Kitchen and bath is on the rise—one expert explains why
The report cites a 10 percent uptick in sales of products devoted to residential kitchen and bath remodeling and new construction. What’s responsible for that jump?
The healthy economy has certainly contributed to the robust growth in our industry. Sales of residential kitchen and bath products grew 10 percent from 2015 to 2016 in response to new home construction and a vibrant remodel/replacement market. NKBA research indicates that the kitchen and bath industry will grow at similar rates for the next two years, bringing the industry to $178 billion in 2018.
Home sales, both new and existing, are a key indicator of the health of our business as well. In 2017, sales of new homes rose 8 percent, to 608,000 units, which was the best performance in a decade. Sales of existing homes, while more or less flat for the year at 5.45 million, still registered their highest level since 2006, when 6.48 million homes were sold, according to the National Association of Realtors.
Selling and buying homes are key drivers of the remodeling industry. Homeowners frequently seek to remodel kitchens and baths, whether they are sprucing up to sell their house or buying a home and renovating. NKBA research shows that 64 percent of kitchen remodels are prompted because the room needs updating.
Five Benefits of Remodeling Your Kitchen
The kitchen is the heart of the home, but for many homeowners, it’s the one room they wish they could improve. While a remodel may seem like a stressful process, there are a few ways a redesigned kitchen can benefit your family.
- Reduce Energy Consumption. When you remodel your kitchen, you’ll have the opportunity to replace old and outdated appliances with new, energy-efficient models. Many new refrigerators, dishwashers, and even light fixtures are designed to keep your bills low while giving you the best performance possible.
- Add Value to Your Home. Older kitchens with poor layouts or outdated appliances will not do much to attract potential buyers. Upgrading your kitchen to a more modern design will help increase your home’s value.
- Improve the Flow. If you’re unhappy with the layout, a home remodeling contractor will help you find the design of your dreams. Remodeling your kitchen allows you to have complete control over the layout of the appliances and counter space, so you won’t have to put up with a layout that makes food preparation more difficult.
- Increase Storage Options. Some kitchens are woefully short of cabinets and storage, but remodeling your kitchen will let you add more options to the space. Add more cabinets to make the most of vertical storage and maximize counter space with a kitchen island.
- Improve Safety. Older appliances can be safety hazards. The wiring and electrical systems of old units are not equipped to handle the increased output of the modern energy grid. Newer appliances are manufactured with the proper equipment to handle more electricity without posing a safety risk.
Is a Kitchen Remodel Worth It?
Your kitchen is the hub of your home. From bustling breakfasts to relaxing dinners, your loved ones gather to discuss the details of their day in the kitchen. So whether you’re angling to sell your home for a profit or simply want to enhance your own enjoyment of the space, you need to invest some cash in functional and aesthetic upgrades.
TRENDS IN HOME IMPROVEMENT ROI
An upgraded, beautiful kitchen is a renovation that has stood the test of time. Over the years, different upgrades have risen or decreased in value, but a renovated kitchen always lands near the top of the list when it comes to ranking the ROI of home improvement projects.
However, investing $50,000 in a new kitchen doesn’t directly translate to a $50,000 increase in property value. But a kitchen remodel can significantly add to your home’s value, especially compared to other projects. According to Remodeling magazine, a minor kitchen remodel comes in fourth on the 2017 Cost vs. Value report for home-improvement projects. Homeowners can expect to recoup 80.2 percent of the costs. A major kitchen remodel delivers a 65.3 percent return on investment.
TRUST A PROFESSIONAL DESIGNER
Before you embark on your renovation project, consider consulting with a professional contractor or designer with experience remodeling kitchens. One of the best ways to improve a kitchen is to modify the workflow. An expert renovator can help you find the best spot to move your sink or refrigerator to make moving and working in the room that much easier.
SPEND WHERE IT COUNTS
A designer can also help you spend money cost-effectively. Once you start planning a kitchen remodel, you’ll realize that while adding lighting, upgrading the countertops and replacing the sink are all great enhancements, it’s vital to reserve a large portion of your budget for the cabinets. There’s a reason 29 percent of a kitchen remodel budget is typically spent on cabinets and hardware. Adding new cabinets offers additional storage space — always a desirable characteristic — and enhances the aesthetics as well. From soft-close drawers to decorative hardware, new cabinets deliver the improved function and modern look you’re going for.
Mistakes Sellers Make When Renovating Their Kitchens
- The “step-up” trick
This is when homeowners put new floors right on old floors, instead of removing the original floors. Have you ever encountered a three or four-inch difference in height when walking from a living room to a kitchen? Was that intended? No way! It means that there are multiple levels of flooring underneath the floor you see. It’s the easier, and cheaper way to update a floor. The right way is to remove the floor and replace it.
- The “expensive countertops on old cheap cabinets” trick
We know what older broken cabinets look like. If you have them, you don’t need to replace them, but please don’t spend a few thousand dollars on expensive countertops and not update the cabinets. It can look like you are trying to fool buyers.
If you are going to spend money redoing your kitchen, make sure you’re choosing projects that will give you the most bang for your buck — without taking shortcuts. A renovated kitchen can totally change the look and feel of your home, and may result in a faster and more lucrative sale. Talk to an agent about your goals, and they can help you make the right decision.
You Need Your Kitchen to Function Differently
Your needs for your kitchen are going to change throughout your life. Your kitchen should be ready to handle your lifestyle changes. For example, when you first moved into your home, your kitchen was perfect for just you or you and your spouse. As time went on, you had kids and those kids got older. Now, you find yourself needing dedicated homework or project space, spaces to charge digital devices and areas where you can socialize with your growing family and friends or neighbors.
A kitchen remodel can help you get the versatile spaces you need from storing more kitchen appliances and having dedicated areas for eating to homework and personal projects. If you have a smaller kitchen in an older home, a kitchen remodel can allow you to remove walls and create better flow while giving you clean sight lines into other parts of your home, like the family or dining rooms.