Whether you bought your home as a fixer-upper, are getting it ready to sell, or just want to do a little updating, it can be more than a little overwhelming when you try to figure out where to start.
Let’s try to simplify things for you.
You’ve probably heard that a newly remodeled kitchen ranks high on homebuyers’ “wish lists.” Well, it’s true. A kitchen remodel takes two of the top spots on HGTV’s Top Remodeling Projects—both major and minor kitchen renovation work taking high honors with a great return at resale. While there are varying statistics on how much you can recoup of your original investment, the National Association of Realtors calculated in 2017 that you’d get between 58- and 62-percent back. Pretty good, right?
So, no matter what your reason is for updating, spending your hard-earned dollars on a kitchen remodel of any size and shape will definitely add value to your home. On top of that, there are a ton of new innovations that can improve your quality of life, reduce maintenance, and increase efficiency while you live there.
What are you waiting for? Let’s get started.
Kitchen Remodel: Step 1
This is the point where you must decide just how far you want to take your kitchen remodeling project. There are a few things you should take into consideration before answering this question:
- What is the current value of your home?
- How does it compare to the value of other homes in your area?
- How strong is the housing market where you live?
- Are you planning on selling right away or living in the home for awhile?
- Is your kitchen seriously out of date or in disrepair? Or does it just need some minor aesthetic enhancements?
Generally, any major kitchen improvements could be between 5- and 15-percent of your home’s value. By sticking to this budget, you should receive a reasonable return once you sell your home. If you plan to stay in your home for many years after the work is completed, you can spend a little more to get the items you want and will enjoy.
Kitchen Remodel: Step 2
Once you’ve determined a budget, you’ll want to evaluate just how much work you can do yourself and how much should be done with a professional contractor. While you can save money upfront by handling some of the work yourself, you’ll want to avoid a “money pit” situation where one problem leads to another more complicated one. Inexperience can lead to spending tens of thousands of dollars unnecessarily if you have to bring in a specialist to correct a situation you created.
Working with a licensed, insured home remodeler will help you determine what really needs to be done and ensures the work will be completed more efficiently, giving you peace of mind. Check with friends and family or the Better Business Bureau for recommendations and always follow-up on references before signing a contract.
Kitchen Remodel: Step 3
Now for the fun part! You can start selecting new, stylish products, materials and colors for you new kitchen.
Cabinets and Hardware
Two-tone, painted cabinets are all the rage, so if you’re going to do a full tear-out, consider this great option. White kitchens have a long-lasting appeal and when they’re paired with contrasting island cabinets with furniture leg accents, it will definitely become your favorite room in the house.
Homeowners are adopting a more minimalistic approach to cabinetry by limiting the number of upper cabinets. More windows, open shelving and pass-throughs provide the airy feel that’s become so popular with today’s home buyers.
Look for base cabinets with deep drawers, slide-out shelves, hidden trash receptacles, pantry cabinets, or appliance garages for easy access to all your cooking tools without cluttering your countertops.
Keep cabinet hardware simple with a polished silver, chrome, nickel or pewter finish handles and pulls. It’s a classic look that goes with any decor.
Natural, solid-surface countertops are extremely popular. They can be costly but offer unmatched durability and timeless appeal. Granite offers unique patterns and color variations and will become the focal point in your room. It is a porous material so will require occasional sealing to maintain its radiant finish.
Quartz is another beautiful option that’s gaining ground in the interior design world. Sealing is not required, so it has less upkeep than granite. The patterns are more subtle too, so it may coordinate better with your other finishes.
These have made a roaring comeback in recent years and just about anything goes. Choose from tile or metal or glass for a pretty look and easy-to-clean surface. These provide the perfect protection from mold and mildew growth in hard-to-maintain cracks and crevices too.
You’ll be surprised at the many changes in lighting options for today’s kitchens. Even small changes will have a big impact on the overall look. Hanging pendant lights come with clear and bright-colored glass shades, unique patterns and look great over islands and sinks. Under-cabinet lighting adds a little ambiance to the room while illuminating your workspace. Consider a retrofit kit for your existing recessed light fixtures for an updated look without an expensive replacement.
Another great improvement that will yield a strong return on investment is new flooring. Natural hardwood and wood-look laminates are the most desired selections for buyers today. Wide plank, reclaimed hardwood and even eco-friendly bamboo are among the most unique and stylish types being chosen today. Laminates are less expensive and provide a durable finish that will resist scratches from your pet’s punishing claws.
Big, farmhouse apron-style sinks and generous, high-performance faucets with an emphasis on function are key components in today’s kitchens. The ability to accommodate large pots and pans, incorporate flexible spray hoses and touch-free features make these top picks for every member of the family.
Whether you spend a little or a lot on your kitchen remodeling project, you’re sure to find that new innovations look better, make life easier, are more efficient and add value to your home. Even if you’re not planning a move right away, making these improvements will yield big returns now and when you sell.
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