There’s no way around it—everyone gathers in the kitchen. Often the heart and soul of our home, the kitchen is also one of the critical areas that contributes—or detracts—from the value of your home.
As a Member of the Top 5 in Real Estate Network®, I have witnessed over and over how the kitchen can make or break a home buyer’s decision. Whether you’re planning to put your home on the market soon or simply want to enhance the functionality and atmosphere of your home, a kitchen renovation is always a good idea—it will pay dividends in terms of value, whether in the near or far future.
Your kitchen remodel should be approached with careful consideration and planning to ensure the best outcome. As all kitchen experts will tell you, the best designs are based on the “work triangle”—the space among the prep area, cooking area and sink. A good kitchen design ensures that there is never less than four feet or more than nine feet between these areas.
Here are some other key tips to follow when planning your kitchen remodel:
1. Create a Budget.
According to the Kitchen & Bath Association, while some remodels are more extensive than others, the average kitchen remodel costs between 10-20% of the home’s value. Leave a 10-15% cushion for surprises, such as unexpected structural repairs. Also avoid settling for a cheap option, thinking someday you will replace it with something you really want. Chances are that will never happen.2. Determine Your Priorities.
Your kitchen design should be predicated on lifestyle. Do you have a large family? Do you love to cook? Entertain? Factors like these will determine both layout and the types of appliances you purchase. 3. Research.
Don’t jump headlong into a remodel. Take advantage of the copious resources available to research what you really want from your kitchen. Watch TV remodeling programs, start a notebook with magazine clippings, attend remodeling seminars (usually free at your local home improvement store), visit home shows, kitchen showrooms, neighborhood tours, etc.4. The Right Expert.
Get referrals from friends, neighbors and your real estate professional, and then interview kitchen designers. Have them come to your home so they can see your current kitchen and make recommendations. 5. Take Your Time.
Don’t rush! Approach each of the above steps with careful consideration. Changing your mind after the project is started typically adds about $1,500 to the cost of a kitchen project.6. Get Everything in Writing.
No doubt you’ve heard a horror story or two of remodels gone wrong. When using a professional for a remodel, the written contract should list each phase of the project; every product, including the model number; and copies of each contractor’s license, and workers compensation and liability insurance to confirm they are current.
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Keller Williams Realty