Friday, December 11th, 2009
It is the heart of the home, the hub of the house, the place you always end up in at parties.
The importance of a kitchen should never be underestimated. It is the most marketable room in the house.
If you want to increase the value of your property or boost buyer appeal in the market, this is the first stop for a renovation or revamp. More than bathrooms, a fresh and functional kitchen can make or break a sale, and according to the experts is likely to return a tidy profit from any financial investment.
If you spend $20,000 renovating the kitchen, you can hope to be looking at getting that $20,000 back, plus another $20,000 on top as an absolute starting point. That’s on a dollar value. It is hard to quantify the opportunity value, or the impact it can have in the market. These favorable returns, combined with the current trend for incorporating the kitchen into the living areas for all to see, has made refurbishing the kitchen the most popular form of home improvement today.
When it comes to the scale and cost, the job should ideally reflect the home. It makes no sense to install a family sized food hall in a one bedroom apartment or cut corners in a mansion. Working out a budget however, can be daunting and confusing. You can buy a flat-pack kitchen for a few thousand dollars but that does not include installation costs, so exactly how much can you expect to fork out for a basic fit-out?
Realistically, you should be looking at from $15,000 excluding appliances. That is the price for a good, average sized kitchen using quality fittings and laminate cupboards and bench tops. To maintain a budget but still achieve the wow, benchtops and splashbacks are the way to go. They are the first things people notice. If you want to know where to save and where to spend money, have laminate cupboards and drawers and get a beautiful stone benchtop.
With the continuing advancements in design transforming the kitchen into a high-tech zone filled with impressive tricks and gadgetry, how far should you go? The most important things don’t have to cost that much. Little extras such as a pull out oil and spices drawer next to the cooktop, a narrow drawer to vertically store all your baking trays, or an Italian waste bin system with the automatic soft-close lid. They all look terrific, are not overly expensive and will be real selling points.
Of course it’s not always necessary to rip out the kitchen and start afresh. A clever revamp can be amazingly effective for a fraction of the cost. You can paint wooden kitchens, which can make an extraordinary difference. Solid timbers are so dark, heavy and really dated but usually beautifully made. If they are not, then most cupboards have hinges so you can just take the doors off and replace them – that’s not expensive. You can also just replace the handles or knobs and that can make a big difference too. For another instant lift, get rid of the old tiles, and replace them with a new splashback.
You can also just tart up an old kitchen to make it look good again, but whatever the extent you go to, it can certainly make the house a lot more saleable and a lot more appealing.