So, you’ve decided to renovate your kitchen 

Let us guess, you’ve searched the internet looking for answers about your kitchen renovation. You ended up with half-baked generic guides and have ended up more confused, have unanswered questions and generally feeling uneasy about your renovation project… 

…And to think this is probably the 2nd or 3rd largest spend you will have after your home purchase and car (depending on how much you spend) so you dont want to get this wrong. 

This guide was written by us; the average Joe who has been through the pain, made the mistakes and learned from them. Basically, we made the mistakes so you dont have to. 

Your renovation doesn’t have to be stressful and knowing what we know now… if we had this resource a few years back then our renovations would have been smoother sailing. 

You will be able to use this resource at any stage through your renovation and while our tips focus on kitchens the principals carry through to just about any renovation. 

Why are you renovating?

It's your investment property

The first things to understand on any investment is the return on investment (ROI) and tax benefits.

There will be tax benefits for your renovation. Speak to your accountant or visit the www.ato.gov.au but most like the expense will be depreciated over many years, around 40. This means any tax benefit would be spread over time and not immediate. 

Speak to local real estate agents or your property manager, work out what the return on your investment will be? A typical questions to ask would be:

  • What is the market value for rent on my property now
  • If invest $X in my kitchen, what would that do to the rental value
    Then you can calculate ROI as:

(Annual rental return after rennovation –
Annual rental return current markert value) / (estimated cost of rennovation – depreciation tax benefit)

Now that is sorted here are a few more tips:

• You will not be living there and mostly likely never will. Less will be more so stick with neutral colours, this will allow any tentant that moves in to have a blank canvas. They can make it their home and will be more likely to treat it that way.
• Forget the caesar stone or italian marble! You want simple durable materials that will last and continue to look fresh after have a few tenants through the place.
• If you can add a dishwasher, this will make life easier for the tenants and will help increase demand for your property.
Space for a fridge, one thing we have seen over the years is that rental properties have little space for a fridge. If a family is your target demographic in all likelihood they will have a larger fridge. 

 

 

Renovating to sell

Renovating your kitchen is probably in the top value add renovations you can do if you plan on selling your home. The kitchen is really the heart of the home and it should pay dividends to treat it with ghe attention in deserves 
 
• Who is the target demographic, young single professionals, retirees, couples or families. Have a chat to a few local real estate agents, they can help you with some of this information.

• Can you just update or refresh rather than a complete remodel? Similar to a rental property, you want to find the sweet spot and maximize your returns with minimal capital investment.

Renovating your home

This is your home that you plan to live in for many years to come. Your personal circumstance will dictate your kitchen design, here are few things to consider; 
 
Storage space. We don’t think you can have enough storage space in a kitchen. How many people live with you? How much food do you need to store? Will you have enough space for all your appliances? When modelling think about this things. 
 
The kitchen triangle, unlike the Bermuda triangle this is designed to help you and allow you to use your space in the most efficient way 
 
Stone bench-tops are the way to go if you can afford it. Durable and long lasting it also a desired by other home owners, so it will add value to your home. 
 
Avoid ceramic sinks… we are not even sure why these are a thing! Drop a pan in it and it cracks! Avoid it. 
 
A kitchen island, the true heart of a home. Its the focal point for entertaining. Many meals, parties and conversations will be centered around your kitchen island. If you don’t have space for a kitchen island think about a breakfast bar. 
 
Samples, don’t underestimate the value of taking samples to mix and match your ideas. Take high resolution photos of your combinations and store them, come back a few days later and see if they still spark the same joy. 
 
Take your time, do not let anyone pressure you into making a decision or commitment to buy. Its your money and your house, ultimately its you that has to live with it. 

Kitspiration, your inspiration!

There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to this part and you like what you like. Remember it is you that has to live in your home, unless its your investment then build for your target market.

There are some rules that we have used along the way, keep these in your mind when drawing inspiration from design sites, magazines and television.

1. Trends and fads come and go, while its hot now it might not be next year. Stick to something that wont date.
2. Does the design fit with the general style of your home, will you renovate other areas. How will this influence your design.
3. How much storage and bench space do need? do not underestimate the amount of storage space you will need, it is better to have a little too much than too little.
4. Appliances, appliances, appliances. This is your opportunity to dress up your kitchen and really make it yours.

We have our very own inspiration pages below;

Our top coastal kitchen designs
Our top cottage charm kitchen designs
Our top traditional kitchen designs
Our top modern kitchen designs
Our top contemporary kitchen designs

Planning your renovation

By now you’ve found your inspiration and you have a good idea of the colours and materials that you want. Now its times to start planning! This is where your dream takes a step closer to becoming a reality.

Kitchen space

A good draftsman can help put your ideas into design, it will also have a few benefits which will be explained later. Just remember you’re in control of the design. Here are a few things to remember when designing your kitchen: 
 
Bench tops: Plan to have at least 0.9m (900mm) of counter space for food preparation, with at least 0.6m (600mm) on one side of the sink and 0.4m (400mm) on the other. If you can fit more, do so. 
 
Fridges, ovens and dishwashers: Leave enough space in front of appliances so the doors can be opened and you can still walk in front of them. You’ll need at least 1m (1,000mm) for most items. Also, be mindful of your fridge, take note of its position and the direction the doors open. If its next to a wall make sure the door swings away from the wall. 
 

The kitchen triangle, it works!

This is the key to being able to work in your kitchen efficiently, the design has been around for 100’s of years. This triangle connects the main areas of the kitchen together; the fridge, the oven and the sink. 
 
If you think of a triangle with each area at one of the points, the distance between the points should be between 1.5m (1,500mm) to 2.5m (2,500mm) depending on how much space you have