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  • Buy-to-Let

    How often to exchange the kitchen

    I bought a small house in October 2013 and put a new Ikea kitchen in which now starts to look tired here and there but 5 1/2 seems to be too short to replace the kitchen. How often do other landlords exchange kitchens?

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    5yrs is too short.  I bought a flat which was converted in 2000, and the units are still the same and expect the tenant not keeping it clean the unit has not been destroyed or broken hinges etc.

    What has happened to your units are they becoming loose etc...

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    I've been working in the kitchen industry for some years and from my experience kitchens like ikea do not last very long, this generally is down to the materials used. Ikea especially are quite smart in how they work. Their units will only cater for their own integrated appliances much like their bedding only fits their own blankets, so you have no option but to go back if you want to keep existing integrated ovens etc. As far as colours and sizes, replacement doors could be an option if they had spares  stored away, but generally these companies rely on short term turnover. Other providers such as magnets may last a bit longer as the materials are slightly better, but they are still built the same way (no solid top or back to the units, and generally use dowels or screws to join the mdf carcass - causing the kitchen to look tired over time as there's no real support firstly in this type of construction and secondly screwing into mdf is never really going to last with high use). With rentals i can see this being worn quite quickly.

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    Many of my kitchens look tired but I wont be replacing them until they are terminally ill

    I have several  ex LA properties some which still have the original kitchens from 30 + years ago

    My own kitchen is over 20 yrs old and still is perfectly serviceable

    It naturally  depends on the quality of units you use and what your target market expects 

    5 years is far too short in my view to consider this fairly significant expense

    A kitchen every 5 years plays havoc with your cash flow profit line.

    Aim for nearer 20 years

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    Jonathan Clarke. http://www.buytoletmk.com

    As a quick note on this Howdens have a 25 year guarantee on their cabinets.

    Also for a less expensive way of updating the kitchen you could just swap out the frontals and worktops if the cabinets are still sound.

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    I have Howdens kitchens still going strong 10 years on.

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    I’ve generally used BQ or Howdens, BQ are my preferrence , easiest to get bits for. I glue cabinets together and make surevthey are secure to each other and walls. Of 7 installed between 14 and 17 years ago, all are still going, replaced worktops and door on 1 recently  as it was tired and whole flat got a going over.sink units are the most fragile, the odd leak and they soon look tired.

    Keep an eye on doors and hinges not a lot to go wrong unless abused. But my flats are at around lha rates so not in a segment of market where new and best is a requirement.

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    I prefer Howdens as a) they are much cheaper and b) the carcasses are 18mm rather than the 15mm from B&Q.

    I have only installed one Howdens kitchen and that is only 18 months old but still looks good.

    The only B&Q kitchen I have experience with is one that was installed by a vendor (so I suspect not very well done) to sell their flat. When we lifted the worktop off, the cupboards collapsed. I would estimate they were 4-5 months old.

    All my other kitchens (one is 14 years old and the others are over 25 years old) were built using cabinets/doors bought from small manufacturing companies that my father had accounts with. I put cheap doors on the 14 year old kitchen in the belief that they would need changing every 10 years (the property is an HMO) but they still look good.

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    As long as the carcass is passable, we tend to just change the doors.

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    The decent Homes standard expects properties to have a reasonably modern kitchen - defined as 20 years old or less.

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    Was that not based on a social housing stock which in 2000 had huge numbers of properties in which the kitchens were from the 50,s and 60’s? The first kitchen I ever did was in 1989, the house sold last year, from the pictures it was the same kitchen. A 30 year old texas homestore flatpack kitchen is going to be incredibly similar to a B&Q “it” range kitchen you would buy today.

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