Thanksgiving is coming soon, and many families will spend days in the kitchen preparing their holiday meals… which gets us thinking about kitchen renovations. As real estate prices seem to be climbing up to their peak, spending money on renovations to increase home value can be a poor decision. Additionally, recent natural disasters have caused an increase in building materials prices in some areas, cutting into any returns from renovations.
Still, a kitchen renovation is still worth contemplating. Since most people use their kitchens several times a day for preparing food, and for gathering together as a family, a kitchen exhibits more signs of wear and tear faster than any other room in the house. And because of changing home design trends, the kitchen often ends up appearing more dated earlier than other rooms.
When prospective buyers visit a house, a revamped kitchen reflects well on the rest of a property; according to Remodeling Magazine’s “Cost vs. Value” 2018 report, kitchen remodels can recoup about 63% to 82% of their cost. No matter what your budget, you should create the most attractive kitchen you can afford.
Some kitchen upgrades are more likely to increase your home’s resale value, and speed up sales. Here are six tips to help you decide which upgrades to make:
Whether you decide on a major kitchen remodel or only minor fixes, you’ll receive similar returns. To make the most out of any budget, focus on small tasks that improve the overall appearance of the kitchen, and think about “renewing” rather than “renovating.” Instead of giving your cabinets a complete overhaul by replacing them, you might want to have them painted a new color. Updated light fixtures, a new faucet, and modern cabinet hardware can all make your kitchen look more modern. When a kitchen is updated, some buyers are more willing to overlook dated bathrooms or worn-out decor elsewhere.
New appliances can make any kitchen seem more expensive. Also, there’s no construction needed. New ranges, fridges, and cooktops with stainless steel finishes look modern and work great. You’ll pay $200 to $3,000 per appliance. If you can afford it, try to replace all of the appliances at once to create a unified look. However, if you have to choose just one appliance, a new dishwasher makes a great impression on a buyer. (If you can’t afford new appliances at all, and they still work well, it’s possible to buy new face panels and doors from the manufacturers. It’ll appear that your appliances are all one set, without the cost.)
When you update your appliances, choose energy-efficient models to appeal to buyers who are looking to save on utility bills. And when buyers come to see your home, have the new owner’s manuals handy, in transparent folders right there on the kitchen table.
Everyone dreams of cooking in a kitchen like the ones you see on TV. To appeal to foodies and wanna-be chefs, upgrade your kitchen with useful features like deep double sinks. One of the most popular renovations in this vein is to switch from an electric range to a gas range. Be sure to consider the utility for the “average” home chef. Additions like a hibachi grill or pizza oven are over-the-top and don’t actually add to the value of your home.
Kitchen countertop materials are subject to trends and they’re one of the first things that people notice about the kitchen. If you want new countertops, consult your realtor: they would know what kind of countertops your neighbors have, and particularly what kind of countertops the most expensive houses in your neighborhood have.
What should you choose? Tile, linoleum, bamboo, laminate, or hardwood? Because of the amount of choices, you can select the option that’s best for your budget, while holding to the recommendations of your realtor and your contractor.
(Whatever you choose for countertops and flooring, stay within a neutral color palette. You might be tempted to choose dramatic colours for an Instagram-worthy kitchen, but these types of colors can be hit or miss.)
Creating a larger kitchen (or even the illusion of a larger kitchen) can dramatically increase the value of your home. Taking down a wall, adding a window, or cutting away part of the way to look into an adjoining room can make your kitchen more welcoming as a gathering space, rather than just a place where food is prepared.
Don’t get carried away!
It’s important to steer yourself away from upgrades that impart your personality. Statement light fixtures, exotic tile backsplashes, decorative countertops, or anything too trendy will go out of style fast, and can turn off potential buyers who might have a different style than yours. These types of renovations are likely to be replaced by the new owners of the house, anyway.
What are your kitchen renovation tips? Tell us in the comments below!