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Re-dooring your kitchen - a quick and cheap New Year makeover

In most cases, the best place to start is ascertaining where the original kitchen came from. If it is composed of standard-sized units from somewhere like Ikea or one of the DIY stores

When you are preparing a property for sale or rent and the kitchen is looking a bit tired, you don’t necessarily have to go to the expense of buying a brand new one. There are a number of options you could consider, depending on your budget and your DIY skills.

If the carcasses (the framework of the units) are in reasonable condition, you can completely transform the kitchen by just replacing the doors and drawer fronts (you can do the same to the worktop, if required). Alternatively, if the doors are of a suitable material and can be rubbed down, you could also consider re-painting them. This needs a degree of skill and should be done with either a roller or be spray painted to get a decent finish. Because both options cut out the majority of the build process, they will save you a substantial amount of time, money, and disruption. If, on the other hand, you want a top of the range designer kitchen, but the budget won’t stretch to one, you could consider an ex-display one from a company such as The Used Kitchen Company. The discounts are impressive, but you will need the right sized kitchen and some help from professional installers.

In most cases, the best place to start is ascertaining where the original kitchen came from. If it is composed of standard-sized units from somewhere like Ikea or one of the DIY stores, it should be very simple to get some new doors to fit. If you want exact replacements, as a rough guide, the bigger kitchen companies tend to produce the same designs for around 10 years. You should also be aware that some kitchen companies are reluctant to sell the doors independently, but they can often be sourced online. When the budget is particularly tight, or if the kitchen doors are no longer available, it may be worth doing a search for second-hand ones on sites like eBay.

If you want to do a more comprehensive makeover, you can get completely new doors from a myriad of specialist online door companies. They should be able to supply you with doors to suit most sized units and prices start from as little as £10 for the most basic doors. You may also need handles (add £4+) and hinges (add appx. £3/door).
 
Clearly, these costs can vary greatly, depending on the quality of materials. A solid wood door would be considerably more expensive, at around £60-£200 (although it is possible to pay much more).
The most common types of doors tend to be laminate, and they are somewhere between £20-£60 each. You will pay a bit extra for odd sizes, as they will have to be individually made.
 
To give you an idea of what’s involved, the cost of re-dooring a fairly average 16-unit kitchen with £30 doors and one set of drawer fronts, as well as handles at £4 each, would be just £592. It's a fairly simple job and it should be completed with the minimum of fuss in 2 days at most. If you want someone else to do it, you can add around £200-300 to the cost. If you wanted solid wood doors, the price would double (+/-£1,100).
 
That’s incredibly good value for money when compared to a brand-new kitchen. Even a simple one from Ikea will cost several thousand pounds and a typical mid-range kitchen would be somewhere between £6,000-£10,000. If your existing kitchen is a top of the range one, suitable doors would not be cheap, but you would still save a significant amount of money.
 
Changing the worktops can also make a big difference. The costs involved, like the doors, will vary considerably. A 2.5m timber worktop from IKEA costs about £125. Similar laminate tops are around £55-£80, solid hardwoods are up to £200/linear metre, granite and composites start from £90/linear metre and Corian from £120/linear metre. Worktops normally house sinks and hobs and so you may need to factor in some help from a suitably qualified plumber or electrician. A single length of worktop would cost around £125-£160 to fit, but you can add an extra £50 for a sink and a gas hob refit would cost about £150-200 when carried out by a Corgi registered plumber.

With those sorts of savings, it’s worth considering refacing your kitchen even if you aren’t about to sell or rent out the property. At the very least, you should be able to use the kitchen whilst the work is being carried out, rather than spending weeks eating takeaway food while your old kitchen is removed and a new one is installed. If you are thinking of selling or renting a home in East or Southeast London, though, just give us a call first at Oliver Jaques and we can give you some advice on how best to maximise its value.