There are plenty of good reasons to remodel your kitchen. Not only can it bring you more enjoyment while you're living in your home, but when the time comes to sell it, you may end up getting a better offer with a newer kitchen to show off. Similarly, if you're flipping a house, it pays to spend some money updating the kitchen.
But that doesn't mean you need to go all-out on your kitchen remodel. In fact, you may specifically be better off doing a minor kitchen remodel than investing in a more involved renovation.
What does a kitchen remodel cost?
The amount you'll spend to update your kitchen will depend on how involved you want your renovations to be. For a minor kitchen remodel, expect to spend $23,452, according to Remodeling Magazine's 2020 Cost vs. Value Report. What will that get you? At that price point, you can expect refaced cabinets with new fronts and new hardware. You can also replace laminate countertops with a more attractive, durable stone surface, redo your flooring, swap out a few appliances, and repaint.
On the other hand, an upscale kitchen remodel will set you back an average of $135,547. For that, you'll get completely new, high-end custom cabinetry as well as high-end stone countertops with a luxurious backsplash. You'll also get top-of-the-line appliances, including a commercial-grade cooktop. Want a water filtration system? You can have that, too, along with an undermount sink, new lighting, and attractive flooring.
Which type of kitchen remodel offers the best value?
While a more upscale kitchen remodel might look nicer or offer more benefits than a minor remodel, if your goal is to score the highest return on investment, a minor update is your best bet. With a minor kitchen remodel, you can expect to recover 77.6% of your cost when you go to sell your home. By contrast, with a major upscale kitchen remodel, you're looking at recouping just 53.9% of your investment. That's a huge gap.
That said, there are benefits to having a higher-end kitchen that don't relate to resale value. If you're planning to stay in your home for a long time, an upscale kitchen could make meal prep easier and more enjoyable, and there's a different kind of value in that.
On the other hand, you may not need an upscale kitchen remodel to enjoy that space. If your existing cabinets are in decent shape, there's no need to rip them out completely. Instead, focus on retouching the surface, like with a different color paint and new fixtures. And if you're the type who cooks out of necessity more so than enjoyment, you may not care whether you have a commercial-grade stove or not.
Furthermore, if you’re flipping a house, think about the neighborhood you’re in and what surrounding homes look like. If most properties in the area have a standard kitchen, then it probably doesn’t pay for you to go all-out unless you’re really billing the home you’re flipping as an upscale retreat.
Either way, think about what you want to gain from renovating your kitchen before you move forward with plans. Knowing what your goals are should lead to the right decision.