ROI and Your Kitchen

Maximization of ROI in your Kitchen


Home remodeling is still in high demand despite a weakened economy and higher unemployment.  It is these economic trends have led homeowners (those that still own their home) to improve the home they are in rather than buy new.  For the homeowner, the question is “what do you remodel since you’re going to be staying in your home for a while”?  That depends on what you value within your home most.  When choosing to remodel your home, it is best to try and find the medium between both adding value to the future of your home but also making the space more livable for you.  That way you satisfy both a present and future need. The kitchen and bathroom both continue to be two of the best places not only for personal satisfaction but also as a means of added value in the home.  You can get the most from remodeling these two areas more than any other place within the home.  On average, you can get as much as 80% ROI from your kitchen and as much as 70% from your bathrooms when you look to selling your home.  But before you get too excited about that, there are multiple factors that determine just how much you can get for your dollar.


Too Much or Too Little

When thinking about return on investment in relation to remodeling your kitchen, the first question that comes to mind is how much do I spend?  There unfortunately isn’t a good exact answer to this question.  One thing is true and that is you can spend way too little or way too much.  You have to find that equilibrium between value and cost.  

The House

The first detail to consider is the home itself.  The location of the home, its size, and the surrounding value of the neighboring homes are the big three.  The location of the home can determine the overall style of the kitchen.  Your standard kitchen is between 10-15% of the overall homes size.  So when choosing to remodel, it is a good rule of thumb to follow especially if you have the room to go bigger or smaller.  Another location consideration can be whether you live in the city or the country.  Having an upbeat modern kitchen in the heart of Chicago may yield you the best return while a country feel with a lot of detail in the woodwork may be just the ticket with regard to a home in the south.  The home’s value is another detail to consider because you don’t want to put in an $80 K kitchen in a home that valued at $200K.  If you’re thinking in terms of ROI, you will not get one.  The same is true with regard to an 800 K home.  You’re more likely to decrease the value of the home if your only spend $15 k on your kitchen remodel.


                It is important that your upgraded kitchens have all the correct bells and whistles.  For example an investor whom is looking to make for a quick flip of a property should probably not worry too much about slow closing doors and drawers and pull out shelves.  The opposite is true of a house with a higher value. The best options in today upgrades are going as far as a pantry cabinet or two and slow closing drawers.  That way your adding space for large items without needing a separate space.  Any I don’t know anyone who isn’t impressed by slow closing drawers.   If you’re looking for that something extra, then add knobs and pulls to the doors.  This small upgrade can make a big difference in the overall appearance of your kitchen both expensive and inexpensive.


                Laminated countertops are out. There should never be a kitchen that has this when you’re looking to make an upgrade.  They do not last and it screams I spent too much on the rest of the kitchen and fell short on the countertops.  Granite is the safest way to go in terms of added value.  It is the standard so to speak.  You could go further with the engineered or even the new recycled but that is purely preference and you may not get back what you spend.


                The final and most important part of your kitchen upgrade are the final details.  The best investment you can make is to pay the extra $5-600 it may take to give your kitchen a nice backsplash.  Anyone who has seen the same kitchen before and after a new backsplash would tell you that it makes and breaks a kitchen.   It is a simple addition that adds a load of class to any remodel.


There are a number of other things that you can consider when upgrading.  The color may be something you worry about but as long as you stay away from neutral colors that you typically see in builder grade you should be fine.  Another thing to be weary of is wood species.  If you can help it, stay away from oak.  The stain colors never look nice and it is just too old of a look.  Poplar is a standard these days and it is sometimes nice to see cherry wood.  These both stain evenly and very well with just about any color.  Under-cabinet lighting is always nice to see and since you already tearing into your walls, you should consider adding them but they are not really necessary.


I wish you the best of luck with your kitchen remodel and I hope my advice has at least helped you in making your decisions moving forward.  I look forward to hearing your opinions in the near future.


Donivan C

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