How much value does a new kitchen add to your home?
Tuesday, 24th September 2013, Jane Gibson
A new kitchen is the kind of luxury that people take their time over; carefully choosing the layout, colour schemes, built-in gadgets and materials. It needs to be functional, yet beautiful; making the most of the space you have available.
Of course, the other reason homeowners put so much care and effort into their new kitchen is that, if done right, it can add an incredible amount to the value of your home. A kitchen isn’t something that you can change too often and is something that you need to take a long-term view about – that kitchen might one day be someone else’s.
What’s so important about the kitchen?
The kitchen is arguably the most important room in the house and as such, it is the one room which can probably make or break a sale. The vast majority of home hunters don’t want to remodel an outdated kitchen, so it could put plenty of people off.
You’re not thinking about selling your home? It doesn’t matter; the kitchen is the heart of the house and it still warrants good, considered planning. It’s the place in which we are nourished, where we prepare our food, where families interact, where homework is done and where arguments are resolved. It is a multi-use and infinitely important.
How much money can a new kitchen add to your home?
According to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), a new kitchen can add around four per cent to the value of your home. HSBC calculates that as an uplift of £5,000 on average.
However, whether a total revamp offers good return on investment remains a blurry issue. Research carried out by peer-to-peer lending platform, Zopa claims that though a new kitchen can add about £4,750 to the asking price, it can cost in the region of £9,600, generating an ROI of just 49 per cent. So is it really worth adding a whole new kitchen? Or is there an alternative?
In short: yes. There are many ways to freshen up a tired or impractical kitchen without starting completely from scratch.
Change the work surfaces
TV’s home buying guru, Phil Spencer, says that a beautiful work surface should be the number one priority when renovating a kitchen. Adding granite worktops to your kitchen, for example, is an easy change to make, yet it can make the room look entirely new. Choosing a lighter colour can open up the space, while a continuous, cut-to-specification single slab can make the kitchen look sleek, modern and sparkling clean.
Treat yourself to some new appliances
Old appliances have the effect of bringing the entire kitchen down, looking tired and outdated. They give a bad impression and could turn those potential buyers off, so replace them. You don't necessarily have to spend lots of money and get the most expensive products on the market, just select appliances that look modern. A popular choice is to go for stainless steel appliances, as they look new, are easy to maintain and will attract a buyer's attention. Another trick is to install (or temporarily borrow) fancy gadgets, such as a KitchenAid mixer – these little touches all add to the aesthetic appeal of the room.
Open the door to new cabinets
You’ve seen it yourself: if kitchen cabinets look old fashioned, then the whole kitchen seems outdated. Hence cabinets are among the number one features to change.
The great thing about changing kitchen cabinets is that you can probably get away with simply replacing the doors, as the rest of the structure will in all likelihood still be sound and therefore won’t need to be ripped out.
Alternatively, if you’re looking for an economical and quick fix, it’s possible to sand down and repaint the doors, finishing them as you like. Even just swapping the handles for more modern ones can make a surprisingly big difference.
Colour me beautiful
Another quick way to bring the kitchen back to life is to paint the walls. Peel off that 90s border and slap some magnolia over the brickwork. It may sound boring, but if you want to attract buyers, then the rule of thumb is ‘the simpler, the better’. Light shades, again, create the illusion of space and cleanliness. You can add bolder touches with accessories – bright vases, lampshades, artwork and anything else that is potentially removable.
There’s no denying that a brand new kitchen will add value to your home, but whether the upheaval, stress and outlay is worth it remains open to debate. If your kitchen really is in dire need of a revamp, then budget carefully and get advice from the experts. Otherwise, it might just be that a few cosmetic changes could add sufficient value to your home without you needing to dig too deeply into your pocket.