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Three financial approaches to a kitchen remodel.

Understanding the three financial approaches to a kitchen remodel.

Homeowners approach a kitchen remodel one of the following three ways:
1) Spend the least amount of money to simply spruce up a kitchen
2) Invest a moderate amount to upgrade/replace cabinetry, countertops, flooring without modifying the existing layout. This is known as the middle approach and is a very poor investment. 
3) Work with a qualified designer and come up with a plan to create the best kitchen design including replacing all the cabinetry, countertops, flooring, and often appliances. 

Homeowners who think they are saving money when they elect to invest in cabinetry, countertops, flooring, etc without redesigning their kitchen layout rarely gets back even a small fraction of the money they spend when they sell their home.  Conversely, homeowners who work with a qualified designer and invest some of their budget in construction get to enjoy a much-improved kitchen as long as they remain in their home AND increase the value of their home by substantially more than they invest in their remodel. 

Here are a few examples of best investments-

First remodel – up to $5,000 

The kitchen is outdated – oak cabinets, unappealing granite countertops and older appliances. 

In this case, doing something simple can make a big difference. For example, painting the cabinets with special cabinet paint and painting the room a light color can transform the kitchen with minimal investment. With proper instruction, this work is easy and can even be done by homeowners.   Even with replacing an appliance or two, or possibly the backsplash, this remodel will cost less than $5000 and make the home more presentable, more valuable, and is even a good financial investment.

Painting old cabinets with new hardware can make a big difference!

Unfortunately, too many homeowners do more.

Second remodel – $40,000+
In this all too often seen scenario, homeowners upgrade their granite countertop with engineered quartz, their flooring and backsplash with more modern choices, upgrade their appliances to expensive high-end models and, sometimes even, splurge on new lighting, as well.  These remodels also tend to reface instead of paint their cabinets. 

With a medium size kitchen, the budget for this kitchen remodel approach breaks out as follows:

 Quartz countertops   $  5,000

Flooring                          5,000

Backsplash, sink,

faucet, handles           1,750

Lighting                            750

Appliances                  10,000

Cabinet refacing          10,000

Contractor                    12,000

                                   $ 45,000

New quartz countertops on an outdated kitchen design.

$45,000 to leave an outdated kitchen design as it was?? Often with soffits over the wall cabinets, and possibly worn and cheap cabinet boxes and drawer tracks with old-fashioned drawers??

This approach may seem like it makes sense – BUT

Professional kitchen designers know this project almost has no value at all beyond the $5000 costs in the first scenario. This kitchen to a new home buyer might only be a stop gap. This is because, at its core, it is still an outdated kitchen design. It is not the kitchen new home buyers want.

Main Line Kitchen Design routinely rips out these newly renovated kitchens. Home sellers do the remodel thinking it would help sell their homes. The home buyers instead want to take out a wall and create a more modern space. At best the only thing being reused are the new appliances. Quite often old-fashioned double ovens are sold on Craigs List. So even some of the new appliances are not reused in the kitchen being redone by the new buyers.

Drexel Hill PA Kitchen

Kitchen and dining room combined. All appliances and sink moved to create a better space. See Video.

Invest in the kitchen design itself. It is what gives real value to your home.

Third Remodel – $50,000+ 
Here’s pricing for the approach that provides the most value. This renovation generally requires much more construction including moving sink and appliance locations which is always needed to bring a space up to date.  Construction generally also includes removing a wall between a dining room and a kitchen, removing soffits and running wall cabinets and moldings to the ceiling, and repurposing old fashioned desk areas if they exist.

With a medium size kitchen, the budget breaks out as follows:

 Cabinets                     $ 15,000

 Quartz countertops        5,000

Appliances                     5,000

Flooring                           5,000

 Backsplash, sink

 Faucet, handles            1,500

Lighting                            500

Contractor                    20,000(+)

                                   $ 52,000

In this example, for a 20% higher investment, the outcome is the kitchen of a new home buyers’ dreams. The kitchen now becomes the selling point for the home and the transformed larger kitchen space changes the feel of the entire first floor. A renovation like this generally increases the value of a home increase far above the cost of the renovation. This is because it’s not just an upgrade – it’s an optimally designed kitchen.

Kitchen designer

Letting professional kitchen designers help you just makes sense!

Letting experienced professional kitchen designers help you make sensible design, style, and budget decisions is what gives kitchen renovation projects value. The financially problematic remodel – proceeding without the help of professionals, results in a flawed outcome. When remodels are envisioned and executed by homeowners with no expertise, they have no clue as to what could have been.

Let Main Line Kitchen Design show you what could be before you spend money on a project with little financial reward.

and of course . . .

Bon Appetit!

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