Spice Up Your Kitchen

11/17/2016 Michelle Graven

Have you been inspired by a recent episode of “Flip or Flop” or “Kitchen Crashers?” TV channels like HGTV and DIY Network are all the rage these days and not only are they inspiring, they can help you save money on your energy bill and even add value to your home.

Did you know that the average return on investment for a kitchen remodel is 62-72%? Ultimately, the kitchen is usually the room that can make or break a sale. 

So, are you ready to completely gut your kitchen, but have no idea where to start? Below are some quick tips on where to get started and how to make the best of your remodel.

Before you start smashing that wall, you need to follow three easy beginning steps. 

The first one is to identify what your kitchen lacks.  Are your cabinets rickety? Is your counter-top filled with scratches?  Did your freezer stop freezing?  Then it seems that your problem is more functional rather than stylistic. If you’re not agreeing with the vibe or flow of your kitchen, then your problem is more stylistic.

The second step is to determine what will satisfy your needs. If after the first step you determined that you’re looking for stylistic makeover, you now need to determine what type of style fits you. Are you rustic, chic, traditional or modern?  Find your inspiration online by visiting sites like Pinterest or on television by watching your favorite home renovation shows. If you are leaning towards a functional remodel, then start looking at what needs to be replaced.  Do a quick walk around the kitchen and check each function to see what’s working and what’s not.

The last step is to start planning specifics.  You’ve determined the root of your problem, it’s time for the nitty gritty.  This is when you will start planning your budget and designing your dream kitchen. Think about what needs to be replaced and how your remodel will ultimately impact your house’s resale value. Below are some quick questions to consider when designing your remodel.

Contract or not to contract?

Are you more of the design type and not so much the demo type?  Then consider hiring a contractor.  When you are looking for contractors be sure to get several quotes and ask for an estimated project start and end date.  Make sure your contractor includes a guarantee to clean up debris and a warranty on their work.  If something happens after they change the plumbing, you want to be able to contact that contractor and have him fix the job he did.  You also want to look at how they accept payment.  Do you want someone who wants a payment plan or someone who wants it all up front? 

If you are looking to fully remodel your kitchen, you should hire a contractor.  They will help you get the project done safely and will know the right people to call to get it done correctly. You can even head to your local Home Depot or Lowe’s and talk with one of their experts to help you through your remodel. Before you dive in, remember that a complete remodel is no weekend project.  It can take weeks or even months to complete. Be careful in who you choose and be sure to do lots of research.

What Appliances should you replace?

The chart below shows the average number of years your appliances can last.


Average Years

Trash Compactor


Electric Dryer


Gas Dryer




Garbage Disposal






Electric Range


Gas Range


Standard Refrigerator


Washing Machine


Shop around to find the best option for you.  Did you know that a new refrigerator can save you money on your electric bill? Look at something that will not only last, but can save you money on your energy bill and add value to your home. 

What about the counter-tops?

If you are an avid cooker, then you know that you need lots of counter space.  A popular kitchen trend is granite counter-tops, but they can be very expensive. Soapstone is a great alternative because it’s durable but has a more economical price tag than granite. Some less expensive options are materials like laminate, tile and butcher block. Counter-tops cost about 10% of your total remodel budget, so you have little wiggle room unless you are willing to give up that six burner professional grade stove.

Now you have the tips and tricks to start remodeling your kitchen, but how are you going to pay for it?  Here at Marine Bank we have a couple options to help you finance your remodel. We offer a home equity loan or a home equity line of credit. We understand that a remodel is a rather big project and we are here to help eliminate some of the stress. Come talk with our Home Equity expert, Doug Ferguson, to learn more.

Written By: Michelle Graven