Pros and Cons of Flat-pack Kitchens

With flat-pack kitchens doing a booming trade across Australia, many homeowners are considering them as a cost-effective alternative to a custom-built kitchen. While they are an increasingly popular option for owner-builders and DIY’ers we generally do not recommend them. We’ll discuss why at the end of this article. 

For now, we have taken the time to fully evaluate the pros and cons of flat-pack kitchens. If you are looking to renovate and have found yourself wondering whether they are worth it, then the answers are here. 

In fact, this topic – and many more common renovation questions and decisions – are covered in detail in our book Nail Your Renovation without getting Screwed, available online at Booktopia. 


  • The biggest drawcard for flat-packs is the affordable price 
  • Great for the capable homeowner who wants the satisfaction of DIY 
  • Professional Installation services – for an additional fee – are available if you don’t want to install yourself 
  • Designed by industry professionals so take advantage of the latest ideas and trends 
  • You can achieve a high-end look at a budget price 
  • Usually include great bells and whistles such as soft-closing drawers and nifty cupboard/drawer inserts that you didn’t know you needed! 
  • Design and visualise your kitchen using free 3D online software for kitchen design 


  • Pre-fabricated sizes will not always fit in perfectly to your floor-plan – this can create awkward gaps or a small bench than you planned 
  • Limited range of choices in styles and colour as compared to custom 
  • You will still need to coordinate a plumber and electrician so it is not really a case of ‘unpack and you are done’ 
  • Custom bench heights (for small or tall people) may not be possible 
  • Bench-top selections and sizes are limited and you may want to engage a separate company for this component 
  • Lack of personalised design to meet your needs 
  • Professional installers of flat-packs are very busy so you may have to wait a while before your kitchen is installed
  • If your flat-pack is poorly installed it will devalue your home (bad DIY can be really bad!) e.g. imagine a kitchen with cupboard doors that are not square or don’t close neatly, this could be a disappointing outcome 
  • Stress! Installing a flat-pack can be stressful, especially if you encounter any problems 

So what do we recommend? If you are looking to ‘flip a home’ or to ‘renovate to rent’…in other words looking for a short-term, quick fix, then a flat-pack may be the way to go. But, if you are looking to add value to your home and want a long-term, quality solution, a custom designed and installed kitchen is the way to go.  

In particular, you will be able to make the most of your space by customising the cabinets to fit, instead of being left with an awkward gap or smaller breakfast bar because you had to make-do with standard measurements that didn’t quite fit into your floorplan.