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Does a Kitchen Remodel Add Value to a Home?

Author: Sean King
by Sean King
Posted: May 25, 2020

Some homeowners plan a kitchen renovation because their kitchen space is no longer functional for them, or they might have purchased a home knowing that they would need to update the kitchen, no matter how that work would affect their home's value. However, other homeowners might wonder if their kitchen design ideas will increase a property's value, or be concerned that they might decrease the value of a home during a kitchen renovation!

A kitchen remodel might return some 75%-85% of your costs in increased value to your home, but only if you choose quality materials and construction, and add functionality to the kitchen as well as an enhanced appearance.

Because kitchen renovations are often a costly undertaking, and there is no guarantee as to the return on investment you might enjoy, note some tips to keep in mind when it comes to kitchen renovation ideas that add value to a home. Discuss these with a contractor and even a local real estate professional as needed, so you're happy with your kitchen renovation ideas and know that they'll enhance your home's value as well.

Kitchen Remodel Ideas That Add Value to Your Home

First, let's consider some kitchen remodel ideas that typically add value to a home so that you can begin your kitchen renovation plans with these features and details in mind. Be sure you balance these features with the cost of other necessary items in your kitchen, so you don't overlook any important details when coming up with your kitchen renovation design:

  • Tall upper cabinets add both storage and a more aesthetically pleasing look to the kitchen, as tall cabinets often look more proportionate to a kitchen space. Look for 42" cabinets that are designed to reach the kitchen ceiling, for maximum storage and eye-catching appeal.

  • Classic, neutral cabinet colors in white, shades of gray, or warm wood tones are often more appealing than plain oak cabinets with a gloss finish.

  • Solid countertops are much more durable and valuable than laminate or other inexpensive materials that are likely to fall apart after just a few years. Granite is still a classic favorite, as are quartz, limestone, and marble.

  • A walk-in pantry allows for easier access to food items and small kitchen appliances, versus a standard closet pantry.

  • An upgraded backsplash enhances the appearance of the kitchen and makes it look cleaner and brighter. Opt for glass tile in a subtle shade that complements the walls and cabinetry of the kitchen.

  • Built-in appliances look cleaner and more streamlined than stand-alone refrigerators and ovens. Adding storage around these appliances is also an excellent idea, for easier access to foodstuffs and cooking utensils.

  • Invest in built-in storage options; for example, lower cabinets made into rolling drawers will mean easier access to items stored in those areas.

  • Built-in, double ovens allow for more cooking space and are easier to access than a standard stand-alone oven that requires bending and stooping while cooking. A built-in oven also frees up space under the stove, for a deep drawer that conveniently holds pots and pans.

  • Because many families buy food in bulk, a deep freezer drawer offers more practical storage for foodstuffs than a typical freezer over the refrigerator.

  • A dishwasher with several wash cycles can mean saving money on both water and power, something that new homeowners appreciate and which can add value to your home when included in your kitchen renovation design.

  • Pendant lighting is often easier to clean and much more visually appealing than standard fluorescent fixtures or track lighting.

  • Durable, attractive stone flooring or a classic vinyl tile that resembles stone can instantly improve the appearance of the kitchen while also offering a surface that is easier to keep clean over the years.

How to Add Function and Style to a Kitchen at the Same Time!

Improving a kitchen's overall functionality almost always increases your property's value, but you might wonder how to add style along with increased practicality. Note a few tips for making a kitchen both beautiful and useful, so you sacrifice neither function nor style when planning your kitchen redesign. Here are a couple tips that we found from a local expert in Boston. Greater Boston Kitchen Remodeling are experts in the field and their owner Sean King is one of the top remodelers in the US:

  • If you want an oversized oven and stovetop, consider a stand-alone stove with claw feet and other classic details. This stove can then become the centerpiece of the kitchen, offering lots of cooking space and added visual appeal.

  • Enhance the appearance of your kitchen's center island by having its cabinets painted a color that complements rather than matches the other cabinets in the kitchen. Add oversized, decorative hooks to its sides so you can hang utensils or pretty towels, or built-in shelving for displaying beautiful cookbooks.

  • Lighting under the kitchen's upper cabinets can add a soft glow to the space while also showing off your new backsplash and countertops. Added lighting also makes for easier reading of your cookbooks and safer food prep!

  • An oversized range hood can become a centerpiece in the kitchen while also working to remove bothersome odors and excess humidity. Opt for a classic stainless steel piece or one in a painted metal that complements the color of your kitchen cabinets.

  • A farmhouse sink is one deep compartment, with a bib or exposed front that adds lots of visual appeal in the kitchen. The larger sink also makes it easier to wash or fill deep pots and pans.

  • Adding more natural light to the kitchen makes it seem brighter and cleaner, and also makes the area safer for cooking and food prep. Enlarge the kitchen's windows, or install a bay window or skylight where possible for both style and function.

Kitchen Remodeling Trends to Avoid!

Some kitchen design trends are here to stay, just because they add functionality to a kitchen or enhance its overall appeal in some way. However, other current kitchen renovation trends might be functional for your needs, but they might not necessarily add value to your home. Consider some popular trends that don't typically add value to a kitchen remodel so you can exercise caution when including them in your design plans:

  • Many kitchens today don't have landline phones, so adding a niche or nook for a desk might be a waste of space.

  • A built-in trash compactor might seem like a good idea, but many homeowners today separate and recycle their trash rather than compacting it all.

  • An overhead pot rack does keep your pots and pans accessible, but those pieces also collect grease and dust when exposed continuously to the stovetop under them! The look can even seem very cluttered and busy for many kitchens.

  • Exposed shelving can create a focal point in the kitchen, but these shelves might cut down on storage space since you aren't likely to stack too many dishes along exposed shelves. Some homeowners also might not want their plates exposed, so exercise caution when adding this element to your kitchen renovation design plans.

  • Microwaves placed over the range are a thing of the past! Installing a built-in microwave in the center island makes it accessible to younger kids while also offering a more streamlined look in the kitchen.

  • Distressed and glazed cabinets were very popular some years back, but now the look is a bit tired and outdated. Glazed cabinetry can also start to look dingy and dirty, which is one reason many homeowners prefer white or dark wood cabinets versus the distressed look.

  • Tile countertops were quite popular some years back, but homeowners soon realized how difficult it was to keep a cutting board and other items level and secure on a tiled counter. Stick with solid surfaces for a safer food prep space and streamlined look.

  • Minimalist kitchens may seem very simple and clean, but when a kitchen is overly stark, it also feels uninviting and bland. Too much white or gray is not the best choice for any kitchen renovation today, so mix up these cooler colors with something warm and cozy.

How to Choose New Kitchen Cabinets

New kitchen cabinets will be a significant expense in your kitchen remodel, and cabinets are also one very visible part of any kitchen. Your new cabinets should then be both functional and stylish! Check out some tips for choosing new kitchen cabinets for your kitchen renovation plans:

  • Invest in high-quality solid wood rather than pressboard or other cheaper materials. Solid wood will withstand the heat and humidity of a kitchen and enhance your home's overall value.

  • Consider the size of your kitchen. Cabinets with detailed fronts are an excellent way to break up the look of a large kitchen, but they may look cluttered and busy in a small space. Opt for plain doors without details for small kitchens instead.

  • Frameless cabinets offer a cleaner line and more interior storage space.

  • While white cabinets are classic and clean, avoid creating a drab kitchen that is overly stark and bright. For large kitchens that get lots of natural light, opt for an eggshell shade rather than stark white, or choose a shade of gray.

  • It's also good to mix up the color of cabinets in large kitchens, so they don't look dull and boring. Choose a darker shade for the lower cabinets and something in a complementary but lighter tone for the upper cabinets.

  • Don't spend so much on cabinet materials that you forget about added functionality, such as soft close doors and drawers, interior lighting, roll-out shelving, and inside hooks and other such storage features.

  • The hardware of your cabinets is vitally important. Oversized hardware adds character and charm to cabinets, whereas smaller handles and pulls can work well in a small kitchen. Be sure to choose a metal that complements the cabinet color and appliances in the kitchen as well.

What to Avoid to Add Value With a Kitchen Remodel

While your home's kitchen is yours to do with as you please, you might note some changes that can detract from the remodel and outright decrease your home's property values. You can then consider if you want to include these details and features in your renovation design plans so that your kitchen works for you, but you also protect your home's overall value:

  • Lavish lighting fixtures might look beautiful, but they can be challenging to keep clean. Chandeliers and other such fixtures can also offer poor lighting in the kitchen, making it difficult to see the food you're prepping. Remember that airborne grease and food splatter often cover a lighting fixture in a kitchen, so stick to something simple and easy to clean and that offers lots of adequate light.

  • Overly personalized tile flooring can look fun and quirky, but potential homebuyers might not appreciate checkerboards, geometric patterns, mixed colors, retro tiles, and the like; in turn, these flooring options might decrease your home's overall value.

  • Retro appliances can offer a splash of fun color in the kitchen, but they may not fit a homebuyer's vision of a modern or traditional space. You might instead consider bringing in a retro dining set, as a table and chairs can be removed from a kitchen as needed; in turn, they won't affect your home's overall value!

  • Buyers often need lots of storage in a kitchen, so be cautious about taking out a wall of cabinets in favor of a built-in banquette or enlarged entryway, or of installing small kitchen cabinets to save on their purchase cost.

  • Avoid spending too much money on specialty appliances, such as a built-in pizza oven, rotisserie, and the like. These items could be taking up space that you might otherwise use for storage, and potential homebuyers might not use them as often as you do if they use them at all!

Related Questions

Which kitchen remodeling jobs can a homeowner do on their own?

If you want to protect or increase the value of your home, never handle any kitchen renovation projects on your own. DIY remodels and renovations can quickly bring down the value of your home, no matter the changes made or materials used.

Will using high-end materials during a kitchen renovation increase your home's value?

Overly expensive materials are not guaranteed to increase a home's value, as a potential homebuyer might not be willing to pay more for marble countertops, stone flooring, and the like. Talk to a local real estate agent about the materials recommended for kitchens in your area.

About the Author

Sean King of Risk Free Kitchen Remodeling Boston is a third generation remodeling contractor with over 45 years of experience in the industry and has even written a best selling book on "How to Hire the Right Contractor".

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Author: Sean King

Sean King

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