Buying guide

How much does a kitchen renovation cost in NZ?

Hint: it’s not cheap!

Last updated: 2 April 2024

Kitchen renovations in New Zealand are expensive - they usually cost around $500 to $5,000+ per square metre. If your kitchen is around average size (15sqm) yours could cost anywhere from $7,500 to $75,000 or more. That may seem like a lot, but the experts say a good kitchen reno can add up to 10% to your home’s value. 

To get you started, we’ve taken a closer look at how much kitchen renovations cost in NZ, breaking down the cost of each element and taking a look at how you could do it cheaper. 

What influences kitchen renovation costs in NZ?

The four main factors that influence kitchen renovation costs are:

  1. The size of your kitchen: bigger kitchens cost more, smaller kitchens cost less. 

  1. The quality of the fixtures, fittings and materials: using premium materials will increase your new kitchen renovation’s cost. 


  1. The labour cost and the markup: some renovation companies may charge more than others for labour and put a higher markup on materials so always get at least three quotes. 

  1. The complexity of the renovation: if you’re changing the layout or size of your kitchen this can add significantly to the cost. 

Apart from the size of your kitchen, you’re in control of all of these factors - which means you can decide how much your new kitchen costs (if you’re willing to compromise). 

A breakdown of kitchen renovation costs in NZ

While a basic kitchen update can cost as little as $7,500, and an extensive premium reno can cost over $75,000, the average cost is just under $23,000. According to Archipro, this cost is made up of the following:

  • Cabinetry 28% = $9,039 

  • Installation & Labour 18% = $5,695

  • Appliances 15% = $4,678

  • Countertops & Backsplash 11% = $3,381

  • Flooring 7% = $2,2771

  • Lighting 5% = $1,449

  • Painting 5% = $1,587

  • Windows & Doors 4% =$1408

  • Kitchen designer 3% = $994

  • Plumbing 3% = $1007

  • Other 1% = $428

As you can see, cabinetry and appliances are extremely expensive, so if you could repurpose or refurbish your existing cabinetry and hold off on updating your appliances you could significantly reduce the cost of your renovation. 

Smaller kitchen renovations are usually cheaper.

Basic, mid-range or luxury?

To get an idea of how the cost of your kitchen renovation can change, it’s helpful to separate renovations into three distinct categories - basic, mid-range and luxury.

Basic renovations - under $25,000

 You make no changes to the layout of the kitchen and opt for laminated flooring, a laminated benchtop and repurpose existing cabinetry (or buy some new pre-made cabinetry if the kitchen is small). Some appliances may be updated and repairs made. 

Mid-range kitchen renovation cost - $25,000-$75,000

With this budget you can update every kitchen feature and possibly even change the layout. Cabinetry is custom built, benchtops are premium materials such as marble or quartz, flooring is tiled and premium appliances are included. 

Luxury kitchen cost - $75,000+

The world is your oyster with a luxury kitchen reno. You’ll have your choice of materials, smart appliances and smart kitchen technology - plus extensive changes to your kitchen layout and customised everything. 

How to reduce kitchen renovation costs

If your budget is limited there are plenty of ways to reduce the cost of your kitchen renovations:

Do it yourself

Labour can be around 20% of the cost of a new kitchen renovation or more, so doing it yourself could mean significant savings. This approach will only work if you’ve got plenty of time, patience and are reasonably handy - and you’re willing to spend days watching YouTube tutorials and learning. If you go DIY, it’s important to be realistic. You may be able to tile your floor or paint but stuff like plumbing and electrical is best left to the experts. 

If you're confident enough, doing it yourself could save you thousands of dollars.

Keep it simple

If you’re on a budget you’ll have to compromise on the look of your kitchen to some degree. Often the best compromise is to keep your reno simple - go for affordable fixtures and fittings, don’t change the layout of your kitchen or the plumbing and electrical. The more you simplify, the more money you’ll have left over to spend on fun stuff like a new oven or fancy marble benchtops. 

Repurpose, don’t replace

Buying new appliances, fixtures and fittings is a significant cost for any kitchen renovation. To reduce it consider repurposing what you already have instead of replacing it. For example, you could repaint your cabinets and change their handles to update their look - instead of updating them. You could also repaint or tile your kitchen instead of replacing a tired splashback.

Use standard cabinetry

Custom cabinetry takes time to build, and time is money. So if you’re updating your cabinetry go for standard, kitset cabinets - not custom. The same goes for your kitchen benchtops, storage and counters. If it’s all standard it’ll be cheaper to buy and much cheaper to install - which could cut thousands of dollars off your renovation. 

Go for used appliances

A brand new oven can cost $2,000 to $5,000+. A dishwasher could cost $1,000 to $4,000. Updating all of your appliances with brand new ones could easily cost north of $10,000. So keep an eye out for used alternatives - these may do the exact same thing but often cost less than half. 

A kitchen renovation is a big job - make sure you're ready for disruptions.

Be careful and don’t overcapitalise

Renovation companies will often tell you it’s sensible to spend 10% of your property’s value on your kitchen renovation. But if you own the average NZ property you’ll be spending over $85,000. If you own the average Auckland property that’s over $100,000. 

A more sensible way to approach your renovation is to consider what your budget is. How much can you afford right now? If you’re planning to sell, it’s also worth considering what buyers of properties like yours want from a kitchen and budget for that. For example, if you’re renovating a one bedroom unit’s kitchen and you’re selling to first home buyers - a basic renovation for $15,000 or less may be plenty. If you’re renovating a family home in a central suburb, something more premium may be more appropriate. To make sure you get it right it’s a good idea to take advice from a good real estate agent on what buyers are looking for.

*We hope this article has provided some helpful information. It's based on our experience and is not intended as a complete guide. Of course, it doesn’t consider your individual needs, it is not advice, nor does it suggest any specific renovations. If you're thinking about renovating, talk to several experts, get impartial advice and get several quotes before committing.


Ben Tutty
Ben Tutty

Ben Tutty is a regular contributor for Trade Me and he's also contributed to Stuff and the Informed Investor. He's got 10+ years experience as both a journalist and website copywriter, specialising in real estate, finance and tourism. Ben lives in Wānaka with his partner and his best mate (Finnegan the whippet).