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How to avoid a bad kitchen remodel

RE/MAX shares tips for completing the perfect kitchen renovation.

If a homeowner had enough money to renovate only one room within the home, most real estate experts would suggest spending that money on either the kitchen or the bathroom, as these are the rooms that can add the most value to a home – but, getting these renovations wrong could have the opposite effect.

“To safeguard the future resale value of their property, when remodelling a kitchen or a bathroom, homeowners need to ensure that the design will strike the right balance between functionality and aesthetic appeal,” says Adrian Goslett, regional director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.

Focusing on kitchens, Goslett explains that adding quality fittings and finishes can be the key to getting the remodel right.

“There is a fine balance homeowners will have to manage between over- and under-capitalising on a kitchen renovation.

“You do not want to overspend on high-quality finishes if you won’t be able to sell for an amount that will allow you to recoup that expense. But, you also don’t want to go so cheap on materials that the remodel does not end up adding any value to the home,” he warns.

Consulting a local real estate professional can help homeowners understand what sorts of finishes buyers expect and are happy to pay for in that area. This will help homeowners reach the sweet spot in determining their renovation budget.

The next mistake homeowners need to avoid is over-personalising the items that are difficult to replace, such as the countertops, backsplash, floors, and cabinets.

“The safest way to add value to a home through a renovation project is to keep the fixtures as neutral as possible so that it has the broadest possible appeal.

“Homeowners can add their own flair in the decorative touches that are easier for buyers to replace if it does not suit their taste,” Goslett recommends.

But, renovations are not all about adding resale value to a home. A kitchen remodel can also add value in the form of greater enjoyment of the space.

“Beyond upgrading its aesthetic appeal, homeowners should not overlook the importance of enhancing the overall functionality of the space.

“The rule of thumb is to design a kitchen to form a triangle between the sink, refrigerator and stove to ensure the best flow of traffic through the space.

Never neglect to create adequate storage space and remember to install plug sockets appropriately near the spaces where kitchen appliances would most likely be used,” Goslett suggests.

If all these points have you rethinking tackling your own renovation project, Goslett notes that you can avoid making any of these mistakes simply by choosing to find a home with your dream kitchen already installed.

“Whether you want to find out how your kitchen renovations could add value, or begin your search for a home with a designer kitchen already installed, consulting your local RE/MAX agent will make the whole process less stressful,” Goslett concludes.

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