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Easy Kitchen And Bath Updates

When you're considering selling your home, or, just want to refresh it, you can do a lot to improve it. Most homeowners think about big projects, like remodeling an entire kitchen, refurbishing a living room, complete with new paint and custom cut crown modeling, or even replacing every window with new, double pane, low-E windows. Some even conjuring visions of adding a deck or patio with an outdoor kitchen, greatly enhanced with new furniture, a workstation, refrigerator, and a huge grill.

Although those things are great and certainly do much to improve function and aesthetics, they are quite costly, and very time consuming. For instance, remodeling a kitchen means having to move your appliances from one place to another. Some homeowners opt to put their refrigerators, dishwashers, stoves, microwaves, and countertop appliances in the garage, which become makeshift kitchens.

However, there are ways to make a big impression without spending a whole lot of money, and, without having to commit hours and hours of time. These are simple changes that really make a huge impact, and, some will likely come as a bit of a surprise.

Best and Worst Home Improvements ROI

Before you delve into any home improvement project, you ought to know what it's worth. That is to say, what its return-on-investment will bring when you sell your home in the future. For instance, one of the most surprising is a new steel front door costing an average of $1,250, brings back an impressive 98 percent. Conversely, a home office remodel performs quite poorly, having an ROI of just 48.9 on an average cost of $28,000.
Because we’re spending more and more time in our kitchens and baths, there is a move away from the all-or-nothing "fitted" look of continuous counters. Look for more freestanding pieces of furniture or features with furniture-like qualities, such as a cabriole leg holding up a kitchen counter. --HGTV

A minor kitchen remodel fetches just shy of 83 percent for the average cost of $18,860, but, a sunroom addition, averaging $73,550, has a return-on-investment of just 51.7 percent. Window replacements fair between 78.7 percent and 79.3 percent ROI, while a master suite addition only recaptures 67.5 percent.

Inexpensive Kitchen Updates

To get your kitchen looking great and add a bit of pop, you can improve it with one of the following easy and inexpensive updates:

  • Refinish the countertops. This costs just a fraction of replacing the countertops and can be done in less time. What's more, it won't turn your life upside down like a full-out kitchen remodel would for weeks on end. You can opt for paint or reglaze countertops for a new, updated look.

  • Install new cabinet hardware. One of the most simple fixes that you don't often think about is just how dated and worn pulls and hinges look. Replace them with new hardware, and, while you're at it, you can always repaint the cabinets to match or color contrast the countertops.

  • Replace the faucet. This is another piece of hardware that just goes unnoticed for years and years. The good news is, you don't have to be a master plumber to replace your faucet. You can also choose to swap out the sink for a new one as well.

  • Change-out the backsplash. It's not very difficult to pull down a dated backsplash or to install a new one. Most come with simple, step-by-step instructions and this will really make a difference.

Low Cost Bath Updates

To refresh a bathroom, you can do some of the same things as you did in the kitchen. Here are some simple and low cost updates:

  • Install a new vanity or refinish it. Like cabinets and countertops, these wear with age and become dated. So, pull out the old vanity and install a new one, or, refinish the existing fixture. Another idea is to install a pedestal sink.

  • Hang a new towel bar, with new towels. This might seem like a waste of time, but, you'll be surprised at just how much a difference something so ordinary can make. Hang a new towel bar and dress it with fresh, new towels.

  • Change out the shower door or curtains. Many homeowners spend quite a bit of time cleaning shower doors and curtains. Eventually, it's a losing battle, so, take the opportunity to swap out that old door or curtain with a new one.

  • Lay down a new bath rug. Shaking and washing only goes so far when it comes to a bath rug, and, like the shower door or curtain, is an exercise in diminishing returns. For some extra color and a bit of freshness, put down a new bath rug.

One improvement that will make a big difference, and, takes quite a bit of elbow grease, is cleaning the tile grout--whether it's in the kitchen, bath, or, both. Floor and wall tile grout becomes discolored over time. Doing a little scrubbing will make it look new and put a bit of sparkle into the space.