Back in the day kitchens were small dark rooms hidden at the back of the home. Nowadays the kitchen is the proud centrepiece of the home.

The kitchen is so much more than simply providing a place to cook. They are places to sit down with the family for a meal, entertain friends or help the kids with their homework.

 For sale: 114 Napier Street, South Melbourne, VIC For sale: 114 Napier Street, South Melbourne, VIC

As such a versatile hub of the home, it comes as no surprise that the most common interior renovation project undertaken by homeowners is a kitchen makeover.

If you’re planning a kitchen renovation of your own here are several of the not so obvious kitchen expenses to keep an eye out for when setting out your budget.

Design fee

Given the importance of the kitchen within modern Australian homes, and the typically substantial investment one makes when renovating it, it is essential to have an experienced professional tailor a design to suit your space and home perfectly. During the design phase, potential issues can be flagged by your designer and resolved, which could be costly if left unnoticed until construction starts.

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Cooktop update

With the increasing popularity of induction cooktops, homeowners need to decide between a gas cooktop or an induction model. There are fantastic options in both these categories, and several things should be considered when selecting the correct cooktop for your you and your family.

 Image: GIA Bathrooms & Kitchens Image: GIA Bathrooms & Kitchens

From a cost and installation perspective, keep in mind that changing from gas to electricity or vice versa can be a costly exercise. If you have gas but would like to go for induction, the electricians may need to run a new circuit to the switchboard, which is not always a simple task. Conversely, if you want to switch to gas and already have electricity you’ll require a new gas connection, which could require a gas line upgrade and extension, which again will add to the cost.

 47 Lynch Crescent, Brighton, VIC 47 Lynch Crescent, Brighton, VIC

Benchtop material

The choices are almost endless when selecting a benchtop material; natural stone, reconstituted stone, porcelain, concrete, timber, steel, laminate, the list goes on. The pricing for each material varies greatly, so when setting your budget make sure you factor in a realistic estimate for the material you desire.

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For example, most reconstituted stones have three to four ranges and grades to select from, and the quotes you get will generally be based on a standard range- so keep that in mind! The price difference from one to the other can be quite dramatic. Also, keep in mind you’ll see an increase in cost if you’re wanting under mount sinks, flush mount cooktops or waterfall edges.

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Are you planning to update your kitchen flooring? You might love your current flooring but will your new design uncover an area that will need treatment, and can that patch be easily mended and matched to your existing floor? This can be an especially costly reality if you have an open plan layout. With open plan designs, your flooring will most likely continue throughout the entire home or at least the living area, not just the kitchen. Replacing flooring throughout an entire home can be costly, and this decision should be considered in the initial design phase.

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Purchasing new appliances for your kitchen should be viewed as an investment. You will be faced with many options – single or double oven? Wall oven or cooktop combo? Steam oven? The list goes on. The price point for appliances vary greatly, so it’s important to set out a budget, and a list of requirements to optimise functionality. The new appliances will likely be the greatest cost following the joinery – so make sure you have your appliances selected and budgeted for during the design stage. Keep in mind the pricing that you receive from builders or cabinet makers quite often will not include appliances.

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Another option when considering appliances is the attractive concept of a seamless kitchen. This is a clever way to create a statement kitchen where all the appliances are hidden behind joinery using integrated appliances. The most common appliances used in this method are integrated fridges, freezers and dishwashers. This option will increase the joinery cost somewhat, and it should, therefore, be factored into your budget early on.

 Image: GIA Bathrooms & Kitchens Image: GIA Bathrooms & Kitchens

For more insights into kitchen remodelling check out these 6 lessons from a rookie renovator, the trades you need for a kitchen reno and amazing kitchen appliances that’ll save you time.


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