Kitchen Renovation – The Complete A To Z
Looking to do a kitchen renovation?
Want to put all those kitchen renovation ideas to use?
How about that kitchen design you’ve been working on?
You’ve come to the right place because we’re huge fans of fresh, funky looking creative kitchen renovations!
Renovating the kitchen is also one of the best ways you can add fast and quick value to your property (which is also an excellent upside too).
Get this valuable step-by-step checklist (PLUS 10 Pro tips and 5 Bonus tips) you can use to successfully complete your kitchen renovation. Click here to download it for free right now
Aside from the value it adds to the property, why else would you look to get involved with a kitchen renovation?
A proper kitchen reno helps update the property, ultimately making it more appealing, attractive and presentable to not only you, but anyone you invite into your home.
This includes your own little community of family, friends and relatives.
And the best part with what you’re about to discover?
You can get started today…
Right now even!
Not to mention the fact that you can start putting all those kitchen renovation ideas and designs you have onto paper (or screen) to help start making things a reality.
So, in this step-by-step guide, we’ll be going into detail about the best, most time and money efficient ways to make your kitchen renovation as easy as it can be.
You’ll find simple information to help you understand the kitchen renovation process to help get you on your way.
Now, let’s get into this!
Step 1 . Kitchen Renovation Costs
Firstly, and above all else,
The reason why you’re renovating the kitchen is really important to determine before you begin.
Because this will govern the amount of money you can and will need to spend on the kitchen renovation.
You see, there’s three types of renovations you can do with a property.
These are the 3B’s – Broad, Basic and Budget.
As the names suggests, they will determine the amount of money you spend.
How much money you have to spend will determine what you should spend the money on.
It will also help you to keep control of the money being spent.
This is important for a number of reasons.
Firstly, you it’s hard to do a $100,000 kitchen renovation with a $10,000 limit (but you can help to make it look like a $100,000 kitchen renovation).
And secondly, what is the purpose of renovating the kitchen?
If you’re renovating the kitchen because you’re planning to stay long term (more than 5 years), then providing you have the money to spend, you may look to purchase all the high end finishes, mod cons and anything else you want and need to make your life easier because you’re setting up the kitchen for the way you want it to be to suit your level of comfort and style.
This would be classed as a broad renovation.
If you’re renovating the kitchen because you’re looking to stay for an unspecified amount of time, then you may just want to update the kitchen and some or all of the appliances. You might spend a little on some things and then you might spend a lot on other things.
This would be classed as a basic renovation.
If you’re renovating the kitchen because you want to make it better than it currently is but don’t have much to spend or if you’ renovating to add value to the property as you’re planning to sell in the near future and want to maximise the return you make then you would have to be careful about how much you spend and what you spend the money on to ensure it’s a worthwhile investment.
This would be classed as a budget renovation.
Knowing how much you have to spend on the kitchen renovation and what you’ll be spending the money on is crucial.
For broad renovations – you should spend the money as you see fit.
When it comes to basic renovations – you should only spend money on the necessities and on the things that are important to you (things like appliances and finishes).
Lastly, budget kitchen renovations – you should only spend money on the kitchen renovation where the changes will be visible, cost effective and will add value to the property.
This is why it’s key to be aware of how much you have to spend before moving forward with the researching to plan for the designing stage.
Knowing what you can spend on the total reno will help you filter through all the costs and options associated with the renovation so you know what you can buy and what you’ll have to avoid.
Effectively, this is cost control (or at least, as controlled as it can be on your behalf).
Remember, you want to see the kitchen renovation through to completion in the quickest, most easiest way possible.
The last thing you want is to be stuck halfway through because you’ve run out of money to fund the project.
Pro tip – Whatever you think the renovation will cost, allow at least
an extra 50% on top of the finished job cost just to be on the
Step 2. Researching Kitchen Renovation Ideas
Now that you’re aware of how much you have to spend and what you’re hoping to achieve, you can move onto the research.
Probably the most fun parts of a kitchen renovation is the researching stage.
If you’ve been thinking about renovating the kitchen for some time, chances are you have a good idea for what you want to do.
However, now that you know how much you have to spend on the project, it may help to revisit any pictures or articles you’ve saved over time and give them a refresh to suit your new requirements.
If you’re at a point where everything has changed or if you just want to start fresh than utilising everything you have at your disposal will help.
One of the best sources for information would of course be Google.
But don’t stop there.
Pro tip – Check both user profiles and specific hashtags.
Bookmark, save or screen shot the kitchen renovations you like the best and keep them handy, ready to show your kitchen designer or builder to help make your vision a reality.
Pro tip – Look out for these three key components to help ensure a successful kitchen renovation.
1. The materials, FFF (fittings, fixtures and finishes) and appliances that you like the look of.
2. Kitchen floor plans similar to yours (or that of which you would like to create for broader renovations) and designs you like the look of.
3. Colour schemes that work well together.
Step 3. Planning The Kitchen Renovation
When you’ve got everything you need, the next step is to start on the plans.
Kitchen renovations, like any renovation work, is messy business.
While it looks straight forward, there’s a lot that needs to be taken into consideration when planning for renovation work.
Aside from the kitchen renovation plans them self, how about your life plans that you will need to consider to minimise the stresses and inconvenience that comes with everything involved for the kitchen renovation.
Broken down into the simplest format, additional plans will include
How is this going to work and how are you going to eat?
Let’s not get too technical and instead keep this real simple.
Let’s just break it down into 3 questions you need to ask yourself to prepare and plan for the kitchen renovation to work in and around your life.
When should you plan for the kitchen renovations to begin?
Consider the time of year and how it will affect the renovations.
For example, is it close to Easter, Christmas, school holidays, public holidays etc.?
These holiday periods mean there’s less availability with professionals.
Not to mention how preoccupied you will be with your own plans which will take away the focus you need on completing the kitchen renovation ASAP.
When the kitchen renovations do begin, how will they take place?
Will you be overseeing and supervising the project yourself?
In this case, if you need to take time off work, you would need to plan for this.
If the project is being handled by a kitchen designer or builder, how will the scheduling look?
Will they just be working during the week or will they also be working over the weekends also?
How will that affect your usual plans and scheduled activities during the week and over the weekends?
When the kitchen renovations are going on, how are you going to eat?
When the kitchen is being renovated, chances are you’ll either have no or minimal access to cooking and accessing food as you usually would.
Because of this you will need to work out a plan for how you plan to cook and prepare food, eat and also wash up during the renovating process.
While it will be easier to manage with fewer people, handling a hungry family can prove to be a real battle.
The best way to handle this however is to let professionals know you can work around them while the kitchen renovation is going on but you will still need to have access to the kitchen to go about your daily life.
While you will still be really inconvenienced during the reno process, remember, it’s short term pain for long term gain.
Now that your plans have been organised, the next stage is to start bringing everything together to make it look like it should.
Step 4. Kitchen Renovation Designs
This is where you’ll put all your ideas and inspiration together to see how everything will look when it’s all been put together.
Remember, when choosing what you’ll install, its best to always keep in mind that everything will be dependant upon how much you’re looking to spend.
Working with your kitchen floor plan, you’ll be able to determine the type of layout for the kitchen renovation.
Will it be a U shape, L shape, straight line or a galley (chef style) kitchen?
The type of layout you choose should work with the kitchen space you have and the type of renovation you’re looking to achieve.
When it comes to actually building the kitchen, options vary from custom built to premade flat packs.
Budget kitchen renovations on the other hand may involve something as simple as just painting the existing cabinets (provided they’re in good condition) and replacing the fittings.
Once the structure has been designed and decided on, next will come the FFF – the fittings, fixtures and finishes.
Fittings and fixtures refers to things like the tapware, sinks, organisers and accessories.
While the finishes for the kitchen renovation refers to the countertops and the types of colours you will use for the cabinets, shelves, draws, splashback, tiles and paint.
Lastly is the appliances.
Broad renovations may involve all of the state of the art, brand name mod cons.
New fridges, ovens, uprights and cooktops, rangehoods, dishwashers and also smaller appliances like microwaves, toasters and coffee makers.
Basic kitchen renovations may include just changing one or a handful of appliances while budget renovations might not mean changing anything at all.
Step 5. Kitchen Renovation Permits And Approvals
Now that you know exactly what type of kitchen renovation project you’ll be taking on, the FFF and appliances to match, the next step is getting the all clear to do the renovation work.
This is where applying for all relevant and applicable permits comes into play.
Having all required inspections, approvals, certifications and permits in place before doing any kind of renovation work can save you from potentially costly (both time and money) problems later on down the track.
While kitchen renovations that don’t involve altering the structure or services usually fall within the “minor works” category in NSW, you are still better off covering yourself from the very beginning by first checking and getting formal confirmation about what you do or don’t need to do with any governing bodies relevant to your property before starting any work.
These include checking with places like your local council and strata (if the property is an apartment).
Again, it’s best to double check and get everything necessary completed and out of the way so you can move forward with more confidence.
If anything is required from you as part of the application process, it may include the scope of works and what will be required to complete the renovation.
And this is where the professionals come into the project.
Step 6. Using The Right Kitchen Renovation Professionals
Like everything else we’ve discussed, the type of kitchen renovation you do and the depth of its scale will determine the type of professionals you will need.
Typical professionals involved with kitchen renovations include
– Kitchen designers
– Cabinet makers
– HVAC contractors (heating, ventilation, air conditioning)
– Dry wallers / Plasterers
– Rubbish removalists
– Labour hands
This is where we might point out that using a kitchen designer or builder for broad and some types of basic renovations might be a good idea.
As you can see, there’s a lot of professionals involved and each is required at different stages of the kitchen renovation process.
This is why ensuring proper and correct coordination of the project, professionals and trades is crucial to a running as smoothly and seamlessly as possible (or as close to as possible).
Knowing exactly who to have at each step of the renovation and when will ensure the process is as straight forward and cost effective as possible.
Step 7. Sourcing Materials for the Kitchen Renovation
Now that your professionals are in order, you will move onto the sourcing stage.
However, before rushing for your credit card its best to first review the final kitchen renovation design plans you have drafted and double check that everything you’re looking to buy will fit and work with each other before ordering.
Once you have confirmation that everything will indeed fit, double check the pricing and when everything lines up like it should, only then would you complete the transaction and buy all of the required materials, equipment, fittings, fixtures and finishes.
Pro tip – to avoid a cramped working area and property, it’s best to just order and pay for the materials but wait until they’re required for the project.
Arranging for them to be picked up or delivered 3 days before they’re required provides enough time to allow for unavailability to pick up or missed deliveries.
Step 8. Organising The Kitchen Renovation
The next step is the organisation.
Firstly, when will everything be ready and arrive?
For broad kitchen renovations, it’s best to speak with the kitchen designer or builder to ensure everything and everyone is scheduled at the right time so you know when you have to be ready on your end.
If you’re doing a basic or budget renovation, this is where you will start scheduling and arranging everything and everyone involved in the complete kitchen renovation yourself from start to finish.
From here on in, it’s just a matter of placing orders, buying materials and to start booking trades.
Step 9. Kitchen Renovation Preparation
You’re almost ready to begin the actual renovation work, however, before you start, its best to get the preparation finalised and sorted before moving forward.
Double check everything is in place, everyone is on schedule and everything is ready to be delivered.
Lastly, remove or lock up any valuables in and around the house and protect anything that you don’t want getting damaged.
This means removing anything that isn’t screwed or bolted down that could get damaged, things like food, kitchen accessories and appliances, or at least keep them out of and away from the demolition area.
Pro tip: Save your time, effort, energy and most importantly your back by, wherever possible, using furniture removal trolleys and dollies to transport and relocate anything that needs to be moved or removed. Too heavy to lift yourself? ask someone for help.
Remember, during any type of renovation work, a lot of people and materials will come in and out of the house frequently so the likelihood of potential damage to the property will be higher than usual.
While you can’t guarantee or safeguard yourself against absolutely everything, it’s at least best to do everything you can to minimise potential risk and loss.
Get this valuable step-by-step checklist (PLUS 10 Pro tips and 5 Bonus tips) you can use to successfully complete your kitchen renovation. Click here to download it for free right now
Step 10. Disconnecting Services Before Starting The Kitchen Renovation
Now, before we move onto the renovation work itself, shut off and disconnect all services connected to the property.
This includes gas, water and electricity.
Once everything has been checked over and you’re ready to begin, it’s time to start the actual renovation process.
Step 11. Kitchen Reno Demo
The first step to the renovation process is the demo work.
This is where the sledgehammers, pry bars and wrecking bars come out to play.
Pro tip: If your kitchen is in good usable condition but you’re just renovating because you want something different, you do have the option to sell your kitchen.
Not only can you save yourself some time and effort by demolishing it yourself or the costs involved with using a team to do it, but you can also make some money to fund the new kitchen renovation project and then also save yourself some money from hiring a skip bin.
The trick to doing this successfully is to simply take photos of the complete kitchen, write a proper description with exactly what’s included in the sale and whats not, along with your conditions of the sale (like they must take everything you specify in the listing and dismantle with care) and put a realistic selling price on it.
If you just want to get rid of it, you could offer it as free to a good home but again, emphasise the fact that its free on the condition that they take everything you specify in the listing.
Alternatively you could list it on an online marketplace with a 0.99 cent starting bid and see how it goes.
Either way, whenever someone comes to pick ensure that they take proper care to dismantle and not to cause any damage while doing so.
When your kitchen is beyond repair however, or if it’s of no use to anyone, then you will need to dismantle and demolish and start fresh.
If you have a team dismantling and demolishing the kitchen, let them do their thing.
Doing it yourself? there’s a few things to keep in mind before creating more problems and work ahead then necessary.
So before charging through like a bull in a china shop, consider the following to make the process simpler and easier to complete.
Have your tools ready:
The type of kitchen renovation being completed will determine the types of tools required. The most common tools required when demolishing a kitchen would typically include:
– Safety knife
– Pry Bar / Wrecking Bar
– Hammer / Mallet
– Chisel / Bolster
– Hand saw / Circular Saw
Order the skip bin:
All that rubbish and waste needs somewhere to go.
Pro tip: Have the skip bin positioned in a spot that make it as easy as possible to throw things out. This not only make the process easier but saves valuable time.
Call in the professionals to shut off and disconnect the gas, water and electricity services:
Never mess or play with the services. Leave it to trained, qualified professionals. Plumbers can shut off and disconnect the gas and water and electricians can shut off and disconnect the electrical.
Double/triple check that the gas has been shut off and disconnected:
If the property has gas connections, check that the gas has indeed been shut off and disconnected by checking that both the valves connected to the gas connection points and the gas meter supply have all been turned off and disconnected.
Double/triple check that the water has been shut off and disconnected:
Check that the water has indeed been shut off and disconnected by checking turning on a tap, shower or flushing a toilet. If none of them are working, chances are that it’s been turned off. To be sure however, it’s best to also check that the water meter has also been turned off.
Double/triple check that the electricity is shut off and disconnected:
Check that the electricity has indeed been shut off and disconnected by checking to see if a TV or light will turn on. If neither of them are working, chances are that it’s been turned off.
To be sure however, it’s best to also check that the electricity has been turned off at the main electrical box. Lastly, you can check that there is no live electricity still running through appliances by using a voltage tester easily sourced from a local hardware store.
Pro tip: If the electrical mains box has a latch on it, attach a padlock and lock it while you’re doing the work. Alternatively, tape it shut with some duct tape with a note that notifies anyone not to turn the power back on while any work is going on.
Put on all your PPE:
Your safety is number one above all else, ensure your protection with proper personal protective equipment which will include hardhats, safety glasses, face/dust masks, ear muffs, long sleeved shirts, protective pants, steel cap boots/shoes and protective leather gloves.
Use a wheelbarrow and garbage bin:
Remember what we just said about saving valuable time?
Using a wheelbarrow to place rubbish in as you demolish the kitchen will not only make the job easier but it will save you from having to make multiple unnecessary trips to the skip bin, giving you more time to focus on the necessities – completing the renovation.
For the smaller items, use a garbage bin to throw all the rubbish and waster in. Then using a trolley or dolly, take it over to the bin and empty it.
Lay down a drop sheet:
Protect your floors from unnecessary damage.
Better yet, once you’ve completed whatever stage you’re at, all the loose bits and pieces will be on the drop sheet, this means you can simply collect the corners of the drop sheet to pool all the scraps into the middle and empty it into the bin.
Seal off the working area:
What you don’t want when doing any type of property renovation is for the rest of the house to be dirty and covered in dust unnecessarily. All it leads to is frustration and wasted time cleaning up.
To avoid this, simply spend a little extra time up front to seal off the working area from the main parts of the house. If you have a door which leads into the kitchen then simply close it and cover up the bottom gap with a door snake. If you don’t, tape drop sheets to the walls and ceilings to help block the area off.
Remove the sink:
Start by running a safety knife around the edges to separate the silicon between the sink itself and the counter top. Grab your pry bar and wedge it gently into a corner and lift.
Pro tip: Aluminium sinks should be light enough to just lift out once they’re loose, however for heavier sinks, once you’ve wedged out a corner, slip a piece of scrap timber between the sink and countertop.
This stops it from falling back into position and makes it easier to get your fingers underneath the sink without them getting jammed. If the sink is too heavy to lift out yourself, have someone give you a hand.
Remove the drawers:
Pull out all the draws and break them up. This will give you more room in the skip bin.
Remove the cabinet doors:
Chances are you’ll preferably need a drill with a Phillips head drill bit attached to unscrew all the screws that make the cabinetry up.
Depending on how tight the screws have been fixed in place, you can use a Phillips head screwdriver however it will take longer and require more effort than necessary.
Remove the splash back:
Be careful and take your time when removing splash backs. Loosen up any screws holding it in places before getting to work with a pry bar.
Pro tip: As a lot of splash backs are made from glass and plastic, removing them means they may be prone to breaking up into smaller, sharper pieces.
Before getting to work on removing the splash back, go buy some self adhesive book cover contact (you know that sticky plastic you put on kid’s exercise books to prevent them from getting dirty and worn out), cut it to size and be sure to cover the whole splash back.
Now, when using the pry bar or other tools to remove the splash back, any chance of it breaking into smaller sharper pieces, where that be glass or plastic, will helpfully be more contained by the book cover contact keeping it together and in place.
Remove the counter top (bench top):
Again, firstly look for any screws that are holding the counter top in place and remove them using the drill with the appropriate drill bit or screwdriver.
If there are screws in places, its highly likely that they will be on the underside of the bench top.
Once you’ve removed any screws, run a safety knife around the edges to help loosen up the grip it has to the cabinet base (if any). If a safety knife doesn’t work, try a scraper.
Next, gently slip the pry bar between the bench top and cabinet base and lift to separate the two.
Complete this process until the counter top is sitting freely on top of the base and have someone help you to remove and throw out.
If someone is not available to help, providing the bench top is not stone, start from one end and cut it into smaller pieces.
Ensure that if or when you do cut, that the piece being cut is smaller then the piece it’s being cut from. This allows the smaller piece to simply drop off as it will be the lighter part of the bench top.
Failure to cut correctly can result in kick back from any tools you’re using which will come from the weight of the piece being cut. You want to avoid this at all costs as it can seriously compromise your health, safety, well being and life.
Remove the base cabinets:
By this point, you should be looking at just the framework of the cabinetry.
Again, start by removing any screws that are fixing the cabinets to the walls and floor and give the edges a quick run over with a safety knife or scraper to loosen up any adhesive that is assisting with keeping the framework attached to each other as well as the walls and floors.
Next, grab your pry bar, wedge it into position and pull the cabinets apart. Once the base cabinets have been completely freed from the walls and floor, break them up with a sledgehammer.
Remove the wall cabinets:
You’ve got the hang of it now. Loosen and remove the screws, run a safety knife or scraper along the edges, wedge the pry bar into position and pull the cabinets apart and finish off with the sledgehammer.
Remove the tiles:
If you’re removing any tiles, or if your splash back is a tiled splash back, the easiest way to remove tiles is by starting from a corner.
Pro tip: Before you start removing the tiles, firstly count how many you have in place and what a tile measures. If you’re installing a kitchen similar to the one you’re replacing, this will give you a good indication for how many new tiles you will need to buy (if you’re replacing with similar sized tiles).
Pro tip: If you’re doing a budget kitchen renovation, consider giving both the tiles and grout a good clean to bring them up well.
Alternatively, you can go a step further and once cleaned, you can give them a fresh coat of tile paint. This means you can avoid removing the old tiles altogether yet still benefit from the look of having new tiles in place.
If you have free space to work with then you can start chipping out the tiles using a bolster or chisel and a mallet or hammer.
If you don’t have free space to work with, you will need to create it.
To create free space, pick a corner to start from and keep tapping the tile with a claw hammer until it breaks.
Once it breaks, tap on one of the broken bits until it shatters. Once the piece has completely shattered, there should now be a hole in the tile.
Using the claw end of the hammer, lightly pull off the remaining bits of the tile until it’s been completely removed.
Now repeat this process until you create enough free space to where you can comfortably get your bolster or chisel in to start prying off the rest of the tiles.
Once everything has been removed and you’re basically looking at just a blank area ready for a new kitchen, clean the area up.
Using a scraper, go over and smooth out any rough areas on the walls.
Things like glue, silicon and any other types of adhesives still stuck on the wall needs to go. Do your best to get everything back to just the bare wall.
Pro tip: Use a heat gun (or hairdryer) to help loosen up any tougher spots or areas on the walls.
Using a clean, soft bristled broom, broom the walls from the top down to give it a quick final clean up to see what what you’re going to be working with.
Next, ensure anything large that needs to be thrown out gets thrown into the bin.
Then finally, collect the corners of the drop sheet to pool all the scraps into the middle, empty it into the bin and then re lay the drop sheet back into position on the floor of the working area.
If you’ve done the bulk of the work up to this point and it’s gone relatively smoothly…
You should be proud of yourself!
Step 12. The Kitchen Walls
The next step from here is the completion of any alterations, additions and adjustments that need doing to the property before the new kitchen work commences.
In particular, are any walls being removed or new walls being added?
Before moving forward with the kitchen renovation, again, you must ensure all required inspections, approvals, certifications and permits have been approved and granted and that everything and anything necessary is in place before even thinking about doing anything to the structure.
Not only can the consequences be costly, but it can also be dangerous to you and anyone else living in or visiting the property.
It’s advised that if you are altering, adding or adjusting the overall structure in any way that it has been assessed and signed off by properly qualified drafts people / architects, engineers and any other relevant consultants before beginning.
Once everything is ready, hand the plans to the builder or carpenter for them to do the required work.
Pro tip: When done correctly, properly created open plan kitchens present the home in a totally different light than a traditional kitchen would.
It’s worth noting that some kitchens have totally unnecessary, non load bearing walls (walls that do not support any structural weight of a building) in place that, when removed, can make a huge different to the overall space, lighting and presentation.
Not to mention the new look and feel the kitchen will now possess.
From here, you will move onto the flooring.
Step 13. The Kitchen Floors
The options include leaving it as is or if the flooring needs to be replaced, replacing only the area where the new base cabinets will sit on top of first and then finishing off the rest of the whole area only once the full kitchen has been installed.
The reason behind doing the flooring last is this…
Equipment and materials will be coming through the house at a continuous pace while the renovations are under way.
And flooring, above all else during the kitchen renovation process, is the easiest target to cop a real beating.
This is why it’s best to complete only the necessary flooring work now and then leave the rest of the flooring until the very end of the kitchen renovations.
Structuring and staging the flooring work in this way will get the necessary steps completed while also helping to avoid any potential unnecessary damage and money wastage.
Step 14. Lighting for the Kitchen Renovation
Is new lighting part of the new kitchen renovation?
Pro tip: It should be.
If it is, take your time in choosing the right, matching light fittings and fixtures to complement your new kitchen.
You wont be fitting the lights now but you will need to have the electrician come around to check over and have the wiring ready so that everything will be ready to fit and install at the end of the renovations.
It’s important to note that lighting makes a huge difference to the way kitchens are presented so this is a perfect opportunity to make the most of your reno.
Pro tip: Regardless of the type of kitchen renovation you’re completing, consider changing all of the light globes to match with a warm or a bright white light colour.
While you have your electrician there, call the plumber and any required HVAC contractors (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) around too so they can all get started on the required rough ins.
Step 15. The Kitchen Renovation Rough In
Rough ins are basically the first or base stage to setting up the required service necessities.
A plumbing rough in would include setting up the correct pipe work for proper water flow and control.
An electrical rough in would include setting up the correct wiring and cabling for things like lighting, power points and outlets, appliances and anything else that requires a electrically powered connection.
Step 16. The Kitchen Renovation HVAC Rough in
A HVAC rough in would include setting up the correct inlets, outlets and connections for things like heating, ventilation and air conditioning.
Once the rough ins are complete, you’ll notice that the place looks like a mess again so before you start to clean up, it’s best to get any necessary repairs out of the way.
Step 17. Complete Any Required Kitchen Renovation Repairs
Any of the work up to this point may have caused some type of damage to the walls or working area.
Assess the damage and make your own judgement about the best way to repair it.
This may involve patching up smaller holes in plasterboard walls, ceilings and cornices using either a basic wall repair kit or a bucket of compound.
To apply, simply follow the directions for preparation, application and finishing as specified by the product manufacturers.
For larger holes, mark out a square around the hole using a ruler and pencil.
Next, cut the square out of the wall using a safety knife. You should now be looking at a square hole in the wall.
If there’s no studs (pieces of framework timber) to attach the patch of plasterboard to the wall then you will need to slide a length of a backing plate inside the square hole and fix it into position with the correct adhesive.
You should now be able to attach the patching piece.
Squeeze a few drops of adhesive on the end of each side that the patch will be attached to and allow adequate time to dry.
Now that the hole has been closed up, simply follow the directions for preparation, application and finishing as specified by the product manufacturers.
For cracks, gaps, holes, repairs and patch up work for rendered walls, timber and concrete – source good quality fillers, puttys and epoxy repair kits for the correct and appropriate use (interior or exterior, type of material and finish) and follow the directions for preparation, application and finishing as specified by the product manufacturers.
Pro tip: Look for products that are multi purpose/multi use. All in one repair kits can save on preparation times and additional, unnecessary costs.
Step 18. Painting The Kitchen
Now all the gaps have been filled, give the area another clean up and get started on the paint work.
Firstly, you will need to prepare the area.
Pro tip: If you’re doing a budget kitchen renovation, this is where you should be spending most of your time – on the preparation for proper painting.
Before moving forward to the next step, it’s wise to remove all the easily removable fittings first.
This would include things like cupboard handles, brackets, hinges, shelves, draws and doors so you get everything back to just the basic cabinet framework (or as close to the basic framework as possible) to make for an easier painting process.
Before unscrewing everything and trying to put a jigsaw puzzle back together again after the painting, make your life easier by removing piece by piece and make a note of what came from where and put any fixing hardware into separate zip lock bags.
Next, open up the windows and doors to get proper ventilation running through the cleaning area, whether it’s the kitchen or elsewhere.
Once everything has been taken apart, take the time to clean and prepare the working areas properly to ensure the paint will stick.
Heavy duty cleaners, wax and grease removers and fine grit sandpapers will be your best friends for this cabinet painting process.
Pro tip: Ensure you only prime and paint cabinets with proper cabinet paint.
Now, moving onto the walls, start by removing any flaky, loose, uneven paint and get the area as smooth as possible by scraping first and then giving it a good sanding with the appropriate grade of sandpaper.
Pro tip: Different wall textures and finishes require different types of preparation before painting.
If you have a painter, leave it to them to handle.
If you’re doing it yourself, take some photos and any examples of your paint that you can show and have a chat with the paint team at your local hardware store.
They should be able to guide you on the best type of materials and finishes to use to suit your particular needs.
Once the area has been properly prepared, wipe the area to be painted with a damp rag to get it clean and dust free.
Cover and mask up any fittings or fixtures that do not need to be painted or that aren’t being painted in the same colour that you’re applying to the kitchen.
Double check that your drop sheet is still in position and is lined up anywhere you’ll be working to catch any spilt paint.
If where you’re painting requires a primer, start by cutting in around tricky parts and area’s not easily painted with a primer first. Alternatively, if it doesn’t need a primer, you can start using the paint, again, begin with cutting in first.
Cutting in involves covering areas like the corners, around gaps, frames, fittings and fixtures.
Once cutting in is complete, cover the rest of the area to be painted with the primer if it needs it and allow adequate time to dry. If it doesn’t need a primer, go straight to the next step.
Paint everything in the kitchen that needs painting and allow adequate time to dry.
Apply a second coat of paint and allow adequate time to dry. If necessary, apply a third coat.
Lastly, remove the coverings on the fittings and fixtures and paint whatever else needs painting as necessary, allowing adequate time to dry in between applying more coats.
Once the painting has been left to properly dry, the next step is where you will start to see your kitchen come together with the cabinetry.
Step 19. The Kitchen Cabinets
This is where your cabinet makers, builders and/or carpenters will get involved.
All you need to do is simply step back and let them do their thing.
If you’re thinking of having a crack at the cabinetry yourself, consider spending the money and having this handled by professionals.
This is the one part of the kitchen that you really can’t and don’t want to get wrong.
The amount of time, effort, energy and money it costs to rectify issues that could have been avoided from the very beginning is something to be aware of.
However if you’re determined to see it through by doing it yourself, you will just have to follow the instructions you’ve been given as every property and kitchen lay out will vary.
Pro tip: Ensure that whoever is fitting the cabinetry comes back once the flooring is complete to fit the kick boards (if any).
You can install the kick boards now, once the cabinetry is complete, however, leaving it until the flooring is complete, at the later end of the kitchen renovation, helps to spare it from any potential damage it could otherwise be exposed to.
Once the cabinetry is complete, it’s on with the benchtops.
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Step 20. The Kitchen Benchtops
Depending on whether or not the benchtop (countertop) is laminate, timber, stainless steel or stone, either a cabinet maker, builder, carpenter or stonemason will arrange for the proper fitting and installation.
Again, it’s best to leave this with a professional to fit and install as they can be tricky to handle and set correctly in place.
Once the benchtop has been installed you will now have a good idea for how the kitchen will look!
Take a quick breather, admire the work and progress up to this point and then get back into it.
Next up is the splash back.
Step 21. Adding The Splashback To The Kitchen Renovation
There’s a range of different types of splashbacks available to suit any style of kitchen and taste.
Options include glass (toughened and mirrored), acrylic, stone, pressed metal, stainless steel and of course, tile.
For anything other than tiled splashbacks, professionals will usually need to get involved to measure, cut to size, properly fit and correctly install.
For this example and for the sake of simplicity, we’ll focus on tiled splashbacks as this is the one option that, while still recommended to have a professional install, can be done yourself.
Splash backs using tiles is quite straight forward, especially when you’re just doing a smaller section on the wall.
Working tiles from the ground up however, will require more planning and preparation as floor levels will differ to that of a wall.
To install a tiled splashback you will first need to get the exact measurements of the area to be tiled.
To do this simply multiply the height by the width to get the total square metres.
For example: 2m long x 0.45m high = 0.9sqm (square metres).
Each box of tiles should state how many square metres it covers.
So, if one box of tiles covers 0.5sqm metres, you will need to buy two boxes.
Pro tip: Whatever the required amount of square metres is, always allow an additional 10% to allow for cutting and wastage.
Now, because you already cleaned, repaired and prepared the area when you painted, you can start installing the tiles.
You will first need to prepare the area to be tiled. This is usually achieved by giving it a quick sand back with the required sand paper grade (which will depend on the surface being tiled) to cut through the paint that was applied earlier.
Next, apply a quality primer to ensure the tiles will stick to the wall and allow adequate time to dry.
Now, before starting the tiling process, firstly choose a tile laying pattern. Your best bet is to keep it simple and install them in a brick wall style pattern (stretcher bond).
Secondly, find your starting point.
In most examples, its best to start from the centre of the wall being tiled and work your way out.
This will help to ensure the ends of the tiled area will present in a much better way then if you were to start from an end.
Next, mix up your tile adhesive.
Get it to a thick but smooth consistency, like silicone or toothpaste.
Cover the back of the tile with an adequate amount of adhesive using a notched trowel and set the tile into place, using easily removed tile spacers for correct gaps.
Press down firmly and adjust as necessary, adding or removing adhesive to get it nice and flush.
Lastly, using a damp rag, give the tiles a quick wipe over to remove any unwanted adhesive on the face of the tiles before it dries which would make it harder to remove.
Repeat the process until all tiles have been set in place.
To fill in any blank areas that need tiles installed, simply hold a tile up next to the gap that needs to be tiled, make a mark on the tile using a pencil, then using a tile cutter, score the tile and snap.
To fit, repeat the same process you just used to install the tiles that were just set.
Once the tiles and adhesive has set, using a safety knife, very gently remove any tile adhesive that has seeped through the grout lines.
You want and need as much free gap space as possible for the grout to penetrate properly – and besides, you only want the grout showing between the tiles.
Once the adhesive has properly set and dried (following the manufacturers specifications), clean up the area, remove the spacers and mix up the grout.
Apply the grout into the gaps using a grout squeegee/spreader/float.
As the grout starts to harden, use a grout joint finisher to draw along the joins for a cleaner finish.
Wait 30 minutes for the grout to dry then wipe the excess off using a clean, damp sponge or rag being sure to rinse and ring out the sponge or rag after every wipe down.
Don’t use a drenched sponge or rag to clean off the excess otherwise you run the risk of washing out the grout.
Once the grout has properly dried, apply a consistent, clear bead of silicone in the gap between the bottom row of tiles and the counter top.
Give it a final wipe down and clean up and you’re done with the splashback!
Starting to look like a complete kitchen?
It’s time to fill in the blank areas with where the new appliances should be in place.
This means the next step is fitting the new appliances in their designated places or positions (or close to wherever they need to be).
Step 22. The Kitchen Renovation Appliances
For smaller, simpler appliances like microwaves, toasters and coffee makers, in most cases, you should just be able to set them up yourself.
For medium to bigger sized appliances like cooktops, rangehoods and dishwashers, it’s best to let the professionals handle the positioning and fitting.
Now that the appliances are in position, you can complete the flooring.
Step 23. The Kitchen Renovation Flooring
Flooring work has strategically been left until the later end of the kitchen renovation to help avoid any potential unnecessary damage it would have otherwise been exposed to had it been installed earlier in the renovating process.
Constant foot traffic, heavy appliances and dropped tools are all just parts of renovation work, so ideally, it’s best not to expose brand new flooring to these preventable possibilities.
When it comes to flooring options, broad renovations may include new timber or tile flooring or just restoring the existing flooring.
Basic or budget renovations may include just cleaning up the tiles and grout for tiled floors or for timber floors, sanding down and giving them a re-coat is also ideal.
Provided your flooring is in good structural condition, a quick and easy alternative is laying down new vinyl planks over the existing flooring.
It’s a basic DIY that requires simple tools and little time that can make a big overall difference to the finished presentation of the kitchen.
Once the flooring has been set in place, complete the look and cabinetry and install the kick boards (if any).
Getting excited because you’re almost finished?
There’s just a handful more things to get through before the kitchen is complete.
Next up is installing the F&F – the fittings and fixtures.
Step 24. Adding the F&F To The Kitchen Renovation
If you haven’t already, this is where you will install all the kitchen and lighting hardware.
Remember, you’re not connecting anything yet, you’re just installing the hardware and setting everything into position. Also, always use a professional where required or necessary.
Pro tip: If for whatever reason you still don’t have all of the fittings and fixtures for the kitchen or were still undecided up to this point, it’s best to take the time in choosing all the right materials and equipment that will best suit you, your particular needs and the kitchen overall.
Remember, it’s best to avoid second guessing yourself or not liking how everything presents in the end. This will only result in more time and money being spent unnecessarily.
Everything should complement each other to add to the overall look and appeal to the finished kitchen.
When in doubt, stick with the basics and keep it simple. This means both the look of the fittings and fixtures as well as the choice of colours.
Starting from the top down, first to go in should be the lighting.
Choose where you want things to go or follow the recommendations by the professionals, then have the electrician install as required.
Next up would be the cosmetic hardware.
You can do this yourself or with the help of a cabinet maker, builder or carpenter.
Cosmetic hardware would include things like cupboard handles, brackets, hinges, organisers and accessories as well as any other shelves, doors and drawers that haven’t yet been put into place.
Lastly, the sinks and tapware will be fit into place by a plumber to complete the look.
Once everything has been positioned and installed into place, the next step is to get everything that’s been fitted and installed connected.
Step 25. Completing the Kitchen Renovation
Get the electrician and plumber, as well as any required HVAC contractors, to complete the rough in (finish pipe work, wiring, cabling and connecting).
Once everything is working like it should be, there’s really only the finishing touches left.
Step 26. Finishing The Kitchen Renovation
Give everything a once over and make any adjustments, alterations or touch up’s where required.
Aside from giving the place a good clean, you’re done!
It’s was a long process but now take the time to step back and admire your fresh new kitchen renovation creation!
Step 27. Enjoy The Finished Kitchen Renovation!
Time to well and truly enjoy what you’ve done.
Why not make a day of it and invite your friends and family around to admire your handy work?
Hopefully they don’t ask you to project manage their kitchen renovation!
If you’ve made it all the way to the very end of this article, go you!
You’re now equipped with what you need to know before moving forward with a successful kitchen renovation!
Depending on the type of kitchen renovation you want to do, renovating the kitchen can be either straight forward or stressfully complex.
What’s important to note however is doing the renovation in the correct order so nothing is missed and everything is done in the most time and cost effective way possible.
With this guide, you’ve just made the renovating process as easy on yourself as possible(or at least as easy as it can be!).
The time you took to read this whole article will cost you far less time than the mistakes you could make had you not read it.
And now we’d like to hear from you:
Have we left anything out or do you have any questions?
What part of this article are you going to try out or implement?
Would it be the kitchen demolition or the none of it!?
Leave us a comment below and let us know!