For many people, the kitchen is the heart of the home. Just like the vital organ that keeps our bodies running, the kitchen can be put under a lot of stress and strain due to how regularly it’s used. No other rooms in the house involves as much everyday ‘movement’ – which is why it’s one of the important areas we look at when conducting a property inspection.
General wear and tear
Everyday life can result in a lot of small nicks and scratches to your kitchen – whether it’s from cooking and cleaning or just packing cutlery and crockery away after hastily unloading the dishwasher. Dented cabinetry, worn out hinges and scratched benchtops can all be pretty common if you’re not extra careful.
Superficial damage isn’t always a big deal – if you buy a property you’ll likely end up doing the same kind of damage, just from everyday use. The bigger issue comes when a kitchen has been installed for a number of years and it’s now coming time to replace all that cabinetry and all those hinges that have been taking damage for a long time. Eventually you’re going to have no choice but to replace the whole lot – which will obviously come at a pretty high price. When we carry out property inspections we consider the small things that may add up to big costs in the future.
When you buy a home you typically get a whole range of kitchen appliances included with the purchases, these are detailed in the chattels list. When inspecting a property, we check to ensure they turn on, but, at the end of the day, you can never be sure of the quality of appliance or their performance. Ovens that don’t heat at the temperature, (imagine trying to bake a pavlova), dishwashers that only provide a half-decent clean… It’s all possible. Make sure you take into consideration the fact that any property you purchase may come with some hidden extra costs.
The other thing that some people surprisingly can overlook is what appliances a kitchen actually has – we’ve had clients who’ve been very happy with their impending purchase only for us to point out that the kitchen doesn’t actually have a dishwasher – or any space for one at all!
Having a ventilation system (range hood or air extraction system) is also incredibly important for any kitchen. Without ventilation, any sort of cooking is going to result in excess moisture settling in your home.
Function and form
In all likelihood, you’re going to be spending a lot of time in your kitchen. It’s all well and good if it’s in pristine condition and the appliances function as they should – but there are other practical considerations. How much bench space do you have? How many people can fit in the kitchen? Are there enough power outlets to have the toaster, the electric jug, and the Espresso machine plugged in at the same time? When assessing a kitchen, you really have to imagine yourself using it, and whether or not it’s going to be comfortable and practical for you.
Beyond all the factors that you need to consider with regards to whether you actually like your kitchen, it’s naturally important to also think about the legalities of what you’re purchasing.
Some renovated homes will have a second kitchen (more often than not, in a granny flat or something similar). Regularly, these additional kitchens are not code compliant and can’t legally have an oven installed (and won’t be covered for insurance in case of a fire). A quick trip to the council can clear issues like this up – we’ll make sure we flag any problems that might concern you in a building inspection.
There are a number of other legal issues to consider when it comes to kitchens: In older houses it wasn’t uncommon for gas bottles to be stored in the kitchen, under the sink – new laws require that these gas supplies now need to be held outside the house. Often during renovation processes now homeowners are looking to make their home more ‘open plan’, which typically requires the removal of walls – if you’re doing anything like this in a kitchen you’ll need to get building consent.
There are many little things like this that a lot of people don’t know to consider when assessing the merits of a kitchen, from practicalities to legalities – which is why it’s important to get experts in to assess the situation. Book a property inspection today to make sure that the kitchen you’re looking to cook up a storm in is up to scratch.