When my wife and I bought our first unit on the NSW Central Coast it lacked good lighting for doing the dishes, had no pantry and worst of all only had room for a small bar fridge and freezer. We had to do something to sort the situation out and my wife had her heart set on making the kitchen more contemporary (she hated the fake wood laminate).


1 Plan what needs doing with precision


Measure, Measure, Measure and I’ll say it again Measure! It probably sounds a little over the top but any renovation has to start with some good planning and any good plan starts with measuring everything up. Once you’ve got all your measurements you might be tempted to say let’s get rid of everything and start again with new carcuses, splash back, benchtop and new doors, hinges, handles and knobs but you might not need to invest quite all that money to achieve the more functional kitchen you desire.


You should workout what you actually need from your renovation and decide what actually needs changing. For instance we only actually changed the two ends of our kitchen and only one end involved changing the benchtop. We reused the cupboard from one end on the the other and added the pantry and space for our fridge at the other.


Consider the following closely

  • Power Points for Appliances

  • Phone or Network Ports

  • Which way will doors open

  • What types of handles will be used for what purposes

  • Tools (For those DIYing)


2 Research how to do things


You might have some ideas about how to achieve a particular finish or item but there are people online who are professionals or who have done the job before. Learn from their mistakes and professional advice that way when you start your job you’ll know what you need and how to do it.


3 Get the right tools


Seriously spending the extra dollars on having better tools will make the job that much easier. For instance I had bought a cordless hammer drill and was having terrible trouble drilling holes in concrete to attach the cabinetry. It wasn’t until I was doing some other work and needed a rotary hammer drill to chisel out channels in the concrete walls that I found out that this tool would have made easy work of drilling the holes I needed when working on the kitchen. The moral here is you might save yourself $50 but you’ll either not get the finish you want or you’ll spend much longer putting in much more effort than is really needed.


3 Take you’re time it isn’t a race


Getting a good finish requires that you take your time, let the paint dry before the next coat. Spend the time puttying up holes and letting it dry etc so you get a nice smooth finish.


4 Don’t replace what you don’t need to


If your carcuses are fine and you can work in the new parts of your kitchen with the old, is there really any point replacing the whole thing? The sales guy wanted to sell me a whole new kitchen (of course) but there wasn’t anything really wrong with the one that was already there so I just reused what we already had and only purched 2 new carcuses.


5 If your painting take the doors off


A lot of people don’t bother taking the doors off when they paint them but this doesn’t look good as it ends up meaning that you end up missing bits or getting paint where you didn’t mean to. It is also easier to paint doors when they are off as you can put them on a bench to paint them rather than them being hanging mid air potentially swinging while wet.

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