Market Conditions in 92677>Question Details

Greg, Other/Just Looking in Laguna Niguel, CA

What do you upgrade first, floors, kitchen or bathrooms? Our house is pretty dated, built in 1987 as part of

Asked by Greg, Laguna Niguel, CA Wed Apr 9, 2008

a Southern California tact. Construction was pretty inexpensive back then.

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First you need to determine the target sales (not list) price for your home and then decide if the cost of upgrading is worth it. For example, I believe it would be better to price your home $50k below the last sale and create demand for your home vs. spend $50k upgrading your kitchen. You will not recoup that expense in this market. Appraisers are now being very conservative and allow almost nothing for upgrades!
4 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 24, 2008
The kitchen may add the most value to the home, so I would suggest starting the remodel there first. Many people refer to it as the heart of the home. Afterward, proceed with the bathroom upgrade and the floors can follow suit.

Chad Roberts
Realty One Group
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 29, 2014
Definitely save the flooring for last! I bought my house, refinished the wood floors prior to moving in, then remodeled my kitchen. After dragging all the old stuff out of the kitchen, and dragging all the new stuff in, my floors were pretty scratched up and I had to refinish them again!
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1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 9, 2008
In the North East, Kitchens and bathrooms that have been upgraded help to sell the property. I would start with a remodeling of your kitchen and if you can renovate your bathroom second, I would do the flooring last.
Flag Sat Sep 20, 2014
If you can't decide on what to upgrade first, maybe if you talked to a general contractor, you could find out what each thing would cost and then decided on what you want to do from there. I think it would be a good way to determine what to do. I think pricing is one of those things you have to plan so it would help to know what everything costs.

Zach |
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 5, 2014
Hi Greg,

I see you posted this question quite a while ago. This topic is so relevant however, that I'd still like to respond.

In my opinion you want to start with the Kitchen. The kitchen on average offers the greatest payback. Next up bathrooms and then floors. I believe that great kitchens sell homes. Did you know that up to 70% of buyers are willing to pay more for a great kitchen? ( Read more about remodeling your kitchen here:… )

Yet this really depends on your motivation. Are you planning on living here for a long time or selling soon? If you never cook, but spend a lot of time taking baths, you might want to just remodel the bathrooms first. If you are going to sell, you might want to start with the kitchen.

A good contractor can also help you with some of these questions and give you ideas for what you might want to tackle first.

Have a great day,
Jaleesa Peluso
Realtor at Berkshire Hathaway Laguna Beach
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 23, 2014
Hi Greg,

Well you would want to use a logical process to replace things first that will not impact other work. For example you would not want to get a new carpet or floor and then have contractors going across it with dirty and heavy items when tearing out the kitchen or bath. The contractors can usually recommend a good process list.

Kind regards,

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 20, 2014
The first question you need to ask yourself is "What needs it the most?". If they were all the same I think you should start in the Kitchen. It returns the best in bang per buck ratio when it comes time to sell the home. Next I would tackle the bathrooms, but don't go crazy just get them to the point where they look good. New counters, fixtures, flooring, and shower glass should do the trick. Many Buyers can see themselves changing the flooring without it becoming a major hassle, so only do that as a last resort.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 19, 2014
Most people seem to have echoed my sentiments on this already. The first question is - are you looking to sell, or are you looking to remodel and stay in the home?

If selling, then you really need to analyze the sales price of similar homes first, see if you can even realistically recoup the cost.

This being said, older homes tend to get cluttered and dirty over time. I'd suggest you take an objective look at the house (maybe get friends/family opinions) and work to declutter, de-personalize (i.e. take down all personal artifacts from the walls, etc) and maybe apply a fresh coat of paint. Sometimes just the little things like this make all the difference. You really can modernize without spending too much money.

You may also think about staging the home, there are some surprising facts about homes that are properly staged:…

0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 18, 2014
Please read my blog article titled "Home Improvements Worth the Price" that is posted on Trulia regarding home improvements and their return on value.…
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 1, 2014
Bathrooms are less expensive to remodel, but kitchens are the center stage of a home, where you spend much of your time. I would save the floors for last, after all other remodeling is complete.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 28, 2014
I would start with either a bathroom or kitchen remodel. They can both be a good investment by adding value to your home. The kitchen will cost more to remodel, but you should think about which you want to see a difference in more.

Claire Reynolds ||…
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 28, 2014
Typically the kitchen cost the most to update but has the highest remodel value increase percentage. You should first establish the value of your house "As Is" and then it's value (based on comparable houses) when updated. Subtract the cost to update the house...sometime selling a house "As Is" will net a higher return on investment.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 28, 2014
After 30 years a general renovation is a must. Depends on your budget how you want to structure it. I would use small contractors over general contractors with big brands to save the costs. I have plenty of referrals for great work done on a small budget. Where to start first? Depends on your home condition. Generally kitchen, bathrooms, painting and then flooring. Call me to give you a free price estimate on the improved value of your home!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 27, 2014

It really depends on your motivation for doing so. Are you remodeling to sell or to make your living experience better? Whatever the motivation, the flooring should be the last thing you do as you'll want to set the kitchen / bathroom appliances and cabinets on top of the new floors. If you change fixtures later, the floors won't need to be redone.

I think a kitchen is most important because it gets the most use, is the most visible and it's the social hub of the home.

Hope that helps!

Garry Loss
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 14, 2014
I would suggest kitchens first and then bathrooms theses two are the areas where you will get the greatest return when you sell.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 10, 2014
The kitchen is usually one of the first things that buyers want to see updated . Second would be the bathrooms
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 10, 2014
I would upgrade the kitchen first. When I am showing homes, it is the first place in the home many buyers want to see. If you don't have the budget to do a complete upgrade you can look into refacing the cabinets and replacing the countertops. Buyers want to see new matching appliances as well.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 9, 2014
I'd go with the Kitchen first and flooring last. If you're looking to increase value to sell, your strategy might be different than upgrading for personal use. Flooring will many times get damaged during a remodel, and both kitchens and bathrooms are messy remodels.

Best of luck...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 19, 2012
Kitchens are the big thing and most important. If you had to choose between that or bathrooms, upgrade the kitchen. There are so many accessories, counter top options, cabinets to choose from now.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 17, 2012
Hi Greg,
I guess it all depends on why you are upgrading. If you are considering selling your home, the value should be considered carefully and weighed against cost. Kitchens are the number one room that sell
homes and should be updated first but in this market it would be hard to recoup the cost. Many of my past sellers have put money in areas that really don't help the value and wonder why they get lower offers than they'd like. My husbands a general contractor and we have many referral contractors we like. Please let me know if you'd like me to refer someone who does kitchens and baths. He does not do interior remodels, only exterior hardscape, concrete, bbq's etc. so we do not benefit in any way giving you these contacts.
I hope this helps! Good luck with your project.

Laura Baron
ERA Dream Team
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 2, 2008
It all depends on your priorities. Are you planning to sell your home? Or do you simply want to bring it up to date for personal enjoyment?

Take a look at the Cost vs Value report for 2007 to get an idea of which remodeling project has the highest payback. This is merely a guide.....

Kitchen is a top priority in most situations....this will also be the most challenging because you'll have the most items to change/choose: cabinets, counter tops, fixtures, appliances, etc.

Have fun with your projects!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 1, 2008
Certainly the answer is THE KITCHEN...unless there is a major leakage problem in the bathroom, or something that will affect the structural integrity of the home. For example a tub surround that is leaking into the wall and down the floor, takes precedence over anything else.
If there is no damage occurring then do the Kitche first. It is the heart of the home. It is where laughter and food and togetherness occurs. It is the location in a home that people first go when they get home. Kitchens will almost always increase the value at least as much as you have spent, unless you don't consider the house, the character and the price range of the home. Be reasonable in choosing and set a budget and keep it.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 9, 2008

This really depends on how much money you have to spend, who is doing the work (You) or a contractor, and what you home is currently appraised at? Why would you spend $70,000.00 on upgrades if you could only recover $10,000, if you sell? Let me know if you need further advise on upgrades as I just went through this process.

Joe Homs
Realty Partners
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 9, 2008
I would start with the Kitchen. You can usually recoup in value most of what you put into upgrading a kitchen. Plus it will probably be a large project so you would want to get the cabinets and countertops all installed before you put new floors. It would help to avoid things like the new floor getting dirty or scratched, etc.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 9, 2008
I would upgrade the kitchen first because everyone benefits from an upgraded kitchen, right?
I would then turn my attention towards the bathrooms and save the floor for last. A new floor can get quite a bit of wear and tear on it while you are upgrading the other rooms, so I would definitely do that last.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 9, 2008
I would do the kitchen first and the bathrooms second. New kitchens and baths really help you to get top dollar for your home.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 9, 2008
I agree
Flag Mon Feb 10, 2014
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