Updating a kitchen on a tight budget in Timberlea, Upper Hutt

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Despite having a strict budget and timeline, the Refresh team delivered excellent results for this Timberlea homeowner with smart planning and established trade relationships.

Before After
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Ready for a new look

After owning this Timberlea property for some time, homeowner Eleanor decided the kitchen was due for an upgrade. Kitchens tend to be subjected to the most wear and tear over the years, so even though Eleanor’s home was built in 2000, she wanted to improve the functionality and give the space a modern look. 

She met with the team at Refresh Wellington to discuss the goals for her kitchen renovation. Eleanor wanted to maintain the kitchen’s existing ceiling – the timber panelling defined the room’s unique character – but redo the flooring in both the kitchen and dining areas to create cohesion. After this initial meeting, extensive planning followed. 

Reworking to fit the budget

Staying within budget was important. The Refresh team worked closely with Eleanor to descope and rescope her project to ensure the plans aligned with her budget. To add further value, the team determined materials that could be repurposed. For example, preserving and reinstalling the original skirting boards would not only save money, it would help maintain design continuity throughout Eleanor’s home; a great win-win solution. Eleanor also opted to keep her existing appliances and take on painting herself. This way, she could allocate funds to other aspects of the renovation. 

After they’d refined the scope and finalised plans, the team’s estimate came to just over $36,000. A figure which Eleanor felt comfortable with and also felt provided her with excellent value. 

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Smart planning and valuable relationships

Another money saving aspect of this kitchen renovation was the fact that council approval was avoided. If it was required, Eleanor’s Renovation Consultant would have arranged for the appropriate consent and paperwork to be obtained. But luckily, that wasn’t necessary, especially considering Eleanor had a strict timeline she needed to stick to. 

To accommodate the quickly approaching deadline, the team began Eleanor’s project a week early so they could partner with their preferred tradespeople. If the team wasn’t flexible and didn’t have established relationships, they could’ve lost this spot as scheduling with trades is highly competitive. There was a slight element of pressure to finish on time so miscommunication wasn’t an option. The Refresh team made sure to communicate transparently with both Eleanor and the trade teams to keep everything on schedule. 

A job well done

The team’s hard work paid off and Eleanor’s new kitchen was delivered on time and within budget. The only variation made throughout the project was installing a small nib wall, amounting to an additional few hundreds dollars to which Eleanor approved prior to installation. 

The new flooring unifies the kitchen and dining areas and ties in well with the ceiling's natural timber tones. And, despite reusing the original appliances, the dove grey cabinetry has given them a makeover by proxy and the entire kitchen looks fantastic.

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This project was completed in
September 2023
Project description
Kitchen renovation
New Zealand
Project duration
12 weeks
Cost estimate
Actual cost
A tight timeline
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Mark Morrison is Renovation Consultant of Morrison Enterprises Ltd, a franchisee of Renovation Franchise Ltd, doing business in Wellington

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If you would like to find out how Refresh Renovations can support you with a high quality, efficient home renovation, get in touch today. Your local Refresh consultant will be happy to meet with you for a free, no obligations consultation.

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