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June 11, 2012

Tips for Your Kitchen Remodel

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This Seattle home for sale offers the perfect triangular kitchen layout

Kitchen makeovers remain popular as homeowners continue to invest to create a warm, stylish, comfortable, and efficient heart of the home. In addition to improved aesthetics and organization, kitchen remodels also hold reasonable resale value.

According to Remodeling magazine's 2011-2012 Cost vs. Value Report, midrange minor kitchen remodels - new countertops, appliances, cabinet fronts, and hardware - have an average national cost just shy of $20,000 and get 72% return on investment. Midrange major remodels, which include new appliances, cabinets, countertops, flooring, and lighting, have a mid-range average of $57,824 and a nearly 66% return. High-end renovations can easily cost $100,000 and up.

Though aesthetics are important, the driving remodeling force is functionality. Start by doing some research and tour show houses and kitchen show rooms to see product up close and personal. Next, set a budget that reflects your main priorities for the new space and familiarize yourself with basic elements of design.

PLANNING YOUR BEST KITCHEN

Today's kitchens average 200-300 square feet and are increasingly part of an open-floor plan. Other trends include a move towards simplicity, uncluttered looks, energy efficiency, and natural materials. Look to design books, magazines, and websites for ideas. And check out the helpful Kitchen Planner by the National Kitchen and Bath Assocation (NKBA), which is available as a free download.

Here are some key points to get you started:

How will you use the kitchen? Before you do anything, determine how you like to cook and entertain in your kitchen. Do you cook alone or with someone? Is your kitchen a multi-purpose room where kids do homework and friends love to gather? Keep track of what currently works well and what doesn't. For instance, if you're forever crawling into the back of lower cabinets to retrieve something, jot that issue down.

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