18 Amazing Kitchen Island Ideas, Plus Costs & ROI

Installing or upgrading a kitchen island in your kitchen is a smart move. One house-selling expert says that the kitchens which impress buyers the most are the ones that have an eye-catching kitchen island. Other designers and real estate agents call a kitchen island a “must have”.

Blue and White Kitchen Island
via Country Living

Islands look beautiful, save space, and offer extra storage and functionality – not to mention creating the overall impression of a more luxury-grade kitchen. Even if you’re not planning to sell right now, it’s never a bad idea to make your home more attractive while increasing its long-term value.

Since a kitchen island isn’t usually a super expensive item (compared to your average remodeling project), it’s also often a safe bet for a high return on investment (ROI). This is even more true if you factor in things like aesthetic value and enjoyment factor – although those things are hard to estimate, since they will differ from person to person.

In general, though, most small kitchen remodeling projects (like adding an island) recoup an average of 83% of their cost when the home is eventually sold. That’s a lot higher than most other remodeling projects!

Below are 18 incredible kitchen island ideas to get you started, along with each island’s pros and cons, as well as their estimated costs.

  1. Repurposed Console Kitchen Island
Repurposed console table kitchen island

If you have an old console table you’re not using, why not turn that into your next kitchen island? Console tables are designed for use in halls and entryways to provide aesthetic value and (often) extra storage. But there is nothing stopping you from repurposing a piece of furniture already meant to beautify a space and using it to improve your kitchen setup.

Pros: Consoles are usually very narrow, meaning they won’t take up too much precious space. Many of them come with drawers or shelves built-in, giving you much needed storage areas.

Cons: If the console you’re using doesn’t have a lot of storage options, you may have to get creative or add a lot of hardware to get the space you want. Also, if you don’t have one and can’t find one you like that matches your kitchen, you might have to buy new – but that sort of defeats the point of the “repurposed” look.

Cost: If you already have one, it could be free! You can also get them from anywhere from $10 to $100 on Craigslist or at garage or estate sales. If you plan on painting or adding hardware (such as caster wheels – a cheap, smart bet in a kitchen), you’ll have to factor in those costs as well.

  1. Workbench Kitchen Island

Workbench Kitchen Island
via Ana White

You know that workbench in the garage that no one ever uses? The one that’s taking up space, but you don’t want to get rid of it because you might use it someday? Well, guess what – you are going to use it someday. As your kitchen island! A workbench is typically exactly the right size and shape for an island and often has perfectly sized drawers. And many of them are already on wheels, which is great for portability.

Pros: If you go with a metal workbench, like this Husky tool bench, you’ll love the extremely wide top drawer for storing spices, cutlery, and other things taking up counter space in your kitchen. But regardless of what kind you choose, workbenches are designed to hold tools and take a beating – exactly what you want if you’re planning on using the island for cooking.

Cons: If you refurbish an old bench, you’ll most likely have to factor in the costs of resurfacing: sanding the top surface and possibly oiling and staining it – though those things don’t typically add up to much (You don’t want to cook on a surface that has old oil or paint spills on it!). Also, workbenches work best in a kitchen that already has a rustic or industrial look – so this island solution won’t look great just anywhere.

Cost: That depends on what’s in your garage. An old one may just cost you $20 for some sandpaper and some nice hooks for hanging things or other embellishments. A brand new one will typically run you between $200 and $300.

  1. Metal Rack Kitchen Island

Metal Rack Kitchen Island
via Hay Needle

For another look with boundless industrial appeal, almost any metal rack can be turned into a kitchen island with the addition of a set of wheels (and perhaps a top surface if you’re re-purposing a small set of metal shelves). Often sold new as “kitchen carts”, these professional-looking items practically beg you to get cooking.

Pros: Metal racks are germ-resistant and super easy to clean. They’re also lightweight, moveable, and especially good for storing things you also want to have on display: a beautiful basket, a colorful set of plates, or your impressive KitchenAid.

Cons: Metal racks usually don’t have drawers and may be limited on storage space. Their aesthetic is industrial, which may be too cold or unappealing for some people.

Cost: Even brand-new metal racks are often cheap: this one at Home Depot runs $60 and could be turned into a beautiful island with the addition of a hardwood top, which – depending on how fancy you want to go – could run you from $60 to $300 or more.

Continue reading “18 Amazing Kitchen Island Ideas, Plus Costs & ROI”

Top 10 Home Improvements to Tackle this Year, Plus their Costs

Smart remodeling projects can enhance your home’s comfort, usability and its value. Here are the top ten hot home renovation projects for summer, plus their costs, benefits and ROI details.

  1. Adding a Deck or Patio

via MasterCraftNW.com

Decks and patios are lifestyle upgrades that can make your summer that much more enjoyable, whether you’re relaxing in the evening or entertaining friends on the weekend.

Expect a wood deck to cost $7.50 to $12.50 per square foot installed depending on how complex the design is and the quality of the accessories like stairs, rails and post caps used. Composite decks can cost up to $21.50 per sq. ft. installed.

Patio costs begin at about $4.00 per sq. ft. for installed concrete slabs and range to about $15.50 for thick pavers arranged in an attractive pattern.

A wood deck creates a value of up to 71% of its cost according to national statistics we’ll be quoting throughout this post. The work will take a few days to a week or more to complete depending on the scope of the project.

  1. Replacing that Old Roof

An old roof is susceptible to wind damage and subsequent leaks that cause mold, water damage and costly repair issues. Replacing old shingles protects your home and helps improve its curb appeal, too! 😉

Summer is a great time to replace your roof because the job requires several days of continuous, warm, dry weather. Pro roofers can normally complete the work in 2+ days, depending on the size of the roof. Add a day if a tear-off of old roofing is needed.

A replacement roof will cost, on average, between $4.00 and $7.50 per square foot for new asphalt shingle roofing installed, depending on the complexity of your roof and location of your home.

A new roof adds about 65% to 70% of its cost to the value of your home, and it is something that must be replaced periodically anyways. That’s surely some good bang for your buck! 😉

  1. Installing Yard Fencing

A wooden picket fence adds charm, while a PVC privacy fence helps you enjoy your yard to the fullest. — Those are just two of the many fence options in wood, metal and plastic. The ground is dry and easy to work with in the summer, though if you happen to have clay soil, a powered posthole digger will be useful. Most fences can be installed in 1-3 days when pre-built panels are used.

Fencing ranges in price from about $8.00 for picket and split-rail fencing to more than $30.00 per linear foot for steel or faux-stone PVC fencing installed. The taller and denser the fencing is, the higher the cost will be. While ROI isn’t tracked statistically, an attractive fence definitely makes a house more enjoyable and easier to sell.

  1. Replacing your Home’s Siding

Are you tired of the peeling paint on the exterior of your home, yet? If so, then it’s time to consider installing a suitable siding rather than repainting yet again.

Siding is not only used for its aesthetics, but it can also protect your home against the elements, moisture and insects. It makes sense to have the siding installed or replaced in good weather to keep your sheathing dry and to help assure the work can be completed in a timely manner, usually less than a week for most single family homes.

Vinyl siding cost averages between $7.50 and $12.50 per sq. ft. installed; fiber cement siding can cost some 20% to 30% more than vinyl, and must be installed by seasoned pros. One advantage of fiber cement over the less-expensive vinyl siding, is that it will not melt when subjected / exposed to extreme solar radiant heat such as when there is accidental solar lensing caused by neighboring windows or your porch / addition windows focusing the sunlight on a part of your home’s exterior. The ROI on new siding is an attractive 76%. If you opt for manufactured stone veneer on any part of the home, that option can have an ROI of almost 90%!

Continue reading “Top 10 Home Improvements to Tackle this Year, Plus their Costs”

Top 15 Kitchen Countertops Costs and Pros & Cons in 2021

Updated on January 6th, 2021

If you’re looking to install new countertops in your kitchen, you’re not alone – 95% of homeowners looking to renovate say that “kitchen countertops are their top priority this year”.

This consumer buying guide covers top 15 countertop options, along with each material’s pros and cons, and the average cost to install.

  1. Granite countertops

What it is: You probably already know! Granite is a natural stone countertop material which has been highly prized in the kitchen for many years. It is available in a wide variety of colors and blends well with many different flooring and wall designs.

Granite countertops are becoming more and more common thanks to their increased availability and affordability.

What it costs: Granite can be expensive. Prices between $80 and $200 per square foot installed are not uncommon, depending on the color of the granite, the manufacturer, and where you live.

Pros: Because granite is highly sought after and considered beautiful, the countertops will add non-depreciating value to your home. It is non-porous and sanitary, heat-resistant, and easy to clean. It does not get scratched easily.

Cons: Granite is very difficult to remove, and should be considered a “forever” upgrade, because you may have to rip out the entire counter if you get sick of it. It is expensive when compared to other common countertop materials.

It is also labor-intensive because it is so heavy, which means that it may require additional structural support than what your counters already offer. It must be sealed roughly every 10 years or so to prevent staining, and it can crack if hit by a large, heavy object.

  1. Quartzite countertops

What it is:

Not to be confused with countertops labeled “quartz” – which are a kind of manmade composite, consisting of about 90% quartz and 10% resin – quartzite is a relatively new solid-stone alternative to granite or engineered quartz countertops.

Quartzite is a naturally occurring rock that starts its life as a kind of sandstone and evolves into quartzite when subjected to heat and pressure. The resulting white or gray rock tends to have beautiful streaks of color, giving it the look of marble while maintaining the toughness of granite.

A word of caution, however – the term tends to be used somewhat loosely by manufacturers, so it is important to check with your supplier to find out if your quartzite is “hard” or “soft” quartzite, which will affect how durable the material is, and how often routine sealing must be done to care for it.

What it costs: $85 to $200 per square foot installed, depending on the type of quartzite you choose and where you live.

Pros: The neutral colors of quartzite look nice against almost any kitchen color scheme. Its natural swirl patterns lend a clean, modern, organic look. It is somewhat heat resistant (although protection should be used if you intend to leave a hot pot sitting for a while).

Did you know? Quartzite is also harder than granite, making it a little more durable.

Cons: Depending on the type of quartzite, periodic sealing must be done (as with any stone surface) to avoid staining. Also, because it is a heavy stone, it requires professional installation.

Continue reading “Top 15 Kitchen Countertops Costs and Pros & Cons in 2021”