Cooking up great kitchen value

Whether a homeowner is selling or staying, updating or overhauling, more likely to make reservations than to make dinner, or is just plain ready for a change, maximizing the value of a custom kitchen improvement requires matching function and cost to goals and budget.

“Why” helps dictate the “what” in building kitchen value.

For example, selling a home with a 25-year-old kitchen will cost the seller money at the closing table. To avoid that loss, a seller is wise to consult both a realtor and home improvement specialist to find out what will rebuild value into the kitchen. This can mean adding marketable name-brand appliances, identifiable materials (e.g., “granite countertops”), modern cabinet technology and energy-efficient systems.

And while it might be financially important in that case to “go big,” it’s even more important not to go “too big,” making the investment unrecoverable. But “value” in that project, a home that is on the market, is quite different from the value of a kitchen for a homeowner planning to stay and use the new kitchen.

In this second case, livability becomes more important than marketability, and again, professional consultation on design and function will lead to greater value, less waste, better function and fewer headaches. A professional will know the comparability and pricing of the vast selections of kitchen appliances, products and materials. For example, there may be a better-valued option than a brand-name appliance. In another example, we saved a client nearly $10,000 by knowing that in a particular application, it was actually less expensive to install custom cabinetry than semi-custom.

Achieving top value requires professional knowledge of design, the marketplace, skilled trades and project administration, matched with a clear picture of the homeowners’ goals and budget, combined with smart planning and constant communication.

That’s the right recipe for building great, affordable value into your kitchen improvement project.