Top 10 Fears When Renovating Your Kitchen

It's the hub of the home, so your kitchen is one reno you can't afford to mess up.

Why is the kitchen such a big deal, you innocently ask?

BECAUSE IT’S THE KITCHEN! Central Station of your home or investment property!

There’s no doubt, the kitchen is the heart of your home. It’s where everything happens. The feeding. The socialising. The nibbling. The drinking. The living. It’s the glue that holds everything and everyone together.

And if you mess up this room, there’ll be plenty of people there to let you know it … so don’t.

Here are 10 of the most common fears when renovating your kitchen …. brace yourself to confront them all.


Tradies know what they’re doing and will know if you don’t. And some (not all or many) will take advantage of this fact by tweaking their invoices in their favour. You’ll need to keep your kitchen renovation costs under control.

How to avoid inflated numbers? Act like you know what you’re doing (even if you don’t!). Get 3 quotes and don’t say ‘this is my first reno’ out loud. Dress down (but not out) to make them think you haven’t got much to spend in the first place. Saying that, some will still have a go ….


This one is a no-brainer. If you don’t know if you’re allowed to knock down a wall, don’t knock down a wall.

It’s better to be safe than sorry because it’s really hard to un-knock down a wall. And being ‘sorry’ involves stop work orders and fines. Check with your local Council first unless you like funding government revenue.


How will your kitchen be used? Ask this question. To yourself. To your family. To your imaginary prospective buyers. And then design to the answer.

Do you have a big family who enjoys Taco Tuesdays? Don’t install a mirrored splashback. Are you a clumsy wine connoisseur? Steer clear of porous marble benchtops. Are you selling to a single person? Forget the double bowl kitchen sink. Think long and hard about who’ll be using your room and how.


Big stores have big advertising budgets and (sometimes) big prices to pay for their big advertising budgets, so don’t fall in the love with the first oven you see.

Look for the bargains. Smaller stores can be really competitive on price. Paint goes on sale so buy all your bits & bobs when they’re marked down. Bulk items such as your cupboard handles in project packs …. a 10-pack of kitchen handles will be almost half the cost of buying all your handles individually. Check eBay or Gumtree for new items that didn’t work for another renovator because of one of the reasons on this list. There are many ways to bring the price down, just invest your time looking.


Your kitchen should last at least 20 years. Trends and fads don’t need to last and rarely ever do.

Be careful not to dabble in the latter sentence when considering the former. Industrial kitchens live somewhere between the two. They used to be cool and the thing to do, but nowadays are only appropriate in lofts, city dwellings & real industrial buildings. Predict the future if you can to ensure your kitchen style will last the test of time.


Imagine a ball gown with a pair of Ugg’s and a ski beanie. Would you wear that? Anywhere? Ever?

Rhetorical questions, yes, but the answer to each is no. Moral of this story, don’t make your kitchen look ridiculous either. Think of this room like a well-designed outfit. Every fixture & fitting within it, needs to make sense. The layout, materials & colours within this room need to fashionably blend together, especially with other rooms in your home. Not sure how to do that? Pinterest does. Finds great kitchens and start pinning away.


Kitchens have demands. And you, as the renovator, need to know what they are, or you’ll have a very unhappy room.

Cupboard doors prefer to not hit feature lights when they’re opened. Drawers have a real problem knocking into each other. Fridges hate being forced to live out their days right next to their arch enemy, the stove. An easy way to not make your kitchen mad? Learn good kitchen design by memorising the ‘working triangle.’ It is a thing. Make it yours.


This is what real nightmares are made of. Buying something that you “love, love, love & gotta have”, pay for it then have to rip it out because it’s the wrong dimensions / material / colour / whatever…. Want living proof .. check out eBay or Gumtree ….

One way to avoid middle-of-the-night screaming is to familiarise yourself with the correct sequence of construction, before you start. Make sure your layout is correct and your measurements are accurate. If possible, grow or borrow another set of eyeballs to double check both.


Surprise birthday party? So fun. Surprise promotion? Yes please. Surprise water rot under your floorboards with no money in the kitty to deal with it? Worst thing ever.

You might be naive to think this won’t happen to you, but it will. You know why? Because you can’t see what you can’t see. In order to deal with the unknown risks of renovating your kitchen, plan 10% contingency for surprise water rot or other not so fun disasters that don’t involve balloons or payroll.


Do. Not. Spend. More. Money. Than. You. Should.

If the cost of your kitchen renovation is starting to exceed the value this update adds to your property, then you’re knee deep in #10, my friend. This is a big no-no. Have a budget and stick to it. A renovated kitchen should cost no more than 3% of your current property value. Not. One. Gold. Coin. More.

So with all that said, I know …. kitchens seem hard.

And big.

And costly.

But I also know that kitchens are so worth it.

Next time you contemplate whether you should tackle your kitchen reno, remember this famous quote from Jack Canfield, “Everything you want, is on the other side of fear”.

“Create Your Perfect Kitchen” is our new online kitchen renovation course, launching 10th December. If you want to save money (in exactly the same way as you do on your fixtures & fittings), enrol now to snag yourself our early bird enrolment offer of just $199, saving you $100 off normal retail pricing. Offer expires 9th December, 2019.

ENROL NOW in my “Create Your Perfect Kitchen” course to receive your early bird offer.

3 Responses to “Top 10 Fears When Renovating Your Kitchen
  1. Out of all the renovation articles I’ve read, this one has been a lot more detailed. You really mention the nitty gritty of doing a bathroom renovation. Overall, a really good read!

  2. Great tips, thanks for sharing. any renovation costs a fortune, your renovations are not even close to what we pay. The last reno we did at our hom for our bathrrom cost us nearly $29k. It would be great if you can give us any tips on choosing the right people for the job.

    1. Hi Shazz – I save a lot of money by project managing all my reno’s myself and co-ordinating licenced professionals to do all the work. I therefore have no middle man costs. In terms of choosing the right people for the job, you need to know the sequence of construction to help with this, then its just a matter of finding skilled tradies who aren’t ridiculously priced to do the job. That can often mean a lot of shopping around. C x

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