Block builder Jason’s top tips for an affordable kitchen reno

Sadly, creating the dream kitchen for many can simply be too expensive. But can you put a price on the perfect dinner creation station? Luckily you might not have to thanks to The Block’s Jason Charles, who has shared five of his top tips for an affordable kitchen reno.

Jason Charles, a hipages ambassador and the lead builder for Mitch & Mark | Photo by Eugene Hyland

1. Buy ahead, buy it yourself, buy it on sale

You can purchase good selections of materials and appliances with 15-year warranties without going to the top shop. Look for quality at a discounted price, with less mainstream suppliers who might be having a sale, and purchase from there. But, be sure to let your builder know!  

For example, a tile shop might have a small amount of tiles on sale, which could be enough for your kitchen! Keeping an eye out for these sale purchases before your renovations begin, means the power is in your hands and you won’t have builders adding builder’s margin to your price.

2. Opt for cheaper but durable appliances

The rose gold sink and tap may be the most attractive option, but they can be on the pricier side and often stain or scratch over time. Opting for stainless steel will not only save you money, but will last a lot longer, meaning you won’t have to undergo another renovation any time soon. 

Otherwise, if you have your heart set on something specific, but can’t afford it right away, there are some appliances you can insert temporarily. Door handles are a common one. Buy a budget handle and upgrade it in 12 months when you’ve saved up the extra cash. Do your research to see what other appliances you can purchase that are within your budget, suit your needs, are known to be long lasting, or can be temporary and upgraded later down the line.

3. Book a licensed tradie

Don’t try to man this one on your own, or pay the price. 23% of Aussies will try to do a job such as a kitchen renovation themselves, and 48% underestimate the complexity of it. Save yourself the effort and money by getting it right the first go and booking a licensed tradie. A tradie who has a portfolio of previous kitchen renovation experience will make a huge difference to the journey and output of the job. Don’t forget to source at least three quotes to see what else is out there and to ensure you’re getting a fair price.

4. Discuss your options with your tradie

Work with your tradie to mitigate the material cost by opting for cheaper (but still suitable) material alternatives. This will help you stay within budget, and your tradie can provide a better quote for you. Have a conversation with them before the building begins, ask questions, and they’ll be able to give their expert advice on what’s going to work best for your home and your budget.

5. Make sure your budget has wiggle room

Of course having a budget is important, but keep in mind that not all plans go to plan. Allocate an extra 10-to-20% in case of an emergency, such as your desired appliance being out of stock or needing to call in for an extra helping hand.

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