THE VIEW FROM OAK PARK
The Official Krisztina Blogsite
As a Real Estate Agent, I know that the 2 most important rooms in the house that will increase property value are the kitchen and bathroom (this is applicable to both Oakville real estate and other markets!). A great kitchen is especially important if your home is designed like mine – with the kitchen and family room combined. With that in mind, I decided my own kitchen needed an upgrade with the simple goal of a prettier, more functional kitchen that would help increase my home’s value when I’m ready for resale. That’s the #1 key – Know your home’s value – don’t over-invest or over-improve!! I had lots of ideas, but I needed help. At first I interviewed solely Kitchen Designers, and I had a Decorator on board, but going forward, I realized this was impractical and I switched to a General Contractor with kitchen experience. It was nice not to have any pressure to hire separate contractors and to have 1 go-to guy for all my questions and concerns. He was able to deal with cutting down my bulkhead, removing/installing cabinets, overseeing the cabinet maker, helping me with product and design decisions as well as handling all the electrical and plumbing.
Now here’s my 5 MUST HAVE’s…
1. Have exact plans drawn up – fixes on paper are cheaper than in real life.
2. Place appliances in a triangle for best functionality.
3. Make all space usable – My goal was to increase my cupboard space. To do this, I moved my microwave to over the range. I had slim pullout spice cabinets put in beside the stove. I had a 2-piece foldout corner cabinet cupboard installed. And I reduced my bulkhead and put in taller cabinets.
4. Proper lighting is key – over-the-counter for cooking and multiple ceiling potlights on dimmer for entertaining.
5. Countertop material that will wear well and clean well. (Avoid pitted materials)
And my DO’s…
1. Hire someone to oversee the entire project.
2. Interview more than 1 person, check references and licenses.
3. Have all permits.
4. Stay involved.
5. Pay attention to the small details. (These are the things that will bother you in the end.)
And my DON’Ts…
1. Don’t choose the cheapest solution – it may take away from your overall aesthetic and you’ll regret it in the end.
2. Don’t go trendy – it will not only affect resale, but you may tire of it before then.
3. Don’t give up your own vision – this is ultimately your kitchen, you have to live with it…don’t get talked into something you’ll regret.
4. Don’t overspend. Create a budget with your Contractor and stick to it. In the end, I went for some upgrades above and beyond because I knew I wanted to stay in this home for 3 more years, but I fought for deals.
5. Don’t listen to everyone’s personal opinion…you will GO CRAZY!! Listen to your instincts, your spouse (sometimes!) and your Contractor!
And just a reminder, for Best Resale, stick to natural tones and creams. And if you’re leaving existing elements (I left my tiles and appliances), it is crucial to see colour samples in situ (such as cabinetry) to make sure they work with what you’re keeping. (I had to change my cabinet colour choice, because the tone looked terrible with my tiles – but now it flows so well, people think I changed the tile as well!!)
And in the end – I LOVE MY KITCHEN. Check it out on the video below!!