Flatpacks v Custom Made

You just have to be sure that what initially may look like a tempting budget saving doesn’t pan out as an expensive DIY blunder.

When it comes to kitchen renovating, what are the pros and cons of a flatpack kitchen? And where can you save money through smart DIY?

That’s why people pay a premium to have a kitchen custom-made. Just like anything you buy off-the-shelf, it’s going to work out cheaper than if you had the same thing custom-made to your own specifications. The thing with kitchens is that the custom-made and flat-pack options are virtually identical in their construction methods – you just have a load more flexibility when something is tailored to your own specs.

Jump online and you’ll find many companies now offer flat-pack kitchens; way beyond just the likes of IKEA or Bunnings. Where you make the big savings is if you assemble the flat-pack cabinets yourself, which is relatively straightforward, and then get a kitchen installer to fit the kitchen for you, including the bench-top and appliances (he’ll need the sparkie and plumber for these). I never recommend you do the install yourself. It’s far trickier than you think.

A badly installed kitchen … with lopsided doors and cupboards and glaring gaps, will likely devalue your home rather than add value.

You’ll also save big dollars by sourcing all the fixtures and fittings you need for your kitchen renovation, such as appliances, benchtop, tiles, handles, etc, and then coordinating the trades yourself. If you do your kitchen renovation through a kitchen company, then of course you’re going to pay a hefty premium for them to manage all of this for you.

Remember the higher the value of your property, the higher your kitchen quality should be. There are plenty of ways you can save money.Using resurfacing products such as speciality tile, cabinet and appliance paint, and even bench-top resurfacing, achieves amazing results on a ridiculously low budget, but it’s not for everyone.

The next step up is to look at whether you can get away with keeping the existing cupboard carcasses, if they are still in sturdy shape, and just replacing the cupboard and door fronts. You’ll probably want a new bench-top and sink as well.

If you’ve decided to ditch the lot and start from scratch, then sticking with the current layout will save on additional plumbing and electrical costs.

If you think you’re up to the task of project managing the kitchen renovation yourself, then you’re talking big savings. It all depends on the time you have to invest, the level of responsibility you’re willing to take on, how much you trust your creative and organisational abilities, and the budget you’ve allocated.

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