Kitchen renovation is the second most popular home remodeling job, according to a National Association of Home Builders survey, representing nearly 70% of all jobs requested of home builders. And for good reason: making a minor kitchen renovation can net you a return on investment of over 82%.
If you want to optimize your return, we’ve got you covered with six tips on how to get the most out of your kitchen renovation:
- Efficiency – and we don’t just mean your appliances
When doing a kitchen remodel, it’s all about how you’re going to use it in the end. Kitchens should be designed for optimal functionality first and aesthetic second. For instance, if you’re tearing down walls to make a bigger kitchen, don’t get tempted to spread out too far. You don’t want to be carrying your diced veggies five yards from fridge to the stove every time you need to make dinner. Sure, you want your kitchen to feel open – – that’s why you’re tearing down walls, isn’t it? – – but there is a happy medium to be found.
- The Ideal Triangle
You’ve heard of an isosceles triangle, right? (If you haven’t, your kitchen renovation contractor will have.) Well, we’re talking about the ideal kitchen triangle: the one between your sink, fridge, and stove top. According to design experts, the optimal triangle for your kitchen isn’t an isosceles, but an equilateral. In non-geometric speak, this means you want your sink, fridge, and stove (the three places you’re likely to be visiting most frequently in your kitchen) to be equidistant from each other.
That’s not to say you can’t personalize this triangle. If you like to chat with guests while cooking, put your stove somewhere you can talk and cook at the same time. Likewise, if you see yourself at the sink more than anywhere else (Head Dishwasher in the house?), consider putting your sink on an island so you don’t have to stare at the wall while you scrub with your back to everyone.
- Light it up
Lighting is easily one of the most important considerations for your kitchen renovation project. A brighter kitchen makes for a more welcoming atmosphere and a better view of all the delicious foods you’ll be cooking. Many people like recessed lighting, but some design experts will tell you surface-mount fixtures are the way to go. If you have a bulb that hangs below the ceiling, you’ll get a more even distribution of light. It also happens to be very aesthetically pleasing. (We know, we said aesthetics come second to functionality, but who says you can’t have both?)
While we’re harking back to functionality, don’t forget cabinets are notorious for blocking light from countertops. To rectify this, consider adding under-cabinet light fixtures. If you do add them, however, dedicate a light switch to those lights alone.
- Speaking of countertops…
Granite countertops are all the rage these days, but marble can be equally appealing. Whatever material you choose, make it solid – – seams are notorious for catching scraps. So are cabinets if you don’t have adequate overhang. Ideally, your countertops should be 24 to 25 inches including the overhang to prevent drippings from falling into drawers and cabinets.
This is another instance when aesthetics will come into play. While you want a highly functional countertop, don’t forget they make up a major part of your kitchen. Choose a material that aligns with your kitchen style.
- … don’t forget your cabinets
Almost nowhere with your kitchen renovation does functionality meet aesthetics as with your cabinets. Your cabinets are a prime opportunity to highlight your style while optimizing your cooking efficiency. For instance, who says your cabinets has to have doors? If you really want to get efficient (while making a statement) fill your kitchen with open shelves instead of closed cupboards above the counters. At least you’ll never need to be asked where the glasses are.
Whatever stylistic choices you make, plan to budget at least $10,000 for your kitchen renovation. A 2014 survey found that while a quarter of homeowners budgeted less than $10,000 for their remodel, only 15% actually managed to spend that little. Just remember: you’ll have an 82.7% ROI when you’re done.