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What Is the Average Return on Investment For a Kitchen Remodel?

What Is the Average Return on Investment For a Kitchen Remodel?

Are you considering remodeling your kitchen, but not quite sure whether you will recoup the cost? From a homeowner standpoint, remodeling your kitchen is a very rewarding home improvement opportunity. Sure, you will have to make some lifestyle changes while the remodel is underway but the outcome will not only drastically improve the visual appearance of your whole home but improve your quality of life as well. It is up to you to decide your purpose. Most older kitchens will generally need a full remodel to bring it up to date while some kitchens only need a change in cabinets or update in appliances to give it a new sparkle.

Kitchen remodels do the trick better than most room remodels, as far as increasing the value of your home goes. Updated kitchens drastically improve the marketability of your home once it is on the housing market and will give you a good return on investment without a doubt. To make things easier, kitchen remodels can be put into the categories: minor and major. This post will dive into what kind goes into each category and how much return on investment you can expect once everything is said and done. Because all homes are different and so are the neighborhood they are built in, it is important to speak with a professional to determine the average return on investment kitchen remodel for your home in particular.

Minor Remodel

We tend to hear the word remodel and run as fast as we can. Most homeowners have heard horror stories of their friends and family’s remodels either taking much longer than the proposed construction period or costing them much more money than they had ever planned to spend. But this doesn’t have to be the case. The realm of remodels falls on a sliding scale rather than into one large lump category which means that it is up to each individual and their contractor to decide what works for their home, time frame, and budget. Therefore it is important to note that minor kitchen updates are far different than major kitchen remodels.

A minor kitchen remodel includes but is not limited to renovations that fall under the surface level features. Think in terms of a kitchen facelift rather than preparing for major construction. These are generally the least costly, and therefore make your home appear much more updated with very little work.

If you are interested in the numbers behind a minor kitchen renovation, you will be pleased to know that recouping most of your cost is not hard to do. According to This Old House, an average minor kitchen remodel can cost around $14,773 and resell one year later for $13,039. This means that the average return on investment is 87%. So, If you have a tight budget on time and money spent on your kitchen project, consider a minor remodel. So what are some things that can be done to make this happen?

New Cabinets

Cabinets are one of the first things that people notice when they step into your kitchen which is why they are the first things to consider when beginning your renovation process. However, this does not mean you have to tear them out and start from scratch. Having your cabinets painted or stained is a great way to bring them into the 21st century without exhausting your budget, and it will go a long way in terms of ROI. Make sure to plan ahead and match your new cabinets to the rest of your kitchen updates.

On the other hand, some kitchens desperately need new cabinets for various reasons. Whether yours are scratched, chipped, or just too outdated to bring up to speed, you don’t need to fret. Cabinetry can be affordable. For example, stock cabinets generally range in price from $60 to $200 dollars per linear foot while more custom cabinets can range anywhere from $100 to $650 per linear foot.

New Floors

New floors are just about every homeowner’s dream which makes them a good project if the goal is to enjoy your home renovation for the remainder of the time you’re living in it. Although flooring may not be the first place that your mind goes when planning a remodel, it shouldn’t be taken for granite. The goal of putting new flooring is to keep the room looking put together. If you’re on a time and wallet budget, linoleum and vinyl tiles come inexpensively but may not return you any value. Another other option would be to install eco-friendly floors such as bamboo or cork.

New Fixtures

Once you have updated your cabinets and maybe even your floors, new kitchen fixtures take things to the next level in the simplest way. A small change such as updating lights, switches, and even outlet plates can drastically update the appearance of your home and make it seem more put together. However, it is essential to know precisely how every fixture works and will function in your home before purchasing. For example, many home fixtures have been updated in terms of technology and can function as a way to make your daily kitchen life much more manageable. For example, non-touch fixtures are becoming increasingly popular. In this case, make sure that your current kitchen updates can keep up with this technology!

Major Remodel

It is no surprise that a major kitchen remodel comes with a higher price tag, but it is definitely worth it. Major kitchen remodels are one of the best ways to improve the feel of your home because it is arguably one of the most used rooms in the house, and therefore the quickest to become run down. That being said, the return on your investment is not as high as a smaller kitchen remodel. The average cost of a major remodel is approximately $38,769, with a resale value of around $31,344. This means that you will be bringing home an average of 80% return on investment. So, what are some changes that are common in creating a beautiful kitchen in a major remodel?

New appliances

Replacing your old appliances is one of the quickest ways to make your whole space seem updated. If you’re more interested in increasing the marketability of your space to receive a maximum return on investment, then you don’t need to go with the most expensive name brand appliances out there. The idea is to think about appliances that are aesthetically pleasing and functional as possible. Unless you are in the luxury home market, buyers want products that look nice and work well. As a rule of thumb, stainless steel is the way to go. Stainless steel is a universal style that most buyers on the market will appreciate. In terms of adding value, opt for more  energy-efficient appliances. These are seen by buyers as a way to save money and will, therefore, help them justify spending more money on a turnkey home in the first place.

New Layout

A new kitchen layout is probably one of the most dramatic changes that can be made during a kitchen remodel, but if it is in your budget it is well worth it! There’s no denying that a solid open floor plan kitchen remodel will leave you with a functional and highly sought after product. Working with a professional with make smooth the process of deciding which layout is best for the style of your home, but there are a couple most popular. For starters, the L-shape kitchen layout is coming back to popularity. The reason for this is its ergonomic status and emphasis on the work triangle which is a main priority in any kitchen. Constructing an L-shape kitchen also ensures that design is functional and traffic is directed away from working areas while supporting an open concept plan.

Open Concept

Open concept kitchens have become increasingly popular in recent years, and it’s no wonder why: they do a great job of creating space, improving functionality and flow, and generally enhancing and modernizing the aesthetic of any old home. In the 1900’s open concept homes kitchens were unheard of, which is why older homes are seen in a multi-room style where every single room was sectioned off for a purpose. As functionality became a main priority, architects began designing the open concept homes that we see more often today. While there are a wide variety of ways to design and execute an open concept floor plan, perhaps the most popular route is opening up a kitchen to a dining room. It’s easy to understand why so many potential buyers are seeking out homes with kitchens that open up into their dining room space.

Open concept kitchens are seen on the market as great for families. Opening up the space between a kitchen and dining room creates a space for families to bond during preparation and meal times. On the other hand, buyers who are looking for an entertainment space see an open concept design as a great asset to a home as well. The conjoined room is perfect for a larger amount of people to gather without separation and keeps the flow of serving much more fluid. Pro Tip: a new island will work wonders in this design as well.


Now that you have an open concept or L-shaped kitchen, your next step is to consider adding a kitchen island. Kitchen islands are highly sought after by potential buyers because they increase counter space, storage space, enhance the work triangle, and provide more seating area. Potential buyers will see this as an asset that adds value to their prospected home. If you want a wow factor kitchen island, you could be spending upwards of $5,000, but you may not see a high return on investment compared to the price you spent for the improvements. The next step down would be a basic built-in island with stock cabinets that usually starts at $600. The downside to this option is the lack of ability to match your current kitchen style. To get back to the basics, freestanding and rollable worktables generally go for around $200; however, they’re better for personal preference rather than resale value.

Universal Styles

One of the most important things to remember when considering a kitchen remodel with a return on investment in mind is that personal preference should be set aside as far as possible. The best way to increase the value of your remodel is to situate it in a position that the majority of buyers will like. Keeping cabinet, flooring, and backsplashes more neutral and on par with current trends will allow buyers to envision themselves in the home much better. Make sure to do your research so you know which kitchen remodel trends to avoid.

Wrapping up

Although a kitchen remodel is a big project to take on, it is definitely worth it for two main reasons. First, there is nothing more valuable than having one of the most used communal spaces in your home fresh and updated. And second, once it comes time to sell, you will be able to recoup most of the renovation costs. Aside from recouping the cost, an updated kitchen will also help your home sell quicker which means less time and fees for staying on the real estate market. Whatever scale remodel you decide fits your homes needs best, don’t do it alone. Be sure to involve the help of a professional to make sure that you’re getting the best prices for your materials, and the project is finished as quickly as possible.  



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