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 to mid-size kitchen remodeling projects (like adding an island) recoup an average of 78% 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 $200 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 $25 for some sandpaper and some nice hooks for hanging things or other embellishments. A brand new one will typically run you between $250 and $450.

  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 $126 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 $250 to $750 or more.

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2022 Vinyl Siding Cost Per Sq.Ft. Installed, Plus Pros & Cons, and ROI

PVC is widely understood as a heavy-duty plastic-based material. The “V” in the middle of the acronym stands for Vinyl, which in the home siding market, represents the #1 selling material for most of the US. The PVC used for siding benefits from additives that resist color fading and increase flexibility, while not sacrificing durability.

For residential siding, vinyl is quite versatile. The horizontal plank (bevel) style is the most common cladding option for vinyl, but there are many more ways it is utilized as a cladding material for homes and buildings. On the east coast, vinyl’s primary competition comes from wood and fiber cement, while stucco dominates the western part of the US.

Cost

Because R-Value is a key factor when considering any siding material, it is important to note that vinyl siding takes this into consideration and that this skews its pricing data.

Generally, costs for vinyl are based on material thickness, with most residential products ranging from .040 to .046 inches thick, or about 1/16th of an inch. At that level of thickness, the R-value is unsurprisingly low.

However, vinyl comes in one of two primary variations: hollow-back and insulated, or foam-back. The foam-back provides at least 3 times (or more) the R-value, while increasing the cost by at most 3 times, or usually doubling it.

In terms of what to expect pricing-vise, vinyl siding costs between $7.50 and $14.50 per sq. ft. installed. This breaks down to the low-end cost of $5.50 to $8.50 per sq. ft. for hollow-back (uninsulated) siding. Mid-range cost is $7.50 to $12.50 per sq. ft. for foam-back siding. The high-end or deluxe vinyl siding costs between $8.50 and $14.50 per square foot installed.

On average, hollow-back vinyl siding installation results in a $11,000 to $17,000 overall cost for a typical two-bedroom to three-bedroom sized house with approximately 2,000 sq.ft. of siding. Foam-back siding averages between $15,000 and $29,000 installed on a similar property om the US.

While “average” is a bit vague, we’ll break the costs down further (next section) and explain the factors that impact costs (2 sections below).

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Stucco Siding Cost, Options, Plus Pros and Cons in 2022

Stucco siding is a plaster-like cladding, specially blended for exterior weathering. It’s a very popular siding option with over half of new single-family homes sold in the western quadrant of the US. having such an exterior.

via Western Art and Architecture

In fact, according to the U.S. Census data, stucco (and not vinyl) is the #1 siding option in America.

The base of stucco consists of sand, cement, and lime. It may sound plain a bit like “Plain Jane”, and in many regions it may even be applied in its most simple form. But there are so many variations to texturing and coloring of stucco that it may deserve a second look by a discerning homeowner.

Cost

Application of stucco requires solid masonry skill, as cement can harden quickly. It’s usually applied in one of the two installation methods; Both entail the wooden wall sheathing as the first layer, or substrate, followed by a water barrier sheet, which in turn is followed by a metal lath so the cement layer has something to bind to.

Then, there is a scratch coat of cement which makes the top layer(s) easier to apply. The two variations are then a decision point for a homeowner who must decide on whether it’s best to go with a single coat or multiple coats — usually 3 layers. The outermost layer is where the texturing and design are emphasized.

Stucco siding costs between $8.50 and $16.50 per sq. ft. installed. Higher costs per sq. ft. come mainly from additional layers and/or sophisticated design techniques, such as dashing (which we’ll cover below). Cost factors also deal with regional availability of materials and qualified installers.

A typical two-bedroom or three-bedroom sized home with approximately 2,000 sq.ft. of siding will have a price of $17,000 to $33,000 for a standard stucco siding. As there are numerous factors that impact the price, we will help explain that, but first let’s break down the costs.

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