Top 15 Kitchen Countertops Costs and Pros & Cons 2019

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 $100 and $250 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 actually 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 awhile).

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 2019”

Top 20 Home Addition Ideas, Plus Costs and ROI Details

When you’re planning an addition or a major home improvement upgrade, there are so many options and things to take into account that it can get a little overwhelming. 😉

The nature of the home remodeling project itself, the materials you need, the cost of contractors to hire, building permits, whether or not there is a justifiable return on your home improvement investment, e.t.c. -– all of these are important factors to consider when planning your project.

Basic Costs of Hiring a Home Improvement Pro to Keep in Mind

When it comes to costing for your project, keep in mind that on average, you can expect to pay $50 to $100 per hour for an electrician, $20 to $35 per hour for painters and around $70 to $80 an hour for a good carpenter.

We have factored these average prices into our costing. Also note that the prices we mention are on average across the US, however costs may vary depending on where you are building. For example, coastal regions and major cities are likely to cost more than country towns.

Top 20 Major Home Addition Projects to Help You Visualize your own Home Remodeling Journey

  1. BUILDING A GARAGE

When it comes to building a garage, you should start by determining your budget, and then decide on the inclusions you want.

You have two main options to choose from for the design – you can have a detached garage which stands on its own, away from the house, where you could also consider a second level for living, workshop or storage space; or attached so it sits on the side of your home and is generally more affordable.

Whatever design you choose, you need to take into account the following to get an accurate quote: the size you want (double, single, three-car, compact, storage space); what materials it will be built from (for the walls – drywall, metal panels, plastic, cement; for the roof – gypsum, styrofoam, cork, tiles); windows and the type of door you want.

Detached: You’re going to pay more from the outset for detached, which you might put behind the house if there isn’t space to build next to it.

Cost: You’re looking at paying around $15,000 to $20,000 including labor and materials, but you can expect to pay more if you’re including plumbing, electrical lines or HVAC; and add another $5,000 to include a second level. Cost per square foot: $30-$40.

Attached: The less expensive of the two, attached garages connect to your home; saving you money immediately by utilizing one wall you have already in place. That means you’re only building three walls instead of four, and being next to the house, you can take advantage of close proximity to your home’s electricity and plumbing to save on installation fees.

via Atec Builders

Cost: For a single garage, expect to pay between $10,000 and $12,500; while a double garage will be in the vicinity of $30,000. This includes materials and labor costs. Cost per square foot: $40.

ROI: Best return on investment is for detached, which allow for added living space above the garage itself. You could include a small bathroom and kitchenette, then rent that space out to achieve 100% returns (and more).

  1. SUNROOM

Via Patio Enclosures

There is nothing quite like soaking up the morning or afternoon sunshine in your own sunroom and if you have the opportunity to include this as an addition to your home, we highly recommend it. With walls of glass that invite the sunlight in, you’ll be protected from the elements as you enjoy basking in the sunshine all year round.

Sunrooms are affordable and popular, and are generally made from vinyl or aluminum. You can save money by skipping heating and using the room only through the warmer months (or only when the sun is shining directly on the room during winter).

Cost: The average cost of a sunroom addition depends on the size and features you want to include. Generally you’ll pay anywhere from $20,000 up to $75,000, including labor costs for painters, carpenters and electricians.  Average cost per square foot: $350 – $380.

ROI: Adding a sunroom will increase your home’s general value, so if you’re planning on selling any time soon, you should see a 50% return on the money you spend.

  1. CLOSET OR WARDROBE

Reach in closets or walk in closets and wardrobes will help you to keep your sanity in a space that can quickly get messy. Having the freedom to arrange your clothes in open space, without having everything thrown in drawers that are hard to maintain; not to mention the added storage space you’ll gain, makes getting a closet or wardrobe well worth your while.

If you have smaller space to work with and less to store, a closet is the ideal choice. You can choose from a walk-in or a reach-in, depending on how much space you have to work with. If you’re getting one closet or wardrobe, why not buy in bulk – getting all the bedrooms fitted. You’ll save money – and get a greater return in the long run.

Cost: You’ll spend an average of around $1,500 to $2,000 for a simple walk-in closet of around 6.5 foot wide, and between $1,000 and $2,500 for a reach in closet or around $2,500 for a wardrobe. This price will increase if you need extra walls built. Average cost per square foot: $10 – $15.

ROI: 100%. Pay $2,000 for a closet, and if you sell your home, you can easily ask an extra $2,000 to the total price.

  1. ADDITIONAL BEDROOM

via Simply Additions

The family is expanding and you’re running out of space, but rather than move to a bigger house in a different suburb, consider adding another bedroom to your home. It’s easier than you think. Choose to build out, adding the room on the side of the home, or up, adding a second level; with the first option much more affordable and more practical in many circumstances.

Building up could include a single room, or an entire floor, and in either option the price will increase.

Cost: Bedrooms generally don’t need a whole lot of hidden extras, so you can expect to pay between $150 and $250 per square foot, inclusive of labor costs, if you choose to build on the side of the home.

ROI: Building out will add immediate value to your home by extending the building’s perimeter, though it will decrease the amount of yard space. If you’re selling, expect a positive ROI of around 50%.

  1. DORMER

via Slope Side ICF

Many dormers are there for show. They make homes look more appealing to anyone who might be walking past, or considering buying, or they could be more practical in that they provide you the added benefit of more space in your attic.

Adding a dormer to your attic, or including a shed dormer at the back of the home, could help turn it into a more livable space and more flexibility.

Cost: Dormers aren’t cheap. They will cost anywhere from $10,000 to $25,000 (or more) to have installed, depending on size, location on your home and materials required. Average cost per square foot: $80 – $120.

ROI: Added space, more light and better looking style of home are all added benefits if you decide to sell. We’d say you will get around 40% returns financially, but the benefits of the added light will also save on electrical bills, so add another 20%+ over 10 years.

  1. OUTDOOR KITCHEN

via Fireside Outdoor Kitchens

Enjoy summer with all the benefits of an outdoor kitchen, great for entertaining friends and family, or just for yourself. When considering this as an addition on the home, you need to take into account several factors.

The most important is the grill – what type, size, style grill do you want or need to be able to feed all those hungry mouths? Do you want gas, electric or open flame (such as a fire pit)?

Next you need to choose your other features – tile or stainless steel countertops are the most popular, and most resilient choices; cupboard space might be required; and you could need a fridge.

What about a sink? Or are you close enough to the actual kitchen that you can get away with taking a few simple steps from outdoors to indoors? These are just a few of the things to consider.

Cost: Around $5,000 for something basic; up to $150,000 for extravagance. Average cost per square foot: $25 – $70 depending on materials.

ROI: Lapping up a life of luxury, enjoying the sunshine and basking in the glory of your amazing cooking, we’d give this return 100% when it comes to enjoyment.

For financial gain if you decide to sell, you could get a 100%-200% return if you live in a nice, sunshine-filled area where the new owners will benefit greatly from being able to entertain outdoors.

Continue reading “Top 20 Home Addition Ideas, Plus Costs and ROI Details”

Kitchen Remodel Cost Breakdown – Recommended Budgets & More

Your kitchen is undoubtedly the heart of your home, or in more modern terms, the core of your family’s command center! 😉

amazing-yet-modest-kitchen

Whether your goal is to increase the value of your house or you’re simply wanting to make it a more enjoyable place to live, choosing to do a remodel or renovation is one of the best decisions homeowners can make. Breathing new life into an outdated kitchen adds value to a home in numerous ways.

Our pricing guide will break down the steps to planning your renovation and provide a breakdown of expected costs for the following:

  • Basic Kitchen Remodel
  • Mid-Range Kitchen Remodel
  • Deluxe Kitchen Remodel

Make a Plan

To get the most bang for your buck it’s important to set a budget from the start, know your needs and understand where the money will go. Before shopping for appliances, tile or flooring, know your personal needs and goals for the outcome of the remodel. Then you can create a wish list of desired components and begin your search for a contractor.

Recommended Budget

The National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) has a recommendation for the value of a kitchen remodel to help homeowners set an appropriate budget.

As you create your budget, there’s more to consider than the amount of money you can afford to spend. Essentially, putting too much into a home improvement project can affect the rate of return on your investment.

The NKBA recommends budgeting 15-20% of the value of your home.

For example:

$250,000 home = $37,000-$50,000 kitchen remodel budget

$500,000 home = $75,000-$100,000 kitchen remodel budget

Once your budget has been determined, cut it by at least 25 percent. Set the extra money aside as a cushion to make unexpected surprises much less stressful.

Cost Breakdown

The NKBA’s guide for an average kitchen remodel is as follows:

  • Cabinetry and Hardware: 29%
  • Installation: 17%
  • Appliances and Ventilation: 14%
  • Countertops: 10%
  • Flooring: 7%
  • Lighting: 5%
  • Walls and Ceilings: 5%
  • Design Fees: 4%
  • Doors and Windows: 4%
  • Faucets and Plumbing: 4%
  • Other: 1%

Continue reading “Kitchen Remodel Cost Breakdown – Recommended Budgets & More”