Remodeling Your Kitchen--Why & When

An interview with Steve Dubanevich, owner of Accent Kitchens in Virginia Beach and Newport News

If you’re planning to sell your house now, why remodel the kitchen?

Realtors tell me that in this tough real estate market, buyers are willing to pay more for homes that are up to date. For most people, that begins with the kitchen. Homebuyers want cabinets that go all the way to the ceiling (eight foot height), crown molding, solid surface counters, accessible storage (pullouts, spice racks and slide out shelves in base cabinets) and up to date lighting.

If you are not planning to sell your house for five years, why remodel now?

If you remodel now, you can enjoy cooking in that new kitchen yourself and appreciate the wow factor when you’re entertaining your neighbors and friends. Remodel the heart of your home today, and make it an inviting place to live and enjoy for many years to come. Then when you do put your house on the market, your updated home will be much more likely to command top dollar compared to unimproved homes in your neighborhood.

When I sell my house, what kind of return will I get on my kitchen remodeling investment?

Remodeling Magazine publishes a report annually that a properly remodeled kitchen can return about 75 cents on every dollar spent. A kitchen remodel gives you one of the highest returns you can get on any remodeling project.

Isn’t kitchen remodeling expensive? 

It depends on what kind of kitchen remodel you’re trying to do. You could do a major kitchen overhaul – including relocating walls, plumbing and electric fixtures; adding new windows and doors; and installing new flooring, cabinets and more. Or, you could do a minor kitchen remodel, retaining part of your existing cabinet layout with a few modifications such as new cabinets and new counters.

Other factors such as the materials you choose for cabinets, counters and floors also influence the final price. For example, ceramic tile can vary in price from $2 a square foot to $40 a square foot.

How much does kitchen remodel cost?

It’s difficult to say exactly what a new kitchen will cost because every kitchen is unique and full of its own set of challenges.

But what about a general ballpark? 

A minor kitchen remodel with granite counters ranges from $13,500 to $24,000. A major remodel typically ranges from $25,000 to $55,000 for many kitchens.

Does that include appliances?

No—we give our clients the flexibility to pick their own appliances to fit their budgets. For example, prices for a 36-inch wide refrigerator range from $800 to $5,500. 

All that sounds great, but shouldn’t I wait for a cabinet sale?

Actually, the costs of cabinets and granite are the lowest they’ve been in two decades. Manufacturers are currently offering specials on their products such as free upgrade finishes, free upgrades to cherry and even free installation in some cases. With the resurgence in home building, manufacturers and suppliers already have notified kitchen dealers of upcoming price increases later this winter.

Additionally, labor rates for plumbing, electrical and drywall are a great value now. Those rates also will rise as the demand increases for those services. 

Earlier, you mentioned a properly remodeled kitchen. What did you mean by that?

Maximizing your workflow while enhancing the overall appearance are key goals of a properly remodeled kitchen. A licensed professional contractor with decades of experience specifically in kitchen design and installation, has the expertise to ensure your job proceeds smoothly with no unpleasant surprises.

Whoever you hire, make sure the company is insured, obtains all necessary permits and gives you estimated start and completion dates as required by law.

Do you have any other thoughts on why now is the best time?

Interest rates are now at an all-time low—check with your bank. In many cases, refinancing at today’s low rates means you can use some of your equity to remodel your kitchen or bath while keeping your mortgage payments the same.

Or, as one of my clients told me…’I’m doing it now because if I don’t do it, then my kids are going to inherit my money and remodel their own kitchens.’

Accent Kitchens was established in 1981 by Steve Dubanevich. Accent Kitchens has made a positive impact in the community by supporting numerous local and national charitable efforts since inception. Accent Kitchens is a Class A Contractor and has installed more than 10,000 kitchens and baths. Steve can be reached at 757-473-0001

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