If you’re a Boston homeowner, odds are pretty good that you live in an older home. After all, Beantown is one of the oldest cities in the country, and we’ve got more than our fair share of historic homes, from Federal-style manors to brownstones to triple deckers. An older home comes with its own set of challenges, one of which is often an outdated kitchen. Sure, original woodwork is charming, but tiny cabinets and aging appliances? Not so much.

Kitchen upgrades almost always make sense, but how can you be sure you’re spending your renovation dollars in the right place? If you plan to sell your starter home to move up in a few years, or you’re looking to flip for a tidy profit, you’ll want the best home improvement ROI you can get.

Remodeling magazine publishes an annual report about just this topic each year. They gather data about the cost of various home improvement projects, along with how much return on investment each generates when the home is sold. They also break the results down by region, so you can plan accordingly — for example, a swimming pool isn’t going to be as strong a selling point here as it would be in Phoenix!

The Beauty of a Minor Kitchen Remodel

In New England, a minor kitchen remodel comes in at a solid No. 4 on the list of most lucrative remodeling projects to tackle, beating out all other room renovations and — perhaps surprisingly — a major kitchen remodel. Making smart choices to work with what you have to bring your kitchen up to date will allow you to recoup over 73 percent of the cost of the project — far more than you’d get back on a full gut job.

So which parts of your kitchen should you focus on? Looks. Keep your footprint the same and stick to upgrading the appearance of the things you already have. Here are our top suggestions:

    1. Cabinet Refacing: If your cabinets are in good repair, just replace the doors and hardware to give everything a brand new look. Replace dark wood with something light like birch or maple, or go for an on-trend painted look. You’ll save a lot of money if you can keep the original boxes, but no one will know the whole thing isn’t brand new.
    2. Specialty Cabinet Interior Fixtures: You can also make your cabinets more appealing by giving them an organizational facelift. Seek out drawer inserts like a custom knife block or spice rack, and consider adding chic touches like an under-cabinet wine glass rack or cabinetry by Decora K-cup organizer. These will improve your quality of life and impress buyers.
    3. Quartz Countertops: These manufactured stone counters are all the rage, and they’re typically less expensive than granite while offering the same great look. These are on-trend and wildly popular with buyers, and quartz comes with the added benefit of resisting scratches and microbes better than natural stone.
    4. Energy Efficient Appliances: Outdated appliances don’t just bring down the look of your kitchen. They also take a lot more electricity to run, which drives up your energy bills. Choose Energy Star appliances, and maybe even upgrade to a smart fridge if you like the idea of being able to use your phone as a command center for your kitchen.
    5. Trendy Neutral Colors: Don’t forget the power of paint to give your kitchen a new lease on life. Shades of gray, taupe and “greige” are all the rage right now, and they look timeless. A white-on-white kitchen also never goes out of style.

Ready to get started? NEBS has everything you need to get the kitchen of your dreams right here in Boston.

 

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