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The American kitchen is now much more than the heart of the home

Your bathrooms can look like 1996. Your carpeting might need to be 86ed, replaced with hardwood. But if all you do is take the time to remodel your kitchen from top to bottom; it’s likely an investment you’ll never regret.

“The kitchen is one of the most important rooms in a home, serving as both a central meeting place for family and a functional area necessary for preparing meals,” says Redfin’s Lexi Klinkenberg. “So it’s easy to understand why a state-of-the-art kitchen is a must-have for millions of homeowners from coast to coast. For those considering home upgrades, the kitchen is a great place to start. A kitchen remodel can add value for current homeowners, and appeal to homebuyers if you’re looking to sell in the near future.”

She goes on to say that while an outdated kitchen that fails to meet functional needs can deter buyers in literally any housing market, in today’s arena remodeling the one you have makes it possible to recoup virtually the entire cost in the purchase price with less concern for expenses.

“Homes with new kitchens are rated number 1 for most valuable home improvement trends,” says Klinkenberg. “The median list price on homes that have a new kitchen is $14,500 more than the national median, and on average, these homes sell for above their list price.”

When planning a kitchen remodel, it’s important not only to consider your own tastes, but those of typical potential buyers in your area as well. An extremely modern design may not sell as well in parts of the Midwest or the South as it does on the coasts. But in addition to increasing the value of your home, convenience can be a big motivator. If the kitchen doesn’t meet all of your needs, chances are good it would not meet those of the future buyer of your home as well. “As you move forward with your kitchen remodel, determine what you need out of your kitchen and what is required to fulfill those needs,” says Klinkenberg. “For example, if you need more space to prep and cook, extending your counter or adding an island might be the ideal solution. On the other hand, if you need more storage, an island or hanging cabinets could help you get the extra room to store your pots, pans, and dry goods. If you’re not sure where to start, speak with local kitchen renovation pros to identify the available options for your current kitchen space.”

Aesthetics are, of course, important. In these days of open floor plans, where kitchens are visible from other areas of the house, upgrading your kitchen can be about expanding the area you have for food prep, become a space you enjoy spending more time in, and provide a beautiful view of well-thought-out design and surfaces. More popular kitchen features include good-sized islands with an eat-in area potential, solid surface countertops made of granite, quartz, quartzite or concrete, stainless steel appliances, hardwood, or hardwood look-alike tile floors. “You can definitely follow your own tastes to create the kitchen of your dreams or enlist the help of a pro to recommend more current trends. Regardless, the right approach to a remodel can guarantee a room that looks amazing and feels great, too,” says Klinkenberg.

She adds that even small homes can be improved with extra cabinets or kitchen islands. “If space is really tight, taking down walls or expanding storage – like adding a new pantry or cabinets – into bordering rooms can free up storage options in your kitchen in a way that maximizes functionality.” Taking down non-load-bearing walls between dining and/or living areas can also be key to transforming kitchen areas, making the house magically appear roomier. In case you’re out to lunch on how that works, simply tune your TV into HGTV or the Discovery channel for a few days, as this is one of the most common and frequently-requested features of a remodel.

Most remodels include new (matching) appliances. Your 1980s fridge and old school oven would look out of place with new cabinets and gleaming new countertops. Klinkenberg encourages doing some research before deciding on kitchen electronics, trawling home improvement stores, and working with a kitchen renovation contractor that is knowledgeable in high-tech options. “A customized kitchen remodel can also focus on technology. Kitchen appliances come in all shapes and sizes, from fridges with Wi-Fi capabilities to ovens that provide quick preheat functionality and will have you ready to cook within minutes.

Source: TBWS

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