According to Massachusetts builder Peter Grenier, there are simple ways to update a kitchen and maximize a home’s resale value without breaking the bank.
When it’s time to sell a home, few interior details give potential buyers pause more than a subpar kitchen or bathroom presentation. According to Peter Grenier, owner of Wicked Good Woodworks LLC, there are several ways to improve the kitchen short of a full-scale remodel from the ground up.
A rule of thumb is that a homeowner can expect to recoup 50% to 60% of an investment in kitchen upgrades for a major remodel. By balancing high-impact lower-cost improvements with a few major purchases, it’s possible to maximize that metric or exceed it. It’s also worth noting that a kitchen in need of updates versus a complete refresh is likely to experience a better return.
Massachusetts builder Peter Grenier on minor kitchen upgrades with significant returns
Many older homes and even newer constructions with unique design choices from the onset have kitchens that skew darker with cabinetry, wallpaper, and paint — or a combination of all three. When preparing a home for sale or attempting to up its value, brightness helps. In addition to making a room look larger and feel cleaner, it also presents any potential buyer with a blank slate that makes it easy to picture themselves in the home.
Peter Grenier recommends lightening up a kitchen with a bright, light paint color as part of any improvement project. There is still room for personality and a theme with trim and other details, but the overall canvas of the kitchen should be crisp. If the kitchen is already a lighter color, double-check the paint and see if it would benefit from a touch-up or a transition to a new finish.
Peter Grenier is a cabinet expert and reports new homeowners are always concerned about storage options in the home. In the kitchen, there is a need to balance cabinetry and open space to create a functional, inviting room. To maximize a remodel, he recommends sticking with the concept of the classic kitchen triangle for an effective workflow between the refrigerator, stove, and sink.
In some homes, there are ample cabinets, but they are not as functional as possible — picture cabinets that are too deep to reach the back or with shelves that are extraordinarily tall and waste vertical space. In these instances, Grenier says a cabinetmaker can help tweak existing cabinets or replace them with custom cabinets that provide more storage in the same amount of space. Built-ins for odd spaces or combined seating and storage are also a positive solution for stashing seldom used items like seasonal kitchen decor or small appliances.
Existing cabinets can also be tweaked with new finishes to up the appeal of a kitchen. Consider replacing cabinet doors, paint jobs, and new hardware to spruce up without breaking the bank. For outdated cabinet surfaces, look at affordable upgrade options for the countertops.
Similar to painting to brighten a room, lighting is a great way to increase the sophistication factor and add new depth to a space. New LED lighting options provide the opportunity to add a high-tech touch and stunning accents. Under-cabinet strip lighting can be controlled from a smartphone and switched to a variety of fun color schemes, placed on timers, and more to create a unique, classy kitchen on a budget. Traditional under-mount cabinet lighting can be used when cost isn’t as much of a concern.
Lighting upgrades can also include new fixtures and the installation of additional lighting for a darker space. When investing in other upgrades, setting up the best lighting profile possible helps show them to their advantage, particularly when adding more natural light is not an option.