Boost your home’s value with these kitchen upgrades

“If your kitchen looks worn out, even if the rest of the house is in mint condition, potential buyers are going to focus on the outdated kitchen,” says HGTV's Mickey Fabbiano.

Vancouver builders Mickey Fabbiano and Sebastian Sevallo – hosts of HGTV’s Worst to First series — which chronicles transforming outdated homes to be the best on the block — know a thing or two about updating kitchens and which improvements will give the best return on investment.

As Fabbiano says: You only get one opportunity to make a first impression and when it comes to the kitchen, the cabinet doors and countertops can quickly give a good or bad account.

“If your kitchen looks worn out, even if the rest of the house is in mint condition, potential buyers are going to focus on the outdated kitchen,” he says.

According to a 2018 cross-Canada survey of more than 750 Royal LePage real estate experts, a kitchen renovation has the potential to boost a property’s value by more than 12.5 per cent.

Whether you’re replacing cabinets completely or just doing a reface, there’s no doubt that this is one of the top returns on investment, as it quickly gives a new, fresh look, the duo say.

They advise installing new doors on existing cabinet boxes (provided they are in good condition) or painting doors and updating the hardware. If the cabinet update is part of preparing a home for sale, choose neutral colours.

Flooring is also on their best-investment list.

Upgrading a ’90s peach ceramic tile or ’70’s linoleum flooring provides a great return on investment, Fabbiano and Sevallo agree.

Large stone tiles, engineered hardwood, or even luxury vinyl tile can drastically improve the look of your kitchen (and the rest of your house) for a relatively low cost, says Sevallo.

Pam Chilton, principal of Zimba Design, says opening a kitchen into an adjoining room (like a dining or living room) and installing a kitchen island with a countertop like a Cambria quartz is a great update.

“This is a huge impact statement for the room, as well as creating the perfect gathering space for family or guests. If your space is smaller and doesn’t allow for walls to be removed, spend money on great tile for the backsplash – a finished backsplash always brings a room together,” Chilton says.

Fabbiano agrees.

“If your kitchen is closed off, consider removing the walls that separate it from these other areas. That will likely mean you have to reconfigure your layout, but it will allow you to create a more spacious, open and inviting area. Great ROI,” he says.

For homeowners who can only afford a few updates, ensure the major appliances match (same brand and model), Chilton says. This gives the impression of a thoughtful and intentional purchase rather than the appliances appearing to have been bought at a discount sale.

If ROI is the deciding factor, and not personal choice, Chilton advises: “Spend money on things you can see that will give you the biggest impact. Features like specialty cabinet and drawer organizers are nice if you are the one living there and using the kitchen everyday, but in reality, your [guests] won’t be looking in your drawers,” she says.

While many updates – like replacing dated light fixtures – will spruce up the look of a kitchen, they will likely not provide a return on the cost of purchase and installation. Likewise, faucets.

“Don’t spend too much on a designer faucet. Get one that works, and let the new homeowner figure out which one they like best. This always comes down to personal taste, so if your potential buyer doesn’t like what you choose, they will likely replace it anyway,” Sevallo says.

Chilton and the Worst to First hosts agree on the value of planning and budgeting for any kitchen improvements. Fabbiano and Sevallo note that poor planning results in extra stress and expense.

“Take the time to understand what has to be done before you start doing it. Ask lots of questions – and then ask more questions,” Fabbiano says.

Chilton advises hiring a designer.

“They will work with you to choose your fixtures and finishes and go to bat for you when the contractor decides to throw in his own flair,” she says. The designer will also coordinate any necessary permits.

Keen on watching the Worst to First hosts at work? See season two of the show on HGTV when designer Catherine Yuen joins the team to find design solutions to enhance every space.

Original Article Here

Article by Kathleen Freidmon - Vancouver Sun

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