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Is it worth revamping our tatty kitchen?

(47 Posts)
tattykitchen Wed 13-Mar-13 14:54:46

Sorry in advance if this is long...

We bought a fairly big Victorian house a few years back as our forever home.
Sadly this is now looking unlikely...

We have done lots of repair work so far (new roof, wiring, new boiler and cylinder, new shower room, redecoration of bedrooms, landscaped the garden etc etc) all of which was expensive.

But we never got round to the kitchen, which the previous owner with zero taste installed, think pine units, varnished pine ceiling, beige worktop, cheap vinyl floor and cream plastic sink and tap - lovely! It has very little worktop space making it hard to cook family meals in.

I don't think we can face replacing it now and am not sure it's worthwhile either as we may well end up selling up. But if we do want to sell I think the state of the current kitchen would seriously limit the value of the house.

We did have the house valued last year basically we'd lose money on it as it is, given what we paid for it in 2007 and how much we have spent.

So is it worth doing a revamp job on the kitchen? Have put a pic on my profile.

My thoughts:
paint the units and trim a neutral F&B colour (they are solid pine but not great quaility)
put a cheapish range cooker in the chimney breast,
move the base units under the hob to the alcove where the current cooker is (remove oven and housing) and add worktop over
new posh sink/tap
new wooden worktops
new wall unit in each alcove
paint pine ceiling and all pine skirting
new flooring, though am unsure of how to get a decent floor for minimum cost.

Is this worth doing? Would the existing kitchen put you off?

If so I would be very grateful for suggestions for cheap but smart flooring and any other thoughts/tips...


kittycat68 Wed 13-Mar-13 17:19:49

please dont paint the units it wont make it any better have a look at replacing the unit doors instead. places like b and q etc sell doors separately and often ( nearly always) have a sale on . if ones you like arnt in the sale wait a couple of months then have another look as they rotate there sale stuff from the current stock. would definately paint the ceiling though!! dont go for a really expensive tap you wont recoup any money on it just go for one that looks nice and in keeping from low to mid range prices as when you sell most people wont be bothed by what tap you put in! definately get rid of as much pine as you can its v.dated

Magimedi Wed 13-Mar-13 17:38:29

Don't paint the units, they will look dire.

Personally, and I'm old & have had lots of moves, I am always thrilled to find a tatty kitchen when I move as I can then redo it to how I want it.

Honestly Tatty, I've just looked at your photo & whilst it's not big enough to see the details, that kitchen looks so much better than I was expecting it to.

Why not get an estate agent round for a valuation & see what they say about it?

Are houses in your area selling well?

Petalpink Wed 13-Mar-13 18:09:41

I totally agree with the last comment. We are looking for a new house with a midrange budget. If anything a brand new/revamped kitchen or bathroom puts me off. I much prefer to have it in a condition that won't make me feel guilty for ripping it out.

Just maybe discuss with the estate agent about how you can sell it as a positive eg "great opportunity to put your stamp on this wonderful property".

If your house is priced fairly for its size and location, I wouldn't worry about people trying to knock you down on price. Things like poor guttering/windows/brickwork are more likely to get me to knock money off as they show a lack of care of the property. It sounds like you have done lots of work to the rest of your house. This is what people will remember.

Good luck if you decide to move

Petalpink Wed 13-Mar-13 18:12:57

Just to add, I had a quick look at the picture. Kitchen looks great size, light, good layout and certainly nice enough to move straight in but with great potential. I would save your money!

LaurieFairyCake Wed 13-Mar-13 18:18:17

Paint the units. I have a solid pine kitchen which is much better quality than cheapy laminate kitchens.

I've painted it in Farrow and Ball French Grey. People pay a fortune for solid wood painted kitchens - I can't imagine chucking a wood kitchen out

I also have a hideous pine ceiling and walls which I have painted in white. The whole thing fits in with the cottage. And it would cost a fortune to rip out.

tattykitchen Wed 13-Mar-13 18:42:42

Thanks for the comments, much appreciated.

I suppose what I am worried about is losing money if we sell simply because the kitchen is very tired, have to be honest it is worse than it looks in the pic!
The rest of the house is potentially quite grand, very high ceilings, lots of period feautures, big garden, so the kitchen is a real let down.
I also think I could make it look decent with some effort...

I cant get new unit doors easily as they are not standard sizes and they are hinged on the front, which is partly why I thought it would be better to paint them.
I was hoping I may be able to get to this kind of look but maybe I am a little deluded!

The house is a bit quirky so I'm not sure a very polished kitchen is in keeping anyway.
But I know if we sell as it is buyers would want to knock at least 20K off the price (the house value is quite high) and this would have an impact on what I could afford as I may be buying on my own.

We have had agents round but they all offered a different opinion so not too much help, though I could ask others....

Laurie did you paint your units and ceiling or did you get someone in to do it?

lalalonglegs Wed 13-Mar-13 19:24:18

I think painted kitchens can look good but they have to be painted really well - probably by a pro. I wouldn't spend money on a range cooker (unless you can get an absolute steal on ebay). I'd definitely paint the ceiling and woodwork and invest in some new flooring - even if it isn't fabulous quality, the fact that it is fresh and clean will make a difference. At a push (and I suppose this would depend on you painting the rest so that it blends in), I might try and find a unit to go in the space next to your oven.

But I'd agree with the others, yours doesn't look bad. Having said that, it does look cluttered - get rid of everything that isn't in a cupboard and isn't a toaster.

Magimedi Wed 13-Mar-13 19:29:49

I think you are deluded if you think you can get that look (lovely though it is) into your kitchen & still not lose a lot of money on you house.

Do you need to move urgently?

If not, why not put house on market with kitchen as is & see what happens? If you don't get an offer or the offer you want make sure you ask ea if it is the kitchen that is putting people off.

I do think that one tends to overthink things when it comes to selling. If the rest of the house is lovely I suspect you'll get a buyer.

I'd love to see some more pics of the kitchen - can only see the one on your profile.

ILikeBirds Wed 13-Mar-13 19:34:50

For me when we were looking at houses I was interested in either

Rooms that needed nothing at all doing


Rooms that needed to be gutted and therefore the house was priced accordingly

We saw a lot of places that appeared to have been done up to sell, and were either not to our taste, or done up cheaply and where it was obvious the sellers were hoping to recoup the cost of these 'upgrades'. It put us off more than similar houses that had just been sold as is.

tattykitchen Wed 13-Mar-13 20:55:25

I am a bit hesitant about putting too much detail or more pics on here as my home situation is a bit fragile.

I wouldnt want to recoup any of the cost of the work I am contemplating, rather am hoping that doing this work would make the kitchen liveable with in the short term, so buyers didnt look at it and think it needed gutting straight away and hence wanting to negotiate on price.

We couldnt afford to knock 20K off the price if we sell. And if we dont sell then at least we would have a better kitchen in the short term.

There is other work left to do, but my feeling is that a decent looking kitchen would make the house much more appealing as it would be a big investment for a buyer. And a large family house ought to have a reasonable kitchen is my thinking, but perhaps not all buyers agree...

I'll get the work costed up and speak to some more agents I think.

Did anyone have any ideas re flooring? The current vinyl is ripped and looks awful.

lalalonglegs Wed 13-Mar-13 21:39:24

Can the kitchen be extended (into the garden? Sideways into the side return?)? If so, perhaps a better use of money would be to have some plans drawn up showing how fab it could be with the new extension (and apply for consent if necessary) and that could make it more attractive to potential buyers.

tattykitchen Wed 13-Mar-13 21:51:04

Nice idea lala but no, there is no side return, its not a conventional period house, and extending would be hard as there is limited space outside the kitchen despite the large garden.
There is room for a good sized kitchen table in there though, we just didnt get round to buying one and again not sure its worth it now...

lalalonglegs Wed 13-Mar-13 21:57:22

You could buy two large cheap pieces of chipboard, screw them together to make a piece of timber thick enough not to bend, buy four screw-in table legs and a very nice table cloth (preferably put plastic underneath so chipboard doesn't warp). The table will cost you less than 50 quid. Or if that sounds like too much faff, buy one of the right size from a junk shop and, again, cover it with a very nice table cloth.

tattykitchen Wed 13-Mar-13 22:02:04

Thanks, thats a good idea, I do have a nice set of metal table legs which I could adapt.

Dont suppose you have any ideas re the flooring? I know laminate is the cheapest option but it would look totally out of place here. Not too keen on the cheaper vinyls and proper lino is too pricey really.

lalalonglegs Wed 13-Mar-13 22:07:20

I have bought second-hand wooden floors on ebay a few times (engineered is easiest to fit although you still need a pro, there are quite a few that have a click-together mechanism). If you are painting units, it shouldn't clash with the wood you have.

Someone I know has fitted really convincing laminate in his new flat and there was a section on You and Yours last week about how laminate has become quite respectable if you buy decent stuff - the planks I saw were textured so they really looked and felt like wood. I'd consider that because you could easily fit it yourself.

tattykitchen Wed 13-Mar-13 22:13:29

Thats good to know.
Engineered would be too thick I think as there s chipboard at the moment under the vinyl and want to avoid a level change from the hall.
Will see if I can find the You and Yours episode.

jenbird Wed 13-Mar-13 22:16:27

We are in the middle of purchasing our forever home which is a large Victorian property. The vendors have done all the "boring" jobs like rewiring and replacing guttering. The kitchen is similar to yours, perfectly liveable but something we will change long term. It was definitely not a deciding factor on buying the house. Like others have said I am glad the house is in good condition and I am also glad we have the opportunity to add our own stamp.

Jojay Wed 13-Mar-13 22:16:31

My Mum had unit doors like yours and her husband painted them cream. It's transformed the room, and was well worth the effort, but it did take aaaages....

He did a very good job though, other friends of mine have done a less good job and it looks awful.

lalalonglegs Wed 13-Mar-13 22:16:54

I am being weirdly helpful this evening: you & yours laminate discussion

tattykitchen Wed 13-Mar-13 22:21:24

Fab, thanks lala, will have a listen to that now.

I know what you mean Jojay, it would need to be done well, nothing worse than a botched paint job!

GrendelsMum Wed 13-Mar-13 22:24:20

Here's the You and Yours clip - I wonder if the distressed effect laminate might work for you?

GrendelsMum Wed 13-Mar-13 22:24:46

cross posted!

specialknickers Wed 13-Mar-13 22:37:05

I love your kitchen! I think it would look fab if you painted the cupboards, though. I once got a decorator to do mine (over melamine, couldn't afford to change them) in a duck egg blue, then retailed with large white mosaic tiles (grey grouting)... Looked amazing when it was finished. I love tongue and groove ceilings as well - painted white they're very scandi chic. If you want to make a kitchen look more modern, get rid of some eye level shelves and replace with simple wooden shelves. Costs virtually nothing.

I would however spend spend some money on lighting and a new floor. This will make it look much cleaner - chrome fitting with halgens would be cheap and chrisp looking. Cheapest flooring would be more vinyl (not environmentally friendly infortuantely) - black and white chequer board to make the most of a vintage feel.

You could do the lot for under a grand and would defo make that money back on the sale.

25catsnameSam Wed 13-Mar-13 22:53:13

If money and other things are a worry, I'd leave it the cupboards, they are expensive to paint well. Paint ceilings/ walls to refresh, Do the table as another poster suggested, dress it nicely, leave the rest as Potential. I'd even be wary of asking the EA to state it's a doer upper. Your current kitchen might be your next buyer's taste, it might not. That's the same with any changes you make and pay for. Unless the flooring is minging I'd leave that as well. It's gutting you may not make your money back but you could be throwing good money after bad.

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