We want to remove a 24" x 26" x 7' high pantry and replace it with a wine closet with open racks and a small wine refrigerator. There is adequate (not outstanding) kitchen storage for food, pots, pans, etc. without the pantry. About what should we budget, and will this kitchen remodeling be value-neutral when eventually selling the house?
Lois M. ~ Indianapolis, Indiana
Hi Lois, I think a lot depends on the neighborhood and price range of your home as to what a wine closet might add or not add to the resale value. I built new homes in an upper end country club community for people 55 years of age and older and quite of few of the buyers wanted to add options having to do with wine. They ranged from just adding a wine cooler in the kitchen or at the wet bar in a family room to doing an entire room devoted to wine storage.
I don't like generalizations as I realize there are always exceptions, but in my experience a wine closet would be more attractive to upper middle-class and upper-class buyers. In that market a wine closet could not only add to the resale value of your home, it could also become a selling point. I'm not sure what the average selling price of a home in Indianapolis, Indiana is right now so you would have to make the determination as to what type of buyer might be interested in your home. If you think your home might appeal to a more middle-class buyer, then the pantry might be more attractive to most potential buyers. However, as I mentioned there are always exceptions and I'm sure there are plenty of middle-class buyesr who would love to have a wine closet in their kitchen.
I built a home for a middle aged couple who had both worked for the government for many years and I wouldn't have considered them wealthy, but they wanted a wine cellar with it's own temperature and humidity controls. The room was the size of an average guest bedroom and they planned to stock it from floor to ceiling with wines. They had both lived in Europe for a number of years and wine was their hobby.
The budget for your project is going to depend on how much you want to spend. I used to purchase my wine coolers from General Electric as they have pretty good products. I believe their wine coolers range from about $500 to around $1,500 depending on what features you want and capacity. I'm sure that other appliance companies have nice wine coolers as well and you might want to compare prices around Indianapolis. Most appliance manufacturers also have sales several times a year and you might get a better price if you pick a model and wait for it to go on sale.
I'm not sure if you know what company manufactured your kitchen cabinets, but many cabinet companies now offer wine racks in the same finishes as their cabinets so they blend in with the kitchen. I used to use Yorktowne Cabinetry quite a bit and they had wine racks in various sizes that were a perfect match for the kitchen cabinets I was installing. I'm sure many other cabinet companies offer the same type of racks for their kitchens. If you look on the inside of your cabinets, you should be able to find a manufacturer's name and then take a look to see what they have to offer on their website. The pricing is going to vary depending on the size you choose and what type of wood it is, but I would think they are going to range from about $500 to $1,500 just like the wine coolers. If you are going to need a contractor to install your wine closet, don't forget to budget around $200 for that as well.
My feeling on remodeling and resale value is that if you plan on being in the home for a while and there is a change that would help you enjoy your home more while you're there, go ahead and do it and don't worry about resale value--but that's just my opinion.