Kitchen Upgrades

The Best Kitchen Upgrades for Beauty and Value

The kitchen is truly the center of the home. Used for cooking, homework, hosting and good conversation over tea, it’s no wonder remodeling this oft-used room is among homeowners' biggest priorities. According to Remodeling’s Cost vs. Value Phoenix-specific Report, a minor, midrange kitchen remodel (79 percent) far exceeds the return on investment of a major, upscale kitchen remodel (only 44.6 percent).

Revamping your kitchen is a teeter-totter of decisions — a delicate balance between buying exactly what you want (because you live here!) and considering its resale value (for when you're ready to move on). Here are a few upgrades that pull double duty (ROI and beauty) when renovating your kitchen:

Install Granite Countertops

You’ve always wanted granite countertops. You love how you can set a hot pan on them and not worry about ruining the surface, or how you can spill anything on them and cleanup is easy. If you’re planning to live in the house for a while and enjoy those granite countertops for years to come, do it.

Soapstone, slate and concrete counters tend to be the most expensive countertop types, while laminate, ceramic tile and butcher block tend to be the most cost-effective solutions, according to HomeAdvisor.

If you’re super handy, you can install a granite countertop yourself. If you’re not and are questioning yourself, hire a pro. Valley companies like Granite Karma and Paradise Tile and Natural Stone are a good place to start.

Upgrade Your Appliances

There are many options between a cheap fridge and the brand-new, sparkly, stainless-steel smart refrigerator in a model home. Find something in between if you’re looking for the best ROI. Unless you’re a world-class chef, skip the top-of-the-line Viking range.

Replacing appliances can be a quick way to give your kitchen a facelift. The National Kitchen and Bathroom Association estimates about 14 percent of midrange kitchen renovation costs should be spent on appliances — about $400–$600 per appliance, reports HomeAdvisor.

Purchase appliances from somewhere that offers a warranty. Some big-box stores might offer package deals and inexpensive delivery options too.

Aside from cost, consider these three factors:

  • How they match: You probably don’t want a black dishwasher and a stainless-steel fridge. Tie your look together.
  • How they function: If you don’t have a gas line running to your kitchen, don’t buy a gas stove!
  • How efficient they are: Energy efficiency has come a long way in the last decade. EnergyStar appliances are usually worth the cost and help with resale.

Create an Open Floor Plan

Every time you have people over — whether it’s for Thanksgiving or Friday dinner for the kids’ whole soccer team — guests seem to congregate in the kitchen. It doesn’t matter that there is a living room full of plush couches one room over or that you have a formal dining room just for this purpose. Why not create a great room, where everyone can still be in the kitchen but have more space and be more comfortable?

Taking down a wall or two is no small feat, but it is certainly doable. First, you must determine if the walls are load-bearing. If they’re structurally significant to the house, you may want to rethink the plan. If the wall isn’t load-bearing, you can DIY demo or hire a professional. Houselogic estimates the cost of removing a wall at $500-$4,000 if you hire someone. Check out Pankow Construction, a Valley staple specializing in open floor plans.

If you’re ready to remodel your kitchen and need the funds to finance your project, click, call or visit a Desert Financial branch for help. In the meantime, visit our Pinterest board for some inspiring kitchen renovation ideas!