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  1. #31
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    Bundaberg
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    50
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    2,080

    Default

    I completely redesigned and built my kitchen a couple of years ago out of Kaboodle cabinets from Bunnings, but custom made a wine rack above the fridge and a corner overhead bookshelf. My main contribution though was the 5m long solid red gum bench top I built from scratch; my reasons being that no-one really gives a stuff about the boxes just the bench tops and the fronts. I bought my fronts too but you can make your own. The good thing about this method is that you can have everything prebuilt ready to go before you rip out a single existing fitting, only the bench tops will likely need to be measured and cut afterwards. Even if you are behind with making the fronts but the new cabinets simply must be installed NOW it's not the end of the world to live with open cabinets for a week or so.

    If you follow this route here are my tips:
    Buy a good quality corner clamp and use it when building the carcasses. Mine is a Bessey.
    Use good quality glue in the construction as well as the supplied screws.
    Blum or Hettich hinges. I repeat, BLUM OR HETTICH.
    King soft close drawer slides.
    And use as long a level as you can when levelling and joining the cabinets, mine is a 2.4m.
    Lastly, buy a box of assorted packing shims. When you attach the cabinets to the walls etc you'll soon find out that your walls are neither flat nor straight.

    Two years down the line and everything is still totally rock solid and all the mechanicals like the hinges and drawer slides work perfectly, as well they should.
    Nothing succeeds like a budgie without a beak.

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  3. #32
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Riverhills, Brisbane
    Age
    61
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    1,151

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    I renovated my kitchen in 2005 and saved a fortune doing it myself. I built the carcasses in the garage using Kreg pocket hole joinery...all the screws were out of sight either on the outside of each carcass and butted against another or at the back.

    All storage is drawers except under the sink where the plumbing is located. Full extention Hafele draw slides to extend the drawers completely. ..No losing gear at back of cupboards.

    Drawer fronts made & shaped by myself then given a 2 Pack coating by a professional.

    Made the bench heights above standard......mine are 1000mm high instead of factory made standard 900mm high. It is amazing how that extra 100mm prevents aches in backs when you are not needing to bend over the bench. I used standard 16mm thick melamine and used standard 900mm wide sheets for the height of the carcass. These sat on top of a 100mm high base frame (again cut as 100mm strips of the 16mm melamine sheets) which was approx 50mm less in depth than the carcasses and formed the kick board at the front.

    Ordered the Benchtops on line and made to size.

    Glass splashbacks.

    Total Cost was approx $18000 and that included about $12000 in European appliances....Induction Cooktop, Rangehood & Fridge.

    KB1.jpg kb2.jpg kb3.jpg kb4.jpg kb5.jpg

  4. #33
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Elizabeth Bay / Oberon NSW
    Age
    72
    Posts
    738

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    Quote Originally Posted by ian View Post
    perhaps not,
    a four times uplift -- materials to finished kitchen -- doesn't appear too unreasonable factoring in labour and profit.
    my understanding is that a business aims to achieve a profit margin of around 20% so for a cost of $60k,
    $12k is planned profit
    $15k is materials
    $8k is overhead
    $25k is labour -- which at a charge-out rate of $100 per hour equates to 250 hours. Over 3 months, Graeme would have put about that many hours into his project
    With respect Ian, I don't agree that there is a reasonable equivalence between Graeme's build time and that of a professional outfit. I think 30 hours for the pros including data entry and fit out would be more likely. The factories I've seen essentially cut flat packs for very fast and easy assembly.

    The price of any item is what the market will bear. If the majority of people are prepare to pay upwards of $60k, there you will find the average quote.

    mick

  5. #34
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    bilpin
    Posts
    2,863

    Default

    A small operator would be happy with a kitchen per week. In fact, he would be hard pressed to achieve anything more. When averaged out over a year he would be down on the count and would probably end up with an average of one a fortnight. How to solve the short fall? Improve efficiency or jack up the price. Both are easier said than done. Often it is not his inefficiency that is the problem, sometimes delays are out of his control. And as for jacking up prices? Well, that can often lead to further delays in work coming his way. The number of kitchen manufacturers that go to the wall each year in Australia is significant. This in itself illustrates the volatility of the industry; Probably one of the justifications for charging as much as the market will stand.

  6. #35
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Hobart
    Posts
    2,769

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    Quote Originally Posted by ian View Post
    .....
    $25k is labour -- which at a charge-out rate of $100 per hour equates to 250 hours. Over 3 months, Graeme would have put about that many hours into his project
    If only, Ian

    I think I put in at least double those hours - I am slower (or more thorough) than a pro.



    Cheeers

    Graeme

  7. #36
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    bilpin
    Posts
    2,863

    Default

    The true pros are good. They know what they are doing, been at it for years and can chuck in a kitchen with their eyes shut. Well almost. They are methodical, fast, accurate and well organised. And then there is the rest. Herein lies the problem.

  8. #37
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    used to live in Sydney, now it's Canada
    Age
    65
    Posts
    11,110

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Glider View Post
    With respect Ian, I don't agree that there is a reasonable equivalence between Graeme's build time and that of a professional outfit. I think 30 hours for the pros including data entry and fit out would be more likely. The factories I've seen essentially cut flat packs for very fast and easy assembly.

    The price of any item is what the market will bear. If the majority of people are prepare to pay upwards of $60k, there you will find the average quote.
    Quote Originally Posted by GraemeCook View Post
    If only, Ian

    I think I put in at least double those hours - I am slower (or more thorough) than a pro.
    The point I was trying to convey is that there's a significant labour component in a kitchen.
    Thinking back to when we had ours done -- essentially an L shape with a stone bench the entire length of the L (around 4m)
    design, measuring and quoting would have consumed around 2.5 person days including travel time
    delivering the cabinets would have been another person day.
    installation of the cabinets was around 2 person days
    granite top installation around 2 person days (3 blokes for around 6 hours)
    tiling the splash back -- about 1.5 person days

    so all up about 72 hours for the quote and install (plus plumbing, gas fitting and electricals)

    this was before "affordable" CNC so drilling for hardware would be relatively labour heavy.


    I'm not saying that $60k is reasonable, what I'm trying to say is that as a buyer, you have to be prepared to allow a supplier to cover their overheads and make a profit. and comparing $15k to $60k is ignoring the labour overhead and profit components
    regards from Canada

    ian

  9. #38
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Bundaberg
    Age
    50
    Posts
    2,080

    Default

    Redgum kitchen benchtop is the link to my benchtop post

    I'm away at work until the end the month so I am unable to upload different pictures
    Nothing succeeds like a budgie without a beak.

  10. #39
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Thornton NSW
    Posts
    456

    Default

    Its interesting to see how others have done this. The comments about having the right tools for the job are spot on, but I think what needs emphasis is the knowledge about how to build it.

    My advice is to learn how system 32 cabinets work before deciding how much you are prepared to do yourself, because it's a lot easier if you understand the how's and whys. The cabinets themselves are straightforward, but knowing when to use full overlay, part overlay and inset hinges, how much offset you need when hinge boring the doors (thickness of the door and the carcase has to be taken into account), sizing of drawers and boring patterns for drawer fronts if you use drawer kits like Metabox/Tandembox etc are all important to know. Even little things like choosing hinges for doors at waterfall ends, you want to limit the opening angle so the door doesn't hit the edge of the waterfall, which means 85 degree hinges. A good kitchen designer is aware of these things, and specifies the right components.

    Hinges have brand specific boring patterns for the doors, either Blum, Hettich, Salice or Grass/Mepla. If you're going to make your own doors it's worth investing in a boring jig that will drill the 3 holes using a cordless drill. The Hettich DrillJig can be adjusted to suit the other patterns, and is reasonably priced from Amazon US. Same for cabinets, if you're not using line bored panels you'll want a jig to drill the holes for the door hinge mounting plates at a minimum. Veritas make a very nice 32mm kit if you want to splurge, it allows drilling dowel holes in panel ends which can assist in cabinet assembly as well as enabling correct 32mm line boring. Be aware that not all jigs are truly 32mm, I have the Rockler Pro shelf jig which being a US product uses fractional inch approximations and the line bore spacing is actually 31.75mm, and the additive errors are significant. Spoils an otherwise good product.

    Others have mentioned the problem of chip out with melamine, but you can work around it to some degree. If you follow the Hettich system 32, cabinet side panels are balanced and chip out can be kept hidden. Using a track saw, scoring cuts are possible as well.

  11. #40
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Altona North, Melbourne VIC
    Posts
    184

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by richmond68 View Post
    Its interesting to see how others have done this. The comments about having the right tools for the job are spot on, but I think what needs emphasis is the knowledge about how to build it.

    My advice is to learn how system 32 cabinets work before deciding how much you are prepared to do yourself, because it's a lot easier if you understand the how's and whys. The cabinets themselves are straightforward, but knowing when to use full overlay, part overlay and inset hinges, how much offset you need when hinge boring the doors (thickness of the door and the carcase has to be taken into account), sizing of drawers and boring patterns for drawer fronts if you use drawer kits like Metabox/Tandembox etc are all important to know. Even little things like choosing hinges for doors at waterfall ends, you want to limit the opening angle so the door doesn't hit the edge of the waterfall, which means 85 degree hinges. A good kitchen designer is aware of these things, and specifies the right components.

    Hinges have brand specific boring patterns for the doors, either Blum, Hettich, Salice or Grass/Mepla. If you're going to make your own doors it's worth investing in a boring jig that will drill the 3 holes using a cordless drill. The Hettich DrillJig can be adjusted to suit the other patterns, and is reasonably priced from Amazon US. Same for cabinets, if you're not using line bored panels you'll want a jig to drill the holes for the door hinge mounting plates at a minimum. Veritas make a very nice 32mm kit if you want to splurge, it allows drilling dowel holes in panel ends which can assist in cabinet assembly as well as enabling correct 32mm line boring. Be aware that not all jigs are truly 32mm, I have the Rockler Pro shelf jig which being a US product uses fractional inch approximations and the line bore spacing is actually 31.75mm, and the additive errors are significant. Spoils an otherwise good product.

    Others have mentioned the problem of chip out with melamine, but you can work around it to some degree. If you follow the Hettich system 32, cabinet side panels are balanced and chip out can be kept hidden. Using a track saw, scoring cuts are possible as well.



    Some really good insights there Richmond68.

    I found this vid on hinges pretty useful for understanding full overlay, half overlay and inset. Infact, his channel is what got me thinking about building my own in the first place ( he does a full kitchen in another vid ) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Flq0ze4UOu8

    I hadn't actually heard of System32 though, so thanks for pointing that out.

    Some awesome responses so far.

  12. #41
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Thornton NSW
    Posts
    456

    Default

    A couple of things I noticed from skot's post above, but the most important is that you should not make corner units fit tight to both walls as he's done. The normal way of building them is to make them a bit shallower than your other cabinets, because walls are not usually that square and also to allow for natural building movement. Same goes with bench tops, leave them a few mm off the wall. It will be hidden by the splash back but allows for movement, which you need if you make laminated timber bench tops.

    Im old school like skot in that I build a plinth base as well, instead of using plastic legs. You inevitably wind up with wastage from breaking down melamine sheets, so it's a good way to use what you've paid for instead of buying legs while throwing good stuff away. And I find it much easier to level than fiddling with 20+ adjustable feet on a wall of cabinets. You can also incorporate drawers for extra storage.

  13. #42
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Nsw
    Age
    60
    Posts
    742

    Default

    Plinth bases are pretty much standard for kitchen manufacturers/installers. Adjustable plastic legs are to cater for the DIY market.
    it is actually quicker to use a plinth as you don’t have to level up each individual carcasses like you do with legs

  14. #43
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Carine WA
    Age
    71
    Posts
    679

    Default Yes, I did my own kitchen cabinets

    Hi

    I did my own. The price I was quoted was in the same ballpark as your quote.

    I investigated the prices of secondhand sliding table saws. Managed to grab a Lazzari 3000i at a bargain price of $700. I paid another $1000 for new blades (I could have saved about $300 if I didn't buy the rip blade as well).
    This purchase alone was WELL WORTH the money. Cutting boards with a track saw is not as good as using a sliding table saw. I also managed to grab a Blum Minipress (one of these ) hinge drilling machine for $450, this came with the MX1000 seven hole drilling attachment (great for when I did my built in wardrobes).

    I did miss out on a professional edgebander. I thought it would sell for about $1500-$2000, a little beyond my budget at the time. That was stupid thinking at the time for two reasons one because it would STILL have been justifiable within the overall cost and two because it sold for $160 (bummer). O ended up paying over $500 for a Virutex "hand type" edge bander. Oh, hindsight, how cruel you can be )

    So, armed with this equipment, and arranging an account as an owner builder with Polytec (Fantastic range of Australian made MR MDF and laminates) and Wilson and Bradley (Blum hardware and more) I began.

    Not being a big fan of wooden counter tops, bot my wife and I wanted Caesarstone tops with waterfall ends. The local company I dealt with was helpful in describing his requirements for cabinetry to support Caesarstone (very simple really).

    I would NOT choose ply because it is NOT cost effective. You'll pay a fortune for no real gain. I would NOT choose chipboard as it is not really very strong/tough. Moisture resistant MDF IS the way to go. For me personally I would not choose vinyl wrap as it (to me) does not seem as durable as proper laminate edge banding. However doing you own edgebanding does take quite a lot of time, having to trim ALL the edges )

    The nett result for me was my own kitchen with Caesarstone tops and extra tools (which I get to keep for more projects, including the built in wardrobes and a FULL set of alfresco cupboards, essentially another kitchen) for a total of about $12,500. ($5000 for the Caesarstone tops).

    The sample photos show some of the kitchen including the "roll out" cupboards (they sit "behind" the breakfast bar stools) on Blum soft close drawer slides.

    I hope this helps you decide. Keep in mind it IS a big job overall but not difficult, especially if you have the right tools to help you. Best wishes in whatever you decide.

    Kitchen photos 0002.jpg Kitchen photos 0003.jpg Kitchen photos 0006.jpg

    Kitchen photos 0008.jpg Kitchen photos 0016.jpg Kitchen photos 0020.jpg
    Kind Regards

    Peter

  15. #44
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Altona North, Melbourne VIC
    Posts
    184

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MrFixIt View Post
    Hi

    I did my own. The price I was quoted was in the same ballpark as your quote.

    I investigated the prices of secondhand sliding table saws. Managed to grab a Lazzari 3000i at a bargain price of $700. I paid another $1000 for new blades (I could have saved about $300 if I didn't buy the rip blade as well).
    This purchase alone was WELL WORTH the money. Cutting boards with a track saw is not as good as using a sliding table saw. I also managed to grab a Blum Minipress (one of these ) hinge drilling machine for $450, this came with the MX1000 seven hole drilling attachment (great for when I did my built in wardrobes).

    I did miss out on a professional edgebander. I thought it would sell for about $1500-$2000, a little beyond my budget at the time. That was stupid thinking at the time for two reasons one because it would STILL have been justifiable within the overall cost and two because it sold for $160 (bummer). O ended up paying over $500 for a Virutex "hand type" edge bander. Oh, hindsight, how cruel you can be )

    So, armed with this equipment, and arranging an account as an owner builder with Polytec (Fantastic range of Australian made MR MDF and laminates) and Wilson and Bradley (Blum hardware and more) I began.

    Not being a big fan of wooden counter tops, bot my wife and I wanted Caesarstone tops with waterfall ends. The local company I dealt with was helpful in describing his requirements for cabinetry to support Caesarstone (very simple really).

    I would NOT choose ply because it is NOT cost effective. You'll pay a fortune for no real gain. I would NOT choose chipboard as it is not really very strong/tough. Moisture resistant MDF IS the way to go. For me personally I would not choose vinyl wrap as it (to me) does not seem as durable as proper laminate edge banding. However doing you own edgebanding does take quite a lot of time, having to trim ALL the edges )

    The nett result for me was my own kitchen with Caesarstone tops and extra tools (which I get to keep for more projects, including the built in wardrobes and a FULL set of alfresco cupboards, essentially another kitchen) for a total of about $12,500. ($5000 for the Caesarstone tops).

    The sample photos show some of the kitchen including the "roll out" cupboards (they sit "behind" the breakfast bar stools) on Blum soft close drawer slides.

    I hope this helps you decide. Keep in mind it IS a big job overall but not difficult, especially if you have the right tools to help you. Best wishes in whatever you decide.

    Kitchen photos 0002.jpg Kitchen photos 0003.jpg Kitchen photos 0006.jpg

    Kitchen photos 0008.jpg Kitchen photos 0016.jpg Kitchen photos 0020.jpg


    Seriously impressive in many area's. Not least ( and don't forget, i mentioned i love collecting tools! ), how on earth did you mange to buy those tools, at those prices. Those Blum Minipress's are selling second hand for $3k+, and the panel saws double that!

    Really good job though.

  16. #45
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Canberra
    Posts
    3,305

    Default

    How good is that Blum Minipress!

    That's a very cool pickup MrFixit

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