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The Cost-Effective Kitchen Makeover

Blog by Sara Kalke | April 8th, 2011

Edmonton Kitchen Ideas

KITCHEN RENOVATIONS: my favorite.  The #1 most important room in a home for resale is the kitchen.  If you are thinking of selling, or just want to enjoy a modern kitchen, go for it!  The trend in kitchens is going back to simple, clean lines, and honoring the chef of the household with cook-friendly design, storage and appliances. 

COST: I am often asked if it is worthwhile doing a full kitchen reno, and if so, what the costs are. The word on the street is that a full kitchen renovation usually costs anywhere from $15,000 to $40,000 (and possibly more depending on the size, upgrades, and quality of appliances). 

SAVINGS: So what about DYI and Ikea kitchens?  My personal opinion used to be that they looked cheap, like the kitchen equivalent of the old-style Ikea futon bed.  But Ikea continues to innovate, and I am occasionally surprised at an Ikea kitchen in a home, where my first thought is "wow", instead of "ew"!

Click here to go to the Ikea website - scroll through the photos to see what they are offering.  http://www.ikea.com/ca/en/catalog/categories/departments/kitchen/tools/kitchen_rooms_ideas

COMPROMISE:  If you are going to go the DIY or Ikea route, here are some tips to end up with a great kitchen:
- have the cabinets installed professionally, or make sure you LEVEL everything.
-  buy "brand-name" appliances. In my opinion, the "no-name" Ikea appliances just don't cut it.  The materials look cheap, and the stainless steel gets dirty quickly. Check out the "scratch n dent" section at Trail Appliances - I'm usually hard-pressed to find the scratches and dents!  See Dean Carl at the West End Trail Appliances; tell him I sent you - he has an awesome reputation for taking care of people.
- pay meticulous attention to detail, every step of the way. If you hire a contractor, check in on a regular basis and keep the lines of communication open.

If you are going to indulge, here is where I would spend some extra cash, where you could get the most "bang for your buck":
- hire a PROFESSIONAL. A do-it-yourself kitchen that turns out poorly will actually be a detriment to your home. When in doubt, hire a professional. And professionals often have connections in the business to help you save money.
- tile backsplash - pick modern tiles with neutral colors, and consider throwing in some accent tiles. With stainless steel appliances, a few strategically placed kitchen tiles can look FABULOUS.
- appliances - if you are going to splurge, do it on your fridge, stove and hood-fan. While a whisper-quiet dishwasher may be nice for daily life, it isn't a huge selling feature. A chef's style gas range, stylish hoodfan, and upgraded fridge go a long way in "wowing" buyers
- countertops! Nothing says "buy me" like granite and quartz. Even if you do a feature island, you are way ahead of the competition with this upgrade. Yes, granite and quartz are expensive. In my recent kitchen reno, we used Universal Stone and got a much better price than I thought possible, because we were referred by our cabinet company.  They hooked us up with our sinks and faucets at a reduced price, from their connections at Robinson Lighting.

I am happy to pop over to talk with you about potential renovation ideas, and give advice on the latest trends, or how buyers will perceive certain renovations. Even for those who are not considering moving anytime soon, it often helps to know that your hard earned dollars will have a positive reception on potential buyers years down the road. Don't worry, I'm not going to hound you to sell... I believe in building relationships and the business will follow. In fact, 95% of my business is from referrals!

Contact me anytime:
Sara Kalke
(780) 710-7669
On Twitter @sarakalke
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/sarakalkeREALTOR