Kitchen Renovation for Resale: Is it Worth it?

Kitchen Renovation for Resale: Is It Worth It?

The kitchen is no longer just the space where cooking happens. Over the past few decades it has become the epicenter of the home. It is now the room where we are hosting and gathering, where we are eating our meals, and where we are now remote learning.  For this reason, it makes sense why the kitchen is the one room that can make or break the sale of a home.  After all, the saying goes, "The kitchen is the heart of the home."  


Is a Kitchen Renovation worth the investment when it comes to resale?


Let's Talk ROI

The average ROI for a moderate kitchen remodel is about 70%.  

The biggest mistake homeowners make is spending more on the remodeling project than their home value can support. Don't expect to get optimum return on a $65,000 kitchen, when the home is valued at $300,000.  Generally speaking, you can spend between 6-10% of the total home value and get a fair return. So, take care that you do not spend a fortune on your remodel that is impossible to recover from during resale. 


 Kitchen remodel for resale. White and gray kitchen with kitchen island

Collaboration completed with Colours Construction

Rules for Remodeling for Resale

Remodeling for resale means choosing materials that appeal to the masses. A great place to find these answers are on trend studies. That does not mean putting in something that is trendy, but opting for things everyone is looking for. 

  1. Spend on functional features- soft close cabinet drawers and doors, trash cabinet to hide waste, and pantry cabinets.
  2. Don't over personalize the space. You may love those art deco pulls for $50 a pop, but will buyers care? Probably not. 
  3. Never compromise the architecture of the home.  Buyers fall in love with the exterior first. If it's a traditional home, you don't want to put in a contemporary kitchen. That would be setting yourself up for a niche buyer. 
  4. Transitional is always a safe bet. Its really what the majority wants!


 Kitchen Remodeling for Resale: Is it worth it?

Here's Where You Should Put Your Money

  1. Paint Your Kitchen.  We all know the wonders a fresh coat of paint can do for a room.  Paint is a quick, and a relatively inexpensive way to change the aesthetic in minimal time. 
  2. Upgrade Your Cabinets. Potential buyers are drawn to new, updated kitchens. And being kitchen designers, we would love it if you opted for new cabinetry. But let's be realistic. Not all budgets or situations qualify for it. Even if your current kitchen is out of date and refinishing is out of the question, be sure to give them a good cleaning, and make sure the doors are adjusted and level. 
  3. Update Your Countertops. Countertops are the most visually captivating element of your kitchen space. A simple countertop upgrade, along with new fresh hardware can give the look of a whole new kitchen. 
  4. Update the Lighting. Buyers love a well-lit kitchen. Bring in lots of proper lighting: Add under cabinet light bars to illluminate the countertop and prep areas. Replace 6" recessed lighting cans with 3" LED. Consider hanging a pendant light over the island. This is a great place to add style too!
  5. Add a Kitchen Backsplash.  Full backsplashes are what is most desirable. Opt for a classic subway tile look that matches the rest of the kitchen elements. 
  6. Update Fixtures. Updating small details- like the decorative hardware and the faucet can give off high-end vibes to potential buyers. 
  7. Intelligent Layout. Open-concept kitchens with islands are what is most desired. If your layout works, great! If it doesn't then you will have to account for that in your kitchen renovation budget or within the selling price of the house. Always consult with a professional here. They will help incorporate all the features buyers are expecting. 
  8. Update Your Appliances. Opt for modern and energy efficient appliances. Stainless steel is still the number one desired finish. Definitely put in appliances your home calls for.  Luxury homes deserve luxury appliances.
  9. Add storage. Maximum storage is what we all want. Enhancing storage space should be at the top of your kitchen remodeling to do list. Add shelves and organizers! 
  10. Update Flooring. Oak hardwood flooring as been THE trend for flooring in 2020. Lighter shades of wood have made a huge come back- along with those asking for brown and gray tones. Go with low maintenance, wood looking kitchen floors- vinyl, laminate, engineered wood.  If your home is open concept, choose one floor through out to visually keep the space open without any visual divide. 


Kitchen Renovation for Resale, Is it worth it?

Collaboration completed with Luxury Builders

Appealing to Potential Buyers

Do some market research. Talk to local professionals, like a kitchen designer, a real estate agent or builder to find out what attracts buyers and what repels them. Sometimes it is simply a finish color and sometimes it a brand name buyers are looking for.  

Keep the style and color scheme simple. Think neutral for countertops, cabinets, floors, backsplashes and appliances. Neutral does not necessarily mean white. Go natural and subdued. Choose surfaces and fixtures that blend with many styles. Simplicity is key. 

Avoid extremes. You need to know what is a necessity and what is luxury when it comes to the price range of your home and its market. Don't cheap out, but you must also avoid the highest end items and features to protect your ROI.

Open up the space. If you have a larger budget for your kitchen renovation, and your floor plan is not really an open concept, then it would behoove you to take out some walls, since buyers are really looking for that open floor plan. 

Add some "WOW!" features Convenience items impress buyers. Go for extra drawers, a pantry and stone countertops. Under cabinet lighting will add ambiance and show off the materials in the kitchen.  

Go for quartz. No matter the price range of your home, buyers want stone countertops. Now a days, 98% of our sales are quartz. For resale value, splurge a little bit and go with Cambria quartz.  It is the only quartz in the industry that has a transferable warranty which is a huge plus for any buyer. 


Looking for more Inspiration?  

Below are images of kitchens we did for custom spec built homes, right here on Long Island, NY.  When spec building, a lot like renovating for resale, you want to appeal to the masses, while still having that WOW factor.  We think these hit the nail on the head.  What do you think?   Leave us a comment below.  



If you're ready to renovate your new kitchen, but don't know where to start, we're here to help!  Schedule a consultation with our design team. We will listen to your ideas and offer our expert advice. Contact us today! 
For more inspiration, please look at our Kitchen Remodeling Ideas & Inspiration Gallery. 
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1 comment

I am looking to do a custom fireplace with cabinets on both sides. Is this something your business would do? I can stop by to review details in person if you are interested.
Bonnie Fishman

——— replied:
Hello Bonnie! Thanks for checking out our blog. Yes, we do fireplace surrounds and entertainment centers. If you already have measurements of the space and an idea of what you want to do, please feel free to email them in. We would need measurements first, in order to steer you towards a cabinet company that will be able to accomplish what you are looking for. Our email address is:

Bonnie Fishman Design

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