Most homeowners who want to add significant value to their home focus on the kitchen. This is one of the best places to invest to boost the value of your kitchen if you can do the remodel strategically and to the expectations of your buyers. Here in California, a minor kitchen remodel in the midrange has one of the best returns on investment of any remodeling project. How do you determine which elements of the kitchen will add the most value? Here’s our advice.

What Kind of Kitchen Remodel?

Remodeling’s Cost vs Value report determines how much people tend to spend on their home remodels and how much of that they typically see back in home value increases. The report groups kitchen remodels differently by the degree of investment and whether the elements chosen for the kitchen are midscale or upscale. The 2023 report ranked kitchen remodels, specifically for the Pacific region, as follows:

  • Minor kitchen remodels, midrange returned 79.2%
  • Major kitchen remodel, midrange returned 38.8%
  • Major kitchen remodel, upscale returned 31.7%

The data shows that the average homeowner is better off when they invest in minor kitchen remodels that average around $28,057 in cost. More investment and more upscale choices do not necessarily reflect in higher sale value. However, you should always keep your specific kitchen, neighborhood and buyer in mind. If your buyers will anticipate a high end kitchen, making midrange remodels will not impress them.

Improving a Kitchen’s Look

Almost all of the small upgrades to a kitchen’s look have the potential to bring in significant increases in value. A dated mid-range kitchen where everything still functions well is ripe for a remodel that will give great return on investment. When you’re planning your remodel, consider changing up all of the visual elements of the space, including:

  • Flooring material
  • Cabinets and hardware
  • Wall color
  • Countertop

Making your kitchen look more stylish is a smart way to increase its value without sinking major money into things like whole new appliances.

Improving the Kitchen’s Function

More functional changes to your kitchen will typically cost more; however, they can get you a great return on investment. It is wise to do this strategically. Consider the worst elements of your kitchen and how they can be improved. Often, bringing a kitchen up to the functional standards of your neighbors will provide the most return. Creating a kitchen that is much more upscale functionally, like one that includes a stove fit for a chef, often will not.

Ways to upgrade the function of a kitchen that you might consider investing in include:

  • Change the layout: Knocking down walls, increasing kitchen space and making it more open concept often will improve the overall value of your home.
  • Add an island: Most consider kitchen islands to be essential so where you can add one, it can significantly boost the cost.
  • Improve appliances: Better appliances can reflect well in cost if you’re leaving them behind.
  • Cupboard or pantry: More storage space is always beneficial.

Ask the Professionals

Get advice from your designer or builder about which elements of your specific kitchen may add the most value.