A Beginner’s Guide to Kitchen and Bathroom Remodeling

Ready to start improving an older home? This year, thousands of U.S. homeowners will kick off a kitchen or bathroom remodeling project. Done right, these projects can significantly boost your home’s value. In this article, we’ll help get you started. 

Before you start choosing paint and fixtures, think from the perspective of a potential home buyer. Even if you’re not planning on selling your home soon, this will help keep your project both focused and practical with an end result that will appeal to a wider audience.

Start your kitchen remodel right

The quintessential remodeling project, kitchen renovations, are the perfect starting point for any homeowner looking to boost their home’s value. Here’s what you need to know before kicking things off.

Focus on the essentials

If you’re designing your new kitchen, start with new countertops and cabinets. These elements, more than anything else, are going to define the look of your kitchen. Try to source your high-quality cabinets and countertops from the same vendor. Many homeowners make the mistake of buying their materials separately, only to later realize that their choices don’t quite match up. 

In a typical kitchen remodel, countertops and cabinets will take up half of your overall budget. That’s okay: they’re the driving force behind your kitchen’s long-term value. If you’re looking to save some money and cut your overhead, work with a contractor to find high-quality, yet discounted, materials in your area.

Time to expand?

Inspired by home remodeling TV shows, many homeowners dream of “opening up” their kitchens and can’t wait to swing that sledgehammer. Unfortunately, not every home was designed with an open concept kitchen in mind. There may be plumbing, electrical, HVAC ducts, or even load bearing structures behind that wall or ceiling.

Before you fall in love with an open concept kitchen, talk to an experienced contractor who can help you get the lay of the land. Damaging or obstructing your home’s ductwork, for instance, could lead to costly heating and cooling repairs.

Get more out of your bathroom

Remodeling your home’s master bathroom? Good choice! Mid-range bathroom remodels net homeowners a 70.1% return on investment, on average. To maximize the value you get out of this project, try the following:

Skip luxury and focus on everyday use

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking of your home exclusively as something to show off. Sure, buyers appreciate a show-stopping bathroom, but—more importantly—they’re also mentally weighing how they’ll make use of it on an everyday basis. Most people desire practicality over luxury. 

With this in mind, focus on the essential upgrades first: the shower, the toilet, the sinks, and the vanity. Go for practical, durable materials, which can also look luxurious if you do it right. They’re often cheaper and ultimately more attractive. Again, think about the buyer and what they want out of the home.

Kick things off right

Before you dive in on your home remodeling project, be sure to check out this infographic. It expands on the concepts discussed above and will guide you through the do's-and-don'ts of planning a remodel. 

Find additional remodeling tips in our previous post: “Things to Remember While Remodeling Your Home.”