What costs are involved?

Frequently Asked Questions

What costs are involved?

What is a design fee?

In life, you get what you pay for. If you visited a doctor, lawyer, accountant, architect, etc., and they worked for free, you probably wouldn’t have much faith in them. Why should you entrust your most valuable asset to an unqualified person who has so little respect for themselves that they work for free?

When you get a “Free Design & Quote” for a kitchen, do you ever think about what that means to you?

Nothing is free in this life, everything worth having has a price.

The person offering a Free Design & Quote is NEVER a qualified person, they are commission salespeople who are there for one reason only………. To SELL you a kitchen. It’s never about your needs, it’s always about their need to make a sale, (they are commission only sales people, so if they don’t sell they don’t get paid), as a result the design is rarely good, as they have had a week to 10 days training, most of it on selling, not on designing, and they design to keep it cheap, not to give you a good result. Their theory being, “if I keep it cheap, they might buy it”, because the salesperson knows we are all price conscious to some degree or other.

Conversely, at Let’s Talk Kitchens & Interiors our designs are never the cheapest, but we will promise to be designing to give you the best result possible in the first instance. Sure, as we go down the track we might have to compromise a bit, (who was it that said “life wasn’t meant to be easy”?), but you/we should always start from the best design solution we can find, and then work from there. Any other approach would be compromising your amenity, the value of your home and the capital you are about to invest in the renovation.

What do I get for my design fee?

Design, Construct & Project Manage your complete renovation

This is our preferred way of working with clients. When we project manage everything, we can achieve a better outcome on your behalf. After 50+ years in business, we know fairly accurately the time taken to design and specify a space, so we give our clients a set figure per room, rather than an hourly rate. This fee is not revenue-generating, it’s simply a raw cost recovery device, hence why it is so low.

Set rate design fees for a Major Room (kitchen, bathroom, walk-in-robe, etc.) are $2,200 inc. GST and for a Minor Room (laundry, entertainment unit, wardrobe, etc.) are $1,200 inc. GST. Should you engage us to design multiple rooms concurrently, we can tailor a suitably priced package. The design fees for multiple rooms will be calculated by your designer on an individual basis after an initial in-home consultation.

The set rate design fees for a major room cover:

  • Up to 4 meetings or 35 hours of work by your designer – should the time taken exceed this your designer will discuss any additional charges with you before continuing with the project.
  • Complete detailed floor plans and elevations of each wall.
  • Benchtop layout drawings and quotations for stone or other benchtop materials.
  • Comprehensive written specifications, detailing the complete cabinetry costing in the finishes selected.
  • Comprehensive trades costing for all onsite trade work as required, inc. builder’s quotation for any structural works.
  • Advice and selection assistance on an unbiased basis for ancillary products that we do not supply e.g. appliances, tiles and flooring.

When you are ready for Let’s Talk Kitchens & Interiors to execute the project for you, 40% of these design fees are rebated off your project cost, on a room-by-room basis, when you place your order.

Design only on an hourly basis

You may wish to engage LTKI for a design-only service. For example, you may already have a builder to execute the trade work and he has a cabinet maker that will be producing the cabinets on his behalf. Our standard rate for design-only work is $185.00 per hour inc. GST (4hrs minimum charge applies). After an initial meeting with one of our designers to discuss the scope of the project we will be in a better position to estimate the hours required to complete the necessary design work.

For either service option here’s what a typical design process involves for an average kitchen or bathroom:

Initial onsite meeting to measure the space/s and formulate a design brief (no charge)2-3 hoursInitial design time to develop the concept/s3-5 hoursTime for research, phone calls, online searching etc.2-4 hoursSecond meeting to discuss, critique, adjust, further refine concept2-3 hoursDesign time to redraw & refine design concept, commence detailing & specifying3-6 hoursThird meeting to go over the (usually finished) drawings, examine in the showroom each cabinet that is in the design, finalise selections of finishes, fittings, benchtops, splashbacks etc. Discuss and agree on all aspects of the project and then present costings for each element.2-4 hoursRedrawing and specifying time after the 3rd meeting.2-4 hoursComplete detailing of all drawings ready for Check Measure & finalise all costings for cabinets, stone, trades etc.3-5 hoursFinal meeting & handover of complete documentation1-2 hoursApprox. Total Time20-35 hours

At $185 per hour, a fully documented kitchen design could take 20-35 hours overall and could cost between $3,700 - $6,500.

Both design service options begin with a no-obligation, initial consultation in your home with a qualified Interior Designer.

What is involved in renovating a kitchen and how much will it cost?

There are a number of major elements involved, below are some typical spends which will vary depending on your material and finishes selection.

1. Cabinets - there are a lot of choices available.  LPL Laminate (often called Melamine),with ABS edge, Standard or Engineered Veneer, High Pressure Laminate, Solid Timber, Acrylics, Textured or Gloss Vinyl, and Textured, Gloss or Satin 2 Pack Paint. New materials are always entering the market. depending on size, configuration and internal fittings your cabinets can range from $15,000-40,000.

2. Benchtops - a huge range to choose from these days, from Laminate to “Solid Surface Stone”, (e.g. Corian or Staron), or an Engineered Stone benchtop such as Caesar Stone or Quantum Quartz, or a Porcelain based Stone, like Dekton or natural Marble or Granite. Typically benchtop spends in stone can range between $4,000 – 15,000.

3. Trades - a group of tradesmen are required for all the onsite work. Including removal of the old kitchen, cart away rubbish, install new cabinets,  disconnect and reconnect the taps, oven & hotplate, dishwasher, duct the hood externally, plumb an ice maker fridge if necessary, provide power points to microwave, dw, hotplate, fridge and r/hood etc, wire the oven, LED task ligthing to under cabinets or ambient lighting, repair any plaster and re-cornice  as necessary, glass splashbacks or tiling and anything else that needs doing to reinstate your home. These costs can typically range between $6,500-12,000.

You will need to buy some appliances. This will vary depending on your selection.

Other Considerations

  • Sometimes, you may require some structural work.
  • Are you considering new flooring or are you happy to work around the existing floor plan?
  • Internal fittings & features – types and quantity

Registered Building Practitioner

An absolutely important thing to remember is that anyone who does work on your behalf exceeding $16,000, MUST by law be a Registered Building Practitioner (RBP). If they are not, you have NO guarantee, no redress if anything goes wrong or God forbid they take your money and disappear. Unfortunately, most firms who design & sell kitchen & bathroom renovations are NOT registered. Always ask the person you are considering dealing with for their RBP license number.

It goes without saying that we are a RPB our License nos. are DB-L 41495 & CDB-L 51907.

Lets Talk Kitchens & Interiors

Established in 1972 Let’s Talk Kitchens & Interiors is an interior design firm that specializes in the design of domestic interior renovations and the construction and project management of those types of works through to completion.

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