Costly

Kitchen cabinets are costly. Don’t make them trendy

The latest colors and trends are tempting, but a kitchen should be timeless, says Barbara Miller, design director for the Neil Kelly design and remodeling company.

It’s expensive to remodel a kitchen, and cabinets can make up 30% of the costs, so make sure you or an owner five to 10 years in the future won’t think the look has gone out of style, she says.

A sure-fire solution: White cabinets.

Since Neil Kelly started remodeling homes in Portland in 1947, “we have never stopped selling white cabinets,” says Miller, referencing a statement made by owner Tom Kelly, whose father founded the company.

She says styles and hardware have changed, but white remains popular in the Pacific Northwest, as does wood-grain cabinets.

The easiest way to ensure a kitchen has a timeless feel is to match key elements with the architecture and era of the house: A Colonial Revival house works best with traditional cabinets, while a midcentury design shines with sleek, flat panel cabinet doors and a Northwest ranch benefits from a transitional style in wood tones.

Selecting neutral materials and colors for cabinetry and large surfaces may seem unexciting, but there are ways to make a statement with wall color, knobs and pulls, and fixtures that can be changed in a day without having to undergo a full remodel.

A new pendant light over the island can help make a kitchen look up-to-date, Miller says.

People considering a kitchen remodel typically ask Miller if they can keep existing cabinets. She says cosmetic upgrades are possible if the design and layout still look and function well.

She explains what needs to be considered when deciding to renew or replace cabinets:

  • Quality of existing cabinets. If the cabinets have a peeling finish, new paint will peel too, says Miller. Large
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How to Avoid Common and Costly Renovation Mistakes

By Elizabeth Renter

Many of us are spending more time at home in 2020, which could mean having more time to take on home improvement projects. But home renovations aren’t just a way to fill time; you want the results to be worth the hard work. The key to any successful project lies in careful planning — including financial strategizing — long before the power tools come out.

Roughly 3 in 5 American homeowners (61%) have taken on home improvement projects since March 1, 2020, spending $6,438, on average, according to an August 18-20 NerdWallet survey conducted online by The Harris Poll among 1,414 homeowners.

Whether you’re outfitting your home with a new office or classroom, or taking on long-intended improvements such as painting or installing new flooring, here are five tips to help you make sure you’re heading into the right project, the right way.

1. Consider Return on Investment

Any project may be worth your time if doing it makes you happy, but if you plan to sell your home soon, make sure you focus on projects that give a good return on your money. Many renovations cost thousands of dollars but won’t increase the value of your home by the same amount.

For example, it costs about $50,000 to add a new bathroom, but homeowners typically recoup only about 54% of the cost in increased home value, according to Remodeling Magazine’s 2020 Cost vs. Value Report. A minor kitchen remodel, on the other hand, returns about 78% of its cost, so that type of project might make more sense.

Consider calling local real estate agents to ask them about the return you might receive from a home renovation project. Some local markets or neighborhoods may reward certain upgrades more than others.

2. Create a Budget

You don’t

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6 Ways to Avoid Costly Home Renovation Mistakes

Many of us are spending more time at home in 2020, which could mean having more time to take on home improvement projects. But home renovations aren’t just a way to fill time; you want the results to be worth the hard work. The key to any successful project lies in careful planning — including financial strategizing — long before the power tools come out.



a man standing in front of a window: Make sure you're heading into home improvement projects the right way.


© Getty Images
Make sure you’re heading into home improvement projects the right way.

Roughly 3 in 5 American homeowners (61%) have taken on home improvement projects since March 1, 2020, spending $6,438, on average, according to an August 18-20 NerdWallet survey conducted online by The Harris Poll among 1,414 homeowners.

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Whether you’re outfitting your home with a new office or classroom, or taking on long-intended improvements such as painting or installing new flooring, here are five tips to help you make sure you’re heading into the right project, the right way.

1. Consider return on investment

Any project may be worth your time if doing it makes you happy, but if you plan to sell your home soon, make sure you focus on projects that give a good return on your money. Many renovations cost thousands of dollars but won’t increase the value of your home by the same amount.

For example, it costs about $50,000 to add a new bathroom, but homeowners typically recoup only about 54% of the cost in increased home value, according to Remodeling Magazine’s 2020 Cost vs. Value Report. A minor kitchen remodel, on the other hand, returns about 78% of its cost, so that type of project might make more sense.

Consider calling local real estate agents to ask them about the return you might receive from a home renovation project. Some local markets or neighborhoods

Continue Reading