Quick Kitchen Upgrade Projects

Kitchens and Bathrooms sell homes?  True????  Maybe, but kitchen and bathrooms certainly influence sale price.  If planning to sell your home in a few years and decide its time for a kitchen remodel, what should you do?

First, think about the REAL reason for your kitchen remodel is it:

  • I’m tired of my kitchen and want an upgrade
  • I want to make an investment to upgrade my kitchen before I sell

Most likely your answer will be “a little bit of both”, but my focus in the comments below are for people in the 2nd category, what upgrades should I make in my kitchen before I sell?  Again, you can fall into two categories here:

  • I want a total upgrade and dollars spent are not a concern
  • I want to make those upgrades that will get me the best return on dollars spent

Once again, I’ll be addressing those in the 2nd category but for those who aren’t concerned with dollars spent, more power to you (and send me pictures of your awesome new kitchen).  For everyone else . . .

If you are spending money to upgrade your kitchen and want the best return on your money, think SMALL first, and plan the ENTIRE JOB before you begin.  Small changes can make a big difference and are of lower risk since they provide a lower cash outlay.  According to Remodeling Magazine a minor kitchen remodel returns about 73% of the cost when reselling, a major kitchen remodel returns 53% of the cost. Note, neither of these is 100% meaning if you spend $20,000 on a kitchen upgrade you certainly should not expect to receive $20,000 more when you sell your home.

So what are the safest bets?  Here are some ideas in order of approximate cash outlay (low to high):

  • Paint Walls – An inexpensive update (especially if you do it yourself) which can quickly give you a clean new look
  • New Light fixtures – If you have the skills to do this one yourself you can save some money, again a quick fix that can give you an instant update
  • New cabinet handles – This can definitely be a DIY project but make sure the holes on your new handles line up with the existing holes on the cabinets/drawers
  • New faucet – More than most DIYers want to take on but again a very visible update that can add instant value
  • New flooring – Depending on your choice of flooring this can be costly but can also be a very high-profile upgrade

Other updates that can be considered but are more difficult/expensive are Painting Kitchen Cabinets (spraying is recommended and tricky), new appliances, new counter tops and ultimately new cabinets.

As mentioned above, set your budget and PLAN YOUR ENTIRE PROJECT FIRST even if you don’t complete it at the same time.  For example, if you choose to replace cabinets, don’t paint or replace flooring until you are done since the new cabinets may not be the same size as the old cabinets.Whether or not a kitchen is the MOST important feature when selling your home is debatable but your kitchen is AN important feature. If your goal is to get a $$$ return on your upgrade, plan carefully, think small first and don’t forget to send me pictures.