home improvementkitchen

A Kitchen Design Update is Worth the Investment

Looking to renovate a space in your house? A kitchen remodel is the best way to add value for you and your family while increasing the potential sale price when you enter the market. No magic formulas or simple solutions exist that will instantly boost the value, but there are strategies and tips to keep in mind when taking on a kitchen renovation. Giving your space the right improvements can make the difference between selling high and having to gradually lower the asking price.

kitchen design update

Improving the form and function of your kitchen can return anywhere from 70% to 100% or more of your initial investment. Unfortunately, many people think a remodel is all about the money they put in. While a budget does matter, the way you utilize the funds available is significantly more important. The first step is to identify the needs of your space. If it isn’t broke, why fix it? So, determine what is old, outdated, cumbersome, or unusable as it pertains your cabinetry, counter tops, appliances, and wall color.

Cabinets and counters are two of the biggest attractions in a kitchen. And it’s easy to see why since they take up about 60% of the area. Appliances have traditionally been about function, and updated washers, microwaves, and refrigerators are strong representation of a home’s overall upkeep and condition. Buyers should be able to walk into a kitchen first and have a great impression of what the house offers.

When it comes to cabinets, look and feel is key. Do they look old or outdated? Consider a refacing instead of a full tear down. With a refacing or resurfacing the existing structure stays in place, but 70% of what people see is changed. This means new doors and drawers, veneers and hardware. When refacing, try a flat panel design for simple, clean aesthetic, or glass to give depth and elegance. Feel free to get creative with your cabinet jewelry. You can add new handles and hardware to a 10ft. by 12ft. kitchen for less than $200.

Another popular cabinet update technique is wood refinishing. With this process the layers of paint and urethane are stripped away and sanded clean. Then new urethane and stain or paint is applied. This will breathe new life into your wood.

Wood refinishing and cabinet refacing offer fantastic return on investment potential. Refacing typically costs between $2,000 and $6,000—more than half the price of a full gutting and replacing. Wood refinishing costs even less!

Once your cabinets are looking fantastic, turn your attention to what’s sitting on top of them. Counters are the eye candy of a kitchen, and the one area where it doesn’t hurt to open up your pocket book. Countertops return 70% or more of the initial investment, but only if they are granite. No other material is more desirable in a Chicago kitchen. Granite is ideal because of its durability and aesthetic features. It is impervious to scrapes, stains, and spills, and will likely outlast not only your home, but also you.

Speaking of durability and longevity, how are your appliances holding up to constant wear and tear? Kids slamming the microwave door, spills in the fridge, and do you run your dishwasher every other day? It might be time to update these items. Every brand has a pro and con, but you should be sure to get stainless steel. Nothing is sleeker or cleaner than this metal coating, making it the number one choice among homeowners. And it’s a game changer for buyers too. People want to move into a home that is up-to-date and appliances are the best indicator of this.

An often-overlooked yet incredibly effective remodel move is a fresh coat of wall paint. Many homeowners are shocked how different their space looks with brighter colors. Whites and yellows are bright and inviting, making the space look bigger in the process. You can accent with bold blues and reds to give your room plenty of life.

The median sales price of a Chicago home is $240,000. Real estate and remodeling experts believe a kitchen renovation should be right around $24,000 dollars for the best ROI. This would be about 10% of your home’s value. There are a lot of ways to update your space with 24k. New counters, a dishwasher, and a fresh coat of paint. All new appliances a cabinet refacing. No matter what combination you eventually choose, be sure you are implementing the design choices recommended. This will not only increase your asking price, but also dramatically reduce the time your listing is on the market!


About the Author: Steve Constable has worked for several years in the field of home remodeling and is a graduate of Indiana University Bloomington. He is the owner of Kitchen Remodeling Chicago.

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