You just have to watch any HGTV show to see that a kitchen remodel is at the top of almost every homeowner’s wish list. Why should you consider it yourself? What benefits can you get from a kitchen remodel, whether you’re planning to stay or sell?
Look around your current kitchen. When was the last time, if ever, your kitchen got updated? Are you looking at the ubiquitous melamine cupboards with the strip of oak across the bottom? They haven’t been a thing since the 1980s. How about your countertops? Are they Formica that has seen better days, with stains and scratches? Probably the sheet vinyl flooring is in need of replacement, too.
Or maybe you’ve got a kitchen that was installed or last updated sometime after 2000. The oak cabinets and ceramic floor are probably a little worse for the wear, and the tiled or granite countertops are dragging the whole space down. You need at least a facelift!
And then there’s the appliances. You’re probably looking at a bunch of energy hogs if they’re more than ten years old. Current models of appliances are much more energy-efficient, and especially with dishwashers and exhaust fans, you’ve likely got some pretty noisy machines in the kitchen that make it a less inviting place to hang out.
If you’re planning to stay put in your current home for at least a few years, a kitchen remodel can make it a happier place to be. Whether you opt for a whole new layout after gutting the whole space, or targeting certain elements for replacement while maintaining the current configuration, you can give your whole home a fresh, new feel by investing in a refreshed kitchen. It’s the heart of your home, so give it the attention it deserves!
Have your cabinets seen better days- or decades? Time to upgrade to new cabinets which will function better and look great. Replace your two-bowl stainless steel sink with an apron-front beauty in either white ceramic, natural stone look, or sleek stainless steel; it’s a new classic that will instantly update your kitchen, especially if paired with new countertops made from solid-surface material or granite. Tear up the old floor and lay down new vinyl plank flooring that will resist moisture and provide a bit of spring underneath your feet.
This investment in your current home may save you lots of money down the road, as you may not feel the urge to move on to a bigger and more expensive house if your new kitchen provides you with the satisfaction that you’d otherwise be looking for in a new home.
And even if you wouldn’t be moving otherwise, the intangible benefits of a remodeled kitchen are many! Creating a more welcoming space in the center of your home will encourage family to congregate there, leading to sharing more quality time together. Designing a more functional workspace can make cooking (and cleaning up afterwards!) more enjoyable, perhaps leading to a healthier lifestyle with more home-cooked meals made with fresh ingredients.
In the short term, a kitchen remodel can wreak a lot of havoc on home life. It’s not unusual for families to move out for the duration just to avoid all that fuss and bother. But in the end, coming home to a welcoming, bright space that will make cooking and eating a more enjoyable part of daily life is worth the trouble and expense.
Making decisions about what to change and what to leave as is when planning to sell your home is a tricky tightrope. While you want to show your house off to its best advantage, you also don’t want to invest money that you won’t make back in the selling price. On the other hand, you don’t want to turn off potential buyers with a hopelessly outdated kitchen. If they have to factor in tens of thousands of extra dollars to fix up the kitchen immediately after taking possession, they’re likely to keep looking for something else.
The other concern is what the buyers want in their dream kitchen. Not everyone has the same tastes! For instance, you may dream of a classic white ceramic farmhouse sink, while the buyer prefers the sleek look of an undermount stainless steel model. So investing a thousand dollars in the white one isn’t going to necessarily help sell your house.
However, if your kitchen is really showing its age, there are things you should consider doing before putting your home on the market. You can repaint dated oak cabinets in either crisp, clean white or dark, smoky colors for a quick contemporary update, or get replacement doors and drawer fronts if necessary. New countertops will freshen the room up considerably, and you’ve got alternatives to expensive stone to keep costs down.
Another quick fix that can make your kitchen stand out is new fixtures and hardware. It’s a relatively easy job to swap out-dated door handles and drawer pulls for new ones, and just replacing an old two-tap faucet for a tall one with a pull-down nozzle and a single handle will go a long way to making your kitchen look up-to-date!
Whether you’re planning to stay or sell, you want to make sure that you’re spending your remodeling budget wisely. This is where professionals can make all the difference. While you may plan one or two kitchen remodel jobs in your life, they’ve got lots of experience working with a variety of different clients. They know how to plan an efficient kitchen layout, and what materials will be best for your lifestyle needs. Professionals are also trained in the skills required to do the job properly and ensure long-lasting satisfaction with your new kitchen.
In the end, it’s wiser to save your big kitchen remodel for a home you’re planning to stay in, while making strategic cosmetic changes to freshen up a kitchen is the best approach in a house you’re planning to sell. The benefits of a kitchen remodel can be big, whether you’re planning to stay or go!
Jeff Ebersole established Ebersole Remodeling in 2013.