How Much Value Does a Renovated Kitchen Add to Your Home


A sleek new kitchen with gleaming appliances can instantly improve the saleability of a property. But before you start ripping out cabinets and countertops, it is important to do your research, particularly if you are looking to add value to your home.

Kitchens are the most expensive room in the home to renovate. Often, it comes down to whether you are updating for lifestyle or to make money. If you don’t plan on moving, you could indulge in a few luxurious extras. But if you are looking to hit the market soon, it may be better to be a little more cautious. The aim here is to make your new kitchen a profitable decision and not a glamorous, yet costly one.

Just how much you should spend depends on what your home is already worth and your budget. It may also be possible to achieve the feel of a custom kitchen with just a few simple cosmetic changes, rather than a complete overhaul.

Be careful not to overcapitalise

A good place to start is by looking at recent sales results in your neighbourhood and checking whether buyers were happy to pay extra for a new kitchen. Did these homes tend to sell faster? And did they share common similarities in their design?

Have a chat with your local real estate agent who will be able to advise if remodelling the kitchen is a good idea.

It is easy to overcapitalise on a kitchen project. For instance, marble countertops or installing a dish warming drawer might be a priority for you, but a prospective buyer might not see the value. Likewise opting for cheap cabinets might help the renovation budget, but could turn off potential buyers. Think about what kind of return you are hoping to achieve on your investment.

And if you are tackling an entire home renovation, remember you need to allow for a fair portion to be dedicated to the kitchen and bathroom.

How much does a kitchen renovation cost?

The cost of a kitchen remodelling partly depends on how much you're looking to spend? Ideally, a kitchen should cost around two to three per cent of the home’s overall value.

There are four options to consider:

  • The simple facelift – keeping your existing kitchen layout and appliances but adding simple updates such as new tapware, replacing handles on cabinets, new lighting and re-tiling splashback. The average cost should be between $1,000 to $4,000.
  • Budget kitchen - Flat pack or pre-assembled kitchens can cost $2,000 to $14,000. Obviously, a small kitchen will be cheaper.
  • Mid-range kitchen – the renovation costs depend on room size and any structural or plumbing changes. Expect to pay anywhere between $20,000 and $40,000.
  • High-end kitchen – new premium appliances, flooring, lighting, structural changes, new plumbing - this could stretch anywhere from $35,000 to $60,000+ for a dream kitchen.

And while it may be tempting to completely rearrange your kitchen layout, anything that involves relocating plumbing or electrical work can add a lot to the overall costs. Keeping the cabinets in place and simply replacing or resurfacing the doors can present huge savings.

Can I renovate my kitchen myself?

This is one room in the house where homeowners don’t mind rolling up their sleeves and tackling a DIY project. Flat-pack kitchens have come a long way in a short time and the finishes can be impressive. There are a number of companies selling these which cater for a range of budgets.

If you don’t feel confident putting your kitchen together, hire a tradie to help you with measuring and installation. Be realistic about the finish you are anticipating. It could be a good idea to use a tiler or electrician – with years of experience - for jobs that are above your skill level. While plenty of people install a flat-pack kitchen, it shouldn’t be obvious.

Best kitchen upgrades for resale

Topping everyone’s kitchen wish-list is the walk-in pantry. So if you have space to create one, this is a must. Opt for practical storage systems on multiple walls and floor-to-ceiling shelving.

If your home is at the higher end of the market, it could be worth adding a butler’s pantry. This allows everyday mess – such as the toaster and even cooking – to be kept out of sight. This is a step above the typical pantry and usually includes a sink and tap, plus additional bench space. Some butler’s pantries are also fitted with an additional dishwasher, fridge and cooking appliances, making it more like a second kitchen.

If in doubt, always consult your real estate agent about what could help you achieve the best sale price.

What to avoid  

It is easy to overspend on a kitchen renovation, especially if you are going for a full remodel. Planning is essential to keep yourself on budget.

Don’t leave buying appliances to the last minute and also check the measurements to ensure they will fit. Buying items in bulk will also save some money.

Take time to properly consider the layout or finishes of your kitchen as these are not easy to fix. You do not want to spend the next 30 years regretting the colour of your splashback.

When renovating for a profit, opt for a classic design that will appeal to a wider market when it is time to sell. Blush gold tapware might look fabulous with your chosen colour scheme but it could be safer to stick with stainless steel finishes. And don’t forget lighting as this can make your space feel warm and inviting.

What makes a new kitchen a success

The look of your new kitchen is important, however, functionality is key. Kitchens today are more than just somewhere to prepare a meal. It is the area of the house where people congregate, cook and eat. Buyers will be looking for a lifestyle and they will want to imagine themselves entertaining friends and family in and around the kitchen.

A new kitchen also connects with the outdoors. This can be achieved by adding a servery window or sliding glass doors opening onto a balcony, deck or terrace.

Overall it is important to remain emotionally unattached if you renovate a rental property or looking to sell. Too much time on minor details is a sure-fire way to overcapitalise.

Getting ready to sell your property? The team at LJ Hooker have put together a free guide to help you style your property to sell that walks you through upgrades you can make to your home to get a great result. For more advice, you can also book a free property appraisal with your local real estate agent.

DISCLAIMER - The information provided is for guidance and informational purposes only and does not replace independent business, legal and financial advice which we strongly recommend. Whilst the information is considered true and correct at the date of publication, changes in circumstances after the time of publication may impact the accuracy of the information provided. LJ Hooker will not accept responsibility or liability for any reliance on the blog information, including but not limited to, the accuracy, currency or completeness of any information or links.

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