Kitchens & Baths

Welcome back! This month we'll be covering the return on investment (ROI) of your kitchens and baths.

What is ROI?

For our purposes, Return on Investment refers to the change in your home's value based on improvements made. This is a major consideration when it comes to remodeling. What you put in doesn't only effect your quality of life but also the future resale value of the home. So, how do you determine what brings the greatest returns?

How does it work?

To start with, not all products are made the same. You could purchase the same faucet from two different shops and they could look identical but they won't be. Purchasing from big box stores often means getting an inferior product. That's how they keep their costs down. The faucet may look the same as what I show you in a boutique plumbing supply house, but they are significant differences. The internal mechanisms often aren't the same, nor is the quality of the finish. That's why the products from big box stores cost less; they won't last as long.

In the industry, we often qualify products as "Good", "Better", and "Best". This isn't based on price but on quality. There are high-priced products that aren't made well and there are moderately-priced products that will out-live us all. So, how do you choose?


This is the most basic option. "Good" products serve a purpose. If we were looking at quartz countertops—which are very popular right now—the way the quartz pieces are bound together will determine its quality. "Good" products won't have many options, like a wide variety of colors or edge detail options. What you see is what you get.

looking at quartz countertops—which are very popular right now—the way the quartz pieces are bound together will determine its quality. "Good" products won't have many options, like a wide variety of colors or edge detail options. What you see is what you get.

The country of origin has a lot to do with quality. Binders used in Isreal are very different from those in Europe or China. They are often formulated for specific environments and will respond differently to your home. And the type of binder they use matters. Inexpensive ones react poorly to extended time in sunlight. The UV rays will cause discoloration and flaking, not something you want to see in your kitchen. Does this mean that you shouldn't buy "Good" counters? Not necessarily. You just have to know the downsides and plan accordingly. That countertop might be perfect for your bathroom, as they often get little natural light.


"Better" products are made of quality materials but aren't overly expensive. While few "Good" counters will have a warrenty, "Better" quartz counters always will. The companies are confident enough in their product to garuntee it will hold up to normal wear-and-tear. You will also have a choice in edge styles and colors. Where "Good" products typically have 6-8 color choices, "Better" products tend to have around 40-50. Most importantly, you will have a better binder, making it last longer. Discoloration and flaking shouldn't be a problem until well after the warrenty expires. The difference for a standard kitchen will be approximately $1000 to $1500, depending on the manufacturer.


Now for the category that everyone wants. At this moment, the top-rated quartz countertop in the world is Cambria. They have the only binder that doesn't deteriorate. It won't change colors in 10 or 15 years, no matter how much sun it gets, and will basically last a lifetime. Most Cambria counters are changed out because the next generation of homeowners come in and are tired of your color choices. And there are a lot more color choices. Not only are there more options, the counters will also look more natural. You can have the look of marble without having to get it treated regularly or worry that you'll spill wine on it. "Best" quartz counters run about $1000 more than the "Better" counters, depending on the color chosen.

How does this affect my home's value?

Kitchens and baths are a major component in deciding resale value. Both are areas that need functionality and comfort, as well as beauty. Other items are important as well, like roofing, but the roof doesn't usually sell houses. The average ROI on a kitchen is about 60%. So, putting the best of everything in your house is going to make your house more valuable, right? Well, sort of.

Your neighborhood has a lot to do with the value of your home and will be a deciding factor in the quality of products you use. If the average home in your neighborhood is $450,000 and your home is less than that, you're going to want to stay in the "Good" category with your remodel. If it is greater, you want to go with "Better". If it is your forever home, you will probably want the "Best" because you don't plan on changing it again anytime soon.

Now, this doesn't mean you can't mix and match. Saving money in one area can mean getting something better in another. I used to design flip houses and would have the contractor put in "Good" granite but use a "Better" faucet and sink. The rest of the kitchen could be in the "Good" category, but just those pieces will raise the value in buyer's eye when combined with right colorization and backsplash.

So always think about how long you are going to be in your home, what the value range you are in and let a professional guide you to the right mixture of the "Good", "Better", "Best" for your BEST ROI~

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