Kitchen Upgrades That Are Worth the Investment

Home Sweet Home is presented by The Washington State Housing Finance Commission

A beautifully designed kitchen can transform your home. It’s often where family and friends congregate to chat and, of course, eat. A renovated kitchen space can positively increase the quality and quantity of family time. According to a HouzzKtichen study, it can also influence the frequency you cook at home, leading to healthier food choices. Here are fresh design ideas to bring new life into your kitchen and some energy-conscious appliance options that can fit your budget.

To have a successful kitchen renovation, you’ll need to do some homework, make a plan, and stick to your budget. Even small budgets can have a significant impact, and we’re sharing some great low-cost ideas! For larger projects involving outside help, shop for contractors with reasonable prices, high-quality work, and positive reviews. 

Under $100 Ideas

You don’t need to spend a lot to impact your kitchen! The 10 Best Kitchen Upgrades You Can Do for Less Than $100 from Apartment Therapy include:

  • Repainting the cabinets for a fresh, clean, more modern look. 
  • Exposing some or all your shelves to let your dishes be a functional yet decorative display. 
  • Upgrade your backsplash with peel-and-stick tiles or wallpaper. 
  • Replace out-of-date or worn faucets, hardware, and lighting fixtures. 

Update Cost-Effectively Tips

It is easy for a remodel budget to spin out of control. Some helpful ideas for remodeling on a budget include:

  • Save money by keeping the cabinets and updating them with paint, changing the hardware, or replacing the doors. If you are going to replace cabinets, see if you can find used ones or assemble them yourself for less expensive options. 
  • Determine the top priority and make it your one featured splurge. Then design your plan and budget around it. 
  • Do some of the work yourself. Getting in over your head can cost more in the long run. But, you can save money by doing some demolition, painting, or other tasks. 
  • Research less expensive countertop alternatives such as butcher block or engineered stone to achieve a new look at a reduced cost.
  • Use the existing layout or avoid costly changes like moving the plumbing. 
  • Search for sales, utilize contractor’s discounts if available or use home improvement credit cards that offer discounts or points.  
  • Shop around for lower estimates. While you want to hire a professional with a good track record and reviews, someone newer to the area or with openings in their schedule may be amenable to lower pricing.
  • Always assume the project will exceed the budget and leave room for rising supply costs and surprises.

Focus on What Adds to Your Home’s Value

What can you expect as a return for your kitchen remodel when you sell your home? Remodeling’s Cost vs. Value report for 2021 stated that homeowners could expect a 57% return on a mid-range kitchen remodel. What features you upgrade matters as well! The National Association of Home Buyer’s 2021 survey found the five most wanted kitchen upgrades are: 

• A double sink

• A walk-in pantry

• Table space for eating

• A central island

• Drinking water filtration 

Your remodel should satisfy your needs and style desires. However, keeping any long-term plans of selling your home in mind is never a bad idea. Just as important as adding home buyers’ features is not spending too much money on the less desirable or unimportant features. Avoid trends and colors that may go out of style, and be careful about removing valued storage for extra-large appliances.

You might want to talk with a real estate professional about what reasonable upgrades are for your neighborhood. In general, homes in moderately priced areas should stick to moderate upgrades.

Upgrade Appliances to Save Money in the Long Run

Energy-star-rated appliances can save hundreds of dollars in energy costs and reduce your carbon footprint. Plus, additional tax incentives and rebates are often available for extra savings. Here’s a list of Energy Efficient Products and the ENERGY STAR Rebate Finder

Refrigerators save an average of $100 to $300 a month. Freezers on the top are the most efficient. Some of the Best Energy-Efficient Refrigerators of 2022 also have LED lighting, and some models are Wifi enabled for remote access. 

Energy-efficient dishwashers have more modest savings at an average of $25 a year, meaning it will take longer to recoup your investment. With filtration system and rack design improvements, these upgraded appliances be worth the investment regardless of the age of your current dishwasher. 

You must consider the fuel source when selecting an energy-efficient oven and stove. Gas, convection, self-cleaning, and induction cooktops all use less energy. Full-size gas convection ovens can save more than $1,500 over their lifetime if the cost isn’t more than $760 over the less efficient model. 

Making small but impactful updates, larger renovation projects, or appliance upgrades all take careful consideration and planning. Once completed, you will reap the rewards of having a kitchen you love to spend time in! Plus, you will likely save money and increase your home’s value in the process! 

Home Sweet Home is brought to you by the Washington State Housing Finance Commission’s Washington Homeowner Assistance Fund. The Homeowners Assistance Fund helps homeowners who have fallen on hard times because of the pandemic. Call 1-877-894-4663 for more information on how they can help.

Kitchen Upgrades That Are Worth the Investment