Technically, the recession may be over, but in terms of housing values, the numbers have continued to decline.   However, that is not true for the return on investment (ROI) of a home remodel. One of the interior home improvement projects which can significantly increase your home’s value is a kitchen remodel, according to the 2010-11 Cost vs. Value Report*.

The numbers reported below are national averages; with the Pacific states region outperforming the rest of the nation in spite of marginally higher costs.Minor Kitchen Remodel, Mid-Range
According to the 2010-11 report, the national average price of a mid-range minor kitchen remodel averages a return of 72.8 percent a year. What is the definition of a minor kitchen remodel? According to Remodeling, it’s a 200-square-foot kitchen with 30 linear feet of cabinetry and countertops. The cabinets get refaced with new raised-panel wood doors, drawers and hardware, but the boxes stay.  Laminate countertops and vinyl flooring are removed and replaced with the same material, but in updated colors and patterns.  It also includes a new, energy-efficient wall oven and cook-top, wall covering, a new paint job in the trim and a new mid-priced sink and faucet.

Major Kitchen Remodel, Mid-Range
If you pursue a major kitchen remodel, you can expect to recoup 68.7 percent.   Typically, this is a 200-square-foot kitchen which features a 3-by-5-foot island, 30 linear feet of semi-custom wood cabinets, laminate counter-tops, and a double-bowl stainless-steel sink with a single-lever faucet. It also includes the addition of new energy-efficient appliances: wall oven, cook-top, ventilation system, built-in microwave, dishwasher, garbage disposal, and custom lighting. The finishing touches are new vinyl flooring and paint for the ceiling, trim and walls.

Major Kitchen Remodel, Upscale
The ROI of a major kitchen remodel, upscale, is typically a minimum 59.7 percent. Changes include new accessories, natural stone counter-tops, and an imported ceramic or glass tile back-splash.  New appliances include a built-in refrigerator, cook-top, 36-inch commercial-grade range and vent hood, built-in warming drawer, trash compactor and built-in microwave/convection oven. It may also entail cherry trim, cork flooring, under-cabinet lighting, a high-end under mount sink, designer faucets, and a built-in water filtration system; general, task and under-cabinet lighting.

So if you want to consider upgrading the value of your home, a kitchen remodel is a worth-while investment -much more so these days than the investment in a new home.

*The 2010-11 Cost vs. Value Report—a joint study done by the National Association of Realtors and Remodeling magazine—provides national and regional averages. The report estimates the cost of an average home improvement project and compares it to the value it would recoup if the home sold a year later. In 2010, more than 3,000 real-estate agents, brokers and appraisers in 80 cities provided ROI estimates.

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