Over the next two articles, we will take an in-depth look at possible return-on-investment for the two most popular rooms in our homes – the kitchen and the bathroom(s). The articles will touch on various tactics which can help you increase the life expectancy of the renovations, including different ideas to deploy to ensure as much of your investment is retained, and review various finishes and materials to select for your remodel. Along with our detailed report, we will cover realistic expectations of what the potential return could be. This month we will dissect a kitchen remodel; in November we will dive into a bathroom renovation.
Tactics for increasing value and life expectancy of your kitchen remodel
Study the region and market your home is in
While injecting personal taste can be a focal point for your renovation’s purpose, it’s equally as important to know the market where your home is located. The housing market can profoundly affect and have a direct correlation to the return of your investment. While you might want the best of the best for your investment, be cautious not to over-renovate or under-renovate.
The neighborhood matters
Before you start any renovation project, check around in your area. What are the housing prices for similar homes? What kind of finishes and materials are others using? An example – if the standard for renovations in your neighborhood is to use laminate counter-tops, perhaps insisting on granite isn’t a wise use of your money, should you be looking at your home’s remodel from an investment standpoint.
The difference between a minor kitchen remodel and a major renovation
There are some differences between a minor and major renovation project. For starters, the major renovation often will have us stripping the walls down to studs. A minor renovation is focused around aesthetic updates only. Major renovations are meant to improve one’s floor plan and flow of the home. The minor renovation can range anywhere from a fresh coat of paint to resurfacing cabinets and replacing the counter-tops. While both can have value and offer ROI, you should identify which you are doing as your remodel, before you start.
Include new windows and doors
While you’re working on your new layout and floor plan for your kitchen remodel, if your kitchen has a window or door, be sure to include them in your budget. Putting in new windows is something future home shoppers will be attracted to. The new windows will help with the energy efficiency of your home. The new door can create a great first impression and will also help with containing energy. See the Manitoba Hydro website for tips when selecting new windows and doors – https://www.hydro.mb.ca/your_home/windows_doors/.
Consider energy efficiency
Partially touched on above with new windows and doors, energy efficiency is a considerable concern with today’s homes. Placing a focus towards better efficiency will be attractive to buyers in the future.
Besides the appeal that updating your home will bring, there are ways to maximize return on your investment while still living in your home. Energy efficiency can help reduce your homes utility costs. During your kitchen renovation, ask your home contractor for suggestions on energy efficient materials. Our team at Hammerdown has extensive knowledge of Winnipeg weather, and we can help maximize energy cost savings.
Value for appliances
Specifically when remodeling your kitchen, look for energy efficient appliances. When shopping, develop a habit of finding ‘Energy Star’ rating symbol listed as ‘high efficiency’. If you’re thrifty, you may even be able to receive rebates for certain appliances and purchases. Be sure to check the Federal government’s website for Rebates and Incentives–http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/node/14136. Along with the rebates, look for appliances with strong warranties. We also find that a refrigerator will usually require replacement after 15 years or sooner. However, a stovetop will continue to last. Should you be looking to splurge in the appliance department, we recommend putting the money towards the stove.
Retain your investment
Sometimes the best way to retain your investment is to plan to outstay the additional costs. Using a conservative approximation of your home’s value increasing between 3-5%, if you renovation returns at 75%, staying put an extra couple of years will help you recoup the costs.
Other methods to help retain investment may factor in the materials you select. Attempting to stay neutral with cupboard and counter-top finishes may allow your kitchen renovation to weather any fads and trends. We feel strongly that having a professional interior designer work with you when making selections for your home remodel project can prove to be invaluable.
Options for materials when renovating your kitchen
Selecting the countertops for your kitchen
There is a wide variety of options available – along with the full range of products; the price can also vary greatly. Selecting a countertop can often dictate the direction your kitchen renovation goes. The countertop in most homes is a statement or showpiece to build the kitchen around. You’ll want to ensure you don’t break the bank – look for lower costs materials. If your heart is set on granite, you can reduce the costs by selecting a lower grade of granite. The granite used for countertops is rated on a 1-5 scale, depending on the manufacturer. Shop around and see if you’re able to consider lower grade granite, which will reduce costs but still increase your potential ROI.
Quartz for countertops
If you’re not a fanatic for granite, explore other counter-top materials. Using quartz can make a strong showing, both in the beauty department and the value department. Quartz surfaces are extremely durable, is ultra-low maintenance (as it never needs to be sealed, unlike natural stone or wood), and the exterior is antimicrobial. For more information on the benefits of selecting Quartz for your countertops, see our article devoted to it here – http://hammerdown.ca/renovation-insights/quartz-great-kitchen-design-idea/.
The low-cost option – laminate
A much lower cost option is to use laminate products, which can cost half the price of a granite countertop. The way the laminate products are produced, there are many design options to suit your taste. Many of the designs can even mimic the look of a granite countertop.
Selecting the cabinets for your kitchen
With any kitchen renovation, there are a few must-have items we insist our client select. One of these must-haves is cabinets with soft closing drawers and doors. What was once a luxury feature has become a standard feature – the soft-close enhancement brings added convenience and will ensure your resale value goes in the upward direction.
It might be a worthy cause to review the differences between veneer cabinets versus solid wood. If you feel the veneer materials are adequate, working with this type of product can help your bottom line. Many of the styles and finishes offered within a veneer line can put forth a rich vibe but without the big price tag.
Another material to be wary of with cabinet construction is particle board. Plywood construction for cabinet sides and shelving is a good move and will help keep the cabinets strong.
How to select the right flooring
Similar to countertops and cabinets, flooring is a critical part of any kitchen renovation. Just like the other items covered, there is a vast array of available options. The options start on the less expensive end with linoleum flooring to mid-range options such as tiles or hardwood and up to an entirely custom look using a combination of materials or high-end materials.
Things you’ll want to consider when selecting the right flooring for your kitchen remodel are:
- cost of the material
- the durability of the material
- ease of installation/amount of labor involved
- maintenance required to upkeep the flooring
- overall aesthetic and options available to reach the desired look you want
With these points in mind, selecting your flooring material – along with any other materials for your renovation – should become more approachable. Of course, should you be stuck on a decision, talk to our team – we are happy to consult with you and make recommendations!
Other aspects of a kitchen remodel – hardware, backsplashes, and lighting
Selecting the hardware
Hardware can help set the tone for a kitchen and is often an easy upgrade. Selecting the right hardware for your new kitchen will be dependent on the rest of your selections within the renovation process. However, while your focus may be to match all of the metal within your kitchen, some situations may call for a variety of different metals. Doing so can allow for the kitchen to have more character and become increasingly appealing.
Create a splash with your backsplash
One area which, we recommend giving off your style, and easily can reflect your taste is the backsplash. While earlier in this article we mentioned using neutral colors and materials, the backsplash material can bring some vibrancy and spice to a kitchen’s remodel.
Don’t skimp on the lighting
The lighting in your home, and especially the kitchen, can make or break the room. Along with being a style statement, a lighting fixture can set the mood of a room. Does your kitchen have small windows? Select lighting that shines brightly. Is your color scheme dark or use cool tones or shades? Find lighting that uses warmer colored light bulbs or gives a warm tint through the coverings.
Ensure the best bottom line for your kitchen remodel
With whatever materials you select for your countertops, cabinets, flooring or other components during your kitchen renovation, for the best results – hire a professional. Many different types of countertop materials are fragile during the installation, and a breakage or chip can be costly to your ROI. When it comes to cupboard installation, there’s much more to the process than just hanging boxes on a wall.
What to expect for ROI from your kitchen remodel, realistically speaking?
Expectations versus reality can be a tricky subject. There are many factors which play into the result. However, most of Hammerdown’s clients can expect to receive 70-90% of their kitchen remodel back as a return on their investment. At an average cost of a kitchen budget of $60,000, you can expect to recoup in the range of $39,000 to $48,000.
Besides ROI – what else can you expect?
Along with return, depending on your situation and your plan for resale, a kitchen remodel can change the way you live in your home for the better. Many of our clients come to us with some problem to solve, either with layout or functionality. Post-project typically results in a happier homeowner and because of this; they may end up staying in the home for longer.
Beside ROI – what else do you want?
At Hammerdown, we believe a big part of any renovation project should be directed towards “what do you want?” Before starting, we suggest any of our potential clients create their own “Kitchen Goals” Worksheet. A great example of such a thing can be found on this HGTV.com article – http://www.hgtv.com/remodel/kitchen-remodel/planning-your-kitchen-remodel or simply download the worksheet from our website (http://hammerdown.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Kitchen-Remodel-Goals-Worksheet.pdf).
The Hammerdown recommendation
With any of your selections during your kitchen remodel, we encourage using timeless styles over trendy materials. We will work with you to create the most efficient layout and increase the home’s functionality within your budget. And our showroom, is staffed with our interior designers, can help guide your project if you’re not sure where to start.
If you are interested in discussing your kitchen renovation project and want to hear more about Hammerdown’s recommendations for your investment, reach out to us today!