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Kitchen Remodeling: What Adds to a Higher Home Value?

When it comes to the remodeling of one’s house, most of the main focus can go into the place where a family comes together to socialize and enjoy a meal.

Kitchens, along with bathrooms, have been considered to be the most important selling and remodeling points in a home. In recent years, the value of a home can be increased based on the kitchen itself, with certain trends adding to that value.

Patty Oldham is the branch manager for Reico Kitchen & Bath in Falls Church. She said remodeling a kitchen “definitely adds value to the home,” especially as the market becomes “more competitive with new homes being built in desirable areas like Falls Church.”

Depending on one’s budget and what is important to a person within a project, Oldham said remodeling a kitchen can involve “fundamental changes” such as updated cabinetry, installing new countertops and fixtures, adding backsplash or building out a kitchen island, as well as adding “energy-efficient appliances” to add more value.

Kitchens can have various modern features that add to the home value, such as electric outlets and an island. (Photo Courtesy: Suzy Foster)

Jenn Zschunke is the director of customer experience and community relations at Moss Building and Design. She said the kitchen is “the heart of the home,” due to families spending a lot of time together there as well as serving as a place for “entertainment” rather than just making meals. Zschunke also stated that having a kitchen that has “modern features” and “a few bells and whistles” adds to the value of a home.

One modern feature that has become popular in recent years is adding technological advancements into a kitchen. Also known as “smart kitchens,” these technologies can range from motion sense-equipped kitchen faucets that can sense the presence of one’s hands, or simple outlets for one to charge their devices.

David Foster, the president and CEO of Foster Remodeling Solutions, said adding charging stations to a kitchen is a “common feature” in a kitchen nowadays; whether it be placed in a drawer so one doesn’t have to see their electronic device, or placed somewhere where one can work on and charge their device while being in their kitchen.

“I would say kitchens are one of the spaces that probably add the most value to the home,” Foster said. “It helps with resale also, if somebody was to decide to sell a home.”
Another feature that has become common but still is popular among buyers and sellers is the installation of a kitchen island. In her experience, Zschunke said having a “beautiful island” in the central part of the kitchen has been popular among Moss’s customers.

Whether it comes with more storage room or a “beautiful, stone countertop,” Zschunke said an island is a “great way to gather” for a family meal rather than a dining room table.

Foster added that Foster Remodeling Solutions has seen “a lot of islands being added” to a kitchen if homes don’t already have them. He stated islands can be used as a work surface for both adults and children, as well as being a place for people to sit and be “a part of what’s going on in the kitchen without being in the way of the cook.” Some people may want to add cooking stations or sinks to their islands as well.

Having quality storage places with high end cabinetry as well as incorporating “unique colors” in a kitchen can add to a home’s value. These types of cabinets can include a “Lazy Susan,” a rotating, tray-shaped platform that can be placed inside corner cabinets; or a “racetrack design” that simply allows a cabinet to be pulled in and out. Zschunke said having both of these features can add to the “aesthetic” of one’s home.

Mark Donnelly, the owner of NHance of Fairfax NW, said coloring one’s cabinets can give the kitchen a “brand new look at a fraction of the cost of a remodel.” If the cabinets are “still solid” but the doors are “old-fashioned,” re-dooring is a “great, cost-effective way to modernize one’s kitchen.”

“Now with people opening up their homes, the kitchen is really a part of the homes; look and feel and design overall,” Zschunke said. “I think people are looking for ways to kind of make their design style, look and feel kind of spread throughout the kitchen.”