Whether you are selling a home, starting a family, or just wanting a fresher look, updating your kitchen is always an excellent investment. Refacing cabinets, upgrading the sink, painting walls, and installing a tile backsplash can usually be done for 10 to 15 thousand dollars but replacing appliances, rerouting electricity, or fixing plumbing is where the major costs lie. Read on to learn more about modernizing your kitchen.
- Open Concept
Removing walls to create an open concept is one of the most modern trends. It is an excellent idea to do this if you have a family or want to sell the house, as an open concept is one of the features many buyers look for when house hunting.
Because there are so many options for countertops, an estimate is hard to give, especially since size is also a factor; the most affordable material is laminate, and it comes in a variety of styles that mimic more expensive materials. If you are looking for a material that falls in the middle, for price per square foot, granite is your best option.
If you are willing to spend more on your kitchen countertops, then quartz or marble are great options, as they are a durable, excellent choice for people who love to cook.
You can reface cabinets and give them a nice paint job if you want to save money. A new tile backsplash will take attention off the cabinets not being new and make everything more appealing. However, if your cabinets are showing signs of water damage, or are rotted, then you should replace them all together instead of trying a DIY cover-up job.
When upgrading appliances, make sure your oven range and refrigerator are first on the list. If you are willing to go the extra mile on appliances, then buy an oven microwave combo or a ranged combo to save precious counter space. If you have an island or a place to put a bar, then you should invest in a wine & beverage cooler combo.
Statistics show that millennials drink more wine than any other generation; having a place to store wine is a desirable feature — no matter why you’re upgrading to your kitchen.
New flooring is another popular update. Some available flooring options are ceramic tile, linoleum, vinyl, natural stone, and bamboo. If you want wood, but feel it is too expensive, you can get laminate floors that mimic wood.
If you choose dark flooring, it will make your kitchen look darker and crowded, so make sure you have plenty of natural light when choosing a dusky color. To create a spacious feeling, even with dark floors, you can make everything else a lighter color to create contrast.
- A New Paint Job
New paint is a great way to spruce up your kitchen. If your kitchen appears dark, then choose a light color. Light cabinets and countertops are a good idea when trying to make your kitchen feel brighter as well. If you do not like white, then try a light yellow or sky blue. White cabinets and counters are ideal if you are not painting the walls white or off-white. If you plan to sell, it is best to stick to neutral colors like white
- A New Sink
If you plan on selling your house, then a barn sink is a good investment. They are not only very functional, but they are also in style. Pair it with a new faucet to enhance any room the sink is in, whether it’s a kitchen or a bathroom.
Replumbing old houses is a great long term investment. Galvanized steel was used in older homes until copper came along in the 1960’s. Although copper is durable, it can corrode, unlike PEX. PEX also costs less and is not susceptible to freezing.
- Electrical Wiring
Houses now require more electricity than they did 50 years ago, appliances like the microwave and dishwasher did not become popular until the late 1960’s, so if you have an older home, it could be worth adding another breaker for your kitchen.
Lighting is another thing to take into consideration. It is common to have backlights, oven range lighting, and lighting over your sink and island if you have one. The color of your fixtures will depend on what color you choose for your walls and cabinets. Generally, white or silver are the best options.
Selling or Staying?
Many upgrades can be made to your kitchen, but what you choose depends on whether or not the upgrades are for you or a home buyer. If you plan on staying in your house and passing it onto your children, then functionality is key. If you intend to sell your house, then focus on popular features and styles to capture buyer interest.
Carolyn Clarke is a Seattle-based writer who has been contributing to lifestyle blogs and magazines for nearly 10 years. When she’s not running up against a deadline, she enjoys cooking in her recently renovated kitchen.