Your Place: Renovation dos, dont's

McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

This is what I will describe as a who-does-what and what-to-do column.

Among the roughly 1,350 homeowners surveyed nationally in late December and early January for TD Bankís first Home Equity Sentiment Index, 56 percent of the respondents said they believed that their homeís value had increased, and 60 percent said they would tap that rising equity to finance renovations.

Fifty-three percent of millennials said they also were considering such a move.

Renovations at the top of most consumersí lists include kitchens (42 percent), bathrooms (25 percent), and other household projects (11 percent).

Given the popularity of kitchen rehabs, here are some renovation dos and doníts from Robin Wilson, author of "Clean Design: Wellness for Your Lifestyle."

Donít remodel your kitchen for a prospective buyer, because on resale you may not get back 100 percent of what you spend. Typical payback is 50 percent to 80 percent, with less personal, mass-market renovations (neutral colors, white cabinets) bringing the most return on investment.

Do create a list of "absolutes" before you walk into a kitchen-design meeting. If you are not sure beforehand what you want and donít want, you are likely to be seduced into buying unneeded items.

Do think about colors and styles before you walk onto a sales floor. Read design magazines and tear out photos in advance, or the sales rep may convince you that a certain bestseller is really a better choice ó it could be the model the salesperson is trying to unload, or that he or she is getting a "special promotion" from the manufacturer.

Donít design your kitchen with someone elseís life in mind. If you cook frequently and have a busy kitchen full of people, avoid countertop materials that scratch and stain easily or that need regular maintenance. Likewise, if you hardly ever cook, do you really need a six-burner stove and restaurant-quality range?

Donít buy a "faux-pro" model or Professional Series because most mainstream appliances (ranges, refrigerators) perform just as well.

Sounds like advice you can take to the bank.

I couldnít resist.