A new kitchen remodel can actually improve your home's overall resale value, as potential homebuyers want a new kitchen that is done and ready for them to move in when they buy a home. An outdated kitchen can also mean using too much energy for appliances and fixtures, whereas a new kitchen can mean energy efficient appliances that don't use as much electricity overall. Even if you're not considering reselling your home, you do want to ensure you discuss your options and choices with your contractor carefully. Note a few questions to ask them before you make any decisions about your new kitchen.

1. What type of tile or flooring is best for the kitchen?

Don't assume that vinyl tile is your only option; vinyl is very easy to clean and very durable, but it's not the only choice you have. Wood is a great choice for flooring in a kitchen as it stays very clean and is also very durable; choose bamboo as it's also very renewable and grows very quickly over time so it's very eco-friendly. Stone can also be good for kitchens as it's also very durable and strong. However, make sure you don't choose a slick stone as it may be too slippery when it gets wet. Discuss your options with your contractor so you choose the best option rather than assuming vinyl is the right or only choice.

2. What is the difference between a solid surface countertop and granite?

The term "solid surface" can be misleading as you may assume that means anything made from stone or granite. The term actually refers to an acrylic that is treated and covered so that it is solid; it may look like stone or granite but it's usually manmade. The material can be affordable and easy to repair and clean, but it's not the same as granite or natural stone. Be sure you understand these differences as stone and granite may be more preferred by potential homebuyers than laminate; if you're thinking of selling your home, you need to understand these preferences.

3. How can I save on custom cabinets?

Custom cabinets can make your kitchen look uniquely your own and have the personal touches you need to ensure the space works for you. However, they can be very expensive. A good way to save money on custom cabinets is to choose semi-custom. This means stock cabinets that have certain touches added to them, such as inserts for shelving, glass fronts, and the like. Discuss this option with your contractor so you find cabinets that work for you but are within your budget.