Like anything we do in life, it depends… I have found that many people have been overcharged on a facelift. For the same price or not that much extra, they could have had a brand new kitchen installed. When I get enquiries about doing a facelift, I always ask how far do they want to go with the renovation, so, for example, are they wanting new fronts only, new fronts and benches, new benches only, or altering the design completely?

If you are just doing benchtops and are convinced it will make a difference in your kitchen, then I say go for it. The same goes for fronts only. But if someone wants new benchtops and fronts, plus some alterations, then it may actually be cheaper to do a full new kitchen.

The benchtops and the fronts of a kitchen are the most expensive parts of a kitchen. The white boxes, or ‘the guts’, of the kitchen, is the cheapest part. You also have to remember the onsite labour to alter the old kitchen can be quite expensive. When you only do benchtops, you will still need a plumber and an electrician, and also a tiler to do your splashback, so there are no real savings on the trade’s people in comparison to a new kitchen.

When you do a new kitchen over a facelift, you have a huge advantage with the design element. It always amuses me that just putting the appliances and drawers in the correct position makes a massive difference to how you use your kitchen. If you do a facelift, you can’t change the positions of drawers or appliances, without it costing a lot of money anyway, there may also be rot in the wet areas, or even termites behind the cupboards or kickboards, so the money spent on a facelift could be totally wasted.

I have done many new stone benchtops only, and have found them to be worth it, as the design of the existing kitchen was perfectly fine, and the fronts of the cupboards were in a good condition. So the saving over a new kitchen was definitely worth it. By all means, get a price on refacing your old kitchen, but as a kitchen design expert, I would urge you to get a quote on a brand new kitchen as well, so you can make an informed decision.