There are a lot of factors to consider when it comes to getting a great return on investment (ROI) from a renovation. How much money should you spend? Where should your remodel? How should you do it? Experts far and wide give a diverse set of answers depending on the market. Our established home remodeling company has some trade secrets for getting the best ROI on your kitchen design that we would like to share.

Real estate and home remodeling experts recommend spending between 5 and 10 percent of your home’s total value on a kitchen renovation. When drawing up a budget for a kitchen remodel you need to make the cost of a renovation completely relative to your personal situation and the market around you. For most people the amount hovers between $25,000 and $50,000, which are the thresholds for what experts call a minor and medium remodel. With the budget determined, let’s now look at how you should use it. Studies show that the kitchen has traditionally had the greatest chance for return on investment in a resale but you have to pick the right design elements which sell well on the market place.

Appliances, counters, and cabinets are the three items to focus on. When prospective buyers walk into a kitchen they are almost always interested in these three things. Updated appliances help sell a kitchen’s functionality; counters provide beauty and use; and cabinets combine aesthetic and storage.

When looking at replacing appliances, you have no better choice than stainless steel. The sleek, shiny, and clean design will give your space a modern, updated look that is sure to woe buyers. Stainless steel appliances are easy to clean and look great, but do generally come with a steeper price tag. If your appliances are in tip-top shape and you’d still like to add color, try turning your attention to your countertops.

Professionals in both the real estate and home remodeling businesses love granite for its durability and color variety. You can cut it, scrape it, stain it, heat it, and stand atop it and kick it if you want to. It’s virtually impervious to almost everything you throw its way, and it looks stunning. Granite is available in a plethora of colors: blues, grays, greens, yellows, reds, and blacks. It may not be as “traditionally elegant” as marble, but has just as much class at less cost. Granite countertops do require sealing, but they are well worth the investment in the long run. They will almost certainly outlast your home while still looking as good as the day you put them in. Out of all the elements we will cover in this article, granite countertops are the single thing that can make or break a sale.

The next most important aspects of your kitchen are your cabinets. Now before you take a sledgehammer to your old ones, let’s talk about refacing. With a refacing or resurfacing, the existing structure of the cabinet stays in place, but the parts that “face” you will get replaced. These parts are the drawers, doors and the panels that run on either side of the doors (called: face frames).

Currently, flat panel doors and drawers are in vogue. Their sleek, simple aesthetic adds style to your space without drawing undue attention. You could also try glass fronts for your doors to add depth and elegance to the room.

Don’t want to replace your cabinet fronts, but still want to mix things up? Have you thought about cabinet jewelry? Dark knobs are great for creating contrast with the white in your space. And, best of all, you don’t need to max your credit card to help your cabinets pop.

Remember that most Chicago homes stay on the market for 3-4 months on average. This is better than many other major markets, but you could potentially cut this time in half by updating your kitchen while following the above tips, tricks, and suggestions. A little money now could even net you between 65 and 100 percent of your investment. Now that’s a great ROI!

About the Author: Stephen Constable is in the business of home renovation and is the owner of Chicago Kitchen Remodeling Inc. He graduated from Indiana University Bloomington fifteen years ago and has been a resident of Chicago ever since. For more information on his company visit: Chicago Kitchen Remodeling Inc