Kitchen - Renovate or Extend? Help!(10 Posts)
We live in a north London 3 bedroom Victorian terraced house, with a fairly long / narrow kitchen, and one of those pointless side returns. Bought in 2010.
The kitchen is now in a state of complete disrepair - walls cracked / peeling, ceiling lights not working, oven broken, doors hanging off hinges, etc. It needs to be replaced. In an ideal world, we'd be able to extend into the side return (and maybe out into the garden a couple of metres), but of course that's considerably more expensive.
We can just about manage with the layout we we have, although it's not ideal. Hopefully we'd be able to reconfigure slightly in order to make better use of the space; for instance there's not quite enough space for more than 4 people to sit down for a meal comfortably, without the hassle of everyone having to stand up / move the table etc.
My question is - do we live within our means and just get the kitchen replaced? Or borrow money to get the extension done? As well as the extra money (we don't like borrowing and other than our mortgage don't do loans / credit cards etc), there's also the time and upheaval, especially with two young DCs (5 and 3) in the house.
And if we do borrow, do we get a loan, or look into re-mortgaging? I don't really know how these things work so would love for someone clever who's gone through this before to help me work this out.
Although there are some other irritations about the house itself (busy road, difficult parking), bar a lottery win we'll be here for at the very least the next 8-9 years, so a good long-term solution that'll make us comfortable as the DCs grow up is the main priority.
Does anyone have advice for me?
I tend to be of the in-for-a-penny outlook so I'd probably borrow the money and get the side return done by remortgaging (it looks as if the rate will do down even more so now would be a good time to do it). Of course, you have to be fairly secure in your jobs to do this but if it's going to be your home for the next 10 years or so, I think it's worth it.
I haven't had a side return done but know lots of people who have and it's not super disruptive as the contractors fix up a temporary kitchen in the back parlour area of the house so you have kitchen and laundry facilities while it is going on. Shop around for a good deal and think very carefully about layout - I've seen way too many side extensions where the owners have insisted on some enormous island which effectively means that the area gained is useless because you can't fit anything else in that part of the kitchen. What do you want in there apart from kitchen and dining facilities - utility? seating area? play zone for the children? study area? storage? etc etc.
I think as your children are growing up and you're thinking of staying for the next ten years or so then extend. We extended at the back and having room for toys and being able to have a good eating space as been worth it.
I would definitely extend. A new kitchen will be expensive regardless and you'll regret not spending the extra on more space.
If it was a 3 year house I wouldn't bother but bigger children tale up more space!
Thanks so much all, that's the decision made then, and it's the one I wanted
Ok, so I need to start looking into where we get the money from. I'll ask the bank about adding to my current mortgage - our circumstances have changed since we first moved (I'm now self-employed and get a portion of my income in the form of dividends), so I hope that doesn't count against us.
Should an architect be my first port of call to help me with the space planning? Or do I get one of the kitchen design companies to plan it? I really want to get it right (and not pay squillions for it).
And lala it'd be really nice to have a seating & play area there so we can all be together. At the moment preparing meals tends to me or DP in the kitchen alone, while the DCs play in the living room or upstairs in their bedroom. I can see the plan coming together!
I wouldn't get a kitchen design company to do it. If I really wasn't sure on the placement of the kitchen/zoning of the space, I'd get an architect in but I'd want to have quite a few ideas up my sleeve first. If you live in London, you probably know lots of people who have had it done so it's a question of thinking about their best bits to nick/worst bits to avoid - you can also get ideas looking at estate agency details of similar-sized and shaped houses.
You'll need an architect for the building plans. If you're knocking a wall down you might need steels to reinforce it etc. We found that when getting architects quotes they were happy to chat about what was needed. Found having an architect really useful with ideas, they think of everything you don't.
Look at the plans of similar terraced houses in your area and yes, ask around the local area for recommendations. As you are in London you may need to wait a while for a decent builder.
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