Thursday, March 22, 2007

Kitchen Updates Worth Every Penny

Mid-range Kitchen Remodels Reap the Rewards for Enjoyment and Resale

(ARA) - In today’s buyer’s market many homeowners are hesitant to put the “for sale” sign in the front yard -- even if they are not happy with their current home. Instead, wise homeowners are sinking their dollars into remodeling -- to increase their homes’ values and their own enjoyment.

When it comes to remodeling projects that yield high returns, kitchens and bathrooms are king! According to Remodeling magazine’s Cost vs. Value report, a mid-range kitchen remodel ($45,000) will recoup approximately 91 percent of the costs, while an upscale kitchen remodel ($82,000) will recoup about 85 percent.

While this may give you sticker shock, the benefits are priceless, yielding an enjoyable, updated area for your family -- and future families to enjoy. What indulgences should you include? For the best return on investment, “Remodeling” magazine recommends these upgrades for a mid-range kitchen remodel.

Cabinets ($10,000 - 15,000)

Semi-custom cabinetry offers you the flexibility to design the kitchen of your dreams, while maintaining an affordable cost. Manufacturers, such as HomeCrest cabinetry offer a wide selection of woods and designs for any kitchen size or style. For added convenience add a kitchen island, which is also a popular selling point in the kitchen. Plus it’ll provide an enjoyable open food prep station or seating area.

Countertops ($3,000 – 4,000)

Laminate countertops used to be the only affordable choice, since solid surface options, like marble or granite, were more expensive. Now options such as Corian or Hi-Macs, provide an affordable, upscale look. You can choose from a variety of patterns or colors to fit every style and budget. Plus, they offer added durability and easy installation -- key benefits for any remodeling project.

Stainless Steel Sink and Upscale Faucet ($800 – 1,500)

“It’s all about smart innovation,” says Judy Riley, Moen Incorporated’s vice president of design. “In today’s fast-paced world, homeowners want to add amenities that are not only fashionable, but functional as well.”

For a stylish and functional faucet, try a pullout version. Moen offers a variety of designs, including the new Medora faucet, an elegant single-hole, single-handle high arc pullout kitchen faucet. With its variety of finishes, including Stainless Steel or dramatic Matte Black, it meets most style demands, and features an ergonomically designed pullout wand with a variety of water flow patterns for convenience at the sink.

Speaking of the sink, “undermount sinks, which complement solid surface countertops, are a “must-have” in the kitchen,” says Riley. “They offer an upscale, seamless look and are easy to clean since there are no edges to catch crumbs.” Moen’s new Camelot undermount stainless steel sinks, available in four bowl configurations, blend quality and value to allow you to achieve an upscale look at an affordable price.

Appliances ($5,000 – 7,000)

Choosing energy-efficient appliances increases the functionality and aesthetics of the kitchen while decreasing your overall energy costs. Plus they are a great selling feature. Visit for listings of energy-efficient models. Energy Star-rated refrigerators use 15 percent less energy than the current federal standards, while Energy Star dishwashers use 41 percent less energy. To round out your purchase, add an in-wall oven, a flush-mount ceramic range and an over-range microwave oven. Choose matching finishes on all appliances for a high-end look.

Custom Lighting ($2,000 – 3,000)

Gone are the days of the lone overhead fluorescent light fixture. Today, custom lighting adds functionality and warmth to your kitchen. Choose a beautiful chandelier over the dining area for a decorative element. Install hidden, recessed cans in the center of the room to create ambient light. Hanging pendant lamps is an ideal way to beautifully illuminate task areas.

Resilient Flooring ($2,500 – 4,000)

Like the name suggests, resilient flooring is a must-have for busy kitchens, withstanding foot traffic and food spills. Plus, today’s choices include a broad range of style, color and performance options to meet your needs and budget. Low price may not mean lower quality, but less style choices or shorter warranties. Expect to pay more for sophisticated styling, like those that mirror the look of ceramic tile or wood, but they will also have better damage resistance and stronger warranties.

Paint and Stain ($200-300)

Unfortunately, there isn’t a one-type-fits-all paint. For the walls, use a latex primer to create a perfect canvas. Next, choose a high-quality washable latex paint so you can easily wash away any food splashes and stains. For wood trim you have two choices: paint or stain. If staining, be sure to test the color to create a close match to your kitchen cabinets for a cohesive look. If painting your trim, choose a high-gloss paint to set it apart from the walls.

So when it comes time to remodel your kitchen, remember smart innovation will pay off. In addition to the enjoyment that it will provide you, it’ll also reduce your energy bills and increase your home’s value when it comes time to sell.

For more information about Moen’s kitchen products, visit or call (800) BUY-MOEN.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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