HOW TO: Add value in the kitchen
Here are a few ideas:
1. Freshen up cabinetry, and walls with a coat of paint and new cupboard or drawer handles. Have a chat to paint retailers such as Resene for advice on trending colours. As a rule if you want to create the illusion of a bright, airy, spacious kitchen opt for light neutrals. You also want to keep the palette fairly neutral so potential buyers feel they can stamp their own personality on it. Don’t get too hung up on decorating to your own personal taste.
2. De-cluttering and cleaning is another cost-effective way to spruce up a kitchen. Keep open shelves, cupboards, and pantries looking orderly and functional instead of crammed full of your own belongings. Make sure all surfaces are clean and unmarked. If bench tops are looking old and marked, consider replacing them if you can afford it. There are a huge range of different options available these days for benches, in a range of prices. You don’t have to choose the most expensive. A new, unmarked cheaper option will still be better than older, stained or chipped surfaces.
3. The same is true for flooring and wall tiles. If you can replace or at least repair old, stained, worn flooring or cracked tiles and peeling lino, and make sure tile grouting is looking clean and fresh.
4. Look up. Don’t forget about ceilings and lighting. Kitchens should be well lit to be at their most functional – but good lighting can also make them seem bigger and brighter. And don’t forget to at least clean, and preferably paint ceilings.
5. Think about flow. Can the way you move around the kitchen be improved by shifting the dishwasher, fridge or oven? Do doors clash? Is the fridge in the wrong place? If there’s something about the way you use your kitchen that has always irritated you, it may well irritate buyers as well. If you can change it, within your budget it is worth doing.
6. Sinks are not as sexy as some kitchen essentials to replace but can make a big difference. A good size sink makes a big difference to kitchen functionality – particularly if you currently have an older kitchen which often have small sinks. Tapware should also be well-maintained and clean.
7. Replacing ovens should probably be a last resort, simply because of the cost. A cutting edge new oven in an old, tired kitchen will be far less likely to add value than an older oven in a smart, tidy, light kitchen.
8. Before you start make sure you know exactly what you want to do to your kitchen and why and stick to it. It’s very easy for a kitchen makeover to turn into a personal project – a chance for you to do add all the things you’ve ever wanted in a kitchen and suddenly you find your budget is blown. Thinking about what you’d like in a kitchen is a good place to start, but don’t fall into the trap of making it too personal to you. Thinking about big picture, general improvements such as space, storage, functionality and light. Make your plan around achieving these as cost effectively as possible and stick to it.
9. Think carefully about what you’re going to include as chattels in the kitchen. If you have a difficult space designed around a particular fridge for example, consider leaving it behind as part of the kitchen. Anything difficult to replace that is a key part of the kitchen should be included in the sale if possible.