Whether you rent or resell a house, consider the kitchen and bathrooms and investigate the pros and cons of refacing. Those two rooms are the most important rooms in the house. Living or entertaining, we spend a lot of time in the kitchen. It is important to renters or buyers that the two rooms make excellent impressions.
Leesa Wallace on Trulia wrote, “People can overlook carpeting, funky wallpaper and questionable paint choices (mauve, anyone?) But folks want to see themselves “living” in a home as soon as possible–and folks do a whole lot of living in their kitchens and bathrooms. Most buyers don’t have a ton of vision (or time, patience, or money) to do renovations.
If buyers are as Wallace describes, then you need to choose whether to replace kitchen cabinets or go a cheaper way by refacing or refinishing them. Refacing typically consists of covering the exterior surfaces of your cabinets with new veneers, moldings and hardware. If your existing cabinets are solid wood, repainting or refinishing them with a new color of paint or stain can also update their appearance. Some cabinets take well to a deeper stain, whereas others may need nothing more than a fresh coat of paint. Cleaning and refinishing cabinets takes time, but is far less expensive than replacing the cabinets.
The latest style from Europe is a plain, flat door in glossy colors. In the U.S. the popular choices are framed glass doors for cabinets that contain glassware, bar supplies or other items that are to be displayed to guests. Glass can be plain, frosted or made with stained glass inlays. However, any additions to glass panels will add to the cost of the cabinet and may not be attractive to potential future buyers.
Another easy fix for kitchen cabinets is new hardware which can transform the way a kitchen looks. Old, outdated handles and knobs can be replaced easily and relatively inexpensively.
If your budget allows there are some modest updates that can improve the look of the kitchen and give buyers and renters what they are looking for: granite counter tops. Go for a granite that’s beige with darker browns. Stay away from the greens, black with pink, or really wild granite patterns.
Cabinet refacing/refinishing pros:
Cabinet refacing/refinishing cons:
How about the bathroom? You may want to update the look, increase resale value, add functionality, amenities and storage or a combination of all or some of these.
Mitchell Parker at Houzz says “…the scope of the project depends on a variety factors — most of all budget, but also how long you’ve been in the house and how long you plan to stay there. As with most things, there are three levels of bathroom remodeling: good, better and best, says Leslie Molloy, a design consultant at Normandy Remodeling. She says the basic bathroom remodel
often runs from $3,000 (DIY) to $12,000.
$3,000 (DIY) to $12,000 should be adequate for a rental, but depending on the price of the house, you may have to spend up to $35,000. Most investment in kitchens and bathrooms are recouped on sale.
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