Posted in Counter tops, Return on Investment

More Tips on ROI

Reno ROI, no this is not the name of a slot machine in Reno Nevada.
As catchy and game-like as the name “Reno ROI” sounds, gambling on renovation return on investment is a topic anxious homeowners take seriously. As a matter of fact, there are several new articles on the subject available to read on the internet.

Home Renovation Guide has a ROI round up on the topic. They have some interesting points, for instance did you know that by adding a swimming pool is not a value added ROI despite the huge investment, while a simple quick fix (painting kitchen cupboards) adds to the resale value.

I will add my own cautionary update to kitchens based on what clients tell me.

  • Do not purchase expensive granite counter tops to top existing cabinets if your cabinets are shot.
  • If you are fixing up the house for a quick sale and need to do it economically, save your money on new cabinets and expensive slabs of granite.
  • Instead, detail out your kitchen to a spic and span immaculate state. Paint the cabinets inside and out, buy new hinges, drawer boxes and glides to freshen and update the cabinets inexpensively. To keep your investment costs down, top the cabinets with new 12×12 granite tiles instead of more expensive granite slabs or solid surface options. Granite tiles are less expensive than slabs and more appealing to buyers then laminate tops. (check what is popular in your region. In Southern California I have seen more people here are laminate top snobs. Most would not dream of having laminate where East Coast transplants do not mind it.)
  • My renovation clients in the past have pointed out to me, they managed to get a buyers credit in the sale for replacement costs on dilapidated cabinets, fixtures and appliances. They call me to rip out cabinets ASAP because the kitchen cabinet interiors are so gross, they can’t bear to put their food away.

A sensible update: updating light fixtures nets a 60% to 70% ROI.

I would agree, nothing changes the atmosphere of a room better than updated lighting. I would add that homeowners should not overlook the switch plates and covers. Staring at a cracked outlet plate, a peeling painted plate, a Barbie doll or Star Wars switch plate in a bedroom is begging for a simple replace and update! Add dimmers to all light fixtures if possible.

From here you can jump off to the other articles around the blog about ROI. Chris Pearson from
The Red marks the top three rooms to invest in. The top three, Kitchen, Bath and all room window replacements. He sources: 2007 Cost vs. Value Report (Remodeling Magazine and REALTOR® Magazine).

Another tip I will add, get permits whenever you do a home improvement project. Reason: permitted jobs add value and peace of mind that your project was done to code. Always hire licensed contractors. Never cut corners. Poorly installed projects devalues your ROI.

CNN Money calls out four renovations that kill a home’s value. In a buyer’s market, you do not want to get caught with improvements that may kill a sale.



Laurie Burke, connected to the design and construction industry since 1996. A seasoned residential kitchen and bath design specialist , Laurie has designed thousands of kitchens & baths as well as other cabinetry projects requiring technical precision in design drafting utilizing state of the art 2020 software for creating accurate plans and elevations. Through on- going product knowledge training and a desire to always stay current with an evolving marketplace, Laurie Burke maintains a strong command of knowing the appropriate Fit & Finish materials required for a residential remodel to meet the budget, the timeline of a project and a client's need for a finished product that meets their satisfaction. Kitchen Designer by trade, foodie, techie, weekend traveler for fun. For more information contact me at

4 thoughts on “More Tips on ROI

  1. As the lead designer with Re$ale Design & Home Staging in Brainerd, MN – I would add ” be aware of your market before undergoing up dates”. Also the price point of the property will determine what work needs to be done for a sale. A $1 million property would be expected to have granite and stainless. A property at $150,000 – no. A good professional stager can do a consult before you start projects and tell you what to do for your best ROI and a faster sale.Kathleen LordbockRe$ale Design & Home Staging


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