How much should a kitchen cost? The simple answer of course is: As little as possible and certainly no more than it’s worth
The only real answer though is: ‘How long is a piece of string?
For instance: -
A basic 600 mm cabinet could be bought for approximately $130.
A pair of door for the cabinet would cost another $130.
A set of drawers could be had for approximately. $300.
An 800 mm pantry with doors might be about $600
A sink cabinet of 800 mm with sink could be bought for approximately $400.
A couple of laminate bench tops might be $900
Assuming a small galley kitchen consisting of a sink, 2 cupboards, one of drawer bank and a pantry, bench tops and toe kicks; you could buy the basic kitchen for about $2,850. You then add your appliances. A small basic kitchen can be quite cheap, especially if you fit it yourself. Professional fitting the kitchen above would probably cost you around $400 plus the cost of plumbing and any electrical work.
Many people do not want a small basic kitchen and will spend considerably more. Some people will be mindful of the old adage ‘buy cheap, pay dear’, This means that you get what you pay for; the seemingly cheap bargain might be of poor quality and not last long. For instance kitchen cabinets made from particleboard (called Weetbix in the trade) are vulnerable to water penetration. Cheap laminate tops will be wear less well and be less likely to withstand a hot pot that a good quality one. Buying cheap can lead to expensive replacement.
You need to make a decision about what you really need or want and seek to do it at a sensible price that you can afford. Ask yourself why you are replacing your kitchen. What is the purpose? Is the old one worn out? Do you wish to rent the property out and hope that a new kitchen will improve your chances? Do you wish to sell the house and hope that a new kitchen will increase the sale price?
The kitchen represents a considerable investment. How will it repay you? If it is to be your kitchen for the next few years you will want it to give you pleasure in use, be convenient and functional for all those years and still look good in at the end.
If you are renting the house or unit, the kitchen will probably have a hard life being used by people with no investment in it. Will a cheapy be up to the job?
If you are selling the house and want the kitchen to help you do it then it must be of a good design and look of a quality to suit the rest of the house. It’s no good expecting a cheap-looking kitchen to sell an expensive house. As a rule of thumb, the kitchen should represent between 5% and 10% of the build price of the home. A good kitchen will not necessarily add dollars to the sale price but it will definitely make the house easier to sell. Another major benefit of having a smart kitchen is that buyers are less likely to haggle over the price if they do not have to replace the kitchen.
A major cost in kitchens is the expertise of the people who design and install the kitchen. If you are a competent handyperson you could use one of the growing number of DIY flatpack systems and manage the whole project yourself. Do not underestimate though the value of expert advice and expertise. A poorly designed and fitted kitchen will only ever look poor and could actually lower the value of your property.
Think hard about the quality you need. Look carefully at the quality on offer and balance the cost with the benefits.