There comes a time when you grow tired of looking at the same old kitchen. Choosing between a Kitchen Renovation vs Refresh is no easy task. The decision might be coming from an element getting damaged but staying functional. If your kitchen isn’t the fun, inspiring place you need for your cooking sessions, it might be time for a change.
There are two ways to update your kitchen — kitchen renovation or refresh. Choosing between the two is a big decision. Luckily for you, we’re here to help you decide which option is the best for you.
What is a Complete Kitchen Renovation?
Putting it simply, a kitchen renovation usually means removing the existing kitchen and replacing it with a complete kitchen designed according to your requirements. Although it may sound like a long and difficult process, a kitchen renovation is actually one of the most popular home improvement ventures people are undertaking.
Kitchen Renovation Pros
While it truly is an involved project, a kitchen renovation comes with tons of benefits for both you and your home. Here are some of the most common pros you might want to consider.
Increased functionality and comfort
Maybe your kitchen is outdated and doesn’t feel that comfortable anymore. Maybe your family expanded or grew up and now you need a more functional space for everyone to enjoy. Regardless of the reason why, the best way to increase the functionality and comfort of the space is by performing a complete renovation.
Once you decide to get rid of the old cabinets and appliances, there are almost no limits to what you can achieve in terms of looks and feel.
Decreased energy costs
When a home appliance uses more energy, it costs more to run and produces more greenhouse gas emissions – Sustainability.vic.gov.au
In some cases, a kitchen renovation could mean updating to a more energy-efficient kitchen that would eventually reduce your monthly energy & gas bills. New electronic appliances, LED modules, and sustainable materials like bamboo or salvaged wood will not only add to an eco-friendly vibe but are also a great talking point.
Increased home value
If you’re looking to sell your home, you need to impress the buyer. A brand new, fresh-looking kitchen will absolutely wow any potential buyer.
The kitchen is the most important part of any home. Since renovating it is usually an expensive endeavour, a professionally designed and highly functional kitchen could very well seal the purchase on the spot.
A worry-free process
A complete kitchen renovation is not something you would usually want to do yourself, especially with Victoria’s current rules and regulations.
If your project will cost more than $10,000 (including parts and labour) and include structural work, you need to use a Registered Building Practitioner for the work. – Victorian Building Authority
Instead, homeowners turn to expert companies that take care of the whole process for them. Of course, you can still oversee the project but if you’re busy you can leave it entirely in the hands of the professionals.
Here is what a kitchen renovation project usually looks like:
- Kitchen design. The first and undoubtedly the most exciting step in every kitchen renovation project. Discuss all your needs and wishes with the designer and take time to explore the different layout, kitchen styles and material options. This is also the time to choose all fixtures, finishes, and appliances. Avoid rushing the design phase since it is crucial for a smooth process going forward.
- Make the order. Once you have a design ready, it is time to place an order. Keep in mind that custom-made solutions will naturally take a lot longer to prepare compared to stock cabinets. This will greatly affect the project turnaround time.
- Existing cabinets removal. Prior to the new cabinets’ delivery, you will need to arrange the removal of the existing ones. The whole process usually doesn’t take more than a day. An important note here, however, is that you would need an electrician and a plumber to disconnect tap and gas outlets, appliances, sinks, etc. Be sure to confirm with the contracted company whether they will arrange this for you.
- Building work. Although not a mandatory step, you still may want to change the flooring or add or remove a wall or a window as part of the renovation. If this is the case, now would be time. The stage also includes all rough plumbing and electrical tasks.
- New cabinets and benchtops installation. It is finally time to get a glimpse of your new kitchen. Most companies would install the cabinets for you. The time to install them is generally one to five days depending on the size of your kitchen. If you have opted for granite, stone, or other solid benchtops, they may need to be installed separately from the cabinets or even by different specialists.
- Plumbing and electricity. Once all cabinets and benchtops are in place, the plumber and electrician will return to connect the new appliances.
- Splashback fitting. Splashbacks are fitted last, since they need all benchtops to be ready. Some materials like stone or toughened glass may need to be measured and templated again to confirm the exact size. This could be done on the day the benchtops are installed but you would still need to wait for manufacturing. If you have power outlets on the splashback, you would need one last visit from the electrician once the splashback is installed.
- Enjoy your new kitchen. You’re all set and it’s finally time for a nice homemade meal to test the new kitchen.
Kitchen Renovation Cons
No kitchen during the renovation
The excitement of kitchen renovation will subside when you realize you have to deal with a few days without a kitchen. From the removal of the old cabinets to the final splashback installation, you will have to replace the nice homemade meals with takeout or a backyard barbeque. We promise the end result will be worth it.
Longer turnaround times
A complete kitchen renovation is not a one-day project. The time required to complete the project could take anywhere from a few days to several weeks, even months.
The time depends mainly on the features and materials you are willing to incorporate. The other leading factor is whether you will hire an expert company to deliver a working new kitchen from scratch or you plan on hiring separate specialists for each step of the process yourself.
A new kitchen doesn’t have to cost a fortune. But, working with high-quality and sustainable materials and appliances does come at a price. Add to this the design and installation costs and in some cases the bill could get pretty heavy.
Still, a kitchen renovation is not a project you initiate often. A well-planned and designed kitchen could be expensive but is also a great investment for years to come.
What is a Kitchen Refresh?
Some people don’t feel comfortable engaging in big renovation projects. Others feel that a more budget-conscious decision is to work with what you’ve already got.
In such cases, clients usually prefer a kitchen refresh, also known as a facelift. It usually involves replacing different elements or rearranging appliances. The most common practices in a kitchen refresh include replacing or adding:
- Kitchen panels and doors
- Storage solutions
Kitchen Refresh Pros
There is a lot of benefits associated with doing a kitchen facelift. Here are some worth considering.
Updated look and feel
Sometimes you can have a fully functional kitchen space but you just get bored of looking at the same cabinets. You might just feel the need to add some more colour to inspire you.
Usually, it’s the small details that make the major difference. You will be amazed by how much a change in the benchtop and splashback can alter the mood in the kitchen.
If you want just a small change to revive the spirit of the space, a kitchen facelift might be the solution you are looking for.
Minimal disruption to the home
Having just a facelift for your kitchen usually means that you will be using your current kitchen structure as a base for the project. In other words, there will be no wall drilling, plumbing, or any other messy tasks around the place. That’s a rule of thumb, anyway.
While the kitchen workers will do their job during the day, you can still prepare a nice family meal in the evening.
Most of the time, the costs associated with a kitchen facelift are lower compared to a full kitchen renovation. Changing the colour of the existing cabinet doors is not the same as replacing the cabinets altogether.
Going for a refresh allows you to work only on the parts of the kitchen you feel need to be updated or replaced. This will also potentially reflect in lowered total costs for the project.
Shorter completion times
Just like the costs, working with only a part of the kitchen also means that a shorter time will be needed to install the new kitchen features.
Although the time the workers will be at your home can be a lot less compared to a complete renovation, the project can still take quite a bit.
After all, you’ll need a design prepared and approved. Some features may also need to be custom-made to suit your needs, which will add to the time needed to see your new and improved kitchen.
Kitchen Refresh Cons
A kitchen refresh does have some downsides too. Here are some of the most popular drawbacks you should keep in mind.
Limited upgrade possibilities
Having to work with the existing benchtop means that you are quite limited in terms of upgrade possibilities, especially if you have a big idea nesting in your mind.
In most refresh scenarios, people want to change the size of an appliance, for example, an oven or a cooktop. They want to add space for a dishwasher or move the elements around for more light and space. Sometimes they even change from doors to drawers to create more storage space.
But, if the current structure doesn’t allow it, then it might just not be worth the hassle.
Replacing Doors and Benchtops means that you are essentially keeping the shell (carcasses) of the Kitchen. This is effectively the cheapest part of the Cabinetry, and as a flow on effect, also means that you are limited to changing the current design and layout.
Unless you are planning a DIY solution, you should keep in mind that a kitchen facelift still involves a lot more than the costs associated with new paint or new handles.
If you want to achieve professional and long-lasting results, we still recommend that you hire a design company to evaluate your current space. They can also take the necessary measurements, suggest the best options to reach your kitchen goals, and finally install the new upgrades.
In some cases, the time and money spent on trying to work around your existing cabinets can be the same as having a whole new kitchen.
Low return on investment
A kitchen refresh might fix all minor issues that you have encountered over the last few months or years. This includes worn or damaged finishes, banging doors or drawers and even ill-positioned appliances or units. All of that would be fine if you already have a well-designed functional kitchen.
Such upgrades, however, will hardly add to the property value of your home if you intend to sell in the near future. Instead, you are only paying for a temporary solution.
Kitchen Renovation Vs Refresh — Which is Right For You?
There is no simple answer as to which kitchen project is better. The right option for you depends entirely on your personal needs and wishes however we always suggest choosing a kitchen renovation as it increases your property value while lasting longer than a kitchen refresh/uplift.
If you’re happy with your kitchen structure and layout but you are just not sensing the vibe you are looking for, a kitchen refresh could be a great solution to all your problems. Rearranging the accents or painting or replacing the cabinet doors could make a significant difference in the mood the kitchen creates.
If you have a completely different vision of the perfect kitchen, however, you may need to initiate a complete kitchen renovation. A renovation could be the better solution if you want to invite more light into the room, increase the preparation area, or create a space for the whole family to have breakfast together.
If you’re still not sure on what to opt for we highly suggest downloading our free kitchen planning guide!
Get Your Kitchen Renovation Done Right By Advanced Cabinetry
If your kitchen renovation vs refresh dilemma is leaning towards a complete renovation, all you need to do is find a trustworthy company to turn your thoughts into reality.
For the Ballarat and Geelong area, contact Advanced Cabinetry to make your kitchen vision a fun, inspiring and palpable reality. Keep in mind we only do renovations, not refreshes.