How Much Value Does A New Kitchen Add To Your Home?
Property values have risen so fast over the last ten years. According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), house prices have more than doubled in some areas and have on average increased by 73%. With so many homes now worth so much money, doing anything to increase their value still further has to be worth thinking about.
Property experts agree that a new kitchen can add in the region of 10% to 12% to home values. For anyone keen to get the best price for their home, the kitchen is the room to focus on.
How does a kitchen add value to my house?
The way we live today puts the kitchen front and centre of the home. It’s no longer the out of sight, out of mind backroom for cooking, household chores and storage. It’s now the space where we also socialise with family and friends, where we eat, drink, chat and where we work on our laptops. A well-designed kitchen/diner is now on every home buyer’s wish list, with plenty of open space, eating and sitting areas.
The value of a kitchen ultimately depends on what potential buyers want. It’ll up the price of your home, and most likely help it to sell more quickly. This is, after all, the age of the live-in kitchen. As TV property expert Phil Spencer is on record as saying that the kitchen has ‘now become the showpiece area of the home. We don’t just cook in it, we do homework in it, we watch television in it and hold dinner parties there.’
How much should I spend on a new kitchen?
Let’s not forget that new kitchen costs can be high – scarily high if you opt for top-end materials and equipment. If you’re knocking down walls, or adding more square feet, you might be looking at bills in the high tens of thousands or even more. If you’re more modest in your aims, you can achieve a lot for £10,000 to £20,000. And if you’re opting for refurbishment, you could be looking at a lot less.
So how do you decide how much to spend? If you’re working on a purely financial basis and aiming for a sale in the near future, you shouldn’t spend more than 10% of the value of your home. If you push that number, you’ll be breaking even at best. Naturally enough, you’ll be adding more value if you start with a tatty old kitchen, but even so, you need to be realistic about the price your home could achieve.
But if you’re planning to spend say, 5 years or more in your home, the 10% figure becomes less relevant. You’re spending to get the kitchen that you’ll enjoy with your heart and soul, and that’s not a purely financial consideration. How do you put a price on your quality of life? If you’re future-proofing your updated kitchen for longer, even into old age, money spent now may well be prudent, even of you don’t match your costs with a short-term rise in value.
The key questions to be clear about are:
- How much can you afford to spend?
- How long are going to stay in your home?
If you have the money, and if you’re planning on putting down roots for a long time, your investment in a kitchen is going to deliver on making you happier. Maybe it’s time to start drawing up plans!
Calculating the ROI of a kitchen renovation
Let’s quickly go back to the purely financial considerations of a new or renovated kitchen. Businesses always look at the return on investment (ROI) of projects. The calculation is simple enough:
- Take the increase in value of your home
- Subtract the full cost of the work
- Divide the result by the costs
- Multiply by 100 to give the ROI percentage.
If you added £30,000 to the value of your home, and spent £20,000 on your kitchen, your ROI would be a healthy 50%. Breakeven ROI would be 0%, and making a loss would be reflected in a negative percentage.
The actual ROI will depend on the market price for your home when you come to sell. Even so, working through RPI calculation with sensible assumptions will give you a clear idea of how much, or how little, you stand to gain financially.
What do home buyers look for in kitchens?
The kitchen has to be easy to clean and maintain. Stain resistant surfaces, wipe clean cabinet fronts and solid, easily washed floors are all winners with homebuyers.
The style that pleases you. Modern trends are for clean, uncluttered surfaces and plainer matching cabinets and neat appliances.
How do your family and your guests pass through the kitchen, whether it’s grabbing a drink from the fridge or sitting down to eat.
Fit for your lifestyle
Family life is usually a combination of getting everyone together for a family meal, as well as everyone doing their own thing at different times. Kitchens need to work as flexible efficient spaces for the way you live.
Openings onto gardens
Connecting indoors and outdoors is a major priority for homeowners. Big bi-folds, or sliding doors bring your garden closer, which is great for the views you can enjoy, for lots of lovely light, and for keeping an eye on younger children while they’re playing out of doors.
You need enough cupboard space for crockery, pans and kitchen equipment to be easily stowed away out of sight. The same goes for food, from family-sized packs of cereals to all the jars, tins and packets we bring home from the supermarket.
Popular trends right now
Design trends are always a hot topic for anyone planning a kitchen project. Our work with kitchen designers and homeowners keeps us close to what people are looking for and for what’s on trend. Here’s a quick summary.
Kitchen designs based on calm colours is definitely what people are looking for. There’s influence from Scandi design, but also a growing appetite in our hectic world for making the home an oasis of calm. Neutrals, including cashmere but also blues and greens in light and deeper shades. Wood or wood-effect flooring are a further part of the calm, naturalistic trend.
Kitchen islands are now right at the heart of kitchen layouts. They are a way of using existing space efficiently, and can be used for food prep and hobs, with the added advantage that whoever is cooking can look into the kitchen to chat with family and guests, or supervise the children. Islands also work breakfast bars or somewhere to do the homework.
A variation on fixed islands is a free standing one, or a butcher’s block. If they’re mounted on coasters you can vary your kitchen layout easily, and if they are on open legs they can create a feeling of greater space.
Dining space in kitchens is so much part of what we look for today. You need the floor space to make a dining area feasible, but eating in the same area as the cook is working makes life easier and so much more sociable. The way we live daily life and entertain makes a kitchen/diner one of the ‘must haves’ for the modern home.
Stylish splashbacks, including feature splashbacks, have come to the fore as a way of giving a kitchen a beautiful look, as well as providing ‘wipe clean’ practicality. There’s no limit on the different materials you can use, but for sheer beauty it’s hard to beat a top quality stone splashback that gels with the rest of your kitchen.
Lighting is a key part of kitchen design. The type of lights you have in different areas of your kitchen help to give each section an individual feel – for example spots on the work surfaces, pendant lighting over the table, lamps for cosy corners. There are now so many options for beautiful lighting that it’s possible to create exactly the feel you’re looking for.
Curved surfaces and kitchen islands, and rounded corner cabinets earn their place in the modern kitchen by softening angles and creating a subtle, flowing sense of space. They also decrease the chances of catching yourself on sharp corners.
Stone countertops are very much on trend today, even more so than in the past. The sheer, timeless beauty of natural stone is the same as ever, but there are now so many more choices of manufactured stone worktops which can be aesthetically perfect for any number of kitchen designs, as well as being remarkably durable and practical.
Open shelving and pantries are growing in popularity, rather than fixed wall cabinets. Both are highly practical and flexible, and give you a way of expressing your personality, in particular with shelving.
Kitchen hideaway cupboards for toasters, coffee machines, kettles, air fryers, mixers and other modern kitchen paraphernalia are very in demand for an uncluttered kitchen look. Reeded glass cupboard doors are increasingly popular, as are full height floor-to-ceiling fitted cupboards which maximise storage space as well as giving a finished, structured look to the kitchen.
What are the best ways to improve a kitchen?
Every kitchen can be improved to create better first impressions in some way or other. How? Our suggestion is to stand back and calmly, objectively think through how the kitchen is being used, and what the pinch points are. Take account of the flow through the room, and the number of people using it, including their ages, from toddlers to older people.
Plan a smart layout
Whether you have a linear galley kitchen, or one that’s L-shaped or U-shaped, good kitchen design takes into account the way that you work. The classic kitchen triangle takes the fridge, hob and sink as the main parts used. If that’s the case, your kitchen is easier to use if there’s a short route between all three. Would your kitchen work better if move your fridge, or installed an island with a hob?
An alternative way of planning a layout is based on zones where you do different things. For example, put your crockery cupboards near your dishwasher, or keep all your food prep utensils under the worktop, with bins too.
Enhance the lighting
Better lighting can completely change the feel of a kitchen. The trend for pendant lighting creates a sense of space over a kitchen table, and spots can throw all the light you need on work surfaces. The types of lights available today give you a lot of freedom to create zones for the different activities that take place in your kitchen. The first rule of all is to banish any fluorescent strip lights – you don’t want your kitchen to feel like a 1960s classroom!
Consider a kitchen extension
If you can increase the size of your kitchen, even by a few square metres, you can increase your design options. Space is at a premium in most kitchens and if you don’t have enough room to accommodate all the activities you want, building outwards is a much better option than squeezing too much into a small space. Building work doesn’t come cheap, and you might have to apply for planning permission, but extra space can transform an ordinary kitchen into a spectacular and very desirable one.
There’s an unwritten rule that you can never have too much storage space in a kitchen. Whatever our intentions, we always accumulate new pots, pans, utensils and appliances (who ever thought about where to put an air fryer a couple years ago?). If you’re not disciplined about the amount of groceries you buy, your food cupboards can soon get to bursting point, and you always need somewhere to keep cleaning materials and equipment as well as tea towels, dish cloths and other essentials. It’s remarkable how quickly every shelf gets stacked full. Yes, you shouldn’t overstock things, but even if you don’t as much space as possible on shelves and in cabinets and cupboards is highly desirable.
What else should you add to a new kitchen?
Whether you’re going for a brand new kitchen, or a refurbishment, there are certain steps you mustn’t forget if you want to get stunning results.
Replace your worktops
A gorgeous yet practical worktop is a fantastic way of refreshing a kitchen or defining the look of a brand new one.
Add a striking splashback
If you introduce a splashback in strong colours and patterns, you instantly make a design statement. Think in terms of large splashbacks, not just a rise of a few inches, and consider investing in dramatic quartz or ceramics.
Stylish kitchen handles
Handles have a major influence in the look of fa kitchen. There plenty of low cost options, but if you can afford to step up to handles with a feel that reflects your overall kitchen look, whether it’s ultra-contemporary, trad country or somewhere in between, handles are an important call.
Trendy sinks and taps
Sinks aren’t just a functional part of the kitchen, they can help define the overall look and feel. Sinks in the same material as your worktop are always a stylish option, and there are any number of options in stone, especially quartz and ceramics, to consider. Match your sink with a designer tap for a further touch of style, whether it’s sleek and angular, or a more industrial professional kitchen type of hose tap.
Unless you’re going for a very linear, contemporary style, artisan touches in the kitchen can add lots of personality. For example, you can introduce
- Jars of artisanal jams, pickled and fermented vegetables, lined up on open shelving
- Hand-tied bunches of dried flowers of herbs
- Hand-thrown pots, plates and jugs
- Wooden crates from wine estates or traditional grocery businesses
- Antique bottles and flasks
- Carved wooden ginger-bread moulds
- Art pieces with a genuine crafted feel
Whatever you choose, you can always move on with new acquisitions. The point is, you can choose favourite things to give your kitchen extra charm and extra appeal.
How can I make my kitchen look more expensive?
Here are six tips for adding the lustre of an expensive look to existing kitchens.
Upgrade your kitchen cabinets
Old, tired kitchen cabinets really need to go. Carcasses which wobble or are generally flimsy will always make a kitchen feel cheap, as will ill-fitting doors in low-cost or dated materials. You can upgrade your cabinets at many different prices, so it is worth shopping around. You needn’t spend a lot to achieve a vast improvement, but remember it’s not just the materials, it is also the way they are fitted.
Paint your kitchen
New paint on walls and ceiling can create a lovely, fully refreshed background for your kitchen upgrades. Your cabinets too can generally be painted to achieve a completely new look, but you must pay attention to the way you paint and the paints you use. If you’re going to the effort of repainting, it is worth using the best materials to achieve a genuinely expensive look.
Replace the flooring
Cracked or scratched flooring in any materials can undermine the fresh look of a beautiful kitchen. There are endless choices for new floors in tiles and laminates, as well as more contemporary options such as polished concrete. A new floor can make a dramatic change, and look suitably luxurious.
Revamp the fixtures
Worktops, taps, sinks, cookers and white goods look less appealing, and less up-to-date, over time. A new worktop for example can make a big change to your kitchen, as can a stylish tap, or replacement sink arrangement. You can also achieve a major change by replacing free-standing dishwashers with an integrated appliance with a door that matches other cabinets.
Modern kitchen appliances
The small appliances on view in your kitchen go some way to determining the look of the room. Invest in modern kettles, toasters, coffee machines and other worktop appliances for a more modern and appealing look.
Freestanding kitchen furniture
A piece or two of free-standing furniture not only adds kitchen storage or work space, but can also add a sense of style. A pantry cupboard, for example, tucked away in a suitable space is great option, as is a free-standing butcher’s block for extra food prep space.
Can I build a new kitchen myself?
Yes, it is perfectly possible if you have the right skills, tools and time. But be aware that the standards you achieve compared to professional fitters may be disappointing. If you are genuine DIY expert fitting cupboards is perfectly possible, but beware of dabbling with electricity and certainly not with gas during a kitchen refit.
Does a new kitchen add value FAQs
Think in terms of adding 10% to the value of your home. If you start with a very old kitchen you may be able to achieve a higher figure, but it is important to be realistic. One likely benefit of a new kitchen is that it will help to sell your house more quickly, as long as it has broad appeal and is not too quirky.
Possibly yes, but it is best to take advice from local estate agents who know the market well. Generally speaking, the added costs of a new kitchen may not result in a profitable increase in value overnight, and may decrease the appeal of your home for prospective buyers who want to do their own value adding improvements to their new home.
Bigger kitchens can add to the value of your property over and above the guide 10% figure mentioned above, just like any extension. In reality, it all depends on how well the bigger kitchen is built and designed. Space in itself generally helps, but is it at the cost of outdoor space? It is most definitely worth sounding out local property experts before you proceed.
There are no scientific answers, but items which crop up in surveys of what homebuyers looking for include:
- Kitchen/diner spaces
- Utility rooms
- Number of bedrooms
- Downstairs loos
- Downstairs shower rooms
- Outdoor space
- Off road parking
The answer really is when it feels tired or no longer works for your needs (eg for a growing family). You should expect to get a good 10-15 years out of a new kitchen, although individual fixtures and modern appliances can be replaced more regularly.
Yes, you can. You’re probably talking about a house in need of significant overall refurbishment, so you need to price it as a ‘doer-upper’. In booming areas that’s often what buyers are looking for, so you need to price your home in line with local market prices.