Kitchen cool: renovations on a budget

“As the heart of the home, the kitchen is a major factor in determining a home’s re-sale value and kitchen renovations can be largely recouped on the sale of the home. Remodelling the kitchen or bathroom are possibly the two best investments homeowners can make in ensuring the value of their home.  While a complete kitchen renovation could easily cost homeowners as much as R100 000 or more, there are ways to update and freshen-up the look of a kitchen that won’t break the bank,” says Goslett.

According to Goslett, the first step is to de-clutter the space and to get rid of all the non-essential items. A lot of items on the counters and walls can make the room appear to be smaller and darker that it actually is.  Once the space is clear of unnecessary items it will be easier for homeowners to see what they are working with.

He notes that it is important to have a plan and decide what type of materials to use before a hammer is swung.  Any plan that will involve moving major elements such as stoves or sinks will be expensive and will require a lot of labour. Set your priorities and stick to them, ask what elements of the room needs to change and what doesn’t. Rather than completely replacing items, Goslett suggests that homeowners try to re-finish them or only replace certain parts.  Laminated countertops can be re-laminated, it will cost less but isn’t easy to do. If opting to replace the countertop, using a square-edge rather than a rounded one will make it look like a stylish slab. Cupboard doors can be sanded down and re-sealed. Alternatively, the handles on the cupboards can be replaced at very little cost.

When renovating on a budget, it's important to be creative with your purchases. While everyone is after the expensive European appliances, many cheaper, local brands function just as well and still have the sought-after stainless steel look. Features such as Granite countertops and glass splash-backs are very popular and look expensive – because they are expensive.  Goslett says that homeowners can choose materials that look similar but cost a fraction of the price.

“A simple coat of paint can make a big change to a kitchen, especially if the current colour palette is outdated. When choosing a colour, it is best to go with neutral colours as they will make the area appear to be a lot larger. Working with a neutral colour scheme will also allow for the use of pops of colour to accentuate certain elements in the room. Be warned though, if the right paint is not used it can easily chip in hard-working areas such as a kitchen,” says Goslett.

He warns that while costs can be saved in most areas of a kitchen renovation, it is vital that the electrics are undertaken by a professional electrician to avoid dangerous accidents.

“Although renovating a kitchen may be inconvenient and could cause some disruption, it is a small price to pay when compared with the aesthetic appeal and value that it adds to your property investment,” Goslett concludes.

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