Kitchen renovation tricks which could up your property’s value

Image credit: Grant McLean/Flickr

Some kitchen renovation tricks will improve your return on investment more than others

kitchen renovation tricks
Image credit: Grant McLean/Flickr

Nothing makes a home more desirable these days then a new kitchen with all the bells and whistles (well maybe good schools and neighborhoods are more important!). And most new homeowners either look for a home with a great kitchen or desire to renovate their kitchen at some point during the home ownership experience – hence our kitchen renovation guide.

The kitchen home renovation process is grueling, and if done correctly, very rewarding in terms of ROI and pleasure-factor (that is to say, how it feels to spend time in a new space). You can avoid some of the grueling aspects of the kitchen renovation process, but there is no way to avoid feeling frustrated, defeated, and upset during some stage of the renovation project – this is just a fact.

Here, then, are some major kitchen renovation tricks and advice that will have your kitchen looking like new; by the way our guide is based on our very own kitchen renovation process:

1. Avoid adding square feet to your kitchen by expanding. Adding a room or even a small bump out to increase the size of your kitchen will be costly and complicated (permits, foundation work, framing, etc.) Large, open, kitchens are the current fad, but that may not always be the case (especially when you go and sell in twenty years). Plus, you don’t need a huge kitchen to cook great food and you’ll avoid being a slave to your general contractor for 6-12 months.

2. Splurging on cabinets and flooring are fundamental kitchen renovation tricks. If there are two elements of your kitchen that will take the most abuse it’s your floor and cabinets. Opt for solid wood cabinet faces and full plywood box construction. Also, look for drawers that have dovetail joinery and bulky mechanical slides. On the flooring side, avoid hardwood floors (it just doesn’t make sense in a room that will see tons of foot traffic, spills of all sorts, water, etc.) Instead opt for a Porcelain tile or possibly a natural stone surface (though the latter will require sealing). Hardwood floors are nice to stand on because they give a little and help with back pain, but it’s no substitute for the resilience of a solid, and indestructible, tile surface.

3. High end appliances don’t always perform better. It’s a fact that a $10,000 stove will not boil water faster than a $500 stove, however an industrial will often give you additional burners, beefier construction, and the looks most folks desire in a high end kitchen renovation tricks. W

4. Gut it! It is part of fundamental renovation tricks, it’s best if you gut your existing kitchen so that you can re-wire, re-plumb, level the floor, look for potential problems, etc.

5. DIY within reason. Professionals cost money and general contractors cost even more. Opt for a 50/50 job where you outsource to professionals for technical tasks (installing cabinets, etc.) and insource (i.e. DIY) for not so hard jobs like painting, etc.

6. Do your research and compare prices when it comes to cabinet makers, appliances, faucet, cabinet hardware, etc. That is to say, make sure you visit 3-4 appliance shops and cabinet designers and get plenty of estimates on your stove, fridge, dish washer, etc. You can often receive a discount if you purchase all of your appliances from one shop. On the research side make sure to read plenty of user reviews, read reliability ratings, and check out the manufacturer warranty specs.

7. Stone surfaces are nice, but require upkeep. Formica countertops are great! Formica is easy to clean and cheap, but unfortunately it gives a new kitchen a cheap kind of feel. In turn, most high end kitchen renovations include a stone countertop surface. Generally, granite is the best choice in terms of durability, price, and upkeep time. Marble and soap stone require constant maintenance and can chip very easily (marble also yellows over time and it’s not pretty after a few years).

8. Lighting is important. Fundamental kitchen renovation tricks would involve you paying careful attention to lightings in your kitchen.

9. Don’t overlook ventilating your kitchen. Whether you opt for an industrial-like stove or go with a traditional 4 burner model, you should overcompensate when it comes to an exhaust system (especially if you do any sort of consistent or serious cooking). Moreover, try and get your stove installed on an outside wall so that you don’t have a long run to the outside (with your vent tubing).

Whatever kitchen renovation tricks you do, do not use personal loans before searching for renovation loans. 

In embarking in your renovations for that dream lifestyle and a nicer home, a good rule of thumb is not to leave too much of your own lifestyle in the house. The biggest mistake people make is do renovations that are very customised to their own wants and needs.

Personal loans are much more expensive than renovation loans. The interest rate is around six to nine per cent per annum. On the other hand, renovation loans can have interest rates of five per cent per annum or lower. You should always use the renovation loan first, and use personal loans only after it runs out.

Renovation loans are capped at $30,000, or six times your monthly income (whichever is lower). This is usually enough to furnish a five-room flat or smaller, if you don’t get overly lavish. To find the cheapest renovation loans, speak to some expert loan consultants. You should also source for good renovation contractors.

Written by Ravi Chandran

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