We recently had the opportunity to follow Lauren’s exciting journey as she renovates her kitchen as part of a remodel of their family home in Western Australia. Not only does Lauren work, but she’s also a mum to two young children, so taking on a home renovation is by no means a small feat! We asked Lauren some questions about her project and what challenges she’s experienced along the way so far and how she’s tackled them with the assistance of our Build in Common Kitchen Renovation Toolkit.

How long was the process and what prompted you to decide when to start your project?

It has always been our plan to renovate the kitchen, however, we knew it would probably be the most costly renovation we complete on our house, so we had been waiting until we had enough savings.

With the current global pandemic and the lack of travel for the foreseeable future, we decided to use the money we had saved for a couple of holidays we were supposed to have in 2020 and put it towards the kitchen renovation.

Is this your first renovation?

No, we did a fair bit of renovating to our previous home, including the kitchen which we did on a smaller budget as we knew it wasn’t our “forever” home. We have also renovated quite a few of the other rooms in our current home.

What concerns did you have about starting your renovation?

The timeline! Even though we’re pretty experienced renovators, it’s always tricky to know what order things will happen in. It can also be complicated lining up trades when you’re project managing the job yourself.

What was your impression of the construction industry before starting your renovation?

We’ve been burnt before and learned the tough way that the cheapest quote isn’t always best and you usually get what you pay for! We now try and follow the ‘three-quote’ rule. We sourced quotes to get a couple of walls knocked out. One of the quotes was a fair amount cheaper, however, the tradie didn’t seem half as knowledgeable as the second quote that came in about $500.00 more expensive.

Did you (or have you) a budget?

We know roughly what we’d like to spend, however, we think we’ll be in this house for a long time, so we’re willing to spend money to get what we want. We’d rather spend a bit extra than regret it down the track. For example, the stone splashback is a more expensive option than the glass, but we prefer it so we’re happy to spend the extra!

What stage are you in of your renovation?

I hope we’re coming to the end! I’d say we’re over the halfway mark. It’s been A LONG process, partially because we’ve tackled some aspects ourselves and also due to the flow-on effects of some of our decisions. We decided to knock out walls which meant a new support beam, then patching ceilings and walls, and also patching the wooden floorboards (which will now have to be sanded back throughout the entire house!)

What concerns/challenges do you have now during your renovation?

Unforeseen costs. We were expecting to patch the floor, however, when we demolished the kitchen we found that there must have been a leak years ago near the dishwasher which had caused some of the floorboard underlay to rot. This meant additional patching leading to us having to sand the whole floor back!

What toolkit are you using?

We’re using the Build in Common Kitchen Renovation Toolkit.

How have you found the Kitchen Toolkit has helped you with your renovation so far?

The build sequence provided initial clarity and also the Design & Planning section was a handy checklist to ensure we had thought of everything from power points to lighting.

How easy has the Kitchen Toolkit been to use?

The toolkit is extremely easy to use and follow. I would say my husband and I are fairly experienced renovators so even though I think we knew a lot of the content, it was very reassuring to be reminded of things so that we didn’t miss anything, which is very easy to do because there are so many factors when renovating!

Would you recommend Build In Common toolkits to others?

Yes! I think first-time renovators would find it extremely helpful, but I’m also sure that experienced renovators would find it very worthwhile too. It’s a fantastic tool to help keep you organized, on track, and managing your renovation.

We thank Lauren (and her gorgeous family) for allowing us to be a fly on the wall as they tackle their family kitchen renovation. We look forward to Part 2 of their renovation journey and seeing the end result of their vision and all the hard work.

Here are some behind the scenes photos of the reality of a kitchen renovation:


This is how it looked before the renovations kicked off


Let the fun begin…


Stay tuned for a progress update in next month’s edition!