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Kitchen Remodel Trends: Maximizing Your Renovation Investment

Summer Toys.

Remodeling an outdated kitchen can be a major undertaking, but the end result may be more than just a fresh new space for family to gather. A remodeled kitchen can also lead to a healthier lifestyle, according to the 2017 Houzz Kitchen Study. A third of homeowners surveyed reported leading a healthier lifestyle after a kitchen renovation. This included eating more meals at home and cooking more vegetables.

You don't have to eat more vegetables to reap the benefits of a remodeled kitchen. Even if you're planning to sell your home in the next few years, renovating an outdated kitchen and upgrading appliances could help increase your home's resale potential.

Deciding what to upgrade, however, can be a challenge, especially when you're on a tight renovation budget. Popular kitchen upgrade options include countertops, backsplashes, sinks, faucets, wall finishes, and light fixtures. Knowing the latest remodel trends can help you maximize your investment on these upgrades and make smart remodel choices.

These are some considerations to keep in mind:

1. Prioritize your wish list.

Your remodel decisions will likely face budget constraints, so prioritizing your wish list can help guide your decision-making process. If an open concept is a must but you have a tight budget, look for cost-saving opportunities by repainting cabinets or opting for engineered flooring rather than hardwoods.

2. Consider resale value.

How long do you plan to stay in your current home? If you're remodeling but plan to move in the next one to two years, be careful with your design decisions. Expensive yet highly personal design decisions won't always appeal to everyone and could hurt resale value. You'll also want to keep your target resale audience in mind. Millennial homebuyers, for example, may prefer modern or farmhouse-style kitchens while Baby Boomers may prefer a more traditional style.

3. Open concepts continue to gain popularity.

The trend towards open concept is still going strong. More than half of all homeowners report opening their kitchen up to other rooms and 20 percent made the kitchen more open to the outdoors, according to the Houzz Kitchen Study. In general, opening up walls is a solid return on investment. However, opening up or moving walls can also be prohibitively expensive, especially if the wall you wish to move is a load-bearing wall. The final decisions around open concept kitchens should come back to your remodel priorities and expected time in your current home.

4. Balance aesthetic concerns with durability when choosing countertops.

While granite countertops have been popular for years, today's discerning homeowners are also opting for marble and poured concrete. Considerations include cost, durability, and aesthetic appeal with your existing home. Marble countertops, for example, rate highly for aesthetic appeal but are also more susceptible to stains and damage. Quartz countertops can be made to mimic the appearance of marble for a lower cost and since the surface is nonporous, it resists staining and offers longer durability.

5. Bring in the professionals.

While Pinterest boards, home remodel blogs, and popular TV shows all tout the benefits of a DIY approach, the majority of homeowners continue to hire professionals for their kitchen renovations. Eighty-eight percent of homeowners hire a professional, including general contractors (54%) and kitchen remodelers (10%). Before hiring a professional, be sure you are on the same page about costs and timeline. Check to ensure the professional contractor is licensed, bonded, and insured, which means if an accident happens to a worker during the remodel, you will not be held liable. Talk to your insurance agent about any worker's compensation or personal liability concerns. It's also a good idea to let your agent know when the upgrades are complete, as they may impact your home's value and the level of coverage you'll need on your current homeowner's policy.

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