I want to make a full wall into a half wall between the kitchen and dining room and add some cabinets and a countertop. Will doing this make it one big kitchen instead if 2 rooms? Concerned about resale value and having to state one less room. Thanks.
Helen ~ Bridgewater, New Jersey
Hi Helen. In my opinion changing your full wall to a half wall is not going to reduce the number of rooms in your home. However, these types of things can vary from area to area, so you may want to double check with a real estate agent or appraiser around Bridgewater. They would be the experts for Bridgewater's real estate market.
I actually think you may increase the resale value of your home a little bit with your project. Most of the homes I've built over the past six or seven years have had the same type of configuration that you're considering. Many purchasers today want a more informal dining arrangement and open space rather than traditional rooms. A half wall provides an anchor for base cabinets or appliances without making the kitchen or dining area feel closed off. In many cases I've installed a small countertop on top of the half wall to match the kitchen countertops and create a serving shelf for the dining area. A 10- or 12-inch wide top is usually large enough to accommodate most serving platters.
Another configuration that has been very popular is to extend the half wall countertop into the dining area far enough to create a breakfast bar. If your half wall is constructed of four-inch framing lumber, an 18- or 20-inch wide countertop is usually wide enough to work. I extend the top about two inches into the kitchen, and the rest sits on the half wall and extends into the dining area. Make your half wall high enough that someone can sit on a bar stool and comfortably eat at the bar.
If you decide to use this arrangement, make sure you support the countertop on the dining room side with shelf brackets. Some countertop materials such as granite can be very heavy and without proper support could hurt someone if they fell. Most home improvement stores sell decorative wood and metal support brackets and they can also be ordered online.
I would definitely run all of this past your New Jersey real estate agents prior to doing any demolition, though. New Jersey isn't very far from where I'm located, but purchaser tastes can vary, and if you are planning on selling your home any time soon, the last thing you want to do is something that may detract from its appeal to buyers.