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Do you really need to replace everything?

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Old appliances Vs new appliances.

Do you really need to replace everything?


             This customer chose to update the appliances but kept their existing splashback.



Old appliances can be kept.

But there are considerations that need to be assessed before you decide whether to keep or replace.

  • Expected life span of the appliance. How far through its life cycle is that marvellous oven, enormous fridge, favourite mixer?
  • Energy efficiency; is the appliance a juice guzzler? Does the washing machine use 100s of litres of water per wash? If you use your dryer does the electricity bill skyrocket? Older appliances can have lower levels of insulation, higher energy consumption and noise levels.
  • Functionality, maintenance and cleaning; new appliances often have labour saving functions built into them. Special cleaning/ defrosting cycles, streamlined designs with less nooks and crannies to trap dirt, superior finishes that keep cleaning to a minimum.
  • Aesthetics; new appliances reflect the latest styles and materials. Colour, shapes and styles, (contemporary, retro, country, scandi) are enhanced with appliances that reflect your style.

Assess your appliances and tell your professional which ones you are wishing to keep. Permanently plumbed and wired appliances will have additional moving costs. This also needs to be taken into consideration.

If you have an appliance that you wish to replace at a later date ask for that to be designed into the project. Good planning will make adjustments easier later on.


(These customers retained their existing appliances and had cupboards made to suit.)


Flooring needs to be assessed in the same way.

The decision to replace flooring is usually dependant on wear, aesthetics and volume.

How badly worn is the floor? Are there trip hazards/ small but awkward changes in levels? Does it extend into the adjacent rooms?

Can you live with that colour/ style? One person’s heavily patterned floor is another person’s heavy-hearted nightmare.


(These flooring in these kitchens was not changed.  The customers chose to use their existing foot print in the renovation)


Lighting has traditionally been one of the last considerations in a design.

Unless the lighting is very poor most people do not consider this a priority area.

Advances in lighting mean that task areas can now be superbly lit, energy consumption drastically reduced and maintenance almost eliminated. No more bugs stuck to the florescent tubes.


Layout, Design, Style.

While we all have preferences for style and colour we often fall into a habit of using a space just as it is.

Someone unfamiliar with a space will see it in a completely different way. Keep an open mind to the questions and suggestions put forward to you.

Where do you start & finish

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Where do you start & finish?

Budget, time and space seem to be the common limiters for projects.

Budget nearly always comes first; few of us have such a limitless budget we can have anything we desire.

Time is often the next big consideration.

Then Space appears as the head ache that worries everyone.

These are all regular worries and your professional is used to dealing with them.

There are so many really good kitchen products on the market these days that an attractive, functional option is available for every budget. Colour, texture and performance are available at all budget levels, and your professional will be able to show you the options. Certain styles, designs or materials may only be available at higher price points. Imitations of these products are often disappointing. This is where a professional will assist in the process of deciding how to shrink / expand your budget: by providing realistic choices and reliable advice.

Time frames can be estimated by all professionals. Most will advise against rushing as this usually leads to compromise. Where time lines are unrealistic consider doing the project in stages. This option maintains the quality of the project and your sanity.

Spatial planning is where your professional will really shine. They know their product tolerances.  Work zone requirements, how you like to cook, clean and live helps them to plan these areas to truly meet your needs.



Who are the Professionals

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Who Do You Contact? Who are the professionals?

 What are their roles?

  • Architect

Designs the over-all concept of a project. Commonly concentrates on the building fabric and finishes, spatial sizes and interaction between these spaces. Sometimes designs a project completely through to door knobs & furnishings.

  • Interior Designer

Designs the lay-out and facility placement with-in the spaces provided by the architect. They consult with the architect to ensure that the vision of the project is maintained. (air-con ducts, wiring plans, plumbing plans etc.)

  • Interior decorator

Colours, furniture, furnishings and their placement, textures, light levels and how they can be balanced. Brings your personality to the project.

  • Project Manager

Ordering and supply of materials. Co-ordination of trades. Maintaining time-line to meet completion dates and budget.

  • Prime Contractor (usually builder)

The contractor who is responsible for the bulk of the build.

  • Sub-Contractors

Specialized trades that are responsible for sections of the build.


Which one will be best for you?

Like all things in life there are many roads to the destination of a finished project.

The size and complexity of a project will often determine which professional you approach to oversee your project. For many of us it is as simple as visiting a friend or family member and liking their project that decides us that this is someone you can trust and would like to work with.

Trust is a major factor in the project’s journey. You must feel confident and happy with how your project will be handled. Book a preliminary meeting, a have a good chat, then check the credentials of your chosen professionals with their industry bodies/ associations. If you still have doubts, contact another in the same profession and see how you feel then.

Whoever you contact first, most professionals have a network of other professionals to suggest if your project needs more specialized input than they can provide.

The Decision

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The Decision.

To me the idea of renovation is daunting and I’m married to a builder.

For most of us the thought of a whole new room is lovely. The TV renovation shows make it look easy. They stress over paint colours and appliance finishes, demolish vast areas of a building and rebuild them. Move a door here, add a window there, and loose as many internal walls as possible.

The owners very wisely never see this. They come back for the “surprise” at the end.

The reality for all of us not on a “make over” show is very different; it often takes an event to spur us into action.

Once the decision to begin is made “everything” starts.

Decisions come thick and fast.

Who do you contact?

Where do you start and finish?

What do you really want?

Is this the right thing to be doing now?  How much should be spent?

This is the time to contact a professional.


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Once upon-a-time, long, long ago, my kitchen was beautiful.

– – – – – – – – – –

She had framed & beaded Tassie Oak doors set into Tassie Oak framing with little brass butt hinges at the sides.

A pumpkin coloured laminate bench-top with solid timber edge routed over so no dirt or crumbs would collect at the edge.

The oven was wall mounted, and the hot plates solid. Each were white enamel and built to last almost a lifetime. There was nothing “digital” about them. The knobs were solid metal, clock mechanical analogue and everything heated-up slowly.

I had specified it all perfectly; almost.

My professional and I had done our work well.

Over the years I discovered little “disappointments” here and there.

The rubbish tended to flow over the little 1.5ltr. bench-top bin after every meal prep.

The oven trays & cooling racks fell all over their cupboard when ever they felt like it.

The under-sink cupboard was never to be opened in front of people and the pull-out rangehood kept hitting my head when I looked in the pots.

– – – – – – – – –

Once upon-a-time my professional was “just a builder”. Now he’s a kitchen manufacturer. He often tells me what he could do for me with my old kitchen.

But where would I start?

31 years on I am still in love with my beautiful kitchen.

Although, he has been doing some work lately that I really fancy, and they have so many ingenious cooks aids now.

Corner drawers, mixer lifts, compost and waste bins that fit inside cupboards. Induction cook-tops that heat-up in a flash. Special racks to hold trays, spices and oils. All those little disappoints could be made to vanish.






Checklist for Planning a Kitchen

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Checklist for Planning a Kitchen


The number of persons and your family’s lifestyle affect the layout and fittings of your kitchen. The following questions are to help you and your designer plan your new kitchen.

  • How many persons are living in your household?
  • Do you like to be with your extended family at home?
  • Do you like to cook for friends, neighbors and others?
  • Are there special styles / types of cooking you wish to do? (Preserving, brewing, bread making, cake decorating etc.)
  • Does your family cook together? How many people could be working in your kitchen at once?
  • Do you have someone help with the cooking? Regularly, only for events?
  • Do you feed your pets in your kitchen?


The features of your kitchen should be based on the person using the kitchen the most. This also applies to the height of the worktops, appliances, sinks and storage.

  • How tall is the person who works in the kitchen most?
  • The efficient arrangement of the stove and sink depends on whether this person is left-handed or right-handed.
  • When working in the kitchen do you also:

Listen to music?  Supervise children playing/ doing homework? Use the internet? Watch the TV?


Planning your new kitchen should take the other rooms around your kitchen, and how you use them into consideration.

  • What is your house like?
  • Is it an older style with separate rooms or an open plan, performing multiple tasks?
  • Does it have design features you wish to retain or enhance?
  • Where does your family mostly eat, dining room, kitchen, other?
  • Would you prefer a breakfast bar, table, built in banquette or a separate dining area in your kitchen?
  • Where do you mostly entertain?
  • How will your kitchen function when entertaining: as a primary work zone, prep zone only, part of the circulation space?


Your kitchen’s cabinetry needs are determined by what you require storage for and how regularly these items will be used.

  • What kind of food do you store in your kitchen? Dry goods/ packets, cans/ bottles, spices, vegetables/ fruit, frozen foods, bulk foods of any sort.
  • Will serving dishes, vases, table linens and other table ware be stored in your kitchen?
  • Tableware: how many place settings and how many dinner, coffee/ tea services do you have and how often do you use these items? Do they all need to be stored in the kitchen?
  • Glasses, jugs, carafes, how many and how often are they used? Would you like to display some of your special glass and serving ware?
  • Cutlery(services, serving and carving sets), knife sets and special food prep implements(spatulas, egg flips, slotted spoons etc), do you prefer they are stored in drawers, on hanging rails or utensil pots on the work top.
  • Cake trays & tins, roasting and casserole dishes, sauce pans, fry pans, how many of these items do you have and are any unusual sizes?
  • Spice containers, foils & wraps, kitchen rolls, coffee filters etc can all be stored efficiently with draw dividers to suit. Where & how do you prefer to use these items?
  • Detergents, cleaning agents, cleaning appliances (vacuum, mop, broom etc.), are any or all of these items to be stored in your kitchen?
  • What would you use a free standing island for, serving, preparation, washing up, cooking, nothing at all?
  • Would you use a Butler’s pantry or a walk-in pantry? Which items/ work functions would you perform in these areas?
  • Do you occasionally use your kitchen as an office? Will you require storage for files, computer etc. within your kitchen?
  • Will you be doing the ironing in the kitchen?
  • Is there any other special work that you do in your kitchen? Large appliances ( mixer, boiler etc.)that requires special storage/ work area?


Appliance choices can be bewildering, having an idea of your needs, likes and preferences can narrow the selection choices to more manageable levels. Then space & budget constraints can be considered.

  • Do you BBQ, wok fry, deep fry, traditional fry, boil or slow cook, how often and in what combinations and quantities do you use these cooking methods? Your cook top size and fuel type, gas/ electric (induction, glass ceramic, solid surface) will depend on your personal preference and cooking style.
  • Extraction, the choice of extraction unit will depend on style preference and where you locate your cook top. Not all extractors are overhead there are down draft models available for integration in the bench-top.
  • Baking, roasting, casseroling or just warming up. Microwave, combi oven or steam cooking? Which do you prefer?
  • How large is your fridge/ freezer? Does it have water/ ice dispenser? Do you prefer the integrated look?
  • Coffee maker, plate warmer, wine cooler, these are some of the large appliances you may require.

Lazarou Joinery Process – From Start To Finish

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Lazarou Joinery’s Process (From Start to Finish)


Step 1 – Free Measure & Quote

Lazarou Joinery can come to your home and offer design and material advice, measure and based on these discussions, a free quotation will be supplied.
Alternatively if you are building a new house and already have house or joinery plans we can quote from these, however a showroom appointment is recommended to discuss design options and materials.

Step 2- 3D designs

After a quotation is supplied and you are happy to take the next step, Lazarou Joinery can provide one set of standard 3D images of your “Dream Kitchen”, this service will incur a non-refundable design commencement fee. Revised Quote or images will incur additional fees.
Upon acceptance of the quotation and 3D images the design commencement fee will be deducted off our 20% “Acceptance” invoice.

Step 3 – Specifications & details

Once your 3D design and quotation has been approved we then need to finalize all details including, design, colour, materials, appliances and any other relevant specifications.
At this time, acceptance of quotation and 3D designs will be required and 20% deposit on acceptance will be invoiced.
Appliances sourced through Lazarou Joinery will be invoiced in full and require full payment at time of our 20% invoice.
We then order your appliances so that they are here incase of any delays with supply.
Please note: any significant revisions to quotation and drawings more than 1 x Quotation amendment and 1 x Design alternation may incur additional charges to recover costs.
A showroom appointment may be required at this time.

Step 4 – Check measure

Once your 20% Acceptance deposit has been received and all relevant information from step 3 has been provided, an onsite check measure will be arranged.
A suitable installation date will be discussed and penciled in.

Step 5- Final Sign off

After a check measure has been completed our drawings will be adjusted to reflect any changes or adjustments that may be required.
Once all adjustments have been made you will be supplied with Finalised Quotation, detailed plans, elevations,& 3D’s long with a checklist of confirmed materials, finishes, colours, appliance model numbers and any other relevant items.
An estimated installation date will be advised.

Step 6 – Production

Once you have confirmed all information provided (in the final sign-off package) is correct, production of your kitchen/ joinery can begin.
Our Joinery’s lead time can vary from 3 – 8 Weeks from final sign off to installation, dependent upon inclusions.

Step 7- Site commencement

Our 70% progress invoice is due for payment before installation commences. If this does not occur, your job will have to be rescheduled with an approximate delay of three Weeks, our installations are booked this far ahead in order to run smoothly.
When your installation date arrives,
If arranged, we will be on site to remove your old kitchen and coordinate with the relevant trades involved.
If you don’t require your existing kitchen removal, your new kitchen installation will commence once any services have been moved or renewed.

Step 8 – Installation and completion

Our installation should be a 2-3 day cycle.
If required, once joinery has been installed stone bench tops will be measured and fabricated with installation conducted in the following days.
Electrical and plumbing fit off will follow the installation of the kitchen or joinery
If you require glass splash backs, this will take a further 2 weeks after kitchen installation as we can only measure to fit once the kitchen and bench tops have been installed. This is for accuracy of fit, then the glass is produced and painted & allowed to dry for three days before installation.
Once all finishing touches have been applied we will then hand over your new kitchen.
At this time the balance of the remaining 10%, along with any unforeseen extras will be invoiced.
Final payments are strictly by return mail or EFT.
We look forward to being of service to you in the near future!


Care and Maintenance for Essastone Bench tops

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Essastone adds style, luxury and sophistication to any space.  Offering the enduring appeal of natural quartz, a contemporary selection of colours and a 15 year limited warranty, its guaranteed to leave a lasting impression.

The high content of natural quartz makes Essastone remarkably resilient and virtually maintenance free.  It’s highly stain, scratch and heat resistant.  However no surface can be completely stain, scratch and heat proof.

The following information will allow you to take care and pride in your bench top.


For routine cleaning, use small quantities of non-bleach, non abrasive cleaners together with warm water and a damp sponge or cloth.  Liquid spills including fruits, vegetables, food colouring and curries should be wiped up immediately and cleaned with a mild detergent and water after detection.

Image result for food stains on benchtops


Protective trivets and heat pads must always be used underneath cookware such as pots, pans or dishes when removing them from the oven, cook top or microwave and placing them onto the Essastone bench top.  Prolonged or sudden extreme temperature changes can create thermal shock cracks which is not covered under warranty.  Additional care should be taken around hotplates with over sized pots and pans.  These can over hang the appliance and conduct radiant heat directly onto the surface of the stone causing thermal damage.

Image result for trivets for benchtops                                      Image result for pots and pans on stoves


The use of cutting boards and taking care not to drop heavy items on the bench top with ensure a longer life for your top.  The resilient surface has been designed to withstand normal daily use.  Do not cut directly onto the Essastone surface.  Such scratches from this will not be covered under warranty.


Strong chemicals and cleaners with a high alkaline ph level can cause damage to your Essastone bench top.  Such solvents include paint remover, paint and stain strippers, nail polish removers, concentrated bleach, furniture cleaners, oil soaps, permanent markers, oven cleaners and drain cleaners.  If a strong chemical or solvent was to come in contact with your bench top, rinse immediately with plenty of water then follow your normal cleaning procedures.

Image result for essastone bench tops


If the routine care procedure does not remove the stubborn stains or dried spill/stains, use a non abrasive cleaning pad such as sponge and a glass surface cleaner.  Should such items like chewing gum, nail polish or similar substances adhere to the surface, use a plastic scraper.  Gently scrap off the substance and then follow the routine cleaning of bench top.  Many cream cleansers have found to contain abrasives that may damage the polished surface and there fore are not recommended.

Image result for cleaning of essastone bench tops          Image result for glass cleaners



If the routine procedures do not remove the stubborn or dried spills/stains, then careful use of “Jiff” Cream Cleanser  with micro particles can be used.  The Essastone surface must be wet with water and a small amount of the “Jiff” Cleanser applied with a damp cloth.  Use a light pressure and clean with a swirling motion, keeping the area wet with small amounts of water to allow the fine cleaning particles to gentle remove the stain.  Wash and wipe the surface to remove the cleaning agent and dry with a soft cloth.

For all surface finishes, red wine and other tannin based stains can be removed with a diluted bleach (50:50 mix).  Do not allow the bleach to remain on the surface for longer then a minute.  Wash with water and remove the diluted bleach and dry with a soft cloth.

For all surfaces should paint spots/stains persist after following the procedures above, as a last resort, use a spot of acetone.  However colour change may occur or surface damage resulting from the use of acetone.  This is the very last resort and the use of acetone is not covered under warranty.  Make sure to test a small spot that is not noticeable first before trying on the stained spot.

Image result for essastone benchtop cleaners


Essastone require no sealing or special care products.  As Essastone is made from natural quartz, there maybe some variations in colours and patterns.  Small surface spots and blotches are typical in engineered quartz surfaces.

Image result for essastone bench tops

Kitchen Industry FAQ’s

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What is “Home Building Compensation” and what does it mean?

Formerly known as “Home Warranty Insurance”, HBC is the current scheme to protect homeowners against job in-completion.
In NSW when building or renovating a home, you must have Home Building Compensation (HBC) cover for works over $20,000.00
This cover is the last resort, from non-completion and defects within the statutory warranty period (six years for major defective work; two years for other losses)
HBC claims arise if your Builder or Tradesperson cannot fix or complete the work because they have passed away, disappeared, become insolvent or had their licence suspended.
As of 1st July 2018, your Builder or Tradesperson must disclosure the cost of the HBC cover in their contract with you.
The HBC premium or contributions based on a number of factors including the category of work, builder risk and location.

Image result for Builder

What is the Warranty on new Joinery?

The Statutory Warranty on cabinet products and materials is 7 years; but motion products (hinges, drawers, wire ware) are often backed by lifetime guarantees.

Image result for kitchen hardware                                                          Image result for kitchen hinges

I’m renovating the kitchen and the flooring – what do i do first?

This question entirely depends on the floor covering and the design features in your kitchen.
The best knowledge to impart is that you are contemplating a floating floor in the kitchen – please let your Cabinetmaker know at the outset, that your Cabinetmaker can consult on the best finish for you.  Often the kitchen footprint can used to “trim” the flooring for the floors best effect.


I haven’t made my mind up about Appliances.  What can you tell me?

Appliances are always purchased before the kitchen design is finalised. And yes, that does include the Refrigerator!
The spectrum of appliances available today is dizzying.  Make a shortlist of the appliance packages you are looking at.  Let a knowledgeable cabinetmaker steer you through any decisions involving:

  • Integrated Appliances (Dishwashers, Fridges)
  • Dish Drawers
  • Under bench Fridges
  • Freestanding Ovens
  • Under mount Range hoods
  • Pyrolytic Ovens
  • BBQ’s
  • Water Filtration Packages

Lazarou Joinery keeps detailed designs on many edge-case appliance, because often times these appliances throw the most surprises!
Another way Lazarou’s like to work – we prefer to handle the Appliances as early as possible in the Manufacturing process, and chose to store them in our factory.  Another way we choose to service our customers.


Image result for kitchen appliances                                                          Image result for kitchen appliances


Appliances are on Sale, Do i get them right now? Will that save me money?

Sometimes you will save big by buying your appliances directly and under a sale’s deadline pressure.
If you are early in your Build Process, please resist buying your appliances until the kitchen is about to be commenced – this might not save you as much cash-money as a run out sale (though Appliance retailers have year-round sales events and packages) but will likely save you more money in the event of a warranty claim.

What is *this* material?  What do you think about *that* material?

Great question!  One that we get asked all the time!
Just as a kitchen is part of our lifestyle, people have different expectations about how their furniture should fit their lifestyle.
Lazarou Joinery is all about providing that impeccable finish and we supply beautiful finishes.
However, some people enjoy caring more for their surfaces and other people expect more engineered or durable surfaces.
As befitting the Question – we have a huge showroom – 2 Redfern Street COWRA and knowledgeable Staff attending to nearly every building material under the sun.