Renovating kitchens on a tight budget.

People who decide to renovate their kitchens but are working to a tight budget assume that their only option is the DIY flat pack path.

What most people assume is that it’s going to save them $1000’s. Now there is no doubt you will save some money going down this road, but the total cost saving vs the time involved for someone who hasn’t done this before is a subject that needs to be explored.

What a lot of people do is they go to one of the major hardware stores and get a quote for a flat pack kitchen and then they go to a local kitchen company for a quote on a fully assembled and installed kitchen. Normally they get the quotes and of course the flat pack kitchens comes in significantly less than the local kitchen company. Now what some of these local cabinet makers have been finding frustrating is that are the 2 quotes comparable? Most of the time, no.

What the trick is with these flat pack’s is that most of the time the local cabinet maker will quote you on soft close hinges, soft close drawers, blum avantos lift up mechanisms, handles @ at around $8.00 a handle and premium grade laminate board for your doors and panels. Now what you get from some of the bigger hardware store flat packs (you know who I’m talking about) is a lot different. You will not get soft close hinges, you will not get soft close drawers, the lift up mechanisms are most of the time not even included (sold separately and won’t be as good as blum avantos). The handles won’t be included in the price either. This is the best bit: If you’re having postform laminate benchtops they expect you to do the mason mitres yourself. If you are unsure what a masons mitre is, Google it, it’s how you get 2 benchtops to butt into each other to make a 90 degree angle. Now I’m a cabinet maker with many years of experience and I can’t imagine doing a very good job of a mason mitre on site.

Plus what I hear is that it takes over a weeks full time work for a first timer to assemble and install their first kitchen. If you are like me and you can get over 40 hours of time to yourself to do something other than going to work and going to the gym and cooking dinner etc, then I would rather just get somebody else to make my kitchen and spend a few extra dollars getting a kitchen that looks and feels that much nicer.

There is no problem with going down the flat pack path, what I suggest is going to a kitchen company that does both flat packs and fully assembled cabinets or If you have your mind set on doing a flat pack, go to one of the companies that make custom made to measure flat packs that are designed to fit your room. And remember the local cabinet maker can quote on many different levels of drawers, hinges and laminate board, just make them aware that your working to a tight budget and they will quote you on some of the more standard items. You never know, you might not have to self assemble and install cabinet after all.