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 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 or Grand Designs 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.
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. But these days there are some ways you can save money and be more creative with your kitchen choice. Used Kitchen Exchange works in the same way as an estate agent – advertising kitchens for sale on behalf of their sellers. Approved, used and ex-display kitchens are all sold at much more affordable prices, with complete kitchens starting from £1500 to designer kitchens at drastically reduced prices.
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 three ways you can fund your renovation:
- With cash
- By increasing your mortgage to release funds
- Taking out a home improvement loan
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.
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. Keep costs down
Costs can be kept down by retaining existing lighting, waste pipes and electric locations where they are. Once you start moving these fixtures the costs and hassle can rise, but it is often necessary to get the kitchen of your dreams.
7. 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.
8.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.