Upgrading your Home on a Budget- Volume 1: Kitchen
Spring is the season for renovations! Do you want to upgrade your home but not sure where you should spend or if you will get a return on investment? In this article I focus on the kitchen. The kitchen is the number one area to renovate and/or update to get your ROI. A house could be perfect in every other way, but if the kitchen is outdated or ugly, a client will walk out of the front door. I discuss what projects are worthwhile, which to spend a little extra money on and what will give you the most bang for your buck. As a Realtor, we show clients hundreds of houses a year and we see what catches the eye of a potential buyer, and what projects just weren’t worth the hassle.
The 2 major areas to spend money on are the countertops and the appliances. Stainless steel is still the most updated and modern look for appliances in a kitchen and they won’t be going out of style any time soon! There are other finishes like black stainless steel and a more brushed version which are great, but regular silver stainless steel is still your best bet.
Countertops are the second most important area of your kitchen to keep up to date. Granite and marble have always been the go-to material in countertops but Quartz is the new hot material to use. Quartz is a bit more expensive than granite ($65-$100 per sq. ft.) but the price is well worth it. Quartz is one of the hardest materials on Earth which makes it resistant to scratches, heat and stains. It is also nonporous making it completely food-safe and resistant to bacteria. Quartz also doesn’t require any sealants or polishing. It comes in a variety of colors like granite, but it’s always smart to stay neutral and as close to a solid color as possible. This means no heavy speckling!
Another great project for your kitchen is updating those cabinets! This could easily be a weekend DIY project for 2 people. Prepping, painting and sealing cabinets can be a time consuming job but there are products on the market to make it a bit easier. Rustoleum carries a kit called Cabinet Transformations that is absolutely worth the money. For $79.00 one kit covers 100 sq. ft. of cabinet space. It comes with a DVD with step by step instructions. There are many colors and finished to choose from as well. Again, stay as neutral as possible if you are looking to sell soon. White, cream and grey colors seem to be trending more popular in updated and new homes. And don’t forget about the hardware! Something as simple as updating old hardware on cabinets and drawers can make a huge overall difference and doesn’t cost a fortune. Choose chrome or nickel to match those stainless steel appliances and they will never go out of style. Large cup pulls or streamlined bar pulls can be a nice detail that ties the whole look together.
And don’t forget about the backsplash! Focus on the cabinets and countertops first, and then pick a coordinating material and color for the backsplash. Tile and stone are popular because of their durability and stain protection. I have seen a lot of white subway tile in model homes lately and it really gives the kitchen a modern and bright feel. Be careful with something too colorful or busy, as it may look great with your décor but may not be great for resale. Updating or replacing a backsplash can be a DIY project if you feel comfortable with light handiwork. Renting tools at Home Depot such as a tile cutter or saw is a budget-friendly way to complete any upgrade in the home.
These few updates and renovations will not only help your kitchen to become stylish and user-friendly, they will definitely add value to your home. Check out my other articles on upgrading your home on a budget!