Good News for Homeowners: Minor Kitchen Remodel Leads to Major Value


It’s not spring yet, but there are certainly signs of fresh life—at least in the home remodeling market. Finally, finally, after about six years of rising remodeling costs and falling returns, the tide is turning. This good news comes as part of the Remodeling 2012–13 Cost vs. Value Report, a report drawing cautious but optimistic sighs of relief around the country.

One of the kitchens we remodeled in 2011

It’s widely known that kitchen remodels provide good bang for your buck. But if the cost of a major kitchen remodel gives you the willies, now’s a great time to think about something smaller scale. For kitchens, you can actually expect to get more value out of a minor remodel than out of a major one. Minor remodels include things like replacing cabinet fronts and hardware, countertops, and appliances. In fact, “minor” is a bit of an industry misnomer. You do see a major change in the beauty of your kitchen by doing a so-called minor update.

The Cost vs. Value Report shows that in Madison the average cost of a minor kitchen remodel has dropped by about a thousand bucks over the past year while the return on investment has gone up from 72.1% to 75.4 percent. In fact, minor kitchen remodels are sitting pretty in the Top 10 for value-add remodeling projects. Compared with 10 years ago, costs are still higher than they were, and returns are still lower, but the trajectory is looking pretty darn good. If you’re among the more than 70 percent of Americans thinking about doing some remodeling work this year, things are looking good for you!