The good-value kitchen revamp

Everyone knows that a good-looking kitchen is often the deciding factor in a home sale, but what homeowners may not know is that they don’t necessarily have to spend a fortune to create a kitchen that will really impress potential buyers.

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For example, if you have steel or wood cabinets that are basically in good shape, a skilled painter can make them look great again by disassembling them, sanding them down, painting them inside and out and reinstalling. At the same time you should fit gleaming new hinges, handles and drawer pulls.

If you decide that the cabinets really need replacing, look around at the in-stock and DIY options available through companies like Builder’s Warehouse  (www.builders.co.za) and Lotters Pine (www.lotterspine.com) before you consider having new cabinets custom made. These outlets also have a great range of readymade cabinet doors in standard sizes that you can fit to old concrete (built in) cupboards to give them a bright modern look.

Next you will need new countertops to go with the revamped or replaced cabinets. Most popular are modern, durable laminates available in a huge range of finishes and much cheaper than tiles or granite. But if you really want a “stone” finish, you should consider Caesarstone (www.caesarstone.co.za), a quartz and resin compound that also comes in a wide range of colours and is very durable.

But before you even think about cabinets and countertops, you need to deal with the basics that will also help to give your kitchen that freshly done look. These include: 

  • Plumbing. You can keep costs down by not changing the position of the sink or the outlets for a dishwasher and/or washing machine. However, you might want to put in a new sink and get a plumber to fit a shiny new mixer or taps.  
  • Electrical outlets and light fittings. Get an electrician to check that all the electrical switches and outlets in your kitchen are safe (especially if they are anywhere near water) and consider installing new cover-plates and even a couple of new outlets if you’re currently using multi-plugs. At the same time, the light fittings can be quickly and easily updated from an extensive selection at stores like the Lighting Warehouse (www.lightingwarehouse.co.za) or one of the Radiant dealers around South Africa (www.radiant.co.za). Pick fittings that are “neutral” or clinical in design, easy to install and preferably use LED globes. 
  • Flooring. Ceramic tiles are the most durable floor surface but they are expensive (and disruptive) to install so if your floor is not already tiled, you should opt for something else. Marley tiles (see www.floorworx.co.za) are a practical choice as they are easy to clean and easily replaced if damaged. For a more luxe look, cushioned vinyl tile or sheeting is an excellent and relatively inexpensive option (see www.belgotexvinyl.com).
  • Walls. Don’t worry if the kitchen walls are not fully tiled. Just repaint with a matt, washable paint in a pale neutral colour (see www.plascon.co.za). And don’t forget the ceiling, which should preferably be white, and the doors and architraves.
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