What remodeling project will give me the best return?

What remodeling project will give me the best return?

We often hear the question, “What remodeling project will give us the best return on our home?”

Many people generally assume that a remodel of the kitchen or bathrooms is the best place to start. However, those choices may not be the best fit for your home. It is possible that another area may be in more urgent need of a facelift.

Before you start making your list, you should ask yourself if you are preparing to sell within the next 12 months or if you staying in your home. Your answer may help in deciding which project to undertake.

Below are four ways to upgrade your home without undergoing a full remodel.

1. Curb appeal.

Your home only gets one chance to make a first impression. A prospective buyer may decide they want to buy your home from the curb. Looks count! Out of date siding, an underwhelming entry and uninspired landscaping are good candidates for an upgrade and will all cost less than a new kitchen.

2. Accessories.

Sometimes it can be about the bling. Accessories like door hardware, cabinet knobs and light fixtures are all easily replaced with updated products. Bath and kitchen sinks and faucets can easily date a house and should be considered as well. Do you have any mature wallpaper with birds and flowers? If so, it may be time to consider taking it down.

3. Kitchen upgrades.

If you can’t get past the kitchen, consider some easy options. A new countertop (laminate, tile, granite and the new quartz products) may be all that it takes. However, be honest about the quality and configuration of your cabinetry for once you install the new tops, you don’t want to take them out later if new cabinets are on the horizon. 

Consider adding a new island and don’t be afraid to pick a contrasting cabinet and color. If you can find a way to plumb in an island prep sink, do so. Another great option is to install a tile backsplash all the way up to the wall cabinets along with task lighting under the wall cabinets. 

Take a look at a new kitchen floor. Stone or tile are both durable, low maintenance and with the new epoxy grouts now available, your worries about stained grout joints are a thing of the past. 

4. New appliances.

New appliances might be on the list as well. Stainless is still in and harvest gold isn’t coming back. Think out of the box when choosing a new refrigerator. Instead of a new 48-inch unit, how about a 36-inch unit and another smaller, under-counter refrigerator located in the island? 

The best return on remodel dollars will be money spent to update the home where it is most needed. 

About this Angie’s List Expert: Jeff Hill is the owner of Hill Custom Homes, providing remodeling services in Seattle. Since 1990, Hill Custom Homes has specialized in custom home building, new construction, remodels, flooring, architecture, tile, cabinetry, countertops, lighting and more.

As of November 14, 2013, this service provider was highly rated on Angie's List. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check Angie's List for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angie's List.

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