Hi-Spec Kitchen Finishes - what is worth the price?

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ehodge
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Hi-Spec Kitchen Finishes - what is worth the price?

Postby ehodge » Mon Mar 09, 2020 12:12 am

Hi all,

I am very new to the community as I purchased a home in the area last year and just found this forum.

My husband and I are designing our new rear and side extension which will form an open-plan kitchen-living area. I am an American expat, therefore my aesthetic / vision of Hi-Spec may not align with local taste. We are renovating to live (not to flip) so there is an element of emotion and personal preference in our choices, but it's always a sweetener to make a return on investment.

I am curious what kitchen finishes / materials / items are worth their Hi-Spec spend especially when it comes to resale?

A few we are contemplating (if you have any I have overlooked please shout):
- marble / quartz countertops rather than wood/butcher bloc
- butler sink
- boiling water tap
- larger/American fridge
- full wood construction rather than laminated mdf
- double sink
- induction stove rather than gas stove
- double oven rather than single oven

Thanks in advance!
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muddyboots
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Re: Hi-Spec Kitchen Finishes - what is worth the price?

Postby muddyboots » Mon Mar 09, 2020 12:37 am

What you mention is pretty much standard now IMO. Especially double oven, unless you want 4 which from experience people who never cook put in as it looks good :)
Gas vs Induction is personal preference.

I would definitely make sure to have as good spec as you can afford for appliances especially as you are designing it for yourself.

If you have space an amazing larder woru counter space that also can hide a toaster and stuff so your kitchen can look tidier ...
Could add good lighting to that, underfloor heating, good quality fittings!
TAPS! Spend on good taps!
Good quality handles
Etc
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SW19er
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Re: Hi-Spec Kitchen Finishes - what is worth the price?

Postby SW19er » Mon Mar 09, 2020 10:06 am

When we did our side/rear extension, we installed a full sized oven, a steam oven, combi-microwave (ie oven and microwave) and a warming drawer. Granted we used the main oven and microwave the most, but the steam oven and warming drawer came in handy at Christmas time (and to keep the take away warm the rest of the year 😂 ). We sourced ours from the Miele Outlet centre in Abingdon and on eBay (main oven (exdisplay)/warming drawer/steam oven) so they were all top quality and it is well worth it imo.

Our fridge freezer (relatively 'standard' size) was integrated so it was 'hidden' away, you can do the same with american fridge/freezers too i believe or just buy one tall fridge and one tall freezer side by side. If they're integrated noone can tell.

We got a kitchen tap that also did boiling water so that you didn't need a kettle cluttering up the worksurface.

Quartz worktops (i prefer a lighter colour, we now have black granite and it is a nightmare to keep clean - both water marks and dust!). Wood requires maintenance and can get damaged by hot pans and marble needs sealing if i'm not mistaken.

Induction hobs do come down to user preference as pp said, although we now have gas and i miss our old induction. The advantage was that you didn't really lose any worktop space, was unobtrusive and it was SO much easier to clean than gas hobs with burners. Just make sure you get a wide one, i think ours had six areas that could be turned on individually or in pairs to make a longer heating space. The disadvantage of course is that you cant just heat up any old dish on there.

Agree with underfloor heating and lighting - especially under the eye level cupboards to give some ambient lighting in the evening.
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RupertRedBox
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Re: Hi-Spec Kitchen Finishes - what is worth the price?

Postby RupertRedBox » Thu Mar 12, 2020 2:08 pm

This is a great question and it’s one that we are often asked by our clients. I  think that the previous posters have given you some very good advice. What you ultimately decide to do will of course depend on your budget, the space that you have and what works for your family.   It’s a big investment but it’s a worthwhile one too, in terms of adding value to your property and to your enjoyment of your home. We have renovated many kitchens and we have a few hints and tips that we share with our clients when they are thinking about renovating or extending their kitchen, particularly in terms of where to spend and where to save:- 

Spend:
Taps
Hardware (cupboard handles etc)
Lighting
Underfloor heating
Work surface
Ventilation
Kitchen fitting/planning (I know...I would say that but no one wants a wonky cupboard door or a drawer that doesn’t close because the carcass isn’t level or because the installation wasn’t properly planned)

 Save:
Cabinets/Carcasses
Flooring
Appliances (reuse what you already have)
Splash backs
Tiles
Paint (colour matching) 

Also consider some eco-friendly options:
Sell your existing kitchen if it’s in good condition (this could help fund your new kitchen and avoids landfill)
Use environmentally friendly paint
Use kitchen designers who offer environmentally friendly design and use sustainable  materials 

Whether you choose a gas hob or induction, have 2 ovens or 4, is a matter of personal choice.  Your kitchen is probably the most hard working room in your home- it’s not only where you prepare, cook, and eat food, but it’s probably also an entertaining space, a social space and a work space so it’s a space that has to work for you.
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ehodge
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Re: Hi-Spec Kitchen Finishes - what is worth the price?

Postby ehodge » Sat Mar 14, 2020 8:40 pm

Thanks @muddyboots, @SW19er and @RupertRedBox -- your responses are super helpful.

Appreciate your tips on saving extra £££ and prioritising!
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lotus
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Re: Hi-Spec Kitchen Finishes - what is worth the price?

Postby lotus » Fri May 15, 2020 8:18 am

Our kitchen cost around seven thousand but it came with the basic appliances and fittings which we needed to fit our budget, fitting included as well. So that was a pretty good deal in our opinion, considering real wood and quality build. If it helps this was all arranged with Murdoch Troon and could even visit their showroom or just take a look at their portfolio at https://www.murdochtroon.co.uk.
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boonkoh
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Re: Hi-Spec Kitchen Finishes - what is worth the price?

Postby boonkoh » Sun May 17, 2020 11:57 am

We used KDC kitchens - really happy with the quality and install, three years on. I think our kitchen came up to about £20-£23k all in (appliances, worktop, units, lighting). We sourced our quart worktop separately from MKW Surface and appliances from a combination of KDC and online appliance suppliers.

Worktop - quartz is long lasting, easy to clean, easy to maintain. Just make sure to wipe up any spills, especially wine, quickly. Quartz is more modern, granite more old-fashioned, although up to your taste.

Hot water tap - got a qoouker tap and don't regret it at all! So convenient to get hot water on demand, all that time saved boiling a kettle.

Double Sink - this is nice to have if have space. Or two sinks, in separate locations - good for stacking one up for cleaning, the other for veg/meat prep. But IMO a luxury unless you really have the space.

Double Oven - I got this and can recommend. Not that I do alot of baking... but because I had one oven as a microwave-oven combo, and the other as a steam-oven combo. So it gives full versatility to have something steaming in one, baking in the other. Or baking in one, microwave in the other. etc. I went with Neff - some say they're a cheap brand, but its worked perfectly and definitely great value for money over Miele.

Wood carcass vs laminated mdf carcass - not worth it IMO. Laminated MDF carcass is strong, durable, and sufficient for the needs. Plus no-one is going to see them. The important thing are the doors and fronts - what style you want to go. Whether laminated, lacquered, natural 100% wood, etc. So many options. For modern style, check out matt lacquered - it is in trend, but also might be a fad. 

Don't forget other things that can really make a kitchen more modern and stylish. Like a splashback - so many options - we went for a smoky mirror one. And things like a breakfast bar overhang counter - we got a wood one from The Natural Wood Floor company. And under wall unit lighting to illuminate your worktop surface.
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