A good kitchen renovation can add thousands to the value of your home and make you feel like you’re living in an interior design magazine. But with so much to consider, where do you start? The HomeOwners Alliance has these top tips on renovating a kitchen to get you started.
1. Create a mood board
What nicer way to start a home improvement project than with a mood board. This is a chance to visualise your ideas together, establish what style you’re looking for, see how colours fit together and add any design elements you’ve found inspirational. Instagram and pinterest are great places to start, as are interiors homes magazines such as Good Homes, Real Homes or Ideal Home magazine. Use their websites to find inspirational ideas and real life make-overs. Establish your ideal features list too. Perhaps you’re desperate for more storage, or more worktop space, an American style fridge, integrated microwave or wine cooler? Don’t forget light fixtures and flooring.
Images credit: Pinterest, neptune.com
2. Shop around for your ideal kitchen
You’ll already be aware of the number of kitchen retailers out there all competing for your business. Considering your budget and desired style before shopping around for your ideal kitchen will narrow down your choices considerably!
The budget-conscious kitchen buyer will want to consider well-known brands offering affordable fitted kitchen services such as Ikea, Howdens, Wren and Kutchenhaus. These companies have a large and highly accessible product range that you can mix and match, and you will never be far from a supplier!
As well as their Vogue flat-pack option, Wren also has an Infinity Plus range, with more features and maximum customisable options. Mid-range German brands such as Kuhlmann, Leicht, Schuller, Alno, and Nobilia also offer exceptional designs with lots of add-ons. Another good tip is to research your local independent showrooms, as these can offer bespoke tailored services and high-quality craftsmanship for very reasonable prices.
If you’re the market for a luxury kitchen, then your first consideration should be style. Premier German brands Poggenpohl, Siematic, Eggersman and Baluthaup are ideal if you favour sleek contemporary designs with precision engineering. German kitchen makers Warendorf produce a stunning variety of timeless, contemporary, and transitional kitchens, and Spanish luxury kitchen brand Porcelanosa takes inspiration from classic industrial structures, mixing natural ‘noble’ materials with ceramics.
If you’re looking for an elegant kitchen with lots of decorative elements then consider a quintessentially British brands like Smallbone of Devizes, or Clive Christian, both of whom are responsible for repopularising classic styles. Smallbone have also just launched a new contemporary brand called Brookmans by Smallbone, a heritage brand offering a mix of reinterpreted traditional furniture within the £25,000 to £40,000 price range. Last but not least, Mark Wilkinson is another luxury British brand who’s handcrafted kitchens are renown for their high quality and superb design.
3. Know how you’re going to fund your kitchen renovation
You’ll need to think about the best way of funding your home improvement project. There are four ways you can fund your renovation:
By increasing your mortgage to release funds
Taking out a home improvement loan or purchasing with finance
Mortgage funding will usually offer the cheapest rates, but use this opportunity to shop around for the best deal — switching mortgages can save you money and help reduce the impact of a bigger mortgage. There are lots of really good rates available, with some fixed rates offering interest rates as little as 1.24% so it’s always good to browse the latest mortgage rates to ensure you’re on the best deal. Some kitchen companies also offer finance options, so you can spread the cost of your dream kitchen and pay in manageable installments.
4. Pay a deposit on a credit card
Another financial tip, is to also consider paying at least £100 of the deposit on a credit card as credit card protection (provided under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act) provides a guard on anything that you buy which costs between £100 and £30,000, irrespective of bankruptcy, damage or troubles with a supplier. Just remember to pay back any amount you owe as quickly as possible however, in order to avoid mounting interest charges!
5. Find a reliable kitchen fitter
Some kitchen fitting companies will oversee and manage the full range of tradespeople that you need to renovate a kitchen – from electricians to plumbers. Alternatively, you can find a local builder or kitchen fitter who can probably do the job for less. It’s worth costing both options and always get at least three different quotes, to ensure you’re getting the
best value for money. Find kitchen fitters in your local area today.
6. Know if you need planning permission
Generally, you won’t need planning permission for a kitchen unless it is part of a new extension. The exception to the rule is if you live in a listed property in which case it’s best to consult your local authority.
7. Hire an architect or structural engineer
If your renovation involves knocking down a structural wall – perhaps to combine two rooms to create the sought-after open plan kitchen space – it may be worth speaking to an architect or working with a builder and a structural engineer who will be able to advise on how best to go about the job and ensure you have building regulation approval. You may also want to consider hiring an architect, particularly if you’re undertaking a pretty major project.
The HomeOwners Alliance is one of the UK’s leading property advice websites and has many trusted tools, services and advice to help you improve your home.