Home remodelling and redesign are likely to be something of a trend in 2021, with the pandemic impacting other areas of personal spending.
Going on holiday may be impossible for much of the year, whilst gigs, clubs and eating out are all currently restricted. Whilst some people may be feeling a financial pinch, there will be others sat with disposable income and nothing to spend it on but their homes.
Last year, 65% of UK homeowners chose to spend on a project on their property, with an average of £4,000 splashed out each time. Interestingly, £4,000 is around the average a new kitchen will set you back, one of the most popular renovations within a home. The kitchen and the bathroom are aspirational purchases that not only add value to a property but also improve the quality of life for the residents.
In my article 6 Things for Your Home That Are Worth the Investment, I discussed how important kitchenware is, how you use it every day and therefore buying quality makes sense. By the same rationale, you use your kitchen every day, and spending money on a new one will drastically improve your quality of life. So, in the absence of a trip abroad, why not spend your holiday money on installing a new kitchen?
Whilst it is a great idea, and you should consider it in 2021, it is wise to also take these salient points into account before beginning, to ensure that your dream project does not turn into a real kitchen nightmare.
One of the key building blocks for a successful renovation project is sensible budgeting, and spending a little time at the start planning and working out your finances will help direct you through the journey. Before you have picked up a catalogue, work out what you would be willing to spend. It is easy to be swayed by a nice granite worktop, or expensive appliances, and then try to make the build fit the budget, but that is a pathway to disappointment. If you decide you have £5,000 to spend, which is the average price of a kitchen according to Home Building, then around £4,400 should be set aside for the project and around 12% left to one side for issues that may arise.
HIRING A BUILDER
Next up, consider the fitting costs. If you have £3,500 for your kitchen, you need to then discuss with a builder how much they can work for, so you know what is left for materials. Depending on the size of the kitchen you are renovating, the job should take a week or two, and the builder should offer you a lump sum rate, not a day rate. Be wary of anyone not committing to a fixed price, if the job runs over and you have agreed to pay daily, your cost could escalate. Also, research your chosen builder online, both their website and on local recommendation sites. Good builders will have plenty of testimonies that prove they are what they say they are.
This is the fun bit, once you reach this stage you should know exactly what you have to spend on materials, and therefore can grab the catalogues, browse the virtual showrooms and plan your dream kitchen. Think about how you use your kitchen and work around that – do you spend a lot of time cooking and therefore will need a bigger hob? Do you have lots of appliances such as blenders that will need storage? What is the lighting like in the room, will you need artificial light, or can you use natural light as much as possible? This is the part where you can be specific, creative and demonstrate your personality in your choices.
Once the final hinge is screwed in, and the last tile grouted, the renovation may seem to be over, but at this point, you must consider protecting your investment. It may be you have had a new gas cooker fitted, or a fresh sink and taps. If so, you have made an outlay that you really should protect. After any big install, it is wise to consider what would happen in the event of a malfunction. The gas and boiler insurance on HomeServe shows how protection can come with a range of additional perks, such as a boiler check-up. You may have had a new cooker fitted, but by getting gas and boiler protection you could also get a boiler service which covers the warm water coming out of those nice new taps. Going forward, protecting your investment with service-specific insurance is a great way to ensure you can enjoy your aspirational kitchen without the nagging fear of further unforeseen costs down the road.
Thank you so much for reading! – xo N
This is a contributed post.