Is a Kitchen Renovation Worth It?

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The kitchen is the heart of the home. When it’s well designed, it can elevate the entire look and feel of a property, both in terms of appearance and in terms of functionality. And when it’s not, it can make an entire home feel dated and inefficient—which can be a big problem if you’re thinking of selling. Because it plays such an important role, many homeowners look to the kitchen first when making home improvements. But does a kitchen renovation increase home value enough to justify its expense

Your kitchen is the hub of your home. From bustling breakfasts to relaxing dinners, your loved ones gather to discuss the details of their day in the kitchen. So whether you’re angling to sell your home for a profit or want to enhance your enjoyment of the space, you need to invest some cash in functional and aesthetic upgrades.

If you sometimes have trouble deciding what to make for dinner, a kitchen renovation can feel paralyzing. But take heart: It doesn’t matter much which backsplash tiles or faucet you choose. As long as you get the big stuff right, you’ll be thrilled with your new kitchen.

How to Budget for Renovations?

The budget is an essential first step if you want a successful kitchen to remodel.

How much do you plan to spend on cabinets? What about new hardware? Will you need new light fixtures? You want a solid plan detailing what projects you want to tackle and how much you want to spend. That will help you stay on track throughout the remodel.

Three Budgeting Tips:

  • Tip #1: Commit to spending the bulk of your money on things you don’t want to replace often—such as appliances and cabinetry.
  • Tip #2: Make sure you’re not over-improving your kitchen. You won’t be able to recover the costs of your updates—no matter how nice they are—if they make your home the most expensive on the block. If you’re not sure what’s typical for your neighbourhood, talk to an expert real estate agent.
  • Tip #3: Set aside 10–15% of your budget for unexpected expenses. Renovations never cost less than expected.

With a firm budget in place, you can make smart kitchen-remodelling decisions with confidence. 

Looking for home builders? Look no further! MJS Construction Group has you covered. 

How Can I Save Money on Kitchen Remodeling?

The first tip is simple: Start with a plan. The last thing you want to do is install beautiful new counters and then realize that you have to remove them to install a farmhouse sink. It’s okay to space out your projects, especially if you’re doing some of them on your own, but make sure you’ve done your research. Having to go back when you’ve already done work only costs more.

Updating your kitchen doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. If you want a significant impact without the huge price tag, here are some practical ways to save money:

  • Paint or Refinish Your Cabinets. Instead of getting rid of your current cabinets, consider painting or refinishing them to give your space a completely new look. Are the cabinet faces too outdated? Consider re-facing your cabinetry. It’s more expensive than painting but still less expensive than replacing the existing cabinet boxes.
  • Don’t Underestimate the Backsplash. A new tile backsplash can bring a kitchen colour palette together, and it usually only costs a few hundred dollars in materials. Paying for labour won’t break the bank, but it’s even cheaper if you do it yourself.
  • Paint Your Appliances. If your appliances are still in good shape, but the colours are dated, you can get them painted at a local body shop. Using your existing appliances instead of buying brand new ones is a great way to save money.
  • Consider All of Your Flooring Options. Vinyl flooring has come a long way and is cheaper than installing real hardwood or slate floors. You can find styles that mimic high-end finishes for a modern, low-cost look.

You are only remodelling your kitchen because you’re selling your house? Remember, not every renovation is worth it if you’re planning to sell. A little goes a long way when it comes to getting your home ready to list!

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Spend-Smart Strategies for Your Kitchen Makeover

Paint and Save on Cabinets

New cabinetry can account for between 30% and 40% of your kitchen remodel costs. So if you’re happy with their location and functionality, but the finish is dark or dull, consider painting them instead of replacing them. It’s a reasonably labour-intensive but doable DIY project, and your wallet will thank you. Even hiring a painting pro will cost you a fraction of new custom cabinets.

Style Tip: For a fresh, airy look, remove the doors of some uppers to create open shelving.

Splurge on a Quality Faucet

The faucet is the hardest working part of the kitchen, so go for quality and convenience—meaning a premium brand and single-handle operation. If your sink is in front of a window, make sure to check the faucet and handle clearances to make sure it fits (and you won’t bash your knuckles on the sill). When choosing a sink to partner with it, simple is best: Go for a single basin, as big as you can fit, and no deeper than 10 inches, so you aren’t forced to stoop to do the dishes.

Prep Before You Paint

Whether you’re doing it yourself or want to keep an eye on your painter, these tips will help you get it done right.

The sheen (or shininess) of the finish impacts how easy it is to clean; go for semi-gloss on all trim, satin for painted cabinets, and eggshell for walls.

Prep before you pick up a paintbrush; no amount of paint or primer will cover up cracked walls or nail holes in the trim. Sand out uneven spots, fill nail holes, caulk all seams. And if you’ve hired a team, make sure your contractor clarifies who is responsible for doing that work.

The best time to paint your kitchen comes earlier than you might think: Do it before the cabinets and backsplash go on the walls to reduce labour costs (even after an extra round of touchups later), eliminate paint drips on the cabinets and tiles, and ensure a perfect line where they meet the wall.

Keep Character and Functionality in Mind When Choosing a Backsplash

Think of the wall section between the countertop and the cabinets as a canvas where you can express your personality. Subway tiles offer a traditional look. Unless they are oversized, you lay them vertically or arrange them in a herringbone pattern. Tiny mosaic patterns are pretty, but the grout lines are harder to clean. Of course, many other options, including glass, metal, stone, mosaic, embossed ceramic, and other tiles—and non-tile options such as beadboard panelling or metal ceiling tiles. Choose something that reflects your taste—but that’s also widely appealing and easy to maintain, so it won’t turn off buyers when you put the house on the market someday.

Consider Quartz

Quartz—a human-made countertop material that looks like stone—has overtaken granite as the most popular countertop choice, according to the National Kitchen & Bath Association. And for a good reason: Quartz is practically stain-proof, scratch-proof, and chip-proof; it never needs sealing. Quartz comes in a vast assortment of looks, many of which convincingly mimic the natural variegation of marble and limestone, the real versions of which are incredibly high-maintenance choices for kitchen countertops. At MJS Construction Group, we offer a wide range of home builders Melbourne.

Don’t Scrimp on Lighting.

There are three different types of light fixture to choose from for your kitchen. (Hint: You want all of them.)

Recessed Ceiling Fixtures: Install these overall open floor space to provide ambient light where people will stand and work.

Under-Cabinet Lighting: Use this to provide task lighting over the countertops—and to highlight the countertop, backsplash, and cabinetry when it’s the only light that’s on.

Pendants/Ceiling Fixtures: Brighten work zones like islands, peninsulas, and sinks with decorative pendants that provide diffuse light without creating shadows.

Think About Wood-Look Flooring Alternatives

Wood offers natural, traditional beauty, but it scratches, dents, and wears under kitchen conditions. Easy-to-clean porcelain tile comes in a wide range of designs, including convincing stone and wood looks, but most things that drop on porcelain will break. So it’s worth considering these softer alternatives: Luxury vinyl and laminate flooring (shown here) is durable, comparatively soft and forgiving, and comes in a wide range of wood looks that most people will think is the real thing.

Kitchen Updates That Add a Lot of Value

For many homeowners, a $20,000+ renovation cost isn’t quite in the budget. For that reason, it can often be a good idea to break up a renovation into its parts and pick and choose the upgrades that make the most sense for your wallet and your objectives. These five kitchen updates will increase your home’s value without requiring a major renovation and are an excellent place to start if you want to stretch your dollar as far as it will go.

Repainting Cabinets and Adding in New Hardware

Cabinets are one of the most expensive parts of a kitchen renovation, clocking in at 30% of your total spend. However, you can spend about a tenth of that by opting to work with your existing cabinets instead. For about $300 in paint costs and $200 in hardware costs, you can give your cabinets a completely new look—no costly installation required. For a little more money, you can buy trim to give the appearance of shorter cabinets reaching to the ceiling or take on another DIY project that will add height without requiring a complete redo.

Swap Out Your Counter Tops

Your kitchen’s countertops are a focal point of the space and can stand out in all the right ways—or all the wrong ways. As such, you can achieve a lot by putting your money into a countertop update. Look for less costly materials but can still provide a clean and modern look, such as laminate and Formica. Modern manufacturing techniques have made these materials look a lot more expensive than they used to, making them a great solution to reviving a dated kitchen.

Update Your Appliances

It’s a lot easier for buyers to envision making their updates to a kitchen if the basics like upgraded appliances are already there. While it will still cost you a decent amount, centring your kitchen renovation budget on appliances—such as a new fridge, updated range, or double oven—adds increased functionality to space and is one of the fastest upgrades that you can make. And since appliances often go on sale, you’ll probably be able to get a great deal if you time your purchase right.

Put In New Light Fixtures

Light fixtures serve as prominent features in any room, including your kitchen. A show-stopping institution then (or at least a clean, modern one) will make a good impression when it draws the eye and will set the tone for the look and feel of the rest of the space. Suppose you’re not sure where to start. In that case, it’s worth bringing in an electrician to tell you what’s possible or to rewire existing electrical work so you can add in a different type of fixture—for example, swapping out a dated flush mount light with a more stylish pendant light.

Add in a New Kitchen Sink

Putting in a new kitchen sink is another one of those updates that give you more bang than you would expect for your buck. Homeowners spend a lot of time at the kitchen sink, and they’ll notice right away if it’s lacking in style or utility. For about $400 total for a new sink and installation price, you can add in a quick and thoughtful touch that buyers will appreciate.

Never Pay for These Things During a Kitchen Renovation

Don’t Choose Fragile Materials.

Looks can be deceiving. Just because something looks pretty doesn’t mean it’s going to enhance your life. For the kitchen, make sure to choose durable materials. Limestone may look beautiful, but it’s vulnerable to water rings. Marble is prone to etching and staining. Recycled glass countertops may seem sleek, but they can chip and crack much more manageable than other options. Quartz is an excellent option for your renovation if you want the look but don’t want the problems.

Never Forgo Cabinets

There are a few legitimate reasons to consider skimping on the number of cabinets—perhaps you really want a window over the kitchen sink, or you’re desperately seeking a minimalist aesthetic. While the idea of avoiding clutter instead of a more airy appearance sounds good, where are you going to put your plates? Never give up cabinet space during a renovation unless you already have more than enough.

Don’t Buy Cheap Appliances.

Kitchen renovations are pricey, whether it’s a DIY kitchen renovation or you hire a pro, but don’t try to save money by choosing lower quality appliances. This may mean that to stay on budget, you can’t get that super-fancy light fixture that you love, but having much-used appliances that are energy efficient and durable is more important than having an art piece on the ceiling.

Never Ignore Workflow

A proper amount of kitchen cabinets, quality appliances and durable materials are essential things to consider when renovating your kitchen. Still, if they’re combined into an efficient workspace, you won’t be getting the most out of your remodel. Be sure your kitchen’s busiest areas, like the sink, stove and refrigerator, are positioned for a smooth flow for cooks and others. Kitchen designers often refer to this as the kitchen “work triangle.”

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Don’t Refuse Help From a Professional Designer.

DIY enthusiasts might be tempted to use their skills and creativity to do a kitchen renovation totally on their own. That’s what doing it yourself means. But as anyone who has gone through a renovation will tell you, expert advice is always helpful, even for a DIY kitchen renovation. A professional can help you fine-tune your plan and offer advice that could save you from purchasing inefficient products and materials and choosing a design that doesn’t fit your needs. You can even stop by many home centres for a free consultation.

Don’t Forget the Rest of Your House.

It’s easy to get caught up in your kitchen remodel and neglect to take care of the rest of the house. Your kitchen will most likely be out of commission during the remodel, so set up a temporary gallery elsewhere in the house. Also, be sure to protect other parts of your house from the dust, debris and splatters from the remodel. Take the time to protect other spaces, and that will allow you to fully enjoy the result of your kitchen renovation without damaging the rest of the house.  Check out our range of Melbourne home builders for your dream house.

Don’t Forget to Have Fun.

A little laughter and lighthearted humour is a must during any remodelling project. Remember, remodelling your kitchen is supposed to make you happy, so let down your guard a little bit and allow the mistakes and mishaps to slide off your back as much as you can. Also, be sure to let your creativity shine! Go for a bold backsplash or try a multi-material kitchen island to help create a space that doesn’t take itself too seriously.

A kitchen renovation will increase your home value, even if you don’t recoup your costs. You’ll also get a high joy score out of the project. If having a kitchen that you enjoy being in matters to you, then go for it.

As for finding a professional to do the job, use our tips on how to find a handyperson, plumber, or another service provider so that you can be sure to select the right person for the job. Do plenty of research before choosing someone, since going the cheap route or working with someone who isn’t completely familiar with what they’re doing will almost certainly end up costing you more in the long run.

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