Maximum Home Value Storage Projects: Kitchen Pantry

With more homeowners buying groceries in bulk and spending more time cooking, the kitchen pantry is in high demand. Here, tips on upgrading yours.

In recent years, the kitchen pantry has become a sought-after feature in many homes. With more homeowners buying groceries in bulk to save money and spending more recreational time on cooking, having plenty of storage adds instant value to your home.

A roomy kitchen pantry allows homeowners to store more groceries when they buy in bulk.

CURRENT TRENDS

  • Separate and stylish. A large walk-in pantry is standard for high-end homes with large kitchens. For the average home, a butler’s pantry offers convenience and style. It can be tucked in an alcove off the kitchen or dining room or configured into a small hallway or under a staircase. It can feature architectural details, decorative shelves, display areas, plate racks and wine racks.
  • Pantries that blend in. Rather than build a custom pantry, many homeowners are finding existing space in or near the kitchen that can be configured into a small pantry. A small unit can be created in a larger storage room off the kitchen or shelves or cabinetry can be added to an existing room.
  • Organized for convenience. Whether you build custom cabinetry or buy a packaged system, look for value-adding features like roll-out shelves for canned goods and spice racks.

BIGGEST MISTAKE

Appraisal Institute president Leslie Sellers cautions homeowners against building a new pantry themselves.

“Amateur workmanship would have a detrimental effect on the value of the home,” Sellers says. “When it comes to the kitchen, you need good materials. It’s easy for a pantry to go from inexpensive to extremely expensive if you don’t know what you’re doing. Only bite off as much as you can chew.”

EXPERT TIPS

  • On a Budget: You don’t need to build a fancy walk-in pantry to get extra storage space. Look for existing nooks in the kitchen or dining area that can serve as a small pantry. Install shelves for convenient organization.
  • Mid-Range: Whatever your budget, make sure your pantry project is proportional to the rest of the house. “If you build a $7,500 elaborate custom storage area in a $100K house, you won’t get the amount of cost you spent on it,” Sellers advises. “It may only add $2,500 to the value if it’s much more elaborate compared to the rest of house.”
  • High-End: A walk-in pantry that offers convenient access to items while keeping them out of sight is common for high-end homes. Know what’s standard for your neighborhood.

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