One of the most frequent questions posed by customers to Paul McAlary, president and senior designer of Main Line Kitchen Design, is: What percentage of money spent on remodeling kitchens can be gotten back when homes are sold?
Paul says the Return On Investment (ROI) for kitchen renovations is more complex that most homeowners and real estate professionals believe.
"The most common misconception is that there's some approximate percentage that a newly renovated kitchen should bring upon selling a home. Another is that renovating a kitchen in a home that's already valued higher than most others in the area won’t be a good investment," he adds.
As an internationally recognized authority on kitchen planning who has won more than a dozen local and national kitchen design awards, Paul is a fierce advocate for design standards, ethics and transparency in the industry.
In reality, Paul says the biggest factor affecting ROI of a kitchen renovation is the kitchen design itself. "For example, redoing the same poorly designed kitchen the same way could have very little ROI. Or, a new--even worse--design that gives a homeowner what they think they want despite it not fitting or working well in their space might lower the value of their home," he states.
Knowing what designs are good choices and which designs ultimately won't work in certain spaces are often not obvious to homeowners, Paul reflects.
"In fact many homeowners want to implement designs they thought of themselves even when we explain why they are poor choices. Or they want to keep the present terrible design because it's what they know," he adds.
Paul shares that Main Line Kitchen Design team members believe their first obligation is to at least show customers design options. "It wouldn’t be ethical or professional in our opinion to simply implement a design a customer asked for if there were better designs or design improvements we felt that they needed to see. Of course they can buy the kitchen they envisioned after seeing what we recommend, so long as it isn’t dangerous. But, working together and having a professional kitchen designer critique different designs usually leads to sensible compromises that customers appreciate. Especially after the dust settles and they begin cooking and living in their new kitchen," he says.
Top 10 ROIs for a Kitchen Renovation Per Main Line Kitchen Design:
- Working with a talented, experienced kitchen designer.
- Removing a soffit.
- Removing a wall separating the dining room and the kitchen in smaller homes.
- Going to the ceiling with molding.
- Upgrading cabinets to all plywood construction.
- Upgrading to soft close dovetail drawers and soft close doors.
- Building the refrigerator into cabinetry.
- Double trash pullout next to sink.
- Recessed door style.
- Large, single bowl sink.
Main Line's skilled designers initiate new customer plans via appointments only, which can be scheduled during days, evenings or weekends. They offer eight nationally distributed cabinet lines. During office appointments, they electronically display kitchens and help customers look through hundreds of sample door styles, plus a thousand sample finish blocks and sample kitchen cabinets. During home visits, the designers provide samples, take measurements and make design changes on laptops, if necessary.