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Please vote on kitchen work surface. I have to change mine before selling my house.

(50 Posts)
Walnutpie Fri 15-May-15 10:21:32

I prefer wood, and a butler sink. I'm going to have to revamp my kitchen and want to make sure I do it right for not just me right now, but for selling the house soonish. So I need an unblinkered perspective!

What is your ideal work surface, and your ideal sink, please.

Moreisnnogedag Fri 15-May-15 10:39:12

Not wood. Lived in a place with one and it was a faff. We're looking at having polished concrete but not sure that's to everyone's taste.

Out of interest, have you checked that the countertop is at your working height if gutting kitchen and starting again?

Moreisnnogedag Fri 15-May-15 10:40:17

Oh yes butler sink definitely

PeterParkerSays Fri 15-May-15 10:41:28

Why do you need "ideal" surfaces and sinks if you are going to move? Go for one that is in the price range for your wider kitchen / home (i.e. a 5-bed in Surrey will have a different worktop from our ex-council house in the midlands) and leave it at that. Save your money for a nicer kitchen in the house you move to.

Itshouldntmatter Fri 15-May-15 10:45:27

We have slate. Was cheaper than wood and more practical. Looks fantastic (biased opinion).

specialsubject Fri 15-May-15 10:50:56

leave it unless it is too tatty to function, and let your buyer decide. But the high-maintenance wooden worktop and the back-wrecking butler sink will be straight to the tip with many buyers.

Walnutpie Fri 15-May-15 10:52:39

Well, my current work surface has water damage near the taps, so must be replaced, and the whole kitchen looks tired so needs a revamp.

'Ideal' will be 'ideal within budget'. I'm aware now that a kitchen is supposed to be in financial scale with the value of the house. Which somewhat scuppers me because I have an mdf one off kitchen, made eons ago, that was supposed to be a short term cheapie...and here I am with it, still. But it's not up to scratch, and now my house is worth silly money because it's in London, and I don't want to compromise the sale of my house, by having a kitchen that a young family won't find desirable. Because my home will be bought by a young family.

My wood work surface, butler sink and creaky shaker style kitchen is clearly very dated.

Ideal for within the price range for my house, yes, is what I want to find. It seems to me that a lot of people on this board know tons and tons about refitting kitchens, and from experience, too, of having done it more than once. Invaluable, therefore, to me, to be able to canvas their opinions and benefit from their experience.

Walnutpie Fri 15-May-15 10:55:00

We have one for the butler, and one against, immediately!!

Didn't even know slate was actually an option!

suzyrut Fri 15-May-15 11:17:08

If families are your market I can tell you what we're doing (3 kids, youngest is 2) as I am just going through the process of designing a kitchen for a new house we're moving into. I think it will have broad appeal (but I guess everyone thinks their own taste is good confused) and it's on a budget! We're going to order the units from diykitchens.com. They have great reviews and reasonable prices. I think gloss might be a bit over now so we're going with a matt finish. www.diy-kitchens.com/kitchens/luca-matt-white/details/

For worktops we are going with a white Quartz as it's practically indestructible. www.diy-kitchens.com/solid-surfaces/quartz-worktops/ we're going with the Glacier white and it reasonably cheap for Quartz

I did a lot of research into worktops and it seemed to me like Quartz was the best option because it is very tough, but feels cold like a solid granite/marble and isn't plasticky like Corian. I did consider bushboard www.bushboard.co.uk/ because they do a similar stone type worktop which is cheaper but all theirs are quite speckled and I wanted something plainer white, but that was just a personal preference thing so thought it might be worth mentioning them to you as an alternative.

Sink wise it will be a stainless steel one from ikea www.ikea.com/gb/en/catalog/products/S29896343/
and we're buying one of their taps as well. Ikea do seem to have a good selection of sinks/taps and when we last visited they also do a good range of worktops including solid ones so it could be worth a look round. People swear by their kitchens (we just didn't want one that you had to fully assemble so we can save on fitting costs).

Not sure I've exactly answered your question but I hope it is some help anyway.

sebsmummy1 Fri 15-May-15 11:19:33

I think if the whole kitchen needs doing it might be better to just price the house accordingly and allow the new owners to have a project. Most people would prefer to do a bit of work on a new house and inject some of their own personality into it.

Sidge Fri 15-May-15 11:34:41

If it's any help I hate wood work surfaces and butler sinks...

I like stainless steel sinks, at least 1.5 bowls and would be happy with any composite work surface (I love Corian but it is expensive) and quartz or granite.

If you're revamping to sell I wouldn't bother, as it's unlikely you'll appeal to all buyers whatever you choose. Price the house taking into account the kitchen, and let the new buyers have all the cost and hassle of redoing it.

pickles184 Fri 15-May-15 11:35:32

I am going to agree with Seb on this one, if the units are tired/old and are going to be imminently due for replacement then you need to either replace the whole kitchen or factor the cost in to the sale price.

I personally love wooden worksurfaces and have them myself, but would never combine with a butler or belfast sink due to inviting trouble with water damage.
Putting new solid stone/wood work surfaces on top of old units is a complete waste of money in my opinion. If you really want to replace the damaged surfaces then there are plenty of laminates to choose from that will smarten up your existing kitchen enough to make it a non urgent job for the new owners iysim

ouryve Fri 15-May-15 11:39:23

The chances are the kitchen will just get ripped out, if it's not up to scratch. I would avoid anything but a typical budget DIY store one, if you really must replace it - easy to clean and will give the kitchen a new lease of life for a family who is going to potentially find themselves strapped for cash immediately after moving. Otherwise, price it to reflect the cost of replacement, but make sure that the need for cosmetic updating and the house being priced accordingly is clear in the details.

IAmAPaleontologist Fri 15-May-15 11:44:26

If it is any help we have just had our kitchen done (plus fresh coat of paint downstairs) and valuation from before kitchen was done was £120-125k, valuation now is £139k. Kitchen cost much less than the difference. We just got cheapish Howdens kitchen, the worktop is the laminate wood block effect and the valuation guy initially thought it was wood.

Walnutpie Fri 15-May-15 12:18:09

I thought along the same lines as Iama.. That putting in a kitchen would make the house worth more! and as pickles said, for a family potentially busy and already outlaying a lot, make it more appealing.

Funnily enough when we moved into this house, I didn't like the kitchen, it was new and serviceable, but cheap and not my taste. We lived with it and with a new baby, it was convenient not to HAVE to get it done straight away.
It was great to move into a house where nothing NEEDED doing, iyswim.
We refurbished when we were ready, which allowed it to be fun.

Another thing I'm realising, which is less obvious but a real factor, is that I need to change the kitchen, for me, in order to sell the house, for me to let go of it being the place where I brought up my family. I need it to be changed. Then I can sell it, because it will be a lovely house, but not the same place as where I fed my babies, etc. it's part of the process of letting it go and moving forward.

So yes, I'll replace the whole thing including units.

suzy I'm c&p-ing your post for further research, Thankyou so much for sharing all that. cake

IAmAPaleontologist Fri 15-May-15 13:04:45

Mmm changing stuff does make a difference emotionally for me too. We changed the living room floor and all of a sudden that spot on the living room floor where I gave birth to ds2 wasn't that spot any more. Good luck with it all.

OwlBeeBack Fri 15-May-15 13:10:16

I'd leave it and price accordingly.

We sold a house around the time Sarah Beeny did a MN webchat. She advised me to leave our tatty kitchen and sell as it was. We ignored that advice grin and have regretted it ever since. We lost much more money than we gained.

OwlBeeBack Fri 15-May-15 13:11:53

But if you do go ahead with changing it wooden worksurfaces and butler sinks would really put me off buying a house if I wasn't planning to rip the kitchen out.

Uncomplete Fri 15-May-15 16:17:02

You don't need to change the work tops just because of water damage - I bet they aren't worse than the ones in the house we've just bought and they have come up beautifully with a good sand down with an electric sander and a coat of oil.

Honestly, wooden worktops and a butler sink wouldn't put me off buying a house at all. As long as the kitchen looks clean and fresh (can you give the cupboards a quick lick of paint?) I can't see the point in replacing anything before moving out.

RaisingSteam Fri 15-May-15 16:30:09

If you are revamping the kitchen make sure it has good layout and storage, it is gutting (I know) to move in with a new kitchen that's all style and no substance.

Even if your kitchen is nearly new when you sell (I also know) the buyer might rip it out just to put in different appliances or something.

If a new kitchen the safest thing is mass appeal/neutral and in keeping with the age of the house, and light and airy colour scheme without being aggressively modern.

I think in a traditional London house that would be not aggressively modern or fussy farmhouse but a classic Shaker kitchen with a silestone worktop or laminate if low budget, stainless sink and nice tap.

Light and airy colour scheme and not too many wall units will make it look contemporary.

To the original question, my ideal worksurface is teak and sink is stainless steel - but very personal preference!

TooManyHouseGuests Fri 15-May-15 16:37:51

As a buyer, I would be turned off of a real wood counter top. They are too delicate and high maintenance. (I wouldn't like a dark granite either, they aren't delicate but they have to be constantly polished unless watermarks don't bother you.)

I would like a butler's sink though. I like a nice big, deep sink.

TooManyHouseGuests Fri 15-May-15 16:39:23

suzyrut, we used diy-kitchens 7 years ago and are still very happy with the product. I used to be a procurement professional. I don't think they can beat in Britain for value.

AmyElliotDunne Fri 15-May-15 16:49:47

Agree with most others, butler sink all well and good in a utility, but too low for daily washing up in. Wooden work tops would be a pain too, staining, scratches, just doesn't appeal to me.

Style-wise it depends on the rest of the house, but if you want to make it look high end, granite tops are ideal and not too expensive if you go for 2cm sort of depth. Keep it neutral, nothing too showy so there's nothing to dislike.

We found worktops, tiles and glass splashbacks a lot cheaper from separate suppliers, bought over, fridge, hood etc all from different places, while rest of kitchen was Magnet (gloss white, simple brushed steel handles).

It was more expensive than Wickes for example, it cost less to fit because cupboards were already built, like Howdens, however, if you're trying to do it relatively quickly and don't have the heart to shop around for the 'perfect' thing when you're doing it for someone else, it will cost a lot more but be much simpler to get Magnet/Howdens/whoever to do it all for you.

Plain wood or white cupboards & simple tiling with the colour added in with removable accessories.

TooManyHouseGuests Fri 15-May-15 16:50:10

Also, suzy (sorry to derail thread!) we bought our sinks at

I don't know if they are still the most competitive. The sinks we have are good, and there have been no issues.

We went for stainless steel, under-mounted sinks. With under-mounted sinks, there is no join where the sink meets the work surface, so there is no crud to build up.

blessedenough Fri 15-May-15 16:50:12

We had our house valued before sale £220 - £225000 - mainly due to the age of the kitchen and bathroom. We revamped - our old kitchen was orangey pine, peachy tiles with veg motifs on and huge built in wooden extractor fan unit, speckled light colour worktop and peach walls - very of its time!

We spent £3500 replaced worktops, had existing kitchen doors resprayed cream, removed tiles and had upstands instead, replaced oven, hob and extractor fan, skimmed artex ceiling, changed light fitting, new sink and taps and painted. Just sold the house this week for £230,000. Prob could have got nearer asking price of £235 000 but needed a quick sale to buy the next one.

Whilst we prob havent made much money vs the hassle of kitchen refit, the house sold in 2 weeks to 3rd person that saw it and everyone has commented on how nice it is. It feels bigger even though it def isnt!

We werent going to sell (hence doing the kitchen) and then we saw the house we just had to have. Offer accepted this week!!!

To answer your question - we have cream units, light brown (ish) walls and a granite effect browny speckled colour cheap work top and it looks amazing - even if i do say so myself!!

I probably wouldnt have done it just to sell the house however

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