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Does a Kitchen Remodel Add Value to Your Home in 2019?

What to know before you start upgrading your kitchen

By Rashea Drake
July 16, 2019

Have you been wondering if it’s time for a home renovation, particularly in the kitchen? Curious as to what kind of value a kitchen remodel would bring to your home? What design styles are people looking for in 2019?

How popular are kitchen renovations anyway?

In 2015, there were approximately 834,000 kitchen renovation projects across the US, according to the latest data in the American Housing Survey by the US Census Bureau. That number jumped up to 1,666,000 projects in 2017, or 99.8% growth, showing that interest in kitchen remodeling is on the rise. Since the kitchen is one of the most central rooms in a house it makes sense that it would be a popular room to update.

Monetary Value vs Lifestyle Value

Kitchen remodel

If you’re looking to sell your house sometime in the next couple of years, then the monetary value should definitely be on your mind to recoup as much of that investment as possible. According to REALTOR®’s Remodeling Impact Report, 54% of realtors advised their clients to upgrade their kitchen before putting their house on the market, and 23% said a completed upgrade recently helped close a sale.

If you’re not looking to sell your home anytime soon a kitchen remodel brings more lifestyle value, which is incredibly important since the kitchen tends to be one of the busiest rooms in the home. If that’s the case, it’s best to focus on what will bring you joy.

According to REALTOR®, after full kitchen renovations are completed, 91% of homeowner expressed an increased sense of enjoyment at home (compared to 76% who added upgrades instead of a complete renovation).


Kitchen Upgrades and What They're Worth - The Breakdown


Not all kitchen upgrades and renovations are created equally. There are considerations to think about, such as where you’re located as well as the size and condition of your kitchen. Assuming the kitchen is functional yet outdated, there are improvements that will generally bring in more value than others. If a kitchen requires major demolition (such as taking out walls, subfloors, major issues with plumbing or electrical), it may be harder to gain those investments back, even if they are necessary. We looked at the 2019 Cost vs. Value report by Remodeling.

Upgrades that add the most value

The upgrades that tend to hold the most value, monetarily speaking, are ones that add just the right amount of style with convenience and function. Small kitchen remodels bring in the most ROI, monetarily speaking, with homeowners recovering up to 80.5% of their investment, a slight dip from 2018’s ROI of 81.1%. A minor remodel relies on the kitchen being functional, focusing on cosmetics and style rather than fixing major problems. Bringing the kitchen up to date is the main goal here, which is most likely why it brings such a good return.

Minor Remodel ROI

Midrange remodels, on the other hand, do not bring as much as you might think. The average midrange renovation brings in around 62.1% of the initial investment, which is up from 2018’s ROI of 59%. The average cost for this type of renovation is $66,196, meaning that the return would be around $41,133. This goes beyond simple updating to adding an island or adding more personalized touches and needs that may be better for your needs but may not hold as much mass appeal. If you’ll be using the kitchen for some time before selling, or there are problems that need to be addressed before selling, then this could be worth it.


Most popular kitchen ideas for renovators to update


  • Countertops
  • Backsplash
  • Sinks
  • Faucets
  • Lighting
  • Cabinets
  • Flooring
  • Appliances



On top of the above recommendations, adding a stylish new paint color to walls, trim, or ceiling is a great addition when updating your kitchen. You can choose to update all of the above or choose a few options to freshen up your kitchen’s style.




The most popular design styles in 2019:


Transitional, Contemporary, Farmhouse, and Traditional





When it comes to style, a white kitchen is currently the most popular choice for renovators. White brightens and opens the room, offering flexibility when it comes to styling. White Shaker cabinets, countertops, or backsplashes can each be used in any of the four top current design styles above. The rest of the styling is dependent on which materials and finishes are used throughout the kitchen, such as kitchen hardware, faucets, and sinks.




What about high-end remodels?


We describe high-end renovations as intensive, costing over $100k. With that in mind, high-end kitchen remodels tend to bring in the least ROI with up to 59.7% of costs being returned. However, that number is up significantly from 2018, where the return was just 53.5%. That means buyers are valuing kitchen updates more than they were. If the average spend to remodel is $131,510, the return is around $78,524. Upscale remodels tend to cater to a specific homeowner’s style, with ceiling to floor changes, replacements, and possibly even expanding or opening the kitchen layout beyond the original floorplan.

Upscale Remodel ROI

There you have it. Remodels focused around style updates and ease of use will hold more monetary value than highly personalized stylings and details (which bring more lifestyle value). Now you’re ready for the next step to gaining a better idea of what a remodel costs.