When considering options to upgrade your kitchen, look for ones that will not look old in a few years and stand the test of time – which includes wood floors that are quite easy to maintain. These are made by Standard Pacific Homes at Palencia, Saint Augustine, Fla.

The actual sum of money you put into your new abode would vary based on the choices made and options taken, which are constantly changing.

For instance, stainless steel appliances and granite counter tops, both known for being expensive upgrades, have now become synonymous in the majority of new houses. However, proceeding with the lowest or most common denominator isn’t necessarily the most efficient way to spend or save money. For increased functionality and a sound return on investment, look into the following choices to upgrade your house.

Begin with the Kitchen

The heart of any home lies in its kitchen – the place where inmates spend maximum time in the house and also churn out sweet and spicy memories. The space can never be saturated with upgrades. When renovating, pay good attention to appliances and cabinets, since those grab future buyers’ attention the most, along with the tools used on a regular basis. According to Jerry Gloss, an architect at Denver’s KGA Studio, people don’t choose to upgrade to the best technology and efficient models because they believe they could always upgrade in the future. Making the switch just because there’s a better alternative available isn’t always easy and also quite expensive.

Also, the notion that getting the return on investments made would take years is not true. As per Joyce Gardine Combs, a certified kitchen designer, who also has her firm based in Denver, a quality freezer and refrigerator could sustain the food’s freshness longer – and the savings would look tangible within no time, especially with the rising food prices.

Kitchen upgrades that need not be overlooked are quality, quiet dishwashers; microwave drawers that are easy to access; below-the-counter beverage centers and standalone hoods, so that guests and children enjoy drinks without disturbing routine kitchen activities.

Also, future cabinet replacements can be expensive. In fact, simple upgrades such as moving to semi-custom varieties would offer better-quality materials and more finish options. Consider divided drawers and dovetail joinery, and also both lengthening and deepening cabinets that touch the ceiling, thereby providing a custom, sleek appearance and additional storage.

Combs’ recommendations also include pull-out pantries instead of ‘open shelving.’ According to her, the pull-out variants offer increased storage, better access and occupy less space. Springing for premium hinges and soft-close doors would help stretch all your cabinetry’s life.

You Could Never Have Sufficient Light

Several folks overlook the role of lighting in day-to-day life, not realizing how much it can add to a house’s atmosphere and make important activities such as shaving or cooking easier.

Generally, bathrooms and kitchen need best lighting the most. Unfortunately, bathroom lighting is neglected quite often. When it comes to bathroom lighting, any light coming in from the sides and back are equally important. With task and overhead lighting, like ceiling fixtures doubled with sconces, you would not squint ever again in the bathroom.

Most people are satisfied with positioning a pendant and recessed lights above an island in their kitchens – not realizing lighting under the cabinet assists a great deal during cooking. Also, the light brightens the area and offers a wonderful space to have some leisure fun in the kitchen. Overhead lights, in such scenarios, could be too harsh.

For some time, not so long ago, lighting a glass cabinet’s interior was in trend. However, this lighting option isn’t fancied by everyone today. Generally, multiple pendants work in areas where you pay bills, eat, or do homework. These are spaces where task lighting can be genuine upgrades.

As for the other portions of the house, you would require a combination of lights that could be controlled with dimmers. (Check out our article “How to Light Up Your Home – and Your Life” for a complete home lighting guide)

Take this Path

Flooring plays a major role in a house’s feel and look, with wood floors ruling the roost aesthetically. If you’re on a tight budget, focus only on kitchen and living areas. Combs says radiant heat floors are integral aspects of life in cooler climates, in terms of comfort and appearance. Investing in a quality floor will show, and something your future buyers would also acknowledge.

Energy-Savings

In addition to purchasing the correct kitchen appliances, there are many other ways to decrease energy expenses. For instance, tankless water heaters, and also air-conditioning and plumbing units with top efficiency ratings, could almost effect a major difference immediately. They, therefore, are worth the upgrade.

Holy Closets!

Excessive closet space is not unheard of in houses, because no space is satisfactory for house members. Therefore, if you can only pick between a room that you’d use rarely and a closet, the latter should be your choice. A closet also adds tremendously to a house’s market value.

Relax, Eat, Study and Enjoy

A kitchen is probably the hub of a house; however, the majority of living happens in kitchen islands. Contemplate stretching the island to have eight people onboard and you’d have a more relaxed and less formal dining area, along with the closets aforementioned.

Electric Firm

All of these upgrades need not always be expensive. This is because even simple additions, such as ceiling fans and additional outlets, can make a huge difference to a room’s d├ęcor and ambiance – at a modest price.

The reason why people relate upgrades to massive expenses is because they did not plan for the renovation. Make such renovations a part of life and set aside an appropriate sum for the task each year, and you’ll not feel the upgrades hurting your financials whenever the time arrives to perform the task.