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Whether you're preparing your home for sale or ready to perform updates to improve the aesthetics and efficiencies, the best place to start is in the kitchen. Each year, kitchen renovation projects record the highest return on investment as evidenced by the Appraisal Institute of Canada. Survey statistics report that 75%-100% of kitchen expenditures are recovered when the home is sold. While those figures are impressive, even if you're not ready to move, following current trends for your updated kitchen makes excellent sense.
There are several minor updates that can be done quickly and inexpensively that will change the entire look of your room. Even more significant renovations can be done - up to 25% of the home's value - and still yield big payoffs when you sell. With a homebuyer in mind, you can follow these tips to increase your kitchen's value without spending all the profits.
Establishing a budget should be your first task. Recognizing that a modern-looking kitchen can really improve the value of your home should help you decide whether to re-cover or replace components of the space. There are some awesome kitchen trends for 2015 that will help improve its desirability for years to come.
1. Cabinets & Hardware
As key components of the room, cabinets establish the style of the space, provide storage and workspace. A budget-conscious option is available if your cabinet boxes are structurally sound. You can refinish, reface or replace the doors and drawers. Veneer finishes are available to match existing surfaces, so they'll look like new. A simple change of hardware to nickel-plated or pewter finishes will quickly give cabinets a fresh look for little cost.
If a full tear-out is needed, it can be expensive, so plan to do research before your purchase. Keep the overall cost of the home in mind when choosing the type and wood species. Solid oak or cherry cabinets can cost as much as $50,000, while composite wood or mid-grade painted styles can still look great without the hefty price tag.
2. Paint or Wall Finish
One of the best ways to add value is to paint or refinish the walls. As the heart of the home, your kitchen should always be bright and inviting. Today's popular shades include white, ivory or gray. Color accents can be added for some interest or tie in to other room components or accessories. Be careful to keep personal color preferences in check as they may be a deterrent to prospective buyers.
Don't forget the wall space behind your countertops. Kitchen backsplashes are both trendy and focal points of the room. In addition, they protect walls from splatters and stains. Eye-catching materials such as wood, metal, glass, ceramic tile and stone add texture to an otherwise unexciting area.
Another wise choice that adds value to your kitchen are natural stone or quartz countertops. Products such as Caesarstone quartz surfaces resist scratches and stains, have amazing flexural strength and are virtually maintenance-free. They also come in a wide variety of colors, patterns and edge treatments that make them highly sought-after investments, and well worth the money.
4. Light Fixtures
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New and improved lighting is available for every corner of your kitchen. From bright-colored pendants and functional undercabinet lighting to vintage-style chandeliers, you'll notice even this small change will improve your kitchen decor. Interchangeable, patterned glass pendants are trendy features over today's islands and reasonably priced. Workspace countertops are well illuminated with undercabinet lights and retrofit kits for recessed lights make installation an easy DIY project.
Hardwood and laminate floors are very popular choices and provide an excellent return on investment. Exotic, wide plank, Brazilian cherry and reclaimed hardwood are among the unique, stylish designs selected today. These are luxurious and add exceptional value.
Laminates are amazingly durable, install easily and come in a wide variety of styles that mimic real wood or ceramic tile. Damaged pieces can be easily replaced thanks to snap-and-lock technology. The cost is half the price of the real products, so it will give your kitchen design a boost without a huge dent in your budget.
There's no need to replace costly kitchen appliances when you can give them a facelift. You can order new doors or face panels so everything matches. Dishwasher panels are generally white on one side and black on the other. Flipping them to the other side is as simple as removing a couple of screws. Updating a microwave oven is only a few hundred dollars and can tie everything together nicely.
With so many kitchen products on the market today, even minor updates will add value to your home. If you're getting ready to sell, do some of the simple changes listed here first. If you're looking to renovate, remember to keep the overall cost within 25% of the home's value to receive the maximum return on investment.