Kitchen designers recommend a budget guideline of no more than 15 percent of a home's total value when remodeling a kitchen. Spend more than that, it's said, and you risk losing money. Still, a functional, attractive kitchen offers intangible benefits, such as how much you'll enjoy cooking or whether it's suitable for entertaining. Consider how long you're likely to stay in the house, and then decide which of the following three remodeling plans fits your situation best.
Do Simple Updates
It's surprising how little effort it takes to rev up a backsplash with a row of tile, or to replace the garbage disposal with one that doesn't shake the house.
-- If faucets leak or are hopelessly outdated, replace them and touch up any chipped porcelain on sinks.
-- Light fixtures should work flawlessly or be replaced if they're out of date.
PLAN B: Take It Halfway
You want to stay in the house awhile, but you're not ready for a complete kitchen renovation. Still, it's worth some time and effort to create a kitchen you can enjoy.
-- Paint the walls a cheerful color. Replace a couple of wooden cabinet panels with clear glass.
-- Add much-needed storage with open shelving or look for secondhand cabinets to fill the gaps and paint them to match.
-- Revive marred baseboards and trim with a fresh coat of paint, and replace boring hardware or light fixtures with stylish new ones.
Looks and Durability
Surfaces should be chosen for looks as well as practicality.
-- Ultra-durable granite or quartz-surfacing counters top many homeowners' wish lists, but solid-surfacing countertops also hold up well without losing their looks.
-- Stone or ceramic tile and hardwood planks are still flooring favorites, but laminate and resilient sheet flooring can look good for years with little upkeep.
-- A high-end faucet and sink are products you will use on a daily basis. Invest in products with style and the best quality you can afford.
-- If you must wait on a few things, keep in mind that better lighting fixtures, faucets, and backsplashes are easy to install later.