Saturday, 25 April 2020 08:15

Kitchen renovation for under $1000

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In 2019 I removed an old kitchen from a house that was built in 1975 and replaced it with a secondhand kitchen that was only around 10 years old.  The secondhand kitchen was very large and worth around $15000 installed and still had a lot of life left in it, however some of the vinyl wrap was peeling in parts. This damage is why the previous owners offered it for free, but only if new owners removed it themselves. The secondhand kitchen didn't come with a sink, rangehood, dishwasher or pantry, but it did come with a gas cooktop and electric oven.
After I finally brought the whole kitchen back to my house I wondered if I had bought off more than I could handle in terms of the work effort required to put it all back together, especially when I was half way through sanding the floors in the lounge room and now I'm storing the whole kitchen there. Picking up something secondhand is about being in the right place at the right time as it took me several months to find the right kitchen and on top of that it then took me 18 

hours over 2 days to dismantle and transport it.

I love saving money and turning something old into something new, but this kitchen renovation made me very nervous and my anxiety went through the roof as I stressed over all the many unique alterations that were required for it to fit nicely and look good. Even though I picked up the kitchen for free, I still had to source a double sink, range hood, gas oven and pantry. 

In the end, I successfully put it all together over several months after work and on the weekends for under $1000.

Secondhand kitchen selection
I selected one that would match my current window, door, taps/drain and gas setup, so that I wouldn't have to spend to much time and money making too many extra modifications. It also had to be in very good condition.

Removing the secondhand kitchen
I did this on my own, but in hindsight another pair of hands would have been helpful. The kitchen was larger than most kitchens and was in a 4m x 5m room. I was very careful with every piece that I removed, because it could potentially feature in the new kitchen design. I labelled all the pieces, so I could remember where everything went, when I pieced it back together. I started with removing all the cupboard doors, then loosening the benchtop, cutting it diagonally at the corners and then dismantling each cupboard from each other. Once all the kitchen was dismantled I hired a large trailer with a ramp so I could get everything onto the trailer easily using a hand trolley. Overall it took 18 hours over 2 days and 3 trailer loads to take it all back to my house.  

Storing the secondhand kitchen
When I picked up the kitchen I was not ready to begin work installing it right away so I had to temporarily store it in another room. 

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Original kitchen
Removing the old kitchen cupboards, sink, wood panelling was relatively easy as I didn't have to be too careful. After removing the stainless steel backsplash, I discovered the orginal tiles were still there, so these had to be removed as well. In hindsight using a small jack hammer would have been a better idea than using a hammer and chisel. Removing the tiles also left gouges in the wall, but the new tiles would cover these up. I blocked off the water and gas pipes with the same type of end stoppers. I also discovered the wall under the window was water damaged and had to be replaced. I also removed the old ceiling exhaust fan and patched up the hole.

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Kitchen removed

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Walls and ceiling painted
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Cutting the corner cabinet to size
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Corner cabinet after cut and benchtops
As well as cutting the corner cabinet to size, the benchtops also required to be cut down to size. The original benchtop containing the sink hole was about 3m wide and I required 2.4m. Rooms are not pefectly square, so it was important that each diagonal cut was exactly 45 degrees, so that when joined to the other benchtops, there would be no large gaps between the benchtop and the length of the wall on either side. 

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Cutting the corner cabinet door
The corner cupboard had to be cut down by about 10cm, therefore the hinged door also had to be cut down by the same amount. The door cut would be hidden from view by being in the middle section of the hinged door. 

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Adding the rangehood
The rangehood didn't come with the original secondhand kitchen, but I was able to find a similar sized one on gumtree. A section of the cornice needed to be removed to accommodate the internal exhaust tube and cover.

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Adding the fridge space and pantry
This section, apart from the overhead fridge cupboards, was not part of the original kitchen. The pantry door was cut to size from one of the vinyl wrap side pieces that supported the oven from the original kitchen design. The cut edge of the door became the hinged part which was hidden from view. This type of vinyl wrap was not available from the kitchen factory anymore, so it was essential that I made the best cut possible, otherwise I would have to reduce the size of the pantry or settle for another door without the vinyl wrap on it. The pantry cupboard was made from the ground up. All the pieces were cut by Bunnings using their fine tooth circular saw, which saved me a lot of time. The width of the pantry was determined by the remaining space after the fridge overhead cupboards were added to the edge of the main cupboards.

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Kitchen cost - $985
Gas plumber - $260
Electrician - $100
Pantry and fridge cupboards - $150

Tiles, Glue and Grout - $150
Twin sink and plastic pipes - $60
Rangehood - $50
Gas Oven - $40

Overhead cupboard modifications - $45
Paint - $45  
Ceiling paint - $20
Fixings - $20
Light fitting - $10

Blinds - $10
Trailer hire - $45

New secondhand kitchen fully installed
Overall, I was very happy with the final look of the kitchen, especially when it looked like new and it only cost me a fraction of the cost of a new one.

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Read 1046 times Last modified on Wednesday, 13 May 2020 09:23

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