• Think of your market. Overspending or underspending on a kitchen remodel can end up being a major barrier to a sale later on. Determine whether a low-, mid-, or high-end renovation fits with both the style of home and neighborhood you live in. Also, decide whether the remodel is for you personally or for a better return on investment when you decide to sell.
  • Repurpose where you can. Before you rip out old cabinetry, consider freshening existing cabinets with paint and new hardware. For just a few hundred dollars, new color and knobs can make cabinets look brand new.
  • Don’t get in a jam. In an essential room like the kitchen, the way traffic moves makes all the difference. Traffic flows in a triangular pattern—called the “work triangle”—between the refrigerator, the sink, and the stove. With that in mind, envision your space and how you want traffic to move around these work areas. Visualize your ideal space and contact a pro to bounce ideas off of; they can offer helpful tips to avoid costly design flaws that could mean the difference between having the kitchen of your dreams and a room everyone wants to avoid.
  • Rome wasn’t built in a day. Don’t be discouraged if your budget doesn’t allow for a major overhaul. Minor updates can improve functionality and add value. Plus, everything does not have to be done at once. Rank your needs according to “must-haves” and “nice-to-haves.”
  • Stretch your dollar. Make sure your hard-earned dough is going as far as it can. Take advantage of free advice from a pro. Kitchen remodels are one of the biggest investments a homeowner can make. A pro can help with small details that really matter, like optimizing space or using features to make old space fresh and usable.
  • Storage matters. Whether you’re a foodie or the go-to host for family holidays, space makes for an organized kitchen. Utilize the areas above cabinets, add wall shelves, or consult a design professional on carving out a pantry. The less cluttered the kitchen is, the more likely you are to use it.