Should we renovate our kitchen before selling?

The National Post recently had a story where a couple asked if they should renovate their kitchen before selling. My answer is to do some upgrades but without spending a lot of money. I’ll sometimes add a backsplash or re-tile floors or paint cupboards. A new range hood is an easy $ 100 fix, so I’ll often do that too. But appliances, unless broken or in bad shape, are a big ticket item  and most people prefer to pick their own. I don’t replace them unless I have to and then with ones that look good but aren’t super-expensive  — I don’t think you get a dollar more for spending on high-end ones when you’re trying to sell.

Here are some of my kitchen before-and-afters.Bronson kitchen backsplash This one simply needed a new backsplash, which cost around $ 1200.00.


Here’s another where a new backsplash, knobs,  floor tiles, and range hood (the old one was pretty disgusting) made all the difference. The property sold within a week.

before 1

A lot of kitchens have those old oak strip cabinets from the 80s. Painting those strips out can make a huge difference: here’s an example where  I used a creamy white on the uppers and painted the lowers a soft grey to work with the existing countertop and tile floor. This is one case where I actually did add new appliances — the old ones were in terrible shape. But the buyer, who purchased this home within 48 hours of it being listed) exchanged them for ones she liked better.

before 3before 2

Here’s another example of how painting that dated oak strip to match the rest of the cupboard can update a kitchen. Unlike the example above, only the oak strip was painted to match the rest of the cabinets. Look how clean and contemporary it feels now!

before 9

Creating eat-in space adds value and doesn’t have to be big. In two of these kitchens, I created a small space for a table and chairs, in fact, I used the same  table and chairs to stage both spaces! (I got that hanging light fixture in the first one on Kijiji for around $ 30: it was gorgeous.)

before 4before 8

If you can keep existing flooring, that’s great, but sometimes it’s ugly or damaged. We replaced the tile in this kitchen for about $ 1/tile, painted the room, added new knobs to the cabinets, and installed new light fixtures. (I found this pendant light on Kijiji for around $ 25). Talk about a transformation!

before 5before 6

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