If you’re considering renovating your kitchen this year, it’s really important that you know what you’re up against in terms of cost.

Here, the Sydney-based home improvement platform, houseace, take us through a step-by-step look at all the costs involved in a kitchen renovation – from design fees and flooring, to plumbing and appliances.

What is the average kitchen renovation cost in Australia?*

  • Starting point = $18,000
  • Standard price range = $25,000-$35,000
  • Premium price range = $40,000-$100,000+

Size matters…

Though these figures are just averages, it’s important to note that the size of your kitchen will significantly affect the cost of your renovation. For example, it could cost as little as $11,000 to renovate a small kitchen, and $60,000+ to undertake a standard, large renovation.

Size (m2) Average cost
Small (<8) $11,000-$20,000
Medium (8-20) $15,000-$40,000
Large (20+) $30,000-$60,000+
kitchen renovation costs gold accents
376 Bobbin Head Road, Turramurra, NSW

1. What to consider before you start a complete kitchen remodel.

Before you start thinking about the aesthetics like taps and tiles, make sure you take a long, hard look at the space you have and consider the following:

  • What do you want from the space?
  • How do you want it to look and function?
  • Is the size and configuration right? 

Budget and resale value.

Once you have considered these three things, you then need to ask yourself how much you’re willing to spend. If you think you may sell up and move one day, it’s really important to keep your home’s resale value in mind when considering costs.

The industry generally says to spend three to eight per cent of the home’s value on a full kitchen renovation if you want to make a profit or break even when the time comes to sell your home.

In other words, with the average house price in Sydney standing at $1.1m, the average homeowner can typically spend $33,000 to $88,000 on a kitchen renovation without negatively affecting the resale price.

Help – I don’t have a budget that size!

If you don’t have a budget of that size but still want to refresh your kitchen, you do have some alternative options:

  • Reface or refinish your cabinets instead of replacing them.
  • Refinish your appliances if they’re outdated or need that stainless-steel look to increase visual appeal.
  • Replace things in stages rather than doing everything at once.
kitchen reno costs sandstone wall
122 Darling Street, Balmain East, NSW

2. The design and layout process.

If you’re looking to alter the layout dramatically you should expect a base cost of at least $30,000.

This is because you’ll need to engage a registered architect to file a permit application with your local council, proving that the new space will be compliant with building codes and laws.

The cost implications of changing the existing framework and footprint will incur additional labour and material costs, along with the design and permit filing fees of around ten to 15 per cent of the total project value.

3. Key considerations for the layout of your kitchen.

In most cases, the size and shape of your room will determine the most suitable design, but it’s always helpful to consider the classic ‘working triangle’ when thinking about the layout of your newly renovated kitchen.

This concept is designed to minimise effort and walking distance between the sink, fridge and oven by placing each appliance on three points of a triangle.

This approach works with most kitchen layouts, although, if you have to run all the appliances and the sink along one wall, you may need to ‘flatten’ the triangle. To do this, position the three points in a line with just a few steps to walk in between.

kitchen layout working triangle examples

4. How much do materials cost?

Your kitchen material costs are broken down into three key parts:

  1. Cabinets.
  2. Benchtops.
  3. Detailing.

Cabinetry costs.

New cabinets are a real game-changer in terms of the overall look and feel of a kitchen, so it’s no surprise that they eat up around 30 per cent of the budget. Stock cabinets, like those you can buy off the shelf at home centres typically start at $80 to $400 per cabinet.

Semi-stock cabinets (such as those at IKEA or Bunnings that you custom-order from a company’s inventory) are of higher quality and therefore more expensive, costing around $150 to $1,000 per cabinet.

If you want completely custom-made cabinets you can expect to pay around $500 to $1,500 per cabinet.

Benchtop costs.

Benchtops typically account for around 10 per cent of your total budget, depending on the material and kitchen size. Material costs range dramatically per square metre and the style of the edge you choose and thickness of the counter will also bulk up the cost.

Top tip: Designers tend to choose a less expensive counter material for large stretches, and save the expensive stuff for the island.

Final touches.

Once the big pieces are in place, the real style comes in the form of the final touches. Appliances can make a space, so budget around $1,000 to $5,000, depending on your desired luxury level.

Picking a tile backsplash is the fun part of design – and the options are almost endless (the average backsplash costs $1,845). Kitchen lighting makes a huge difference, too; recessed lights cost about $150 a piece to install, and over-the-island pendants start around $150. Kitchen mixers are a final consideration – they start at around $250 but can cost as much as $1,000.

Kitchen renovation costs dark cabinets
4/80 North Shore Road, Twin Waters, QLD

5. How much does labour cost?

Even if you’re just remodelling fixtures in your kitchen, you need to account for labour costs (demolition, disposal and installation).

It’s also important to plan for unexpected costs. For example, if the wall tiles are removed you may discover that plasterboard needs to be repaired, in which case it will cost an average of $2,000 to strip the space pre-installation.

Other costs to consider include prep work to protect the floors ($600-$900), waterproofing (about $1,000), electrical and plumbing permits ($900-$2,000), and plumbing work ($2,000-$3,500).

6. Breakdown of average kitchen renovation costs.

Most complete kitchen renovations cost $18,000 to $45,000, with a typical spend of around $25,000. The rate divides into materials, installation, lighting and plumbing fixtures.

The table below breaks down the specific costs when it comes to a kitchen remodel, based on real project data and the online quoting engines on houseace.com.au.

Complete kitchen renovation cost: Where does the money go?
Element of project Percentage of budget Average renovation cost
Design fees 4% $1,000
Installation 17% $4,250
Appliances and ventilation 14% $3,500
Cabinetry and hardware 29% $7,250
Benchtops 10% $2,500
Lighting 5% $1,250
Flooring 7% $1,750
Doors and windows 4% $1,000
Walls and ceilings 5% $1,250
Plumbing 4% $1,000
Other 1% $250
minimalist kitchen renovation costs
29 Wildcoast Road, Portsea, VIC

7. Installation prices involved in a kitchen renovation.

Here are some of the elements that go into an average kitchen renovation and their typical installation prices, based on small, mid-range or major renovation projects:

Kitchen renovation installation cost guide (average costs)
Feature Small reno Mid-range Major reno
Install an appliance $100-$200 per appliance $200-$400 per appliance $400-$600+ per appliance
Install cabinets $100-$200 per cabinet $200-$300 per cabinet $300-$500 per cabinet
Install benchtop $200-$500 $400-$1,000 $1,000-$2,500
Install a mixer $125-$200 per mixer $200-$300 per mixer $300-$550+ per mixer
Install flooring $600-$1,000 $1,000-$1,500 $1,500-$3,000
Install a sink $100-$250 $250-$400 $400-$600
Backsplash installation $150-$400 $400-$800 $800-$1,200
Painting/adding wallpaper $100-$200 $200-$400 $400-$600

Ready to start budgeting or planning your kitchen renovation?

If you’re planning a kitchen renovation or thinking of improving your home, visit houseace for free, online renovation quotes in just two minutes.

(Note: The estimated costs in this article are based on kitchen renovations submitted through the houseace platform, paired with live pricing data from houseace’s online quoting engines.

*According to figures from Houseace’s quoting data, the average cost of a basic kitchen renovation in Sydney $18,376 a standard renovation is around $25,000, and a premium kitchen renovation sits at around $48,000.)

Author

This article was written by Jonny Sommers, Founder of houseace, the Sydney-based home improvement platform. Houseace offer a range of services, from kitchen and bathroom renovations, to interior and exterior painting and general handiwork.

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5 COMMENTS

  1. Jonny made an extraordinary post and truly saying I loved reading this post very much. All the cost and methods he provides on this post make real sense. I have already shared this post with my relatives and friends. Also, I have bookmarked this post for future reference. Thanks for letting us read an informative post.

  2. Agree this is such excellent content! I hadn’t seen all the figures laid out neatly in one place before so I am glad I stumbled upon this. Thanks Jonny.

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