A kitchen renovation is an excellent way to update and add value to your home or investment property - and it doesn't need to break the bank.
Blogger: Jane Eyles-Bennett, Hotspace Consultants
A kitchen renovation is an excellent way to update and add value to your home or investment property. Sometimes, a complete overhaul is not within the budget but there are some great ways to give the appearance of an almost-new kitchen, just by replacing the doors, handles, splash-back or bench-top – or, all of the above.
Most people dream of a spacious, up-to-date kitchen that can serve as a gathering space and food preparation area. It is also a project that can require a significant amount of planning and decision making. Instead of replacing the whole kitchen or even all of the elements listed previously, consider just replacing the bench-top.
Many materials are available for kitchen countertops. While you may love the appearance of a certain option, make sure that you also take into account the price, durability, style and availability of each material before making your final decision. This will depend on whether the property is your own home, a tenanted investment property or a property you’re about to sell.
Engineered Stone such as Caesarstone, Quantum Quartz and EssaStone has been a recent favourite surface choice for kitchen countertop renovations. With many, many colour and pattern options, Engineered Stone offers a beautiful, natural material that can fit into any design or colour scheme. It is the most expensive option and will usually only be worth it if the rest of the kitchen is otherwise up to scratch. As its popularity has increased, less expensive (but still expensive in the scheme of things) options have become available. If your kitchen is small enough you may be able to use remnants.
Laminate countertops have become less popular in recent years as home improvement shows splash engineered stone covered kitchens on our TV screens. However, it is a great option if you’re renovating an investment property in a low-mid socio economic area and/or have a restricted budget when renovating your own home. I’m a fan of very light neutral coloured laminates when it comes to counter tops. Laminex do a range called Diamond Gloss which is a highly polished laminate that looks like stone from a distance. This is a great option for those who would love a natural stone look but cannot fit it into their budget. Improvements have been made in the manufacturing of these products so that they are sometimes indistinguishable from their natural counterparts at a glance. They require almost no maintenance.
I’m not a huge believer in resurfacing bench-tops although I have heard people have had positive experiences with them. My view is that you would only resurface a bench-top if you are immediately planning to sell. It’s not a surface I would recommend if you’re expecting 10 years life out of it. Once again, this solution is really only suitable for some properties. A surface like this can do more damage than good to the overall value add of a renovation.
Timber looks fantastic when it is new, but it’s not a surface I would choose for an investment property. Timber in your own home, where you know it’ll be looked after, is perfectly fine as long as you’re prepared for regular maintenance. A great alternative to add warmth to the kitchen tops but not have the maintenance issues, is to just have at least a portion of your countertop in this surface.
Stainless steel is common in commercial kitchens due to its durability, ease of cleaning and overall practicality. If you’re designing a modern style kitchen, stainless steel can be a dramatic addition – whether for the entire bench-top or just one area.
About Jane Eyles-Bennett
Jane Eyles-Bennett is an interior designer specialising in renovating property for profit. With over 500 happy clients to her name and millions of dollars in extra profits generated for them during her career, her business Hotspace Consultants is who smart property investors turn to for guidance when embarking on a renovation.