Every year, various Realtor groups poll home improvement stores and other Realtors to come up with a list of home improvements that actually add value to your house. Year after year, the top results are the same. Kitchen remodeling is the home improvement job that adds the most value to your house. In fact, you’ll recover 80-90% of your kitchen remodeling costs in the added value to your house – more if you’re handy enough to do the work yourself.
At least as important as the added monetary value of kitchen remodeling is the more subtle benefit – a newly remodeled kitchen is more likely to sell your house than virtually any other home improvement you can make. The kitchen is the heart of the home for most people, and a welcoming, warm and modern kitchen is an overwhelming factor in the decision to buy one house over another.
But kitchen remodeling is an awfully broad term, and some kitchen remodels are more valuable than others in a buyer’s eyes. Which kitchen remodeling jobs should you tackle if your primary intent is to make your home more appealing to prospective buyers? The Realtors have the answer for that question as well.
In general, the recommendations are for cosmetic changes rather than major changes to structure. The top five kitchen remodeling jobs recommended by Realtors are painting, cabinet re-facing, new countertops, new floors and a modern cook-top range.
Painting is the easiest and most affordable kitchen remodeling job on the list – and it’s also the one most likely to be an effective selling tool for your house. Fresh, clean walls in a neutral color are best. Warm neutrals make everyone look and feel their best, and go with just about any décor. Don’t choose an offbeat or unusual color no matter how much you like it. The more distinctive the color, the more likely that prospective buyers will be wondering how hard it will be to paint over.
Re-facing your old cabinets to give them a fresh new look is the second most popular and effective kitchen remodeling project. If there’s plenty of cabinet space in your kitchen and the cabinets are structurally sound, putting a new face on them is a far more affordable option than replacing your kitchen cabinets.
New countertops can spruce up your kitchen and make it more appealing. Opt for ‘natural’ feeling materials like faux stone or one of the new wood composites. Tiled countertops are another option, but many women are going to be looking at all those little grooves and imagining all the time they’ll have to spend cleaning between the tiles.
A new floor can change the entire feel of your old kitchen. There are thousands of options available, but two of your best options are natural wood or a solid color linoleum.
A new cook-top range is one of the few appliance purchases that will actually make a difference in selling your house. It’s an instant update kitchen remodeling job that will make your entire kitchen appear more modern.
More extensive kitchen remodeling jobs like adding windows or a cooking island are iffy propositions if your main intent is to add value to your house. Stick with kitchen remodeling jobs that are most likely to appeal to the broadest range of buyers.