Kitchen Remodeling Costs – Creating value

3_30Rarely a day goes by that there isn’t more bad news about the economy and the real estate market in particular. One month sales are reported to be improving and home values are on the upswing, but the next month, indicators seem to take a step backward and the experts aren’t sure what it all means. Perhaps the most accurate statement might be that the real estate market remains unstable and depending on where you live, it may be a while before your home regains the value it once possessed.

However, many homeowners have discovered that they don’t have to be at the mercy of a volatile economy – it’s possible to take matters into their own hands when it comes to increasing the value of their home by making the right remodeling investment. Whether you want to make your home more attractive to potential buyers, or just want to make a few upgrades for your family’s enjoyment, there may never be a better time for tackling remodeling projects at your home.

Kitchen Remodeling: Create Curb Appeal for the Interior of Your Home

Just about any Realtor® will tell you about the importance of curb appeal when trying to sell a house – it can determine whether prospective purchasers stop or just keep driving past your home. If you manage to get buyers into your house, where’s the first place they’re likely to go? Your kitchen! Homebuilders know the answer to the question and that’s why they spend so much time decorating and upgrading the room in their model homes – a kitchen remodeling project attracts potential customers like a magnet.

The kitchen has become so much more than just the room where meals are prepared – it’s now the family gathering spot in many homes and is actually a part of the living area in many of today’s home designs. That’s a primary reason why spending money to remodel your kitchen can be an excellent investment – not just a cost. The investment in a kitchen remodeling project makes even more sense if you’re trying to sell your home during this buyer’s market.

Remodeling Magazine’s annual remodeling cost vs. value report is considered by many to be the defining word when it comes to investment returns on various home improvement projects. Their 2010 – 2011 survey estimates that homeowners can recoup about 69 percent of their kitchen remodeling costs of a major kitchen project and about 73 percent of a minor kitchen upgrade as a national average on a mid-range home. When broken down by region, some areas such as along the Pacific Coast fare even better as the publication estimates returns of 77 and 84 percent for their kitchen remodeling costs when homeowners in those states sell their homes.

This means that a homeowner in Oregon who spends about $10,000 on a kitchen remodeling project could return about $8,400 of the costs when they sell the house. In addition, the project helps to make the residence more attractive to potential buyers. This could be the perfect example of a win/win proposition…and great return on investment

What does all of this mean if you plan to live in your home for the foreseeable future? It could mean that you and your family have the opportunity to enjoy the fruits of your kitchen remodeling project for many years and still recover most of the costs involved in the job when you finally do decide to put your home on the market. Depending on what happens with real estate values and the scope of the changes you make, there’s a possibility you could get even more of your initial investment back.

Take Advantage of the Construction Slowdown for Better Pricing

Remodeling Magazine defines a major kitchen remodeling project used for their survey as a replacement of about 30 linear feet of semi-custom cabinets, installing a kitchen island, a double bowl stainless-steel sink, adding new energy efficient appliances, new lighting, flooring, and painting the walls and ceiling. Their minor kitchen remodeling upgrade which was much more budget-friendly consisted of cabinet refacing, installing new cabinet doors and drawer fronts, adding an energy efficient wall oven and cooktop, new flooring, and doing a little painting.

Whether you go major, minor, or perhaps something in the middle, there is more than likely going to be a need for contractors on your kitchen remodeling project. While you may want to attempt a few of the construction phases as DIY projects to save a little money, many of the skills required for a successful kitchen remodel are only available through the hiring of professional contractors. Wiring, plumbing, and gas work should all be done by licensed professionals and while cabinet refacing doesn’t require passing an exam, you still want someone with the experience to do the job right working on your home.

This part of the project is where you may be able to benefit from the current construction slowdown while remodeling your kitchen and increasing the value of your home. Many highly qualified contractors have openings in their schedules and are more than happy to negotiate to get your work. The kitchen remodeling industry has changed a little from 5 or 6 years ago when you might wait several weeks just to have someone look at your job and while it may become like that again in the future, you can take advantage of the current window.

Keep in mind that not all contractors looking for work are qualified to remodel your kitchen. Always check for references, licenses, insurance coverage, and if at all possible, take a look at prior jobs. Getting a good price is great, but character and reputation are even more important when the people you hire will be working in your home and around your family. Otherwise, if your kitchen remodeling project turns out poorly, then your return on investment will, too.

Many homeowners consider acting as their own general contractor for their kitchen remodeling projects and while this may be feasible for smaller jobs, for a major project it may be a good idea to hire a professional. Coordinating the schedules of the vendors and workers required for a large kitchen remodel takes skill, patience, and experience for all the parts to come together successfully and result in an attractive completed project that increases the value of your home.

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