Advising your clients on which kitchen investments will net the most value

As a contractor, your relationship with your clients can directly impact your success. Contractors who are seen as impartial and objective home construction and design experts are more frequently sought out by inquisitive customers. Not every job will be as exciting for you as tearing down and rebuilding a home from scratch, but every project matters to your clients.

Even something as routine as kitchen renovation often carries significant weight in the client’s eyes. Apart from being central locations to daily living, kitchen construction and design quality can influence home resale value. If your client is getting ready to move on, you may be called upon for advice on how to effectively upgrade the kitchen (as well as the subsequent contract work).

Here are some project ideas to suggest to your clients, as well as a couple of warnings to keep them from wasting money and time on unnecessary upgrades:

Focus on the essentials
When homeowners think about upgrading their kitchens, owning the latest and greatest accessories seems like a no-brainer. However, this is not always the case. Simple investments can also yield revenue-generating dividends. According to Reality Homes Inc., a fixture as basic as windows can impact a kitchen’s value significantly.

Natural lighting is in right now for a variety of reasons. First off, it’s cheap. Homeowners can lower their electric bills by having to use fewer lights to illuminate their cooking space. In certain landscape environments, the sun can even provide a fair amount of heat as well. Secondly, it is seen as eco-friendly. Not having to use artificial lighting can fill a kitchen with a relaxing, natural look that makes the space more pleasant to occupy.

Dining rooms are also becoming obsolete for the family on the go. Many working couples prefer the convenience of eating right in their kitchen. However, this is not possible if the space is too cramped. If you have a client hoping to sell a home to prospective families, suggest opening up the floor plan if possible.

An open home design looks inviting and can make small rooms feel larger than they really are.

The dangers of being too trendy
However, certain trends may be off-putting or not net a proper return on investment. Remember those cutting edge gadgets? Well, it depends which ones your clients want to buy. While a new refrigerator or stove can add value, clearing space for that pizza oven likely won’t do much for the average prospective homeowner or family. Elle Decor advised against specific cooking utilities such as these, as they produce value only for the enthusiastic home chef.

Other potential misfires include going with stylized light fixtures or ceiling designs. True, it may be all the rage in 2018, but will homeowners still care in 2019 or 2020? Your client is likely to advertise to people who don’t even care now. Certain lighting upgrades, such as those for energy efficiency, are a much stronger investment than improvements for aesthetics.

Advise your client to keep it simple and stick to investments that everyone will love.