Your kitchen’s the heart of your home
- and you could love it even more

Whether you’re looking for a top-to-bottom refit — or a new look for your worktops and cupboards — a new kitchen is something you’ll enjoy every day.

As kitchens increasingly become the focal point of more and more UK homes, it’s not only you who’ll enjoy more space and convenience, but also friends and family – not to mention making your home even more attractive to potential buyers, if you’re thinking of selling. The good news is it’s easy to upgrade to a kitchen that turns heads and could add property value1.

Still thinking of a kitchen loan? Reap big rewards with a little thought

Smart looking tiles and taps are the fun part of putting a new kitchen in. But new appliances can help you save money on your energy bills2 too - while you create your family’s favourite meals.  By law, a label must be shown on all fridges/freezers, laundry appliances, electric ovens and light bulbs which rates products from A to G in terms of energy use with A being the most efficient and G being the least efficient.  By selecting products with a better efficiency rating you could reduce your fuel bills.

It’s well worth thinking about your floors too as great flooring can really set a new kitchen off beautifully. Will you go for stone, wood or have you checked out vinyl recently – which has really come on in leaps and bounds since the roll-on version of the 1970s. It's easy to clean and in some cases is almost indistinguishable from real wood or stone.  And if a little more cosiness is up your street, it’s worth considering underfloor heating – which is a great way to increase the luxury feel.

Plan it, then love it

If you’re making big changes, it’s not only in the planning and measuring, it’s also worth thinking about the general position of your kitchen. Remember, you don’t just have to swap like-for-like in terms of where the sink, fridge or worktops go. Would a sunnier aspect work better where you spend most time, perhaps moving things nearer a window? Is that radiator really where you want it or could it be moved or even removed altogether? And if you’re thinking that big, think about your boiler – is it still up to the job of heating your home now you’ve changed the space or does it need to be moved in order to give you the kitchen you want.

Thinking even bigger?

Who knows, while you’re doing your kitchen, you may realise it’s worth changing some walls, putting in new windows or even bi-folding doors to add even more inspiration and potential value1 to your home. Take a look at our extensions and conversions section for more on structural changes.

Where to start?

Most big DIY stores offer kitchen planning services and good advice about the position of your appliances, relative to your property layout and your lifestyle.

And if you’re making even bigger plans that include extending your house as part of a kitchen renovation, it’s worth contacting your local council to see whether you need planning permission.

A bathroom that scrubs up beautifully

There’s nowhere as relaxing as your brand new bathroom. So why not have the one you’ve always wanted?

With a home improvement loan, you could splash out on a rainfall shower, a sparkling new suite, or a stylish wet room. And a brand new bathroom may not just add value1 to your home either; efficient fixtures could save water, power and therefore, money on your fuel bills4.

Your new bathroom could not only be good for both your finances – it may also be more environmentally friendly. Low water toilets and showers can reduce your bills and your carbon footprint.  By reducing your water consumption you can reduce your water bill (if you’re on a water meter), and in turn you use less energy to heat less water.

And talking of footprints, you may want to think about replacing linoleum or carpets with tiles. There are so many tile options these days, and all kinds of effects, including wood, which can add to the luxury feel of your new space.

Build it to last – and to love

Your bathroom is probably one of the most used rooms in the house, so it makes sense to plan it well – and that’s not just to make it look and feel beautiful, but also to make it robust. So while you don’t necessarily have to splash out more than you need to, it’s a good idea to make sure you go for a quality suite that can take the wear and tear of a modern family. And if changing your bathroom means you may have to add another one elsewhere in the house, check out more in our extensions and conversions section.

Ask the experts

Once you’ve got your home improvement loan sorted, it’s time to get the experts in – and more importantly, people you trust. The good news is these days, social media has made getting personal recommendations much easier than ever, so have you thought of asking friends about plumbers and bathroom fitters or checked out local community forums.