Whoever designed our 50-year Killeen, Texas, home must have hated cooking. All other rooms are well-proportioned but the dining room and kitchen combined are 8 x 12 feet. We'd like to bump out an 8 x 10' kitchen into the level back yard and use the existing spaces as a dining room. We'd use vinyl flooring, medium grade cabinets, standard engery-efficient appliances--nice, not fancy. Many neighborhood homes are being remodeled. Will we recover the kitchen remodeling costs if we sell the house in four or five years?
Tori H. ~ Killeen, Texas
This is a good question Tori, and a timely one, because many homeowners are questioning if now is the right time to invest their money into home improvements. Although many real estate markets are currently stagnant, your time frame of four or five years should be far enough into the future that housing sales should be on the rebound by the time you are ready to sell your home. I think you're are wise to consider the eventual sale of your home when determining what kind of home improvements you want to accomplish, but keep in mind that an updated kitchen can pay you dividends every time you use it. Unlike other areas of the home, the kitchen gets heavy use several times a day, and a new kitchen can quite simply make a house more enjoyable to live in.
Here is some other good news. In a 2009-2010 survey, conducted by Remodeling magazine for their annual cost vs. value report, real estate agents from 80 major markets in the U.S. determined that some mid-range kitchen remodels can bring a return on invest of around 72 percent! The survey also concluded that homeowners who recouped the greatest share of their remodeling costs chose to forgo super high improvements, in favor of common sense and mid range upgrades.
So I would say that you are on the right track with your ideas to make your home's kitchen larger and more user friendly while installing modest finishes and energy efficient appliances. You may want to consider hiring a contractor who works in the Killeen area and specializes in kitchen remodeling to help you with your project, or if you want to attempt a DIY project then check out reliableremodeler's archive of kitchen remodeling ideas. Good luck with your project and let us know how we can help!