Standard Metricon kitchen – what does it look like?

Kitchens are by far the most read part of this blog. And I’ve had a few offline questions about this very important room!

So lets indulge a little more. How do you decide to design your kitchen? What comes as standard?

standard kitchen

island standard

Firstly, none of the amazing images you see from the M marketing team, or on any blog for that matter, are standard kitchens.

The standard kitchen is very basic. The designs or schematics above show you the cut n paste that comes as part of your draft plans.

Depending on the house you choose, there will already be a base-line kitchen configuration. This just a starting point. You can pretty much do what you want within the existing walls.

As a rough guide, the M team work on a provisional sum of around $6,000 on top of the base price for the generic kitchen upgrades that most people consider.

One of your appointments – cabinetry – is your chance to work with a kitchen design guru who will help you get the most out of the space.

You are not alone. You get some very custom work at this point. Just be careful to keep in mind that cabinets – as great as they are – can get quite expensive quite quickly.

The fridge cavity also came as standard in our design, so we left that alone. All we did was upsize the size of the cavity to fit a larger fridge if needed (we added 50 cm to the height and width)

Our base kitchen came with an L shaped kitchen, but that didn’t suit the way we wanted to use the space so we removed the L and replaced it with a large floating island bench.  We chose the largest island possible for our space, within the constraints of a single cut stone (no joins) and the maximum allowed overhang for stools and ease of sitting.

We put overhang on two sides so there will be plenty of seating room should the bench become a poker den or a mass tomato sauce up party or pasta making party.

Our package did not include a splashback, so we went with a feature window. We did add some feature tiling to the areas around the window for some added detail. A number of packages include a glass/tiled splashback.

Also the base kitchen configuration – for us – was a little cramped and the drawers and cupboard were a little small and not overly usable. So we pretty much custom designed each cupboard and drawer (oversized).

The benchtop standard was a very limited laminate range of category one. I’d be surprised if anyone finds too much in that list that is okay. The good colours – and range – really kick in at category 2.

After much debate, we decided to go for a feature piece of stone at 50mm. We cheated on the stove/sink side and only used a 20mm piece of stone. In the butler’s pantry, we cheated even more with a laminate that is the identical colour of the stone (but hidden away and hard to tell it is).

The big decision is trying to work our where your hot workspace, water and cold workspaces will be. We decided to have the sink and stove off the island so we have a large clean bit of real estate to work with.

Cabinet choices:

  • Laminates (standard or upgrade)
  • 2pack
  • Vinyl wrap

Benchtop choices:

  • Laminate
  • Wood
  • Diamond gloss
  • Stone
  • granite

Cabinet kickers

  • I’m not sure these are a standard. We went with a slightly more expensive kicker that gives the impression that the kitchen bench is floating.

Appliances as standard

  • Canopy exhaust (we upgraded)
  • Stove with built in oven (we upgraded)

Other items as standard that we were happy to accept:

  • Tap
  • Sink
  • handles


Windows to the world 

I’ve been asked a few times about windows and how much the volume builders will let you customise. The good news is that we were allowed to add as many windows as we wanted. The cost for an extra window was very reasonable, ranging from $300 to $800 for the kitchen splash back.

2014-03-18 17.01.25

  • We added a window to the kitchen as a splash back. Can’t wait for this very popular feature in our own kitchen. We changed a few windows from overlooking a neighbour to the rear of the property  – no frosting required.
  • We added a window to our walk in robe (small) in the chance that we might steal some sea views (we can!)
  • We added three smaller windows to our facade as we felt a large window was too severe and not private enough given that is where you get dressed
  • We swapped out and centred a window with a sliding door for access to our future rear deck.
  • We added a larger widow to the bathroom and aligned the window with the bath so we can watch the moon!
  • We added another widow to the study to capture more north light
  • We looked at double glazing but the cost – in this case – didn’t really have a reasonable pay off for us.  We’ll look at a pergola for the rear and think curtains to keep the heat in during winter.

I’ll have a standard house, thanks

Sorry, but the standard house kind of doesn’t exist. The standard house is not what you could live in.

From the base price you need to add site fees (ours were $45,000) and around $50,000 minimum to put things in it.  You see, the base price doesn’t include floors, as a starter. Nor does it include very much cabinetry.  It would be a hollow shell of a kitchen.  Then the base laminates it comes with are perhaps not the ones that you’ve seen in homemaker magazines – think cardboard laminates, not a dream kitchen.

The base facades can also be a bit too much brick for our taste. The really nice facades are generally going to cost you another $7k – 30k.

We upgraded the following:

  • Added sarking to the roof
  • Upgraded ceiling heights
  • Upgraded category 2 carpets
  • Upgraded internal door quality
  • Upgraded entrance door and lock
  • Upgraded all windows and sliding doors to category 3 for durability and wear
  • Upgraded heating and cooling
  • Upgraded underlay for carpet
  • Upgraded garage roller door with remote
  • Upgraded skirting boards
  • Upgraded tiling floor to ceiling
  • Upgraded electrical (pretty much everything)

Then there are the added extras to actually live in the house and surrounds

  • Curtains and blinds $15,000 – $30,000
  • Driveway $5,000 – $10,000
  • Crossover rectification/ footpath repair $2500 – $7500
  • Front fence $8,000 – $15,000
  • Landscaping $7,000 – $25,000
  • Clothes line $300 – $1000
  • Letter box $45 – $250
  • Front path $1000 – $5000

 What did you upgrade? What did you not? Any regrets? 

Metricon Mods and Pimping

A lot of people say volume builder designs are very structured and you can’t do too much to them.

This isn’t quite true. We did a quite a few mods to our house. Granted, these mods aren’t a complete remake of the layout, but some were pretty major.

Mods we made:

  • Moved windows
  • Changed window heights
  • Added windows
  • Added to ceiling heights, door heights
  • Removed walls
  • Added walls
  • Added sliding doors
  • Changed our façade windows (sneaky, we know)
  • Added a bath to the ensuite
  • Added extra width to the lounge room
  • Added a firebox
  • Added larger island bench
  • Added extra ovens to the kitchen
  • Added doors

What mods did you make? Did you feel you could make the house your own?