Kitchen Upgrade Essentials

Contemporary kitchen


Kitchen upgrade sells homes faster, just ask any real estate agent. When potential buyers check out your home, you can be sure that they are looking really closely at one of the rooms they will spend the majority of their time in. Kitchens get a lot of use and styles change over time. Add these two facts together, and before you are ready to sell, your kitchen will probably need a facelift.


Kitchen Cabinets

Start by looking at the cabinets. If they can be rejuvenated instead of replaced, you will save a lot of money. New or refinished doors can totally transform the look of a kitchen, and they will open and close effortlessly with modern European style hinges.

Changing the hardware is also an inexpensive way to give a needed ‘punch’ to the room as well. For a quick fix, you can paint the doors with Cabinet Coat™, a special product designed for kitchen environments. Remember to clean with a TSP diluted mixture first. All surface areas have picked up cooking residue and dirt. Clean the cabinet fronts, sides and both sides of the doors.

If the doors and drawer fronts are too far gone, consider a refacing job. Refacing brings your kitchen up to modern standards at a fraction of the cost of new cabinets. Only consider this option if the boxes are still in good shape, and the layout works well. If the layout isn’t that great, and the cabinets need a lot of work, a partial replacement plan is the next step up.


Kitchen Counters

Areas that take the most neglect in a kitchen are counter surfaces. Laminate countertops get marked, the edges come off, and they can really fade with consistent use and abuse. New laminate counter surfaces now have hidden edges and look so good, they can be mistaken for more expensive stone materials. Hard stone or man-made quartz is still more popular counter materials, and are a more common replacement than laminate substrates, but both options can improve your look.

A new counter is a must for any kitchen renovation. Add a new ‘under mount’ style sink, and new taps to finish off the mini project. One popular – and inexpensive – kitchen upgrade is to redesign your counter area and add an extended counter surface so you can have a small eating space. Add three chairs, and you have added a quick breakfast spot. This really transforms and modernizes the space, plus it means you can have a smaller kitchen table, and that makes space appear larger as well.



Kitchen Back Splash

A new backsplash can really modernize the room, too. Most home stagers and paint store personnel are also undercover decorators, and can freely give you an idea of what goes with what, so you end up with a designed look.


Kitchen Lighting

Everyone loves under cabinet mounted ambient lighting, and with inexpensive LED lights, it’s very easy to do. LED lighting makes a dramatic difference in any kitchen. If you want pot lights or another overhead lighting, you may need to run additional electrical lines. But, this expense is well worth it, as most kitchens get quite dark once the sun goes down.


Kitchen Appliances

Buyers generally like to receive the major appliances with their home purchase, but if what you have is old, or low quality, they may not want them. If you have a stainless steel fridge and stove, they should match the other appliances in the room. Don’t mix the finishes.

Our approach in any kitchen rebuild or replacement is to get everything off the counters. Microwaves take up a lot of room, and we recommend installing a new box above the stove, putting a vent in, and relocating the microwave oven.


Kitchen Floor

Before you even consider putting a new kitchen in, take a good look at the kitchen area flooring. Does it still look good? Once you start putting new boxes down, it will be too late to improve it. If you decide to replace the flooring, you may choose to go with hardwood. Let me caution you here. The kitchen is a high traffic area, where spills and accidents are just waiting to happen. When they do, the hardwood is very unforgiving.

Modern kitchen

Dave’s Toolbox TIP: If the kitchen is too far gone, then a new one maybe required. If so, don’t make the mistake of building a million dollar kitchen in a half million dollar home. Buyers will love you – but not enough to line your pockets with the balance.


When clients are looking at different homes to buy, they generally compare the kitchens. If your kitchen needs a lot of work, and they still like the house overall, they might ask for a $20,000 or 47 $30,000 reduction, depending on the price point of the property.

Sometimes investing an extra $5,000 to $8,000 in updates is enough to entice buyers away from your home selling competition.