The Block 2015: How to add value to your kitchen

Information verified correct on October 25th, 2016

Squeeze more profit from your renovation with these kitchen renovation tips

As evidenced from the experience of The Block 2015 contestants, a kitchen renovation is enough to send you into despair (and considering the renovation rookies scrambled to finish their kitchens in just one week, we take our hats off to them). Whether you're building from scratch - like The Block 2015 renovators - or you're simply upgrading your existing kitchen, there are several cost-effective ways that you can add value through a kitchen renovation project.

Alongside bathroom renovations, kitchen renovations are known for adding considerable value to property. While it is recommended that you spend no more than 5% of your property’s value on a kitchen renovation project, there are several ways that you can leverage a kitchen upgrade to boost your property’s price tag.

While it varies dramatically depending on the scale and type of project, an average Australian kitchen renovation may cost between $20,000 - $45,000.

Consider the following value-adding activities for your next kitchen renovation.

How can I add value through a kitchen renovation?

Open floor plan

Open floor plans are in high demand due to architectural trends, and the greater level of functionality and flow of natural light that they provide. As the kitchen is often considered the focal point of the property, you may want to consider demolishing walls to create a more spacious and seamless feel throughout the space. Luke and Ebony, for instance, demolished walls throughout their apartment to create an open-plan living space and to embrace the panoramic views-- a move which Neale classified as a “master stroke.”

luke eb kitchen

Stay neutral

Whether you’re an investor or an owner-occupier, it's in your best interests to ensure that your kitchen appliances, fixtures and fittings are neutral so you don’t compromise the attractiveness of your home to future buyers or tenants. As featured in Andrew and Whitney’s kitchen, white and neutral colours often make a kitchen feel more spacious and airy.

whit andy kitchen

Quality appliances

Select quality brands such as Bosch, Smeg, Panasonic or Samsung, as well as energy-efficient appliances, such as for the dishwasher or fridge. Also ensure that you use durable materials, such as Caesarstone or Quartz, that will endure wear and tear for a benchtop or food preparation space.

If your budget permits it, splash out and invest in luxurious appliances. While not all of us may be as cashed up as Kingi and Caro and have the funds to purchase a touch-screen splashback or a remote power board, there are many high-end appliances that can add immediate value to your property.

kingi car kitchen

Simple upgrades

If you’re looking for cost-effective ways to upgrade your kitchen and add value, consider smaller tasks such as replacing the splashback, upgrading the fridge, installing a new cooktop or changing the handles of cupboards.

To reface your cabinets, you can paint them or even give them a couple of coats of water-based sealer to give them a gloss or shine effect. You can also replace drawers and drawer hardware for minimal cost. A thorough tile cleaning or grouting service is another way to spruce up your kitchen to ensure that it looks clean and maintained.

Results from kitchen room reveal

As kitchens are notorious for selling apartments, it’s fair to say that kitchen week sent the teams into meltdown. Not only did the teams have one week to complete a lux kitchen, but they also had to rectify faults in their remaining rooms in time for the buyer’s advocates inspection this week.

Deanshay kitchen

Featuring a herb section island benchtop, a touch-screen splashback (think recipes, music, TV while you're cooking..) a butler’s pantry, and a teppanyaki cooking station, the contestants gave it their all as they fought for the winning kitchen, and the grand prize of $10,000 cash.

With guest judge, Romy Alwill, the contestants had a fresh face to impress.

Kingi and CaroRomy: 9.5/10
Shaynna: 9.5/10
Neale: 10/10
Final score: 29/30
Kingi and Caro were cashed-up so they had the luxury of spending on innovative technology for their kitchen- namely the touch-screen splashback- which was a winner in the judge’s eyes.
In terms of the pull-up power board, Shaynna had an issue with the positioning of the gadget because she felt it was situated in the serving area.
Despite this, Shaynna was impressed with the layout and design of the kitchen, “This is sexy, it’s sophistication, it’s going to be very hard to beat”, she said.
Equally impressed, Neale felt the kitchen had been well thought-out and planned: “I love it when the kitchen feels like the hero of the apartment, it feels like everything has been building up to this”, he said.
Dean and ShayRomy: 9.5/10
Shaynna: 9.5/10
Neale: 9.5/10
Final score: 28.5/30
As Dean and Shay made the bold decision to swap the position of their living room and kitchen, as well as stealing space from their study for the butler’s pantry, it seems that their risky choice wasn’t exactly “at their peril.”
In fact, Shaynna described their kitchen as a “knockout”, particularly with regard to the island bench outlooking the view of South Yarra.
Neale said he believes buyers will walk in and fall in love with the space.
However, the judges had a few minor criticisms related to the overhead cupboards, “I would actually delete all that storage”, Shaynna said.
Romy had some reservations about the positioning of the rangehood, “This is obstructing the view”, she said.
All judges thought the butler’s pantry was a huge success, and Neale went as far to say that “It will pull at the heartstring of the buyers”.
Luke and EbonyRomy: 9.5/10
Shaynna: 8.5/10
Neale: 9.5/10
Final score: 27/30
Although the second-chance siblings want to keep their winning streak going, Luke and Ebony finished third this week and the feedback was largely positive.
“It’s bright, and light and it feels good”, Shaynna said.
However, she was not as impressed with the position of the sink: “I am quite disturbed by the sink unfortunately because this is the hub, this is where everyone will be sitting, and this is taking up so much workable bench space”, she said.
Romy commented on the contestants attention to detail “The detail here is beautiful, the handles are gorgeous, it's got the soul that the other was lacking”, she said.
In terms of the benchtop and sink, Romy thought they could have been switched around for better functionality.
Andrew and WhitneyRomy: 8.5/10
Shaynna: 8.5/10
Neale: 8.5
Total score: 25.5/30
This week Andrew and Whitney’s point of difference was their herb section in the middle of the island bench-- but this wasn’t enough to ‘wow’ the judges.
Although the judges felt the kitchen was ‘fresh’, the judges had some concerns about the consistency of the fixtures and finishes.
“What jumps out at me is a bit of inconsistency with the details.. you’ve got a gorgeous retro stove and rangehood but that's the only appliance like that, the others are very modern, so they don’t connect”, Romy said.
Shaynna also commented that the space was not functional: “Everything should be within a couple of arm's reach, it feels like there’s a bit of a dance floor in here”, she said.
Despite these critiques, Neale thought it was their strongest room to date, “I think they really have to put the hole in the sand now and say this is the style”, he said.
Suzi and VoniRomy: 8.5/10
Shaynna: 8.5/10
Neale: 8/10
Final score: 25/30
Incorporating a Teppanyaki bench in the kitchen was Suzi and Voni’s unique selling proposition for the kitchen this week- however it wasn’t quite enough.
Shaynna liked the concept of positioning the cooking station in the middle, “It’s absolutely an entertainer’s kitchen”, she said.
However, Romy wasn’t as impressed, “I’m not sold at all about the cooking in the centre...I just find it a bit odd that there’s two rangehoods, I would prefer to have the sink at the end or seating all the way round”, she said.
While Neale thought that the kitchen had everything an entertainer would need, he felt it was lacking character: “For me, it's always about how you connect emotionally... it’s just relentless black with nothing to break it up.. It qualifies as a luxury kitchen, but it needs a big injection of soul”, he said.

The next episode of The Block 2015 airs tonight, Monday October 26, at 7:30pm on Nine.

Belinda Punshon

Belinda is a journalist here at Specialising in the home loans and property sections, she is passionate about helping Australians improve their financial wellbeing.

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