The kitchen is a key room in any house. It is the ‘heart’ and working hub of the house, more than just a place to prepare food and clean dishes. A well designed, fitted and laid out kitchen can really make a house a home, make potential buyers more interested in buying, and generally make your quality of life better.
If you are thinking of financing a kitchen renovation than there are factors that you need to keep in mind; are you doing the renovations for yourself, or are you thinking of selling in the next few years?
This small, but significant question, can help you plan the renovation accordingly, and make sure that you keep in mind the end-user at each step of the renovation.
All of the suggestions below differ from property to property, for example, you might want a gourmet kitchen if you live in an area where it is expected, but if it makes your property the most expensive on the street then it should be avoided.
Something that you might love and use all the time, like that 140cm, £7,400 range that has 8 cookers and two ovens might be great for your current kitchen needs, but if you assume that the money spent will be recouped when you come to sell the house than you might be in for a surprise.
Just because it has cost you a certain amount to purchase and install, does not automatically mean that a potential buyer, unless you find someone with similar wants and needs, will see that as worth paying the extra amount for a purchase.
You also need to make sure that the style that you chooses fits in with the rest of the house. If you have a quaint semi-detached house, and then have installed industrial sized appliances that dominate the living space, then you run the risk of ruining the spirit of the house.
One of the cheapest and best return on investment you can do to a kitchen is update the colour scheme in neutral, but modern colours. Painting and sprucing up the counters, and cabinet doors is an easy way to update the kitchen without investing in a whole new kitchen set.
Purchasing energy efficient appliances will reduce your energy bills, and also reduce your impact on the environment. Although appliances are not included in your properties energy efficiency rating, it is good for potential tenants, and yourself, to show that bills will be reduced and therefore decrease the overall cost of maintaining the property.
Whether you own a detached terrace house, or a one bedroom ground floor, the design of the house will have a style. That’s not to say that you should keep the original linoleum flooring and harsh lighting, but keep in mind what potential buyers will expect to see when they walk in to the space. They might be expecting a top of the range kitchen if the house warrants it, but then again, it might be completely out of place. It is up to you and your discretion and taste to decide what would go well in the area.
There is always something different and new coming out in the kitchen world, and it’s good to keep track. What you might have read online could be 6 months old, and lots can change in 6 months. What you thought was out of your price range could now be on an end-of-season sale where you can pick up a bargain and get your dream kitchen at a price that won’t mean mortgaging the house 3 times!
That’s not to say that you can’t extend them, or move them around slightly, but if the sink, washing machine and oven are in a specific place in the kitchen, try your hardest to keep them there in your new plans. It is costly and very time consuming to move water and gas pipes around in a kitchen, and so keeping them where they are is your best bet for a smooth remodel.
I know we’ve covered this a number of times on this website, but costing and budgeting are two of the most important things to keep in mind when starting on a new project. And not just keeping track of finances, but being realistic about how much something will cost. Also make sure that you know your road and how much a new kitchen will really benefit you if it comes time to sell.
Before you decide to spend thousands on new cabinets frames, look at the quality of the doors and drawers on the existing cabinets and see if they can be refurbished. The three most common ways of salvaging old cabinets are to paint the front, laminate the fronts and sides or adding new door and drawer fronts. Painting them can be very difficult, it is much better to get a professional in who can sand them down and spray paint them for you.
If you do have the budget and willingness to move appliances around, make sure to keep the triangle of appliances in mind. Keeping the sink, stove and refrigerator in an easy to access triangle means that the flow of the kitchen can be maximised. The other thing to keep in mind is putting the dish washer next to the sink. You don’t want to save a bit of money and then endlessly have to clean up water from the floor from dishes being moved from the sink to the dishwasher!
Get the best possible tap you can afford – the difference between an average one and a good one is £50-£75 and can make a huge difference. Make sure to match all fixtures in the kitchen, otherwise it can look mismatched and random.
When buying appliances make sure that they match. It used to be very difficult to find matching appliance sets without taking out a huge loan, but these days most manufacturers create lower cost sets that can bring the whole space together!
Handles and knobs are the cornerstone of a new kitchen, don’t cut corners when it comes to them. They can pull a whole space together and accent the architectural features of your house. Also be sure to remove any painted over hinges with shiny new ones, a small detail, but it doesn’t take long and adds significantly to the feel of the kitchen.