Home improvements can be an undertaking of epic proportions. There’s a lot you can do to improve your home, whether the intention is to freshen things up for your own personal enjoyment, or you want to up the value as you get ready to put your home on the market. The investment is very worth the while when you do it right. Some improvements bring in a better return than others, so if you have limited funds and want to stretch your dollar as far as it’ll go, then a little strategy is in order. Two places where you can guarantee almost a full return on your investment are in the bathroom and the kitchen. Minor kitchen and bathroom remodels will bring back close to 100% of the money you put in. For now, let’s focus on the kitchen.

The kitchen is where a lot of delicious magic happens. Whether it’s cooking holiday dinners for family and friends, baking goodies for your kids’ teachers and fundraising bake sale, or prepping meals for the week so you can eat healthy with ease, the kitchen is the cornerstone of any house. Making small improvements in this room can go a long way. For the most part, a minor kitchen remodel is purely cosmetic. You won’t be knocking down walls and adding an island or peninsula. That puts you in renovation territory and today is strictly about keeping the changes small but mighty.

Cabinet Facing

Unless there’s significant damage to the housing of the cabinets, updating the facing of doors and drawers, as well as their hardware, is all you need to bring a little more value to your cabinets at a lower cost than having brand new custom cabinetry installed. There’s nothing wrong with going custom. But if you’re in the market for simple upgrades on a small budget, stick to the facing.

Floors

New floors in a kitchen change the look entirely, and it’s a change that can be handled by you or left to the professionals. Click-lock flooring is a DIY-ers best friend. Bamboo click-lock is an incredibly durable and sustainable material that fits perfectly in the kitchen. Easy to maintain and easy to install, these floors come in a variety of shades. Tile is another classic kitchen floor option. The grout in between your tiles will get dirty as time goes on, and your tiles are subject to chipping or cracking when something heavy is dropped on it; but for handling the high-volume traffic of a kitchen, new tile floors will never go out of style.

Counters

This is where we recommend a splurge. Your kitchen counters face off with a lot of elements everyday; cutting, hot and cold dishes, prep work and food/drink spills. If you’re going to go through the trouble of upgrading your kitchen counters – especially if you plan to stay in the house for a while before moving – quartz is the new gold standard of kitchen counters. Granite is still very popular, as are marble, limestone, tile, and laminate. But quartz beats them all with their perfect combination of durable natural materials and man-made engineering. Quartz is not porous like natural stones, so it will not stain. It handles heat and won’t crack, chip, or scratch. But similar to floors, this larger part of a minor reno will make a big difference. 

Appliances

New appliances are just plain expensive. However, when it’s time it’s time. Up-to-date appliances are also made to be energy efficient, which help cut energy and water costs in addition to using less resources. If you’re remodeling to upsell your home, you don’t need top-of-the-line models or brands. But something that’s good quality and reliable.

Fluff

The finishing touches on your new minorly remodeled kitchen are small, relatively inexpensive, and easy to manage yourself. A fresh color of paint does wonders for any room. A backsplash that compliments your counters and floors adds an element of class and splash of decor. A new faucet for your sink can be installed in under an hour. 

For the best results, and lowest cost, choose one or two of the larger items previously mentioned that’s going to make the biggest impact, then follow-up with any or all of these smaller extras. You’ll have an almost completely new kitchen that’s modern and stunning, capable of attracting any buyer or just making the room more appealing for your own benefit.