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How much to spend and what do you get for your budget?

When it comes to spending money on a kitchen, it is easy to get carried away! A kitchen forms the heart of the home. It is the place where families regularly come together. Not only immediate family, but a wider circle of friends and extended family have found their way into the inner sanctum in recent years to eat, socialise and relax as the popularity of open plan living has grown.

The kitchen is the hardest working room in the house and when selling a property, a practical working space that is stylish and spacious is top of every prospective buyer’s agenda. There is no doubt that it is an important room to get right, but just how much should be spent on it and what do you get for your budget?

If planning to move within the next couple of years, think like a property developer – spend around one per cent of the estimated property value at the lower end of the market rising to no more than 2 per cent at the upper end – if hoping to recoup your money when you sell. If your kitchen renovation is for the longer-term benefit, you will have a different set of priorities such as quality of life, enjoyment of your home, which will influence the investment you are prepared to make.

Inexpensive Refreshers

When a kitchen looks jaded, check if the units are still in reasonable condition. If this is the case, the cheapest option is to keep the units and focus on updating handles, worktop, flooring, install a splashback etc. If the carcasses are fine, but the doors are tired, paint them with a wood or melamine primer then apply a water-based Quick Dry Satinwood paint. Alternatively, fit new doors to existing units – standard sizes are readily available from DIY stores.

A new worktop may be enough to revitalise existing units or perhaps the kitchen can be improved by installing some inexpensive lighting. Good lighting is key in a kitchen and well-placed halogen spots angled over the worktop, sink and other key areas can make a significant difference.

Mid-price Refit

If deciding upon a refit, speak to some experts before you begin. Many kitchen showrooms offer a free planning and consultation service that will provide ideas as well as a rough costing. Cream or white units are good sellers and light-coloured woods such as beech and oak are popular and a safe bet. Colour can always be added through flooring, work tops and accessories. Look for low-maintenance finishes like laminate. Steel or glass look great but need more upkeep.

Buyers are often impressed by appliances – so consider the balance of spend between cookers, fridge freezers, dishwashers etc and the refit. Finally, remember to budget for the cost of the actual fitting of the kitchen – this can often be the same as the cost of the units unless you’re prepared to fit them yourselves.

Investment Kitchen

The sky is the limit if you want to create your dream kitchen! Luxury kitchens improve saleability and usually, but not always, add value.

When it comes to choosing units, avoid those with overly fussy details which can alienate future buyers - sleek, understated units are preferred. Hand-built bespoke units are top end in terms of a long-term investment. Design a more sociable environment by opting for a L-shaped layout or island unit where the family or friends can congregate. Choose premium branded appliances such as Neff and Smeg for a luxury look and include extras such as a wine cooler, the latest coffee machine and an instant hot water tap. When it comes to an investment kitchen, the list really can go on and on and on ……..

24th Jun 2020