Welcome to the first installment of our Aussie Cut Q&A series. Renovating can be tough so in this article we are giving you access inside the mind of our very own sales and site manager – Brent Julian!
With a whopping 18 years experience in the cabinet making business, Brent is a reliable source for industry advice. In this interview we’re getting all the exclusive tips and tricks on starting a project, recommendations for flat pack kitchens, how to avoid renovation mishaps and more.
Let’s get into it.
How long have you been in the industry for?
I have been in the industry for 18 years, starting as a junior working in custom furniture. In this role I learnt a lot about the intricate detail of fine furniture manufacturing. Understanding the process of starting a project from raw timber slabs then turning them into an array of different applications such as custom entertainment units, tables, desks etc.
From there I was a long-term employee at a boutique kitchen shop. This is where I really learnt my trade. When I started it was more hands on than it is these days as all kitchens started from scratch without the more modern way with CNC machines that are all computer driven. All workouts were manually done and manufacturing was cut and drilled by hand.
I started at Aussie Cut some 6 years ago in the factory, learning the operations of company. Using day in and day out precise CNC machines to produce custom cabinetry. Then I had an opportunity to move to an office role in sales and programming. So far being in this role for 4+ years. This has put my factory background to good use completing plans and programming of cabinetry that follows on to the factory for manufacturing.
What is the one most important thing you think clients should know about starting a renovation?
Renovating a kitchen is one of the biggest projects you can do in your home. So, my main advice would be to take your time, this is not a room you want to rush through. Making the right decisions can be important not only for yourself in getting what you want but also resale ability may need to be thought about in some cases. This room is not just finalizing the kitchen itself but also you will need pretty much every other trade to complete the project. Some forethought will be required to see what can change and what has to stay the same in regards to moving services (plumbing/electrical), sometimes even moving walls to open up spaces.
So – take the time and plan ahead.
What is your biggest recommendation for potential clients looking for a flat pack kitchen?
Starting a kitchen renovation can be overwhelming in regards the world of colours and options to choose from. I would recommend to people to get a clear picture on what it is they want to achieve to suit their budget. Look at photo galleries to see what is available and what style catches your eye. But also keep an open mind to suggestions, these could come family, friends or one of your trades. At some point most people have gone through it before and you may only get one idea from them but it may be the idea that changes the whole project.
Tell us about one of your favourite projects that you have worked on.
Over my career I have built and installed a heap of kitchens anywhere from budget to high end. You always remember those few that had something special about them but it is hard to pin point one. Working in sales at Aussie Cut has know changed my focus, as its not the style or level of kitchen that I remember. The ones that stick with me know are the clients that come back and say how happy they are with the work we have done to complete their cabinetry. Whether that being just a few doors we supplied for a re-face or a whole kitchen.
What is the biggest project mishap you have seen and how can it be avoided?
Unfortunately, no one is perfect, there will always be the chance mistakes are made. These mistakes or mishaps can be anyone’s fault from the client or due to an array of trades required.
All anyone can do is limit the chance for mistakes. Personally, dealing with kitchens all the time I know most of the questions and information required to limit risk and get kitchens done smoothly.
Same goes for most professional trades. The old “learn from your mistakes”. Being that they have either made the mistake themselves or seen it happen before.
This is where it is important to take advice from people that have experience (not necessarily a trade) in renovating kitchens as they have background knowledge in what the does and don’ts are.
At the end of the day with building in any aspects, mistakes can be rectified.
So there you have it – when renovating your kitchen take your time, find a style to suit your budget, keep an open mind to suggestions and start thinking about trades early. Thanks for your time Brent, I’m sure this information will prove very useful for some DIYers reading.