Kitchen and bathrooms are the most expensive rooms to renovate, in my opinion as material cost. But you cannot ignore the administration costs as below:
- Application of building consent – This is a cost to the council. The cost would vary depends on the size of the renovation and the house itself. It also would include costs of checking the drawing (first stage) and inspections (second and more stages at the real construction sites) and for the last stage ”Code of Compliance” cost. This rates (tax) are not small; at each stage, you need to pay for an expert (hourly cost 250 dollar for one case?! ) – the renovation is not cheap in this country.
2. Cost of Architect/Draftsman and a structural engineer
You cannot ignore the cost of architect or a drafts man who draw the plan for the council’s building consent application. If it is just a kitchen, maybe not necessary to hire an architect but to my knowledge, we needed to pay costs to architect in three stages.
- First drawing – to get a first image / idea presentation by an architect. If you don’t agree with the drawing plan, you need to decide if you want to go ahead with the architect or not. This is the stage you check and verify if the architect is flexible and understand your needs. Ask as many questions as possible so you can explore your idea and gain the knowledge – or erase your doubts. Be careful though to make sure how it is charged their time as some architect would charge by hour and this could cost enormously if you delay by asking too many questions. You would better check and ask questions before you engage him ideally. If you don’t agree with him/her, you can change the architect, ok, you may loose some initial cost here but the second stage ‘the working drawing” would cost even more, so it is better to have an absolute trust with the architect or a draft man. The best practice is to check what he/she has done before, and ask the references.
- Working drawing – The architect would draw a detailed plan for the building consent including the suppliers and manufacturer’s information (e.g. specify REINZ, a certified producers statements included) – this is higher cost at the architect. You may also need a structural engineer’s producers statement (additional cost, too) for a structural change for a drawing and at the stage of inspection, too.
- After an application at the council – questions and answer cost – normally, the council will ask questions (with an extra cost) after an application is done (e.g. 20 days after) and the architect would need to answer with more information.
- In total, it depends on the scale of renovation but it could cost a couple (or more) of thousands dollars for an architect and a structural engineer as a preparation of the renovation.
Some people do a renovation without a building consent application at the council (not recommended). You can save some money (a lot) here however without an application, you have no insurance coverage if there is some problem afterwards.
(case without a consent?)
You can take off the walls to make an open space if it is not affecting the structure of the house. You need only a builder to do it but how do you know if it is structural or not if you are not a professional? Can a builder tell you if it is not a central pillar nor a supporting pillar, I am not sure and it is (not recommended). My recommendation is to check with a structural engineer.