If you are planning to sell your home, having an up-to-date kitchen is very important. The kitchen is often the deciding factor in many home sales, and real estate experts agree that a kitchen upgrade yields a greater return on investment than other upgrades.
However, not all upgrades add value. Here are examples of kitchen upgrades that do add value to a home, and some to avoid, as they are more likely not to increase its value:
DO replace your drab kitchen's backsplash with tile in a new material, such as vinyl, a new shape, texture, or muted, darker colors or patterns.DON'T go too far with bright colors or patterns that distract, rather than blend with the kitchen's overall theme.
DO transition older appliances to newer, higher-tech, trendier models. Induction cooktops with their more streamlined looks are increasingly popular with home buyers.
DON'T buy cheap appliances. They could end up being a downgrade for savvy buyers.
DO add an island or a rolling island. A survey showed 48% of buyers willing to pay more for a kitchen island.
DON'T place an island between the sink and the refrigerator.
DO add pendant light fixtures, under-counter lighting and a dimmer switch.
DON'T keep or install single-fixture lighting that causes shadows and un-illuminated areas in the kitchen.
DO upgrade cabinetry by replacing, refurbishing or painting existing cabinets. If existing cabinets are in good condition, they could be upgraded with new paint and hardware. Consider adding open shelving in place of upper cabinets for showcasing view-worthy items.
DON'T install short cabinets. Avoid dead space above and maximize storage with cabinets that go all the way to the ceiling.
DO replace cheap or laminate flooring, with hardwood, or other high-quality material. DON'T choose ceramic tile for the floor – spending time standing on ceramic tile is tough on leg muscles, and anything breakable dropped on it will very likely shatter.
DO upgrade your countertops with one of an array of beautiful and stylish materials currently available. Choose a durable, great looking material such as granite, stained concrete, or other modern material.
DON'T choose a marble countertop. Yes, they're pretty, but they are also high maintenance. Marble is also expensive (can be over $100 a square foot), so you may not be able to recoup your costs if you live in a mid-priced home.
Style note: Many kitchen designers now use accents of pattern and color to enhance "all-white" kitchens, and incorporate vintage-inspired fixtures and hardware in natural materials, like wood, pewter or leather.