A custom outdoor kitchen in Cranbourne North, Melbourne

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Smart project management triumphed during this Melbourne renovation to deliver a fantastic outdoor entertaining area.

Before After
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Getting started

An avid entertainer, homeowner Silas wanted to utilise his existing verandah to create a functional outdoor kitchen space so he could host more parties for family and friends. Silas’ property boasted ample space for the vision he had but, despite being covered, the verandah was still very much exposed to the elements making it difficult for Silas to cook comfortably.
Silas was intimidated by the process and unsure of how to move forward: 
“When we started planning for our outdoor kitchen, it felt almost impossible. Lots of planning and permits were required. We reached out to Leigh at Refresh Renovations and he put us at ease.”
Leigh visited Silas’ Cranbourne North property to answer his questions and learn more about what Silas wanted to achieve with his outdoor space. 

Refining the scope

Having never discussed his project with a professional before, Silas was unsure of the costing and feasibility of what he wanted to achieve. Renovation Consultant Leigh worked closely with Silas to define the scope of his project to return an accurate estimate. 
Silas and Leigh planned for the kitchen to border the property boundary and, since Silas’ home is in thickly-settled Cranbourne North, Leigh anticipated a significant permitting process and strict requirements to meet fire regulations. 
Leigh outlined the plans with Silas’ neighbour who was initially on board but, after some consideration, then refused. While this was inconvenient, Leigh offered a solution that would please both parties. 
Once the plans were finalised, Leigh discussed the cost with Silas. The $33,000 estimate was more than Silas wanted to spend but he considered the present climate — the project was during the height of COVID — and decided he was happy to move forward, knowing  Leigh’s comprehensive project management was invaluable. 

In capable hands

Leigh worked diligently to prepare the site for the build but was at the mercy of the notoriously tedious permitting process. Once everything was in order, they were good to go. Unfortunately, Leigh’s carpenter had a health emergency the day they were due to commence the build but, thanks to Leigh’s extended network of skilled industry professionals, a trusted substitute was found so the project could progress as planned.
In addition to carpentry, Leigh coordinated an exhaustive team of contractors to address each aspect of the outdoor kitchen which included plastering, plumbing, electrical, painting, cabinetry, stonemasonry, and general labour. Working to accommodate COVID restrictions was a challenge but with Leigh at the helm, Silas knew he didn’t have to worry about a thing. 
“Leigh did all the hard work while we sat back and relaxed when our dream kitchen was being constructed.”

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Ready for guests

Despite the challenges during construction, Leigh delivered a fantastic outdoor kitchen for Silas to enjoy. There’s plenty of space for guests to mix and mingle and ample opportunities for Silas to create different seating arrangements and designated entertainment areas. The concrete-look flooring is easy to maintain as the oversized tiles require less grout and are therefore easier to clean. With multiple entry points, the alfresco patio flows effortlessly between the indoors and outdoors. Leigh is proud of his team and the results but more importantly, so is Silas.  

A rave review

From start to finish, the project took about seven weeks to complete. Nearly half of that time was due to COVID restrictions, leaving only about four weeks of active construction. The cost rang true to Leigh’s initial estimate of $33,897. Silas is thrilled, not only with the results of his renovation but his stress-free renovation experience. He praises Leigh and the team saying: 
“The communication was great. From start to end we were kept well informed. Leigh was very accommodating of our ever-changing design ideas. All the workmen were very professional and trustworthy. They enjoyed what they did. The quality of the work is outstanding and the kitchen looks amazing. Thank you, Leigh and team. Keep up the good work and all the very best for future projects.”

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This project was completed in
March 2023
Project description
An outdoor kitchen renovation
Project duration
4 active weeks, 7 weeks total including COVID delays
Cost estimate
Actual cost
COVID restrictions and meeting regulations
Interesting aspects
A smart indoor kitchen design translated outdoors
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Leigh McDonald is Renovation Consultant of 27 MAC Pty Ltd, a franchisee of Renovation Franchise , doing business in Melbourne

Actual costs vary by project. Plan ahead to reduce the impact of industry changes or disruptions. For more information see here.

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