Is Remodeling a Kitchen a Good Investment?

Most people who want to remodel their kitchen wonder if it will be a good investment. Maybe that’s you, too. You’ve been living with your drab, inefficient kitchen with its dated cabinets and countertops for years. Now you’re ready for something fresh.

Sure, you could just sell your house and buy one that already has everything you’d want in a dream kitchen. But perhaps you love your neighborhood. Or don’t want to go through the bother of moving. So, updating and upgrading your kitchen seems like the right decision.

But before sinking a lot of money into it, you want to know if remodeling your kitchen will in fact be a good investment.

We’ve all heard that when people are looking at houses the most important rooms are the kitchens and bathrooms. These are the rooms that sell the house. A freshly remodeled kitchen or bathroom will attract buyers and make the house sell faster.

And that makes sense. These are the most expensive rooms to upgrade. So, investing in making your kitchen to make it a welcoming, efficient space will pay off, right?

The short answer to that question is maybe, it depends. Here’s why.

Do Kitchen Remodels Add Value?

Four factors come into play when determining if your kitchen remodel will add value to your home.

The first factor involves how extensive your project is. In other words, whether you undertake a minor or major remodel will impact how much of your money you’ll recover when you sell your house.

A major kitchen remodel is precisely that—significant changes to your existing kitchen. Major remodels often involve gutting part or all of your kitchen. You will most likely change all or nearly all of the entire room. The layout and flow might be completely altered. Typically, appliances, flooring, cabinets and countertops are replaced, as are backsplashes, paint and lighting. You might even add or enlarge a window.

A minor kitchen remodel is considerably smaller in scope. The original layout and flow of the kitchen will remain the same, or only be lightly modified. So, for the most part, the footprint of your kitchen will not change.

While many of the existing elements of your kitchen will remain the same, others will be altered. So, you might replace your flooring, refrigerator and the hardware on your cabinets, and finish with a fresh coat of paint. Or you might retain your floor but install quartz countertops. In other words, you might do some, but not all, of the work involved in a major remodel.

The second important factor is the quality of the materials used in your project and the appliances you select. Whether you choose upscale quartz countertops at the high end of the price range, or something similar in the midrange, this will have an impact on what you’ll be able to recoup when you sell. But those choices may not have the impact you think.

What is the ROI on a Kitchen Remodel?

According to a study done by Remodeling Magazine as presented in their 2020 Cost vs Value [link:] report, you will at best recoup 78% of your investment. This means, for example, if you put $40,000 into your project, you won’t be able to add more than $32,000 to the asking price of your house.

The 78% ROI they report is for a minor remodel using midrange materials. Major remodeling projects did not provide that much of a return. Remodels that were major in scope that used upscale materials had an average return of 54%, while those using midrange materials were slightly better, at 59%.

But can you count on even that much? Estimates vary. Some real estate agents believe that on average the ROI on a kitchen remodel is 60%. Other sources estimate between 50 and 85%. Another study showed that the kitchen remodel did not increase the value of the home at all.

With such different statistics, how can you estimate what value a kitchen remodel will add to your house?

A third factor to consider is the current condition of your kitchen. If it is well-laid out with plenty of storage, appliances less than five years old and finishes that aren’t dated or worn, then a remodel won’t add a lot of value to your house.

On the other hand, if your floors are worn, you have chipped granite countertops, old appliances and dated finishes, then a remodel certainly will add some value.

The fourth factor is the standard of kitchens in your neighborhood. If you have the least efficient, most dated kitchen on the block, then an upgrade will assuredly have a positive effect on your house’s value. If you have a kitchen that is the envy of all your neighbors, then enhancing it won’t allow you to increase your asking price.

To Remodel or Not to Remodel?

When answering this question, keep in mind why you want to remodel your kitchen. Most people undertake kitchen remodels for themselves, not hypothetical future buyers. These homeowners can’t stand certain features of their kitchens and want to change them. They are doing the remodel so they can enjoy using their kitchen, not simply to make some extra money when they eventually sell their house.

What Should You Not Do in a Kitchen Remodel?

When you do decide to go ahead with your kitchen remodel, it’s easy to get caught up in creating your dream kitchen. There are a few mistakes that can end up being very costly. And while you’re not expecting an unrealistic return on your investment, you want to plan so that you get the most return possible.

There are a few common errors that people make. You can easily avoid them by following these tips.

1. Don’t sink a lot of money into your kitchen, thinking you will get 100% back when you sell. The only way this will happen is if your kitchen is horribly outdated with aging appliances. And even then, it’s not likely.

2. Don’t over improve. Make sure the end result will be in line with other homes in your neighborhood and price point.

3. Set a realistic budget for what you can afford. Don’t count on making a profit from this remodel. And don’t get fixated on having everything you’ve dreamed about. Prioritize the most important features and be willing to let a few of the others go.

4. Think ahead. If you’re not planning on selling for several years, select appliances that have a long life. You won’t want to buy new ones just before you leave.

How Can You Save Money on a Kitchen Remodel?

Proper planning and budgeting will help you keep the cost of your kitchen remodel within your means. Then you won’t feel pressured to get 100% return on your investment.

The first way you can save money on a kitchen remodel is to do your research up front. This isn’t just the fun part of looking at pictures of kitchens and dreaming about the features you want. It’s also important to have an idea of what things will cost, just to have a good sense of what money you’ll need for the new countertops or cabinets.

One way to do this is by checking out kitchen remodel cost estimators, like this one [link:]. A tool like this, for example, will tell you that you can plan on spending between $250 and $350 a square foot. If you want all high-end finishes, then you can expect to spend at the upper end of this range. But don’t forget, using a formula can only give you a general figure of what your project might cost.

The estimator tool can also give you an idea of what new cabinets, countertops, flooring, appliances and other features can cost. Bear in mind that these are just estimates to help you with your initial planning. The estimate your contractor calculates will be based on the actual plan and finishes you choose. If you make major changes to the plumbing, for example, your cost will be much higher. And it will take into account the prevailing wages and costs in your area.

Once you have a ballpark estimate of what your remodel could cost, you need to set a budget.

If the estimate is more than what you’re willing to spend, think through what’s most important to you. And discuss it with your contractor. They’ll be able to help you figure out where you can trim some of the expense. For example, there are different grades of quartz countertops. Or you can choose a less expensive flooring material.

Then you’ll have to decide what your priorities are in planning your kitchen remodel. You will get more life out of higher quality materials. But you’ll get a lower return on investment when you sell. So, you’ll need to decide why you are remodeling: to get a financial return, or to create a kitchen you love. Or perhaps some of each.

In any case, being willing to give a little on less important features and putting your money in your highest priorities will help you save money on your remodel. And since you end up with the majority of what matters the most, you’ll be happy with the end result and have saved some money at the same time.

A great contractor will help you figure out which items will maximize your return on investment. They’ll know the condition of the houses in your area and will be able to guide you to make choices that will be in line with the neighborhood.

The Intangible Return on Investment of a Kitchen Remodel

Remember that remodeling your kitchen isn’t all about the money. Unless you’re planning to sell in the next year or so, you’re upgrading the kitchen for you.

Think about what bothers you about your kitchen. You don’t live in your house to be frustrated by an inefficient, outdated kitchen.

Consider how happy the remodeled kitchen will make you. If you can’t stand cooking on an electric stove, then changing to gas will be a good investment in your quality of life. If your dream is having an herb garden in your kitchen window, then that’s what you need. If you’ve always wanted a wine cooler in your kitchen, maybe you should go ahead and have one installed.

And there’s no reason not to build your dream kitchen if you can afford it. Just don’t count on getting all the money back when you sell your house. There’s no telling what you’ll get in terms of dollars and cents when you actually sell.

But you can make sure you’ll enjoy your kitchen as long as you stay in your house. Consider what it’s worth to create a space you’ll love cooking in, creating meals and memories for family and friends. When you think about it that way, the return on investment for a kitchen remodel can be priceless.

What are the Benefits of Home Additions?

Many people wonder what the benefits of a home addition are. After all, it’s a lot of work to plan a home addition. And then your life is disrupted for weeks and possibly months while the project is underway. Not to mention the major expense you can incur.

But home additions are very popular. That wouldn’t be the case if adding onto your home didn’t provide some very solid and worthwhile benefits. Here are just a few:



More Space

Who doesn’t want more space? Adding on to your home can be the answer.

You can get increased living space by adding on an entire room. Or by enclosing a porch or patio.

Sometimes you don’t even have to do that much. Even bumping a wall out by three or four feet can make a huge difference to the amount of space you have to work with.


Create Specialized Space

Instead of making your living or family room do double or triple duty, adding a room could give you some specialized space. You could create a private office for yourself or a study room for the kids. Or your addition could be a music room that you specially insulate so the rest of the family doesn’t have to hear every missed note. Or the addition could be a childproofed playroom or a mudroom for guests to take off muddy shoes or wet boots. Another possibility is a gym for the days you want to exercise at home.


More storage

Some people add on to their homes simply to have more storage space. And that’s something everyone wants.

By adding an addition to your home, you can easily increase your storage space. No more cluttered hall closets with the overflow of stuff that invades your living areas and makes the space feel smaller.

A smaller project such as enlarging your entrance could give you a welcoming foyer with a closet for guests’ coats.

Other options include creating a place to store your craft supplies. Or sports equipment and musical instruments. Or out of season clothing. Or toys. A home addition can easily give you extra organized storage space and liberate you from crammed, cluttered closets.


Improve Curb Appeal

Adding a bow window to your living room or enlarging the entrance to your home will make it look much more attractive. Not only will you enjoy the new, fresh look, but it will be more appealing to buyers when you decide to sell. And if you tuck some storage under that bow window, that’s just an added bonus.


Provide Housing for More Family Members

Maybe your kids are growing up and it’s time they all had their own rooms. Perhaps you have an elderly parent you’d like to have move in with you. Or a grown child has a need to stay with you for a time. Adding an extra room will make it possible for you to accommodate your family’s needs.


Make Some Extra Cash

If you’ve got an extra room, you could use it to generate some additional income. So if you’re adding on a room to accommodate a family member, think about the future. If you include a bathroom, kitchenette and separate entrance, you’ll be all set to rent out that space when it’s no longer needed for family and it won’t go to waste. Whether you decide to lease to a long-term renter or go for short-term vacation renters, you can start getting a return on your investment long before you sell the house.


Additions Can Be Cheaper than Moving

Many people move because they’ve outgrown their existing home. But moving can be expensive, stressful and time consuming. And if you really like your neighborhood, there’s no guarantee the new one will be as pleasant.

A carefully planned addition can give you the additional space you need, without the upheaval, uncertainty and stress of a move.


Add a Little Luxury

A home addition can give you the opportunity to add some luxury to your home. Expanding the master suite could result in his and her sinks in the bathroom, a larger closet and perhaps even a spa tub.

Enlarging your kitchen would allow you to add some of the features you’ve always wanted, like a wine cooler, chef’s stove or more counter space.


Add Natural Light

Adding a sunroom can bring more natural light into your home to give it a brighter feel.


Get Better Use out of Existing Space

A home addition project doesn’t always involve building a new structure. Suppose you have a screened porch you don’t use very often. You could enclose it and have an additional room that could be used three or four seasons in the year.

Other possibilities are refinishing your basement to become a family room or turning attic space into a bedroom. This way your existing space can be converted into space you will use and enjoy.


Add Value to Your Home

Additional square footage, in the form of an extra bedroom, bathroom or storage can add value to your home. However, you won’t get it all back when you sell. But the upgraded features will be appealing to buyers and you will be able to recoup some of the money you invested.


Add Personality to Your Home

Maybe you’ve grown tired of having a house that looks just like everyone else’s. Building an addition, whether as simple as an enlarged entrance or extensive as an entire room can add an appealing dose of personality to your house.


What are the drawbacks of home additions?

Before starting a home addition project, it’s vital to think through two major drawbacks.

The first is that a space tradeoff could be involved. If you add a room or garage to the back of your house, you’ll lose some of your space in the yard. This will of course be more of an issue for people with small lots.

The second is the expense. Additions can cost more than moving. If you’ve got a very extensive project in mind, you could end up sinking a lot of money into your house. And if you over-improve your house so you are out of line with the neighborhood, you won’t have a very good return on your investment. In this case, moving might be the more economical option.


What are the top home additions?

Having thought about benefits and drawbacks, let’s consider some of the top types of home additions. Since these are so popular, they will not only give you more space and functionality but will add value to your home.


Second Floor Additions

Adding on to the second floor allows people to move bedrooms upstairs, giving family members more privacy. At the same time, you’ve freed up more living space on the first floor. And by building above the existing footprint of your house, you don’t lose any yard space.


Accessory Dwelling Units

Accessory dwelling units, or living spaces that are not attached to the main dwelling, are becoming more popular. Not only do they add resale value, they give you flexibility as your family grows or shrinks. They can also provide a source of extra income.

Most people add accessory dwelling units by converting a shed or detached garage into a unit with a bedroom, sitting area, kitchen and bathroom.


Chef’s Kitchens

As more people are discovering the delight of home cooked meals, they want a more functional space to work in. Adding just a few more feet of space can often feel like a lot, giving you the joy of not working in cramped conditions, along with having room for all the fun gadgets and tools you’ll be working with. You can expect a fairly good return on investment on a kitchen expansion when you sell your house.



Dormer windows add natural light while adding a little space to rooms with slanted ceilings. They also enhance curb appeal and resale value.


Bump Outs

Bump outs are a popular option, as all that’s involved is extending a room by a few feet. This small addition can make a huge difference to the usable space in the room, and you don’t sacrifice much yard space to get it.


Florida Rooms

Florida rooms, sometimes called California rooms, are popular ways to create an indoor/outdoor space. These rooms have a ceiling and large glass windows, but they remain open to the outdoors on one or more sides. You can enjoy natural light and being out of doors, and the space can be used as either indoor or outdoor.



Sunrooms are another popular way to add to a home. Unlike Florida rooms, they are closed on all sides. A standard feature is huge windows and occasionally, skylights. Sunrooms give you extra space for three or four seasons in the year, depending on where you live.


Planning Your Home Addition

As you can see, there are many options for adding to your home. It’s important to keep in mind that good planning is the key to creating a home addition that you’ll love. When you plan your addition, carefully consider your budget, how long you want the project to last, and what realistic increase in your home’s value you can expect.

Perhaps this list has inspired you to think about your own home addition project. By adding on to your house, you can solve storage or crowding problems without having to go through the upheaval and headaches of selling your house and moving. Resolving these problems will make your home more comfortable for you to enjoy living in and increase its resale value.

Do you have a home addition project in mind but aren’t sure how to get started? Or you feel cramped in your house and aren’t sure what to do about it? Give us a call and we can offer some suggestions that can help you make your home more efficient and comfortable, while increasing its value. And most important, your new home addition will make you love your home even more.

If you’d like, we can provide an estimate of what your project might cost. We’ll do our best to be responsive to your needs. Just give us a call to get started today.