It’s easy to sink a frightening amount of money on a kitchen renovation. In this post BERNADETTE JANSON, Director of The School of Renovating shares her top tips to getting your dream kitchen without the price tag.

Avoid Engaging a Kitchen Company

That is unless you want to pay a premium for showroom overheads and mark up on the cabinet maker, all the trades and other supplier costs.

Instead go directly to the cabinet maker for your joinery and engage the trades separately. This will not only save you money, it will give you a lot more control over the project.

A Word on Design

A kitchen is a once in twenty-year investment, it is important to get it right.

You will save money by maintaining the existing layout, but it can be a false economy.  Limiting your beautiful new kitchen to a layout that was designed for the 60s can be counterproductive.

Engage a designer independently so that you make sure you get your dream kitchen.

Then take your design to various cabinet makers to source competitive quotes.

Flat Pack Needn’t Be a Compromise

Bunnings and Ikea have good ranges, but there are plenty of smaller companies that do flat pack, often with better products and service.

The thing with flat pack is that you have to make the standard module dimensions work in your space and you always end up with gaps.

The quality of the kitchen depends almost entirely on the installer and how they manage the gaps.

We have installed flat pack kitchens in properties in the million plus price bracket and buyers drooled over them, so it definitely can be done.

If you want to install your flat pack kitchen without it looking like a flat pack, we recorded a podcast episode on it.

Give Glass Splash Backs the Big Swerve

They are expensive and have really had their day. Tiles are much more desirable, adding texture and a depth of colour while going much easier on your budget.

Keep Your Stone Benchtops Options Open

Okay, just so you know, unless you specify natural stone, you are not getting stone.

The majority of benchtops are a composite made of ground stone and resin. There are lots of brands.

Usually the catalogues of companies with big marketing budgets make it into your hands first.

By all means use them to research the look, but keep your options open when making your selection.

Put together a mood board with your ideas and take it with your plans to your stone mason’s premises.

Let’s say you are looking for white benchtops. Take a look at the white slabs in the yard first. If you don’t find what you want, ask to see the catalogues.

You will be shown a mighty range of white selections from companies that you may not have ever heard of, but you will find what you want…promise.

Appliances Are Big Ticket Items

You can seriously blow the budget out of the water on very basic brands of appliances.

Plan your reno well ahead so you can monitor the sales. Failing that you can access trade prices with the RenoSave card.

Wrap up

So we have covered our best tips on saving money renovating your dream kitchen.

Now its over to you to bring that baby to life. When you do please come over and share.

Bernadette Janson is a serial renovator and the founder of the School Of Renovating. She is also a renovation mentor, published author and host of the popular podcast She Renovates. Safe to say she lives and breathes renovating! 


She successfully harnessed her passion for creating beautiful homes to replace her nursing income .  It has enabled her stay at home to raise her children, fund family holidays and weddings, give her young adult children a start in their property journey and fund her retirement.


Bernadette helps passionate renovators and property lovers to profit from their passion and replace their income either now or on retirement

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Finance Tips 5 Top Renovation Tips To Control Kitchen Reno Costs