Even if you fall in love with a home before you buy it, there are probably a few changes you’ll want to make after the fact to create the perfect, functional, and beautiful home that meets your needs and supports your personal style and aesthetic. And whether you’ve always dreamed of having a chef’s kitchen or you’re looking to boost the value of your property (or both), you might be interested in the prospect of updating your cooking space. After all, you probably spend an awful lot of time in there, and kitchen renovations tend to offer the best return on investment when you sell, so if you’re going to put a home improvement budget anywhere, the kitchen is a good place to start. That being said, you’ll want to make sure that your money is well-spent. So here are just a few tips for the renovation process that should increase your resale value when you upgrade your kitchen.
The first thing you need to consider, before you start installing solid hardwood cabinets and granite or marble countertops, is the starting value of your home. Even though pretty much everyone agrees that high-end materials make a home more desirable, installing them in a low-end home in a low-rent area is going to be a waste. The people working in that budget range when you sell probably aren’t going to be interested in paying you back for a $30,000 kitchen remodel. They want the neighbor’s house for $30,000 less, even if it features outdated, Formica counters. If, on the other hand, you’re working with a million-dollar listing to begin with, nothing but a high-end remodel will do. Any buyer interested in this caliber of property will expect top quality finishes and be turned off by anything else.
That said, spending your money wisely is always a good idea when going into a remodel, and starting with a realistic budget and expectations is the first step. So how can you get the most bang for your buck when it comes to materials and labor? There are a couple of guidelines you’ll want to follow. For one thing, you need to figure out where you can save money with a DIY attitude and what you should probably leave to the pros. Even if you’re not particularly handy, you should still be able to participate in demo and do minor upgrades like installing a backsplash or surface fixtures (lighting, faucets, etc.) with the help of a home repair guide, online tutorials, or classes at your local Home Depot, saving money along the way. But you’ll want to leave big projects like plumbing, cabinet installation, and tile cutting to the pros, most likely.
As for materials, you need to focus less on your own preferences and more on what future buyers will find attractive if you’re renovating with resale in mind. Neutral tones or classics combos like black and white are usually your best bet and you can dress them up with paint colors that appeal to you, as well as kitchen accessories in the palette you prefer since these can easily be adjusted when you’re ready to put your home on the market. The main thing to avoid is over-personalizing the space. You want it to appeal to the masses if making it a selling point is your ultimate goal. If you’re a chef working from home and you’re looking for samples of custom commercial kitchens to meet your needs, that’s one thing. But the average homeowner should temper the desire for personalization with the practical considerations involved in increasing a home’s resale value with renovations.