fireplace in kitche good for resale? (cross-post)

suz1023September 23, 2009

my dh and i are coming to the conclusion that we'd be better off waiting a few years to sell our home. it's been extensively remodeled over the years and is overall pretty spiffy---with the exception of the kitchen, which is fully functional but small and unfinished.

so we've come up with a plan for a large eat-in kitchen with a large fireplace (w/ an efficient woodstove insert) to finish this place off. my cabs will be modest boxes with great doors and drawer fronts, formica counters and a commercial range (which we already use).

my worry is that buyers will want granite counters and name brand cabs instead of a fireplace--though we live at an up and coming ski area, so the fireplace should be an extra added attraction, shouldn't it?

help me to decide to go with my gut, or give me good reasons to spend my money on the granite, please.

thanks, i appreciate the input.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

At one time, before I married my husband, our kitchen and dining room were two separate rooms. The kitchen would have been very small (200 y.o. house) but despite that has an eight foot wide hearth where the household cooking used to be done. Before we married, he had already taken out the wall, and made it one large room. It goes perfectly with the ambiance of this old farmhouse, as our daily activities center around this room.

When we remodeled nearly three years ago, We refaced the fireplace, and we do have a gas grate in that fireplace and love it, love it, love it. It's our emergency heat when the electric is out, and it is kicked on when the weather is cool enough we want a toasty kitchen in the morning, but don't want or need to kick on our HWH boiler for the season. It can provide heat for the entire downstairs when needed, but it's often kept on low on blustery days.

I think the key is how much shall this room be used for daily activity. If you have a house where a kitchen/greatroom is to be functional, a fireplace is a good bet. Everyone who comes to visit comments on it, and says they love it. I certainly do. BTW, what a neat focal point for a sometimes functional-only room.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2009 at 6:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have heard that granite tops are no as popular as they use to. When we remodled our kitchen my son in law had the formica tops from Mennards installed (he did the work), and I can put anything on them, nothing seems to stain them and if a glass falls sometimes they don't even break. Unless you have a ton of free wood avaiable, maybe a freestanding stove would be good, or a pellet stove. You can even get some real nice cabinets with all sorts of pull out shelves etc. Remember, this is your home and it sounds like you will be living there for awhile, so you remodel the way you want, and you will be amazed how many people like it.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2009 at 6:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

lol, i have a feeling that we'll never use the living room again if we build the kitchen the way we want to!
the more i think about it the more i like the idea of using basic box cabs with nicely detailed doors, plus i'll use my antique six door icebox to save on even more cab costs, it's six ft wide by two ft deep six ft tall and holds a ton of really big pots,etc.
plus we already have the commercial range and will only need a new refridge, so less to spend on appliances.
i've already drawn up basic plans and an architect student friend of mine is looking them over. my brother sells a lot of high-end homes and thinks i'm on the right path, so if i can make it work i think i just may.
wish me luck?

    Bookmark   September 23, 2009 at 9:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I would love a fireplace in the kitchen. I don't care if my cabinets are "name brand". You might want to price out the granite - prices have really come down.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2009 at 9:05AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I say go for it.
If you house is old soapstone might work better.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2009 at 1:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'll be the lone dissenter, lol. A fireplace in the kitchen would not be a buying point for me. (and I live in Maine with our cold winters) Granite counters would be. Have them already and know of their ease of maintenance, durability, and beauty. I hope you don't mind me saying so but to me your kitchen sounds from your description a bit disjointed. You have the nice cab fronts and a nice commercial range...then why formica? Having better counter tops would just go along with the rest of the look of the kitchen wouldn't it? Even if you don't go with granite, something better then formica would just tie it all together it would seem. NancyLouise

    Bookmark   September 24, 2009 at 4:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Soapstone is era appropriate. Have you thought of granite tile to save money? They are about 12" square.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2009 at 7:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I don't think you need "name brand" cabinets, but don't skimp out there. Cheap cabinets make everything look cheap.

As for granite, it is still the most popular counter top. You would impress WAY more buyers with that then a fireplace.

Beyond that, a major kitchen remodel in a house you are going to sell is almost assuredly a money loser. Unless you are going to do some of the work yourself, you will spend more money on a remodel then you will gain when you sell it.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2009 at 9:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

ok, after much research and a few discussions with some real estate folks, we're going to go ahead with the fireplace plans. we will get basic, well built boxes with upgraded door and drawer fronts and go with soapstone counters. i'm still researching the fireplace, since the look i want is white painted brick, with today's super efficient technology. i know the tulikivi fireplaces with cooking ovens are great, now i just need to figure out a way to get my look with that functionality.
btw, if you want to see our inspiration fireplace, go rent the 1965 cinderella movie--the one with leslie-ann warren-- and check out the fireplace she has to clean every day.
it's got the size and shape we like, though that one is red brick. silly, but then again, we're the folks that modeled our chicken coop after the foghorn-leghorn cartoons! (and our hens love it!).
thanks everyone for your input, it really helped!

    Bookmark   September 27, 2009 at 2:30PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
CO inspections...and other issues/questions
Son is buying a 1951 home. Inspector noticed the top...
escrow account for a repair
We received an offer on our house! The house is priced...
Best time to List a House
Is there a best time to list a house for sale? We have...
Realtor company fee
Buyer agent told me there is $300 fee to realtor company....
Moving to make room for mom?
My mother is getting to the age where she should not...
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™