According to data from the National Association of Realtors, 80% of prospective buyers consider the kitchen one of the most important—if not the most important—spaces in the home. In that same survey, a majority of buyers also said they’re willing to pay more for an upgraded kitchen. In other words, a kitchen remodel is one of the best projects to take on if you want to boost your home’s value.
However, not all kitchen remodels are created equal. After all, the more you put into the renovation, the lower your potential return-on-investment (ROI). What this effectively means is that there’s a “sweet spot” for kitchen remodels where you spend what you need to in order to get the most money back. In this article, we’ll review the aspects of a kitchen remodel you should prioritize to ensure you get the most money back when you list and sell your home.
Focus on the countertops and cabinets
When most buyers read “remodeled kitchen,” their expectation is that there are new countertops and cabinets. Replacing your older counters and cabinets with new ones will most likely be the priciest part of the remodel. However, it’s hard to argue for going without it: your prospective buyers value this aspect of the remodel and skipping it may put your home at a competitive disadvantage compared to other homes in your price-per-square-foot range.
If you decide to replace your counters and cabinets, make quality your priority. Cutting corners on materials or labor can come back to bite you by diminishing the long-term value of your home. Instead, limit your investment by finding a good deal or bulk rate on high-quality materials. One great way to save is by buying directly from us, the fabricator. Since we buy many countertops at once, we are able to get you better deals by passing those savings onto you.
Avoid prioritizing luxury over utility. Homebuyers want a kitchen that looks great, but not at the expense of practical use. For example, marble countertops may not be tough enough for day-to-day use in the kitchen. An open kitchen floor plan may be initially appealing, but not if it comes at the cost of half of the cabinets and kitchen storage. Think through how you would use the space before committing to the details of your remodel.
Limit major structural changes
If you want to keep your project costs from ballooning, try to avoid floorplan or structural changes to your home. Popular home remodeling television shows have made open kitchens trendy and fun, but they’re not a fit for every home and can lead to higher upfront remodeling costs. In reality, most kitchens do not have a space problem. If they do, there may be other, less expensive ways to innovate around such issues, such as adding in-cabinet storage.
After all, just think of what removing an interior wall actually entails:
- First, your contractor has to assess whether or not the wall is important to the overall structure. Not every interior wall exists merely for the separation of space between rooms.
- They also have to assess whether or not the wall in question contains pipes or electrical wiring. If so, they will have to be safely moved.
- Any cabinets and countertops on that wall need to be relocated. If there is no place for them to go, your kitchen will lose valuable cabinet and countertop space.
The small things matter
So far, we’ve described significant, “big ticket” changes and renovations. However, no kitchen remodel is complete without the small touches and additions that bring the space to life. In the margins of your remodeling budget, be sure to put the time into:
- Replacing lighting: Light influences how a space is perceived, whether by your dinner party guests or by a prospective buyer. The right light puts your kitchen, well, in the best-possible light. Change out bright fluorescent ceiling panels for recessed lights. Hang pendant lighting over the kitchen island for a modern aesthetic. Adding under-cabinet lighting can work to highlight the best features of your new kitchen: the countertops, cabinets, and their interplay with the backsplash.
- Repainting the walls: It doesn’t get any cheaper than fresh paint—the original do-it-yourself project for homeowners of all skill levels. A fresh coat of paint can be the perfect finishing touch for your remodeled kitchen, and makes the whole space feel fresh and new.
- Choosing the right backsplash: In most modern kitchens, the backsplash is the accent to the countertops and cabinets. This is your opportunity to add style to the kitchen: a splash of color might complement white quartz and light grey cabinets, or a muted subway tile could be the ideal pairing for charcoal cabinets and a dark granite.
Strike the right balance
In general, you need to find the middle ground between remodeling your kitchen for the masses and creating a space that you’ll personally love here-and-now. After all, whether you’re planning on selling in the next year or not for many years to come, you can and should build a kitchen that works for you and your family while also adding value to your home. As mentioned earlier, think about your remodel from the perspective of using the kitchen every single day, and you’ll be on the right track toward a value-boosting renovation.
Written by Samantha Jonhnson, senior editor and communications specialist at Superior Stone & Cabinet , the go-to source for custom and wholesale countertops & cabinets in sunny Phoenix, AZ. When not in the office, Samantha really enjoys gourmet cooking and traveling with her pup. She is also an avid reader.