94-kitchen-roiKitchen remodels can be quite an investment, and if you don’t plan on living in the same house for the rest of your life, it’s smart to know if you will get a return on said expense. In most cases, a person’s biggest investment is their home, and with the kitchen costing the most per square foot, you might want to consider where you spend money in the remodel.

Many real estate agents talk about doing a minor kitchen remodel (if you want to call $20,000 minor) instead of a complete overhaul if you don’t plan on staying in the house for another 10 years. This is because you probably won’t get the return you are looking for right out of the gate. In this market the average return on a homeowner’s investment is 75% to 90% in added value to the home. A couple of ways to really bring value to a kitchen without breaking the bank include changing flooring, appliances, hardware, paint, cabinets and countertops. With each of these options, you can apply it to a complete kitchen overhaul for your dream home or just a little spruce up before you move out.

Start at the ground level, literally.

Flooring is a great way to improve value in your home. The trend right now is hardwood or tiled floors. If you have laminate or linoleum, buyers often are turned off by the work involved to tear it up and put new flooring in. If you do happen to have hardwood underneath your existing floor, a great idea instead of replacing, is to refinish instead. Consider the traffic area in your kitchen and the types of wear and tear there will be on the floor. Choose flooring that’s best for your family’s lifestyle (keeping in mind pets that may scratch up wood or kids who spill frequently, which may stain grout).

Upgrade your appliances.

Anyone can cook for a dinner party using an electric stove and an oven that doesn’t heat evenly, but that doesn’t mean it’s optimal. Putting money into your appliances will create a uniformed, higher end look that buyers later on will love. Stainless steel appliances are a popular kitchen remodel choice, and are asked for frequently by homebuyers. A tip from designers is to invest in newer and sleeker appliances but don’t spend too much money on designer brands unless you are committed to staying in the house for a while.

Change the hardware and paint

Hard to believe that a fresh coat of paint and a few new drawer pulls can really put value back into your kitchen, right? The proof is in the paint these days. If you don’t have the money to gut your kitchen and start again, $40 or $50 worth of paint can really change the feel of the space. Designers and homebuyers alike often comment on how a neutral kitchen space is much more enticing than bright red walls any day. An update to your space with new hardware and a faucet can do wonders as well. This lends itself to the earlier statement about homeowners not wanting to work on rooms once they move in.

Something old and something new

Cabinets and countertops are two of the initial selling points for a homebuyer in a kitchen. If you are planning on changing the floor plan, create a design that will have optimal amounts of storage and counter space. If you are just looking for an upgrade, new countertops and re-facing cabinets may do the trick. No need to spend the money on expensive storage in cabinets if you don’t plan on getting use out of them.