Cally Law reports in The Sunday Times that updating your kitchen or bathroom will pay off if you don't try to cut corners.
If you have the energy and cash to do up just one room, the kitchen is the one to go for. And be bold: knock out walls, let in light. Make this a room that the whole family wants to be in, preferably all at once, and you'll not begrudge a penny of what it'll cost you.
If you get it right, you should even make money out of it. Updating a kitchen or bathroom, more than any other room in the house, generally makes financial sense. As any estate agent will tell you, kitchens and bathrooms sell houses. Even if you don't recoup the full cost of the work when you sell, it'll be worth it if your house is the one that's sold while others in the street languish on the agents' books.
Although planning a new kitchen may be daunting, the basic rules are simple: spend 10% (and no more than 15%) of the value of your home on these room and you'll be quid’s in. The right kitchen and bathroom can add 25% to the asking price.
Make sure that what you plan is appropriate both for the architecture of your house and the neighbourhood - a flash Italian kitchen won't necessarily add value in a country cottage. And make sure you're adding something of a high quality. Cheap kitchens are a turn-off, so if you have a limited budget you need to be clever about what you spend it on.
It serves as a reminder that fashions change. Unless you plan to move imminently, it's best to go for a look that is not going to date too quickly. Retro (1950s
Avoid gimmicky extras and too many character-killing units, but huge range cookers or American fridges can be good investments. Buyers like nothing more than the chance to own the sort of fancy equipment they'd never get for themselves. You will also add value to a kitchen (and create space for your enormous range) by removing the washing machine to a separate laundry area.
Source: The Sunday Times.
Lets Talk Kitchens
For some, a new kitchen is simply a case of updating kitchen units and equipment, but for others it’s an opportunity to completely re plan the room with many opting to increase its size by building an extension or knocking down internal walls.
Take some time to think about how you will use the room and decide the layout that’s best for your lifestyle.
Where are your drains?
The available drains and outside walls will almost always determine the layout of the kitchen. If you start moving drains about to accommodate your layout this can prove expensive and will require Building Regulations approval.
The eternal triangle
Remember the working triangle theory linking the oven/hob, fridge and sink. Make sure they are close enough together to avoid lots of walking.
During construction think about how you are going to cope without a kitchen. The hot water and cooking facilities will inevitably need moving or replacing at some point so get your contingency plan in place.
When Wanda Blake was planning her kitchen it was important that it blended into her house as it is completely open plan.
Wanda had spotted a design she liked but when she priced it it came in at £20,000. She asked a kitchen designer to produce a similar design within a much smaller budget.
If your kitchen is part of a large living area, bear in mind that appliances can be very noisy. Wanda really did her research on this and discovered some appliances which were not only very quiet but not too expensive. “Low noise was a real priority for us and I’ve been very impressed with them.”
Overall Wanda advises taking your time with colour schemes and letting the kitchen evolve around you to suit your needs