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A 9-Step Guide for a Successful Kitchen Renovation

Updated: Jun 30, 2023


Wellington Builders | Renovations | Construction | Design & Architecture Services | Environmentally Conscious | Wellington Roofing & Waterproofing | Wellington Painters


Kitchen shelves and benchtop

Renovating your kitchen can be exciting and frustrating all at once. I mean who doesn’t love the idea of a sparkling new benchtop, but there are only so many times you can have 2-minute noodles or takeout for dinner, right? Living through a renovation can become tiresome .. especially if unexpected circumstances can mean delays to the project.

Wellington Builders Orkney Group Limited understands what this can feel like, so we’ve put together a guide that we hope will minimise stress and help make your renovation process as smooth as possible, from start to finish.

1. Plan and Gather Information

It’s time to gather ideas and design inspiration for what you want your new kitchen to look like. Think about the current design; does it have a good flow? Do you need more space? Will you be replacing the entire cabinetry or just adding an island or second sink? Write down your dreams and then work out your “must” and “nice to have” lists.

Get ideas from friends and family who have recently renovated their homes, check out Pinterest and local kitchen companies.

2. Work out Your Budget

A complete renovation of an average medium-sized kitchen will cost around $20,000-$30,000, depending on the appliances and materials used. A good way to work out the breakdown of your kitchen budget is as follows:

Cabinets = 29%

Appliances = 17%

Installation = 13%

Countertops = 11%

Lighting & electrical = 10%

Plumbing = 6%

Flooring = 5%

Backsplash = 5%

Miscellaneous = 4%

We recommend allowing about 10-20% of your total budget for any contingencies that may pop up.

3. Research and Hire Your Builder

Ask friends, family, and colleagues for builder recommendations, or check out a reliable site such as for suggestions. Whomever you choose, be sure to check that your builder has a current LBP.

4. Consents

A quick note about consents. Whenever you make structural or plumbing changes to your home, you will need a building consent. If you are just replacing cabinetry, sinks and other hardware, then consent is not required. But, if you’re knocking down a wall to extend your floorspace or relocating the kitchen sink, then you will need one. If you’re not sure, give your local council a call or ask your builder.

5. Design

Now it’s time to work out the detailed design. We recommend visiting a kitchen company to discuss your ideas and see what will and won’t fit in with your budget. Your builder may be able to refer you to a company they use regularly and may get a trade discount. Be sure to keep your builder in the loop with decisions so they don’t miss any of the detail (this is what can often cause delays). Communication is key to keeping to a schedule. Orkney Group Limited provides design and architecture services if you need help with this.

6. Contract

Once you have agreed on a design and budget, your builder should provide you with a Contract that details everything they will do (and not do).

7. Schedule and Pack

Now that the paperwork is done and dusted, your builder (or you) can go ahead and place the order for the kitchen, appliances, and any other materials. Now is also a good time to discuss the schedule with your builder so you can work out how to live in the house without a working kitchen (and include more takeout in your budget!).

Be sure to find out when demolition is starting so you can pack up your kitchen and set up a temporary workspace beforehand. A typical kitchen renovation can take around 4-6 weeks or more, so it’s a good idea to set up a temporary kitchen in the meantime, even if it’s just to house the hot water jug and microwave (although we do know of some families who have used their camping cooktops and BBQ to make dinner!).

8. Work Starts

This is the fun and probably most frustrating part of the process. Be sure to keep in communication with your builder .. but keep out of their way when they're working. Builders work best when they can be left to do their thing without someone constantly checking up on them (except to bring the odd cup of tea, of course!).

A good builder will keep you in the loop with progress, so you know what is happening on a regular basis and how things are keeping to schedule.

9. Move In

It’s finally over! Whew – you got there! Time to enjoy your new kitchen. We are sure that the inconvenience of the last few weeks will be well worth the result.

Lady carrying boxes

For Wellington builders Orkney Group Limited, there is nothing more fulfilling than transforming homes to reach their full potential. Whether you need help with design and architecture services, painting and decorating or renovation and construction, we'd love to hear from you! Call us on 0800 368 470 to schedule an appointment.

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