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Kitchen Remodels That Pay Off

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Blog by Mary Roy | February 22nd, 2013

Kitchen RenoKitchen Remodels That Pay Off

Should we remodel our kitchen? On any given day, homeowners across the country are asking themselves that question. What is the best course of action? Kitchen remodelling is a multi-faceted, often emotional topic, especially since the kitchen is frequently the heart of the home. It is a second living area — the room in which families make memories.

Kitchen remodels are not inexpensive. They vary in cost from around $20,000 to upwards of $100,000. If you plan on recouping the cost of your remodel when you sell your home, this goal must be at the forefront of your decision-making process. Conversely, if you are remodelling for your own pleasure, you have a little more flexibility. Second only to an exterior overhaul — think curb appeal — kitchen remodels have a fairly high return-on-investment of around 80 percent. Smart remodelling can push the return-on-investment percentage even higher.

Homeowners often wonder why they should remodel if only a percentage of the cost is recoverable. Two reasons stand out: your personal enjoyment and your home’s appeal to potential buyers. If the kitchen, baths, exterior or bedrooms are dilapidated enough to discourage buyers, then you must renovate before selling. On the other hand, a great kitchen renovation may cause buyers to discount any negative issues your home may have. If your kitchen remodel causes potential buyers to fall in love with your new kitchen, this is a huge benefit. Finally, if your kitchen makes you miserable, you may need to remodel for your own pleasure.

To recoup your cost by raising the return-on-investment percentage, try to keep your costs as low as possible. This does not mean to renovate cheaply. However a kitchen that screams, “I’m cheap!” is not an asset. To keep costs low, consider these 10 tips before embarking on your remodelling project.

10 Tips For A Kitchen Renovation That Pays Off

  1. Plan wisely. Most cost savings result from good planning. In fact, hiring an experienced designer could actually save you money. A good designer anticipates problems before they occur, reducing unanticipated overages. Designers also know tricks, like how to create more storage. Finally, a good designer can put you in touch with good contractors.
  2. Choose the right contractors. Finding the right contractor is paramount. If you are in Whitby Ontario, you might want to consider our highly recommended friend Eric Bacon ( 905.4221393) for your remodelling work. Ask friends, neighbours and co-workers for recommendations. Make sure to check references, especially the most recent ones. Turnover is high in this business, so a contractor is really only as good as the most recent renovation. Consider visiting job sites. Find out how the subcontractors treat the property. Remember, good contractors are worth waiting for, so be patient.
  3. Don't price yourself out of the market. Talk to a top Durham Region real estate agent to see if it makes financial sense before starting. Therefore, before renovating, call Mary Roy & Team to find the prices of similar homes in your neighbourhood. Make an educated guess your home’s as-is selling price. Next, budget your renovation so that your home will remain in the neighborhood price range. In other words, do not price yourself higher than the neighborhood can bear. If you do, your return-on-investment will be compromised.
  4. Consider a "face lift" instead of a complete renovation. A few simple changes can make a big difference. Consider painting cabinets and updating hardware rather than replacing them. Maybe you do not need all new appliances. An updated backsplash is an affordable way to make a big change. Check out do-it-yourself resources, such as www.diynetwork.com, for facelift ideas.
  5. Pay special attention to lighting. Lighting should be central to the overall kitchen design, not an afterthought. Because lighting is relatively inexpensive compared to counter tops, appliances and flooring, this is an area to showcase. Don’t save your lighting decision to the end of your renovation when you are tired of spending time and money on the project.
  6. Pay special attention to flooring. Both lighting and flooring are often overlooked while homeowners focus on counter tops, cabinetry and appliances. Like lighting, flooring is central to your deign. However, unlike lighting, flooring is not inexpensive. Make sure to budget for quality flooring.
  7. Retain your basic kitchen triangle. Moving plumbing and the gas line is extremely expensive. Unless your kitchen triangle is completely unworkable, consider keeping the sink, dishwasher, cooktop, and refrigerator in the same location. This simple tip will save you thousands of dollars.
  8. Be realistic about appliance choices. Remember this is your kitchen. Buy appliances that suit your needs, not to impress the neighbors. If you aren’t a gourmet chef, you might not need the Viking cooktop with six burners. In fact, maybe some of your appliances do not need replacing at all. Consider buying floor-model appliances. They sell for half price, yet they still come with the new appliance warranty. If you do not mind some minor cosmetic issues, this is a big money-saver that will have no impact on the quality of your renovation. Home buyers tend to prefer gas cooktops over electric, making a gas stove often a better investment than electric.
  9. Keep it neutral. Even if you are renovating for your own pleasure, think like a buyer when it comes to major decisions, such as counter tops and flooring. You can express yourself with accent pieces and small appliances. Get that stand mixer in tangerine, but keep the large appliances neutral.
  10. Spend wisely, but don't be cheap. Cabinetry’s quality or lack thereof, is readily visible and painfully obvious. Even skimping on cabinet hardware will cause cabinets to hang crookedly sooner than you think. Cheap lighting and flooring is also noticeable. Save money by doing some demolition work yourself, purchasing scratch-and-dent appliances and painting. Cheap fixtures will only beg to be ripped out and replaced, and doing that would be the ultimate money-waster.

Mary Roy & Team has an amazing group of Business Affiliates from electricians, painters, stagers, landscapers, contractors to help with all your renovation decisions.