What to consider when installing a brand new kitchen

Michael Namo from M Namo Builders answers our questions about what to consider when installing a brand-new kitchen


What are some of the kitchen trends you’re seeing at the moment?

Popular kitchen trends include sleek surfaces such as granite and marble benchtops (or lookalikes), and modern, clean lines for cabinetry and panelling. Large islands or breakfast bars for extra working and storage space are quite common, usually accompanied by seating for additional dining space. The rustic look of timber on benchtops and for feature points is a nice touch in the kitchen. Using lighting in and around the kitchen for mood, as well as for the usual practical purposes, is becoming common. Bold colours and unique, quirky designs are coming through more regularly as people start to break the mould of the typical Kiwi kitchen design.

How long does it take to install a kitchen?

Once all the hard work of design and removal has been completed, a standard-sized kitchen can usually be installed within one to three weeks. This timeframe should cover all the work of the individual tradies, such as the builder, plumber, electrician, cabinetry installers, tiler etc. The timeframe is planned around the build or renovation and the requirements of the homeowner (if living on site).

Who should dismantle the existing kitchen?

Usually the removal of the old kitchen is the builder’s job. Some homeowners will decide to remove the kitchen themselves. It’s important to keep in mind the client’s budget; removing the kitchen themselves can be an opportunity for them to save money, but also I think, for a lot of people, it helps them to feel more a part of the process. If you decide to remove the old kitchen yourself, it’s worth speaking to a builder about the removal before getting started to avoid any instances where demolition is not needed or perhaps the removal of a wall or partition could be unsafe for homeowners to do themselves.

What is the most popular kitchen layout?

The most common layouts I have seen recently come down to three major designs: the U-shape, the L-shape and the galley or corridor-style layout. The U-shape is generally the most common as it provides a large amount of benchtop and storage space with great flexibility. This layout is generally accompanied by an island bench through the centre. The L-shape is also quite common and is formed, as the name suggests, in an ‘L’ configuration with one side longer than the other. The galley or corridor style typically has a sink, benchtop, cooktop and cabinetry on one side and appliances and additional cabinetry on the other side.


Michael Namo from M Namo Builders.

Are there options to make cheaper benchtops look more expensive?

Yes, definitely. When choosing benchtops there are so many options it can easily become overwhelming and confusing. The most common and cost-effective material is Formica, which is a high-pressure laminate. It is easy to maintain and comes in a variety of colours, patterns, finishes and textures. The laminate is a really great option that suits a wide range of style tastes. It can be simple, stylish or luxurious and looks good on a budget, too.

What are the key considerations homeowners should keep in mind when installing a new kitchen?

The first thing to do is draw up a draft plan and map out everything you have in mind. Remember certain basic principles such as placing cooktops and power points away from the water source. Also, point out where all the power points are going to go and how many are needed.

Maximise benchtop space by positioning cooktops, sinks and appliances appropriately. An important tip is to utilise blank wall space as an opportunity for additional shelving and storage. Carefully analysing the space available when considering a layout ensures maximum workability and functionality is reached and the kitchen suits your lifestyle.

To understand how much your installation job is going to cost before you start, use the cost estimator. This will give you a good idea of the scope, types of costs, cost effect of different options, and a reasonable cost range before you ask for quotes.

How long should kitchen cabinetry last?

Cabinetry that is properly maintained, ventilated and not exposed to heat, abuse or moisture should last for at least 20-30 years. Really good-quality kitchen cabinets have the ability to last up to 50 years!

We found Michael Namo from M Namo Builders via, an online marketplace where homeowners can post jobs and builders and tradespeople can chase jobs, provide quotes and win work.

Words by: Kristina Rapley. Photography by: Bauer Media Studio, John Paul Urizar/