The pros and cons of a kitset kitchen

No matter your budget, when it comes to remodelling a small or outdated kitchen, the sizeable impact it will have on your lifestyle should not be underestimated.  Here we explore affordable kitset kitchens and see a real-life example of how this option worked for one homeowner’s budget and needs

YH0816_REN_Kitchens_MacDonaldKitchen LR02

Who lives here?

Henrietta MacDonald – charity worker.

Why did you install a new kitchen?

The kitchen was the original one that was here when I bought the property 32 years ago. It was very dark with dark bench tiles that were a nightmare to clean. The previous owner was a bit of a DIY person and none of the cupboards met at the top – or the bottom, for that matter. They were also very high so I was up and down a step ladder constantly. The dishwasher was on the opposite side of the kitchen to the sink which isn’t ideal, obviously.

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Why did you choose a kitset kitchen?

Basically because it was cheaper than a custom kitchen. It was also easy to play around with the kitset options to make it fit the space without making any structural changes.

Did you design it yourself or buy an off-the-shelf design?

Having told Mitre 10 MEGA what I wanted in the way of cupboard space and cooking space, they worked around the hot water cylinder and just made it fit. I did change basics like door and cupboard handles and the knobs on the hob.

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How easy was it to install?

It was installed in a day by a Mitre 10 MEGA installer.

How well has it lasted?

Very well. It has a much harder life now, though, than when it was first installed five years ago.

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Pros of your kitchen design and layout?

For a small and compact kitchen it works well, although the food preparation areas are not huge.

Cons of your kitchen design and layout?

I can’t really complain, although I have had problems with the oven door hinges which apparently cannot be replaced.


  • Paint  $1000
  • Cabinetry  $2500
  • Tiles (leftovers from someone else’s job) $25
  • Splashback  $600
  • Double oven, rangehood and electric hob  $3000
  • Tradies $2900


Fact File: Kitset kitchen and appliances – Mitre 10 MEGA. Walls and window frames painted in – Resene ‘Black White’. Cabinetry colour – Resene ‘Sea Fog’.

Words by: Annick Larkin. Photography by: Emma MacDonald.