Top 10 consumer fears when renovating a kitchen

Need a new kitchen? Don't do anything until you've read this list of 10 things you could get wrong

Having personally renovated more than 50 kitchens over her 30-year career as a professional renovator, Cherie Barber knows exactly what you should watch out for before you start your own kitchen renovation.


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.

 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.


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 90cm cooktop.

Think long and hard about who’ll be using your room and how.

Make sure your kitchen is designed to match house, home, kitchen design, Kira Gray, Fyfe Kitchens, cabinetry, Corian benchtop
Make sure your kitchen is designed to match the way you intend to use it. This kitchen by designer Kira Gray is for a family that loves to bake and entertain. See the full story.


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 on sale.

Buy 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 the time looking.


 Your kitchen needs to last at least 20 years.

Trends and fads don’t need to last and rarely ever do.

 Industrial kitchens 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.


Think of your kitchen 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.

This kitchen renovation, by Mitsuori Architects is a architecture, house, interior design, real estate, white, orange
This kitchen renovation, by Mitsuori Architects is a compact, highly functional space that readily connects with  indoor and outdoor living areas at both ends. See the full story


 Kitchens have demands. 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.’


This is what real nightmares are made of.

Buying something that you “love & must  have”, paying for it then having to rip it out because it’s the wrong dimensions / material / colour / whatever …

To avoid middle-of-the-night screaming, familiarise yourself with the correct sequence of construction, before you start.

Make sure your layout is correct and your measurements are accurate. If possible, borrow another set of eyeballs to double check both.

In renovating this family kitchen, designer Melanie Craig countertop, cuisine classique, interior design, kitchen, real estate, gray
In renovating this family kitchen, designer Melanie Craig introduced an industrial look through the use of materials such as steel and the stitched leather on the island front and sides. See the full story


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 surprises along the way. 


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.

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.


Cherie Barber white
Cherie Barber

Australian renovation queen, Cherie Barber has launched a new online course ‘Create Your Perfect Kitchen’ to equip any property owner with the know-how and skills needed to confidently design, plan & install a brand-new kitchen.

Cherie has condensed her extensive knowledge and expertise into a highly engaging online course, which includes the filming of an entire kitchen renovation from start to finish.

To enrol, click here.

Story by: Cherie Barber

18 Dec, 2019

Home kitchen bathroom commercial design

We know the Specialists

Similar Stories