5 Kitchen Upgrades to Help Increase Your Home’s Value

5 Kitchen Upgrades to Help Increase Your Home’s Value

If you’re considering investing in home renovations, there are probably a few questions going through your mind…

“How long will it take?”

“How much will it cost?”

“Will it help increase my home’s value?”

The answer to all of these questions ultimately depends on what type of renovation you choose to do. As experts in design remodeling services, we believe that upgrading your kitchen is one of the best ways to increase your home’s value. 

Why are kitchen upgrades valuable?

It’s been said that the kitchen is the heart of the home, and for good reason. Kitchens are high-traffic rooms, used for everything from the obvious, like making dinner, to other special family moments, like working on homework, laughing during late-night talks, and hosting guests. 

According to an article from Forbes, “Kitchens will give you one of the biggest returns on your investment.” The article goes on to say that even simple updates can make a significant impact on your home’s value.

Experts at HGTV agree, saying, “Ask any real estate expert what the No. 1 upgrade with the greatest return is, and the answer will be the kitchen.” 

So, how can you decide which kitchen upgrades will be worth your time and money? Start by thinking about what will provide the most value to you and your family. Then, narrow down your projects by reviewing the following list of upgrades that can help increase your home’s value. 

Areas of your kitchen you should consider updating

Here’s a closer look at some of the most valuable kitchen renovations you can to in your home. 

Floor plan

Open floor plans are becoming increasingly popular because they give your home a warm, open, and inviting vibe. Millennials, in particular, look for open concepts when house hunting. Additionally, opening up your kitchen allows you to choose from more customization options, like adding a kitchen island to your space. 

Countertops

Updating your countertops can give your whole kitchen a refreshed look, but it can be hard to know which type of counters are best for your needs. At Gehman Design Remodeling, we offer the following countertop options: 

  • Quartz
  • Granite
  • Laminate
  • Concrete
  • Solid-surfacing

Our remodeling experts on staff can walk you through the differences of each type and help you determine what you should choose. 

Floors

The most valuable upgrade you can do to your floors is to install or refinish hardwood floors. Why are hardwood floors a smart upgrade? Homelight, a real estate referral company, explains, “The NAR’s (National Association of Realtors) 2017 Remodeling Impact Report projects that homes with existing hardwood floors will likely see a 100% return as the average $3,000 cost to refurbish them adds $3,000 in value.”

The Homelight article continues, “Installing wood flooring pays off almost as well, with a 91% return. Wood flooring installations that cost $5,500 are projected to add around $5,000 to the home value. However, these estimates vary depending upon the type of wood flooring you install.”

Appliances

If you’ve ever seen a house with pink appliances from the 1970s, you know that old appliances can make your whole house look outdated. When upgrading your appliances, be sure to look for energy-efficient models, which can help lower your energy use, and in turn, your monthly utility bill. You may also consider “commercial look” appliances which will give your home the look of a beautiful, high-end commercial kitchen, in a size that fits your space. 

Cabinets

Cabinets are one of the first things someone sees when they walk into your kitchen. What kind of impression are your cabinets making? Whether you only want to upgrade the look of your cabinets, or you want to reconfigure them to maximize your storage space, we recommend installing all-wood cabinets in your home. 

At Gehman Design Remodeling, we offer a variety of styles, colors, finishes, and hardware so your cabinets will perfectly fit your aesthetic. 

What is the average ROI of a kitchen remodel?

So, how much value can you expect to get back after investing in kitchen renovations? It depends on the project, but a minor kitchen remodel can recoup an average of 81% of its cost. However, it’s important to remember that all renovations are not weighted equally. 

Minor kitchen renovations have a higher ROI than luxury upgrades since they are more appealing to the masses. So, unless you want stone countertops or commercial-grade appliances for your own use, you can skip them during your renovation since they won’t add much to your home’s overall value. 

What NOT to do when renovating your kitchen

Now that you have a better idea of which kitchen upgrades are worth your time and money, here are a few things you should avoid. 

Non-neutral paint colors

Skip the bright colors in favor of shades of beige or gray, which will appeal to more people when you go to sell your home. If you really can’t live without a bright green wall, just be sure to paint it a more neutral color before putting your house on the market. 

Wallpaper

Similarly, wallpaper can be a polarizing design choice. It can also be difficult to remove, so it’s best to avoid it altogether during the design phase of your remodel. 

Luxury kitchen renovations

Like we mentioned above, luxury upgrades don’t always have a high ROI. For example, a brick pizza oven could be cool to have in your house if you’re a chef or a pizza connoisseur, but the average person doesn’t gain many benefits from having one in their home. 

You’ll need to find the balance of upgrading your home with features you genuinely want and will use with features that will also appeal to a large number of people once you decide to sell. 

Get a free estimate today

Ready to get started on your kitchen upgrades? Contact Gehman Design Remodeling today to set up a free, no-obligation consultation. Or, check out our kitchen design portfolio to get a better idea of the work we’ve done in the past and how we can help you with your project. 

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As a company that’s been around for nearly 30 years, you can trust that if you come to us with an idea for your home, we’ll get it done with the highest level of customer service every step of the way. We can’t wait to help you bring your kitchen dreams to reality. 

The Ultimate Kitchen Remodeling Guide: What You Need to Know

The Ultimate Kitchen Remodeling Guide: What You Need to Know

 

A kitchen remodel is an important and exciting decision. Your Kitchen is a personal retreat, the place where you start your mornings and unwind at the end of the day. Like the rest of your home, your Kitchen is a reflection of your personal style. But keep in mind that this room is also one of your home’s most purposeful and often serves multiple family members. Finding this balance between style and functionality makes a Kitchen remodel a thoughtful process.

This guide will help you evaluate your goals, ideas and options for your remodel. Hopefully your research will steer you to the best professionals for the job and to the design that will bring you the greatest pleasure.

Kitchen Remodeling

What is Cabinet Refacing?

“Cabinet refacing” is an industry term used to distinguish the refacing process from refinishing and replacing. The word “refinishing” is used to describe the process of re-painting or re-staining the existing cabinets. “Replacing the cabinets” means that the existing cabinets and boxes are torn out, and replaced with new cabinets.

With Gehman Remodeling Cabinet Refinishing, we will:

  • Remove and replace cabinet doors and drawer fronts
  • “Reface” the exposed portion of your cabinet box frames with a wood veneer to match your new doors and drawers

With Refacing, you get new doors, new drawers, and a new cabinet face, without having to tear out your existing cabinet boxes.

With Gehman Design Remodeling Cabinet Refinishing, we will:

  • Re-paint or re-stain the existing exterior visible parts of the cabinets, such as doors, drawer fronts and cabinet boxes
  • Install new hardware – pulls / knobs and hinges

 

Cabinet Replacement

Some homeowners would prefer to replace their cabinets with completely new stained or painted cabinets. But, understanding your cabinet choices can be confusing – especially if you meet with multiple sales representatives from different companies. Here’s a quick guide to help with your selection.

The 5 major components of a cabinet

1. The Finish

This is the first thing you notice when looking at the cabinet. It could be a beautiful stain color that is rich and enhances the grain of the wood or a smooth painted finish that brightens the room. Whichever you prefer, it’s important to note that not all finishes are the same. Most quality cabinets use a process called conversion varnish. Sparing the details, a conversion varnish provides the most durable and longest lasting coats, whether a clear-coat on top of a stain, or paint.

2. The face frame, doors, and drawer fronts

These components come in a variety of types of wood as well as engineered products. Our focus at Gehman Design Remodeling is on solid wood components. Different wood types have different densities or durability. Softer woods will dent and scratch easier but typically cost less. Harder more dense woods will be more durable but will cost more. Gehman Design Remodeling has simplified the process by narrowing the selections down to the most common choices of wood species.

3. The Box

The box of the cabinet is where you put all your dishes. It may not be the most interesting part of the cabinet, but in some ways it’s the most important. The box is what gives the cabinet it’s strength and will ultimately play a major role in how long your cabinets last. Again, there are a variety of choices, from particle / furniture board to plywood. And this is the part where a “salesman” can really confuse people. For instance, better quality cabinets will use plywood boxes, not particle / furniture board. However, if that’s all you ask about, a “salesman” will show you a cabinet with a plywood box, but it may only have a 1/4” piece of plywood for the back and sides, or a plywood skin over particle / furniture board.

Gehman Design Remodeling offers GBB – Good, Better, Best cabinets. Our lines of cabinets are designed to provide you a cabinet with all the bells and whistles, but at an affordable price.

  • Good – particle / furniture board boxes covered with laminate film that looks like wood to match the solid wood front, doors and drawers
    • Interior of the cabinet will be laminate film that looks like natural maple
  • Better – 1/2” plywood with finish wood veneer to match the wood species and finish of the solid wood front, doors and drawers
    • Interior of the cabinet will be melamine laminate that looks like natural maple
  • Best – 5/8” or 3/4” plywood with finish wood veneer to match the wood species and finish of the solid wood front, doors and drawers
    • Interior of the cabinet can be melamine laminate that looks like natural maple
      • More durable to be wiped clean with a damp cloth
    • Interior of the cabinet can be natural maple wood veneer
      • Unparalleled beauty but it isn’t quite as durable as melamine

4. Drawer Construction.

The common theme for cabinets is that each part / component can be made on a quality spectrum ranging from poor to great, and everything in between. Our cabinets drawer boxes are always solid hardwood with dovetailed corners. We never use particle / furniture board, melamine or plywood drawer boxes for stained or painted cabinets.

5. The door and drawer hardware.

Soft-close concealed cup hinges and undermount drawer glides are standard on all cabinets offered by Gehman Design Remodeling.

Kitchen Remodeling

Countertops, Sinks, Faucets, and Backsplashes

Generally, a Kitchen update includes countertops, sinks, faucets, backsplashes, lighting and flooring. Gehman Design Remodeling offers complete Kitchen remodeling services throughout Bucks and Montgomery County. 

The advantage of using us for your cabinets, countertops, sinks, and faucets include dealing with one company that is responsible for coordinating the installation of all these items. Gehman Design Remodeling uses employee tradesmen for most of the Kitchen remodeling process. The few exceptions include the installation of stone (granite and quartz) countertops. These items require special equipment for fabricating the stone products and for the delivery and installation of the countertop. Our Project Manager will be on site for all work being performed.

Kitchen Countertops

Countertops come in a variety of materials and colors, including laminate tops, solid-surfacing, granite, concrete, and quartz. Countertops are one of the most defining features of your kitchen remodel, so it’s important to take the time to understand all of your options.

Laminate Countertops

Advantages

Laminates come in a wide selection of colors, patterns and designs, and textured surfaces. It’s incredibly easy to clean and doesn’t require special sealers or cleaners. It also happens to be the most affordable option as well as being naturally stain resistant.

Disadvantages

Due to being softer material, laminate countertops are more prone to scratches than other materials. Hot pots and pans can also damage the surface if placed directly on it. Sink options can be a bit limited as laminate only allows drop-in sinks due to its construction.

Solid-Surface Countertops 

Advantages

They’re more durable and higher quality than laminate, yet still cheaper than quartz, granite, and concrete. Like laminate, solid-surfacing is very easy to maintain. Scratches can easily be buffed out.

Disadvantages

Although higher quality than laminate, it can still be damaged by hot pots and pans as well as be scratched. Also, chemicals such as nail polish removers and some specialized cleaners can damage the surface. Only available in ‘matte’ non-shiny sheen.

Granite Countertops

Advantages

Easily one of the most beautiful countertop materials available, natural granite is a staple in many American homes. Due to the hardness of the material, it is resistant to scratches and is heat resistant (not heat proof, DO NOT set hot things directly on any countertop). Various price levels based on the beauty and availability of the stone. The prettier the stone the more it costs.

Disadvantages

Aside from being rather expensive, granite countertop corners may chip or break if a heavy object falls on them. Must be sealed every 12 – 18 months to avoid stains that get into the porous stone that may not be able to be removed. Also, improper sealing can lead to less to ugliness.

Concrete countertops 

Advantages

Concrete countertops are incredibly durable and can be custom-formed to fit any size or shape. These trendy countertops aren’t always grey either, they can be pigmented to achieve just about any color you want and can be further personalized by embedding shells, tiles, beads of glass, or stones.

Disadvantages

For such a hard and durable material, they need to be regularly sealed otherwise they can be easily stained. Must be sealed every 12 – 18 months to avoid stains that get into the porous concrete that may not be able to be removed. In addition, and arguably the most important, concrete countertops are often the most expensive countertops.

Quartz Countertops

Advantages 

Unlike other countertop materials, engineered quartz requires minimal maintenance. It is non-porous, doesn’t need to be sealed, and is super easy to clean. Quartz is natural stones that are ground into small pieces, mixed with a resin and put back together in a specific color and pattern. Therefore, each small piece of stone is sealed inside resin making it stain resistant. Manufacturers offer a 10-year warranty.

Disadvantages

Hot pans or pots right off a stove burner should not be placed directly on the surface. Also, direct sunlight from a Kitchen window can cause fading over time.

 

Kitchen Remodeling

Sinks & Bowls

Sinks have options galore. single bowl, bowl and a half, double bowl, bar, square, oval, round, rectangle, elongated, etc. Your selection won’t be right or wrong as it’s best based on your personal preference.

Installation types

Self-rimming / drop in – sit on top of the countertop. This is the only option for laminate counters. The traditional type of sink installation. Leaves an edge where the countertop and sink meet that may be difficult to keep clean.

Undermount – fastens underneath the counter leaving the edge of the counter around the sink exposed. This type of sink is NOT an option for laminate counters because the substrate under the laminate won’t hold up to moisture / dampness in the sink.

Apron front / farm sink – the sink extends through / takes the place of the false drawer front of the sink base cabinet. Front edge of the sink is finished because it’s visible.

Integral – available only in solid surface where the sink and countertop are made with the same resin materials that are fused / welded together for a seamless appearance. Easy to clean because there isn’t an edge to work with.

Stainless steel – a metal alloy made up of various metals that are 100% recyclable. It’s worthwhile paying for premium stainless because it will be easier to clean and look better. May be purchased with a coating of insulation on the outside which will keep dish water warmer longer and soften noise from dishes hitting the metal.

Porcelain coated cast iron – comes in many colors. Cast iron body holds temperature. Very durable but can be chipped if something heavy and hard is dropped on it.

Porcelain – solid and heavy used primarily for traditional farm house style apron sinks

Acrylic solid surface sinks – generally used for integral seamless sinks with solid surface counters but may be installed as an undermount in stone countertops.

Faucets

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Take your pick many styles and finishes. Solid brass body is important. Many manufacturers offer lifetime warranty. Wide spread, Single lever, pulldown sprayer, separate spray hose.

Backsplashes 

Backsplash is 4” – 6” high section directly along the back of the countertop. May be material to match the counter or tile.

Wallsplash

Wallsplash is the section of wall at the back of the countertop up to the bottom of the wall cabinets. This area can be finished in many ways.

Painted, plastic laminate, wood that is stained or painted, stainless steel, granite or engineered quartz, tile.

Tile is the most common wallsplash material these days because it’s available in many shapes and colors and can be installed in specific patterns for a custom look.

Outlets

Code requires a GFCI – Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter 120-volt duplex wall outlet every 4’ of running wall space along the back of the countertops as well as any solo section of counter that is 9” wide or more. Outlets on the end of peninsula counters and both sides of islands.

Outlets are necessary but often ruin the look of a beautiful tile wallsplash. An option is to move the outlets into angled power strips installed under the back of the wall cabinets. Switches can also be installed under the cabinets.

Lighting

General ceiling lighting can be surface mounted fixtures or recessed lights. Most Kitchens use LED pancake lights on dimmer switches to supply ample light to the entire space. Dimmer switches are a nice feature that can be installed on all other lights as well.

Decorative lights are used for pendant lights over the sink, island / peninsula and eating table. This is a great place to show your personality through use of color, shape and style.

Task lighting is LED strip lights under the front edge of the wall cabinets.

Ambiance lighting are LED strips inside glass door cabinets, inside deep cabinets such as pantries, lazy susan corners (base and wall), appliance garages, etc. LED strip lights may be installed on top of wall cabinets and under toe kick of base cabinets.

Interested in a remodel?

If you’re ready to take the next steps, give us a call or fill out a form and someone from our team will reach out!

Kitchen Pain Points

Pain.

facial-pain2-headache

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first thing that comes to mind when you think of pain is physical injury, or maybe emotional pain.  But… have you ever considered your kitchen may be causing you pain? 

When homeowners are considering remodeling their kitchen, it is typically because something about their current kitchen “pains” them.

So what are these dislikes that pain homeowners to the point when they say, it’s time to remodel?  Let’s take a look at the most common pain points:

Organization: Everyone would like to improve accessibility to appliances throughout the kitchen. They also want ways to reduce the amount clutter on countertops.

Supplee, Kitchen (2)

  • One solution is an organization station, which can be utilized in an end cabinet to incorporate a clever space for keys, a notice board for family and to-do lists, as well as stowaway slats for magazines and cookbooks.
  • Clear off countertops and maximize corner-cabinet space by installing a two-tiered carousel, or lazy Susan. This helps you to keep both often-used and rarely used items tucked away but within easy reach.
  • Having a paper towel drawer frees up some more counter space. The towels are easy to reach and out of sight.
  • Try adding hinges and a convenient tray to the false drawer under your sink for an extra place to hide cleaning essentials.
  • Kids love playing in the kitchen while you work, so look for clever options like toy drawers in your kitchen island, which can hold everything from crayons to puzzles.

Cleanliness: Homeowners want products, surfaces, materials, and appliances that are easy to clean and maintain.

  • When it comes to material, think smooth (no cracks, crevices, texture, or other places for dirt to accumulate), stain and water repellant, a pattern, earth tone in color (food colors), durable, and not glossy.    The more of these features a material has, the easier it is to keep clean looking.
  • A great way to see how well a countertop disguises daily messes, is to test out a counter sample using food crumbs and some common liquids
  • Consider soft close doors and drawers.  This allows you to close the door and drawer by just bumping it closed when your hands are dirty.
  • When searching for a cooktop, look for removable controls, sealed burners, and black grates that can go in your dishwasher.

Space:   Having more room is always high on a wish list.  Adding cabinets, pantries, and islands are typically how more space is achieved.

Gehman Kitchen (5)

  • There also are many options for making the storage capacity within the cabinetry more efficient. Among the most popular are the drawers for pots and pans that roll out from the cabinet.
  • Adding an island to your kitchen allows for more storage space, additional seating, and it’ll keep you in the middle of the action while you prepare meals.
  • If the shelves in your pantry don’t hold enough items, consider getting new shelving installed. Shelves that are deeper or wider can accommodate more. Instead of only using one type of shelving, vary the storage throughout the pantry. Pullout drawers and varying height shelves can give flexibility for housing small kitchen appliances and varying sized boxed goods.

 

 

 

 

Product Design: Homeowners want improved products and features those products offer. Many appliances, materials, and products were originally installed to save costs and people want to upgrade.  When you’re ready to upgrade appliances, you may want to take advantage of new or improved ideas since the last time you bought.

  • A sleek induction cooktop has no open flames and generates heat directly into compatible pots or pans, making it more efficient than gas.
  • Digital temperature controls on your refrigerator will display the actual temperature and the temperature you set.
  • Hot-surface warning lights are an important safety feature on electric ranges and cooktops because the surface can remain hot long after an element has been turned off.

 Noise: Too much noise from appliances and products in the kitchen are constant problems for homeowners.

  • Designing your new kitchen with appliances covered in integrated doors that match your cabinetry is an easy and smart way to reduce noise. Your dishwasher will be just as functional, and blends in nicely when closed.
  • Trash compactors and disposals should be installed with a perimeter strip-type gasket or with rubber spacers to isolate vibrations.
  • Mount exhaust fans outside the house and secure the ductwork by boxing it in tightly with plywood. Use rubber mounts to install the fan to reduce noise generated from vibrations.
  • Large, heavy appliances, such as refrigerators, transfer their vibrations to the supporting floor, creating additional noise. These vibrations can be isolated from the floor by placing pads of rubber underneath the appliance’s legs or corners.
  • Soft close kitchen cabinets close gently and physically can’t be slammed.
  • If noise is a concern, consider staying away from stone flooring. A stone floor will make the  room much more prone to echoes

Are any of these points paining you?  When you’re ready to discuss remodeling your kitchen to cure what pains you, please call us at 215-660-5635 for a free consultation.

Let Us Create the Kitchen You Are Dreaming Of

Kitchens are evolving

DSC_0077 print

No longer does apron-clad Mom cook alone, hidden away in a closed off kitchen as the family waits in another room. These days, you’re just as likely to see a couple cooking together, or the whole family pitching in for Thanksgiving dinner, or friends gathered around the kitchen talking while a meal is prepared.

The kitchen has always been a gathering center when you entertain in your home.  So why not open it up and enjoy more space with friends and family?    There is no reason to make do in a cramped kitchen that was designed decades ago.

More and more home owners are saying hello to the open concept, especially when it comes to opening up their kitchen.  We created this kitchen for our clients because they were tired of their tight space and the feeling that it was closed off to everyone.  Their desire was to have a kitchen that was open and inviting, one that allowed their family and guests to sit around and talk with each other while the host prepared a meal.

However, wanting an open space, and getting that open space isn’t always that easy.  Our clients wanted two walls removed to open up their kitchen; however, the walls were load-bearing walls.  Our team had to install two steel beams in each of the load-bearing walls.  In the basement below, we installed a lally column, a round steel column filled with concrete, to provide support to the new beams.

Homeowners don’t often consider all the steps that are needed when opening up a space.  Many times, as in this case, HVAC ducts and drainpipes that were in the wall need to be rerouted.  Other rooms in the house are affected while doing an open concept kitchen remodel.  This is why it is important to have a plan for your family during the remodel.  Sometimes the family can stay during the project, other times staying with relatives is a better option.   One thing that is always certain, you must select a home remodeler who is trust worthy and can problem solve, which means you get back into your new space as soon as possible.

Sometimes during a remodel, clients will opt for larger, new wall ovens.  In this particular kitchen remodel, the clients’ wall ovens were surrounded by brick.  Since the brick surround provided structural support to the chimney, enlarging the opening for the new ovens required some creative engineering!  Additional support was added for the chimney above, and after the new wall ovens were installed, we added cabinetry to cover the bricks to match the new kitchen cabinets.

Since our clients’ number one wish was to interact with their guests while cooking, we installed the cooktop on the other side of the peninsula.  This provided a place for guests to sit and talk with the host while the meal was prepared.

After a kitchen is remodeled, no one notices all the behind the scenes work that has been done, and that is a good thing!  What everyone does notice are the finishes.  We will always offer suggestions if asked, but our clients choose the countertops, cabinets and finishes.  In this remodel, our client chose Natural Rocky Mountain granite countertop, along with stainless steel appliances and top knobs.  The custom cabinetry they selected has built up crown molding above the cabinets, adding elegance to their kitchen.  For their wallsplash, they selected a Mosaic Icelandic blend; the outlets are underneath the cabinets to preserve the aesthetics of the wallsplash.

Natural light can make a big difference in any room.  Now that the wall was gone between their dining room and kitchen, sunlight can pour into the kitchen from the existing sliding glass door.  No more dark, closed off kitchen.  Their new space is open, bright and inviting.

We want you to love being in your kitchen. It should inspire you.  We believe in comfort, beauty, and functionality. Our work reflects your vision.  Call today to schedule 215-513-0300 a consultation with one of our Remodeling Consultants and your vision can become your reality.