (2022)

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

This guide also includes lots of:

  • Real-life examples
  • Money-saving tips 
  • Kitchen floorplan 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. 


About the author

Hey guys, its Jayden Vecchio.

Unlike so many property “experts”, I practice what I preach.

In fact, I’ve used the strategies in this guide to renovate my own kitchen.

And in this guide, I’m going to show YOU how to renovate your own kitchen in Brisbane.

kitchen renovation brisbane

Yep, this is the before and after of my kitchen… It was pretty bad.


Renovating a Kitchen 


Chapter 1: Kitchen Renovation Fundamentals

In this chapter, I’ll help you understand the fundamentals of kitchen renovations.

So if you’re not sure where to start or the details involved, this chapter will get you on the right track.

Then, in later chapters, I’ll show you a bunch of hacks to save money as well as advanced kitchen renovations 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 off 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 these steps.


Step 1: Set a budget

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

The first step is to consider if you’re going to be giving the kitchen a simple cosmetic retouch, or if you will be removing and changing the entire area?

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

Will the plumbing or gas need to be updated, moved to change? Or what about walls? 

bunnings kitchen planner

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


Step 2: Measure the space

When it comes to making a plan, it’s time 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 or doors and walls
  • Height from floor to windows
  • Lightswitch locations and space for any additional services like plumbing or installations like a dishwasher.


Step 3: Design and layout

How your kitchen is set out will make a huge difference around the whole cooking experience. 

The combination of how space is used in a functional way is important. 

One thing I was told that I still to this day have never forgotten about is 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. 



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. 

Textures like stone and marble will create a dramatic edge, as well as lighting throughout the kitchen carefully placed. When it comes to splashback, you can add a pop of colour, pattern or texture 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.

Kitchen layout


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. Some of the benefits of wood are that they are easily repaired and can be quickly painted to create a new look, but eventually over time humidity can warp the wood.
  2. Another option is the eco-friendly cabinets which are a great way to use recycled materials. Yet sometimes this type of cabinetry can be expensive to source or create due to the lack of inconsistency.
  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. Finally, metal cabinets can be purchased as brushed or shiny and the heat does not affect them. They are stain-resistant yet can be costly and highly prone to scratches and dents.

Cabinet styles


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. 

Plan out renovation

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

  • The old kitchen is taken out (1 day)
  • Plumber completed 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.

Read More: How to renovate your kitchen with no money down

Three Birds Renovations

Get kitchen inspiration from Three Birds Renovation here.


Chapter 2: Costs of Kitchen Renovations

Your first step is to come up with the budget. 

And then determine how the renovation will remain within budget.

Then you’ll need to consider how a kitchen renovation will increase the value of your house, realistically

And in this chapter, I’ll show how to do just that.


What is the average price to renovate a kitchen?

Thanks to The Block, DIY home renovations are at a high. 


According to 2019 Houzz & Home Renovations Trends Study, the cost of renovating a medium to large size kitchen sits at around $20,000. 

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

However, on average kitchen renovations can sit anywhere 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

Your budget around the type of appliances you are buying will also affect the overall costs.

Consider do you want appliances that are: budget, standard or a premium price range? 

For example, an oven can cost anywhere 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

Do you know what the potential return on investment is when it comes to remodelling a kitchen?


Is a Kitchen Renovation worthwhile

To begin, when it comes to 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

Yet 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 whole feel of the house which could help it sell quicker. 
  • ⛔ 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 it is anticipated to increase the sale price by $23,122.

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

cost vs value kitchen renovations

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

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

Many homeowners (including myself!) fall into the trap thinking that just by renovating a couple of things, the value will increase significantly.

Yet this is why it’s important to do the numbers and keep within a budget to see if the investment of renovations will actually be worthwhile when selling a home.

kitchen renovations brisbane

The average Australian household contains over 300,000 items so most interestingly, a recent survey of 900 real estate agents found 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 forrenovated 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 your pinching pennies a little harder. 

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 really up the prices, 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 – this means 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 on a budget.

Chat to 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


Chapter 3: Cheap Kitchen Ideas in Brisbane

Now that you identified the process and costs around renovating a kitchen, it’s time to take your ideas and implement them on a budget.

Specifically, use these cheap kitchen renovation ideas to help lower the costs involved. 

Let’s get right into it.


How to get a ‘marble’ benchtop on any budget 

Marble benchtops are all the rage at the moment, but my favourite budget hack is the incredible alternatives to marble. 

  • Opt for the engineered stone (quartz) benchtops like Caesarstone and Silestone which are much more affordable. 
  • Quartz is popular due to its durability, so when it comes to dropping bowls or knocking the benchtop, it will remain smooth. 
  • Engineered stone is also much more scratch and heat resistance.
  • Instead, marble discolours and dents much easier. 


In my house, we used Ceasarstone 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; often glass, stainless steel, pressed metal and tiles are used. 

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?

  • If your benchtop is a bold colour or texture then consider going for a natural splashback to avoid clashing. 
  • If you’re going for a minimal look and style then consider using neutral tones. A unique idea is to use the splashback as a window which will add light to the kitchen.



Which sink and tap combo is right for you?

It’s all about the finishings.

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

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

The finishing of your sink matters too.


Three Most Common Finishes

  • ✅ The first is 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 adding insulation and heavier steel.
  • ✅ Finally, composite is made from quartz, granite and resin. It is a highly durable and scratch-resistant material. However, an issue with it is that sometimes boiling water can crack the composite and watermarks may be left.

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

Finally, a flush mount keeps the lip of the sink in line with the benchtop which gives 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. Preferably with just one handle to make it easier to go between temperatures too. 

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.

Kitchen tap

Read More: How to Borrow 100% of your Kitchen Renovation Costs 


Chapter 4: Proven Kitchen floorplans

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

In this chapter, I’ll show you how to ensure that the layout of your kitchen maximises your space.

And some of the most popular kitchen layouts.


Kitchen floorplan preparation 

Start by taking the measurements of your room and determine if the current kitchen space being used is missing anything – ie. 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.

u-shaped kitchen


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 kitchens have a wonderful flow when done in the right way, however, for spaces too big, they can often be 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 to serve food.


  • The kitchen eases nicely into the living area
  • Great use of wall space
  • ✅Fits many cooks, so 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


U shaped kitchen

Image reference: U-Shaped Kitchens


Floor plan three: L-Shaped Kitchens

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

L shaped kitchen


Floorplan four: Straight line kitchens

Perfect for small apartments or for 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

Straight Kitchen


Floorplan five: Gallery kitchens

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 the 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 about if it’s not closely connected with the dining room.

Gallery Kitchen


Floor plan six: peninsula kitchen/G Shaped

A peninsula kitchen/G shape kitchen separates the kitchen with the living area by the bench. 

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


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


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

g-shaped kitchen


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


Chapter 5: How To Renovate A Kitchen Yourself 

Now if you are feeling really adventurous you can consider renovating a kitchen yourself.

(Yes, I said you)

With Ikeas made to measure system and tradies being more accessible than ever with tools like SeekingServices now could be the right time to save some money and renovate the kitchen yourself.

Steps in Renovating Your Kitchen

So you’re probably feeling 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

Read More: How Does Construction Financing Work?


Chapter 6: 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, I’m going to show you 3 advanced kitchen renovation loan strategies that I 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 might be able to borrow up to 90% of the properties 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, complete a free assessment or give us a call on 1300 088 065

Read More: How to Increase Your Existing Loan for Renovations


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.

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.

how do construction loans work

Read More: How Does Construction Financing Work?


Scenario 3: Personal Loan

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 the catch is interest rates on personal loans are higher than standard home equity loans. So proceed with caution and do your research.

personal loan home renovation (1)

Similar to credit cards, I would suggest extreme caution before jumping into a home reno with a personal loan.

While lots of guides might say can help you get the renovations started quicker, what they forget to mention is 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 [The Complete Guide for 2019]


Scenario 4: Credit Cards

Caution ahead!

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

But interest rates are often a lot higher in credit card fees compared to mortgage rates.

(I’m talking 21.45% interest rates here)

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

home renovation credit card (1)

Where you benefit here is 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 (like I did) if you have increased your properties value.

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


Chapter 7: Kitchen renovations Brisbane reviews

Now that you have all the knowledge needed to go ahead with a kitchen renovation, it’s time to decide on the professional services you’re going to 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 Speciality Style Reviews said…
Makings of Fine Kitchens & Bathroom – Based in Brisbane High quality bespoke renovations and custom built. Hamptons, industrial, modern, timeless. We work with you from the design to completion to assist you in making decisions easier.
  • Fresh and modern transformation
  • High quality and well organised
Makings of Fine Kitchens & Bathrooms (1)
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
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



Now I’d Like to Hear from You

I hope you enjoyed this guide to kitchen renovations. 

Now I’d like to hear what you have to say:

Have you ever done renovations yourself? 

If so, how did it go?

Or maybe you have a question about something you read.

Either way, go ahead and leave a quick comment below right now. 


Bonus Resources

Renovating a Kitchen can be a stressful process, make sure you don’t miss anything from checking your builder to making sure nothing is missed on the plans.

Ready to take the next step toward buying? We’re happy to help. Schedule a call today with a Home Loan Expert from Hunter Galloway, the home of home buyers.

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