In a recent interview on BBC 4’s Desert Island Discs, singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran raised the question:
“Kitchens are so expensive… Why are kitchens so expensive?”
The musician shared his experience of buying a new kitchen for his parents and perhaps underestimating the cost of his generous gesture. In response to Ed’s comment, we did a bit of research into exactly how “expensive” the average new kitchen is, and why.
According to Houzz, the average amount people in the UK spend on their new kitchen is between £10,001 – £25,000, with 22% of homeowners spending between £25,000 – £50,000 and 10% spending over £50,000. It’s safe to say that as far as home renovation is concerned, kitchens require a big budget, but why?
Adding value to property with kitchen re-structure
Kitchen layout is a good place to start. The open plan living trend continues to grow, with homeowners choosing to lose the defined boundaries of rooms within the home, opting for a more flexible floor plan. Opening up your kitchen to other living areas is a great way to create more space and develop a more communal atmosphere, but does of course mean a rethink to the layout and shape of the kitchen. The re-structure of a kitchen is often more expensive than making improvements to the existing layout. However, research conducted by the National Association of Estate Agents lists opening up space and kitchen makeovers within the top 4 home improvements to add value to a property.
Quality over quantity
Of course, factors such as the size, shape and layout of a kitchen have a significant impact on the price tag attached, but is it a case of quality over quantity? The cost of a complete renovation is undoubtedly significant, but it is required less frequently due to the durability of high quality storage and appliances. This level of quality saves homeowners’ money in the long term by reducing or eliminating the cost of replacements and repairs, as well as the need for further renovation. In addition to increased quality in storage and appliances, the demand for energy efficiency in the kitchen can also save homeowners money in the long term, reducing the cost of utility bills.
Reflecting your style
So, if homeowners are choosing to invest more, but renovate less, how do you put your stamp on kitchen design so that it reflects changes in trends and preferred styles? Industry innovation is providing us with appliances and fittings that serve an increasing number of functions, and that can adapt to the environments that we want to create. Clever lighting now provides complete versatility when creating ambiance within a room setting, allowing us to dim the lights for dinner parties and create spotlights on features we want to draw attention to, whether it’s a treasured photograph or favourite ornament. In addition to lighting, smaller kitchen appliances remain popular in chic kitchens. When it comes to adding stylish finishing touches that also provide us with little luxuries, small appliances (such as coffee machines and kettles) are a great way to mix-and-match items, offering complete versatility without blowing the budget.
So, in response to Ed’s question, kitchens can require big budgets due to a range of factors such as re-structure and quality of fittings, but homeowners should give careful consideration to the value of quality over quantity and the long-term cost efficiency. What do you think? Is £10,001 – £25,000 too much, or do you get what you pay for?