Thinking about updating your kitchen? Either a mini-makeover or a full gut renovation? You aren’t alone. We are currently working with several clients on full kitchen redos. Here are some tips from realtor.com on where to invest your money – and where to save.
When taking on a kitchen renovation, wouldn’t it be nice to decorate to your heart’s content without any regard for what will appeal to future buyers? You might be in love with the idea of a built-in rotisserie oven or a tile backsplash that depicts your favorite flowers or herbs. But are these specific features going to have universal appeal when it comes time to sell? Probably not.
The ideas of cost versus value and return on investment, or ROI, are always in the back of homeowners’ minds when making interior updates. Check out the following advice from real estate and remodeling professionals on where to invest your cash—and which upgrades are worth skipping.
Good ROI: New cabinets
When walking into an outdated kitchen, the first thing you’re bound to notice are the cabinets. Cabinets that are in poor condition or made of cheap materials can be an eyesore. But updated kitchen cabinets deliver a consistently high ROI.
New cabinets create better storage space and improve the look and functionality of your kitchen. Custom features like deep drawers, pull-outs for trash and utensils, even pet feeding stations are available to give you a kitchen that really works for you and your family. If you have not looked at new cabinets in years (or ever!) you will be amazed at the options.
If new cabinets are not in your budget, painting cabinets is worth considering. “Giving the cabinets a new look with hardware and paint can go a long way,” says Forrest McCall, a real estate investor based in Louisville, KY.
Good ROI: Increasing countertop space
Providing more real estate in your kitchen for prep work is a boon for you and your home’s future asking price.
“Counterspace is key when it comes to a kitchen’s value,” McCall says. “Homebuyers are always on the lookout for more room on countertops, and adding additional space has improved the value of kitchens in homes I’ve sold.”
The average cost to install or replace countertops is about $4,000 per slab. That number changes based on the size of your kitchen, the materials you choose, the cost of labor, and your location.
Homeowners can also add countertop space with the addition of a stationary kitchen island. If you have the space for a stationary kitchen island, you have the ability to add extra seating and storage—two things guaranteed to add value.
A rolling kitchen cart is also a great option for a temporary additional surface since it can be tucked away when not in use.
Good ROI: Upgrading the floor
Upgrading a dated kitchen floor will instantly increase your quality of life—and pay dividends in the future.
“I’ve seen how replacing existing linoleum with tile or hardwood can provide up to an 80% return on investment upon resale, “says Casanova Brooks, a Realtor® with eXp Realty.
Reflooring a typical kitchen and dining room with hardwood costs anywhere from $4,000 to $10,000; laminate and vinyl plank flooring ranges from $4,000 to $6,000. Many homeowners opt to refloor the kitchen and dining room at the same time, even if they are in separate spaces, so there is continuity throughout the house.
Bad ROI: Fancy countertop materials
Replacing ugly counters is a perennial kitchen goal for homeowners, and, as we stated above, this improvement project can pay off. But tread carefully. Fancy, expensive countertop materials like concrete and stainless steel might not hold their value and appeal to potential buyers. Also stay away from rare and exotic marbles like Greek White Thassos, Amazonite Green, and Bianco Dolomiti. Red, purple, and blue granites are at the top of the price structure. Agate is another high-end choice, beautiful and unique, but a choice that does not provide a good ROI.
Bad ROI: Getting too personal
Unless you’re living in your forever home, you might want to think twice before installing a sparkly purple backsplash or any other kitchen feature that seems too personalized. The über-traditional family buying your house in a few years might well be horrified by your aesthetic idiosyncrasies.
“When renovating a kitchen to sell a home, it is important to choose a clean and neutral look,” says Kerry Sherin, a consumer advocate at New York’s Ownerly, a leading home valuation company. “Avoid overly personalized design choices as they can detract from the value of the home.” Neutrals are always a safe choice.
Bad ROI: Nonessential luxury items
Ultraluxe bells and whistles for your kitchen (like a nugget ice maker for Tiki cocktails) might be appealing, but they’re not likely to be practical down the line.
“Luxury and nonessential upgrades to a kitchen often do not provide high ROI or recoup any of the cost to buy and install them,” says Samantha Black, interior designer at California’s Freemodel. “These include luxury and currently popular new appliance offerings such as expensive, upgraded steam ovens, built-in coffee machines, trash compactors, warming drawers, and dishwasher drawers. Consider your local market and comparable listing if you are considering these amenities, and ask yourself if your market warrants these extra expenses.”
Most of us do not have an unlimited budget, and want to make smart choices. Your Enhance Design Consultant can help you with your home improvement projects and make sure you have a look you will love for years!
Kitchen Design Trends
Butler’s pantries – for additional storage space for food, a dedicated food prep space, even a hidden coffee bar or second sink in the kitchen.
Slab backsplashes -- simply a backsplash made out of one large piece of continuous material. It can be matched to the countertops, or used as a statement piece in the kitchen with a bold contrasting color or design. Granite, quartz, and marble are popular choices for slab backsplashes although there are many options available. A pro is no grout for easy clean-up, a big con is a slab backsplash is pricey.
Large islands designed for dining -- the kitchen is the heart of the home, and many homeowners are opting for larger kitchen islands to accommodate dining and entertaining directly in the kitchen rather than a formal dining room.
Warm colors – we are seeing fewer all-white cabinets, more color (especially blues and greens) and warm, natural wood tones in both dark and light hues. Basic gray and stark white are out, and creamy off-whites and warm grays are in.
How Much Does It Cost?
REMODELING Magazine does an extensive survey every year of recent kitchen remodels in Atlanta. In 2022, a minor kitchen remodel averaged $26,773. A major kitchen remodel was $76,681. An upscale kitchen renovation averaged $150,830. These are all-inclusive prices, including new appliances, countertops, sink and faucet, flooring and paint.
What is the distinction between a minor and major kitchen remodel? Primarily what is done with the cabinets. A major kitchen remodel includes new cabinets. A minor remodel does not include changing the cabinet boxes, only refinishing or painting the existing cabinets.
One of the biggest cost drivers for a kitchen remodel is structural issues. Changing the footprint of your kitchen in any way will bump up your budget. Moving the kitchen or building an addition involves major construction as well as new electrical, plumbing and flooring. Opening up to another room could require structural work and unforeseen costs if load-bearing walls are involved. Even relocating the sink or range would mean moving the plumbing or gas lines. Keep your structural changes to a minimum if you are on a budget.
Wonderful World Of Window Treatments
Ideas for Kitchen Window Treatments
The center of family gatherings and where parties always seem to end up, the kitchen is one of the most highly trafficked rooms in the home. And with stylish window treatments, you can make your kitchen even more inviting.
So ... should you get shades, blinds or shutters? Look around your kitchen. Where are your kitchen windows located? Could they get splashed with food stains? Do you have a lot of sun coming in your kitchen during the day? How often do you cook? These are all factors you should consider when shopping for your shades, as well as your kitchen décor.
If they're near the sink, stove or other food-prep areas where your shades may come into contact with water, steam or grease splatters, you might consider faux wood blinds, faux wood shutters or vinyl roller shades because they're very durable and easy to clean with a damp cloth.
If your kitchen windows are in a safer location, you could also look at window treatments like Roman shades, roller shades (in any fabric) and woven wood shades. Also, think about how much you cook and how much heat is coming into your kitchen. Cellular shades offer superior energy efficiency and can help keep you comfortable all year long.
Faux Wood Blinds and Shutters
The best kitchen blinds for windows located near food-prep areas, faux wood blinds and faux wood shutters are very durable and easy to wipe down. EverWood® Alternative Wood Blinds, for example, have the luxurious look of real wood blinds with realistic grain patterns, but they're made with a TruGrain® finish, so they're guaranteed against fading, yellowing, warping or bowing, even when exposed to steam or extreme heat while you're cooking. To clean, just wipe down with soap and water.
Made with a UV-resistant Polysatin compound, Palm Beach™ Polysatin™ Shutters are also guaranteed never to warp, crack, fade, chip, peel or discolor, even in extreme heat or moisture. And while your guests might mistake them for finely painted shutters, they're much more resilient to stains than genuine hardwood. So whether you choose faux wood shutters or faux wood blinds for the kitchen, you can rest easy knowing they'll look great for years to come.
Woven Wood Shades
A great kitchen window treatment for softening the look of stainless steel and kitchen appliances, woven wood shades are made from natural materials, such as bamboo, grasses, reeds and jute. Nice thing, if you get a lot of sun in your kitchen, woven wood shades are durable and can hold their shape over time. In fact, Provenance® Woven Wood Shades are designed specifically to minimize stretching, bowing, braking and fading.
Woven wood shades can be used alone or with a room-darkening liner. The liner will not only increase your privacy but can beautifully contrast with the natural fibers of your shade, highlighting its texture. With Provenance shades, you can even get a Roman-style liner that operates independently from the front-facing fabric, so you have better light control.
To soften the look of your kitchen’s hard surfaces and modern fixtures, sheer shadings have a magical way of transforming harsh rays into a warm glow. Silhouette® Window Shadings are a unique type of shading featuring the Signature S-Vane™ that appears to be floating between two sheers. With the vanes open, the sheers gently diffuse light while the white rear sheer provides daytime privacy. For even more light control, Silhouette shadings are also available with the Duolite® option that lets you pair a sheer shading with a room-darkening roller shade.
Or, you could go with Pirouette® Window Shadings that are designed with beautifully contoured fabric vanes that gracefully open and close along a single sheer backing. With two vane sizes, and semi-opaque and room-darkening fabrics in numerous colors, textures and patterns, Pirouette shadings will work well in any kitchen.
Modern Roman Shades
A classy and elegant alternative to traditional window shades, Roman shades combine the softness of a drapery with a clean, crisp appearance. And in modern kitchens today that are often all white or stainless, Roman shades are a great way to color a neutral palette with colors, patterns and textures. Vignette® Modern Roman Shades, for instance, are available in a wide range of luxurious fabrics, even down to the fabric-wrapped hardware. And like Duette shades, you can combine two separate fabrics with two different opacities into a single shade.
Vignette shades have no exposed rear cords, which is a safer choice if you have small children or pets. Choose from two styles: a flat or full fold that rolls right into the headrail, or a full fold that stacks neatly below the headrail.
Duette® Honeycomb Shades are the first of their category to be specifically engineered with a cellular design that adds an extra layer of insulation at the window, so you can reduce energy consumption throughout the year and control the temperature in your kitchen while you're cooking. Choose either the single-cell design or the Duette Architella® honeycomb-within-a-honeycomb construction if you want maximum energy efficiency.
The great thing about Duette shades is they come in numerous fabrics, colors and textures in a variety of pleat sizes and opacities, so they'll fit any kitchen décor. And with the Duette Duolite® option, you can combine two fabrics on one shade for more light control. If you have sliding doors in your kitchen, Duette with the Vertiglide™ operating system gives you the flexibility to use either one shade to cover the entire expanse or two shades that operate independently.
Did You Know
The federal government is now offering energy tax credits on select energy-efficient Hunter Douglas Duette® Honeycomb Shades—letting you earn 30% of the purchase price* back in the form of a tax credit, up to a maximum annual amount of $1,200