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Do Kitchen and Bathroom Remodels Add Value to Your Home?

Do Kitchen and Bathroom Remodels Add Value to Your Home?

“When buyers approach a house, there are two areas that can result in a “Hard Pass!” and a “Yes, please!” – the kitchen and bathrooms. They are the essentials, the most frequently used, the starts and ends of every day. Will updating these spaces boost your appeal (and your bottom line, if you decide to sell, refinance, or seek equity)?  

Remodels with ROI 

First, what do we mean when we talk about “adding value” and “returns on investment.” If you’re expecting to spend $X and increase value of $X… well, that’s not quite how it works! The value of a remodel isn’t typically measured as a flat dollar amount. Rather, it refers to the percentage of the project cost that you can reasonably expect to see if/when you sell. 

Say you do an improvement project and invest $80,000. This doesn’t increase your home value by $80,000 (… never say never, but it’s not apples to apples). It may give you a 25% ROI, though. Which means, when it’s time to sell (or seek equity), you can recoup 25% ($20,000) of that cost. If you want to look at it like increasing value by 20%… tomayto tomahto. 

Now, if you’re contemplating renovations and updates with an eye toward that strong return on investment, kitchens and bathrooms are the way to go. According to the Remodeling Cost vs Value Report for 2023, you can expect to recoup between 30.7% – 85.7% of the remodeling investment in a kitchen. In the bath, a full remodel can deliver an ROI of 37%-67%. You may be able to boost this even further if your project includes energy-efficient, accessibility (also called universal design) features, or smart tech that appeals to buyers and saves money in the longer-term. 

Remember that the returns you realize depend on several factors, including the overall value of your house, comparable value versus other homes in the neighborhood, and – this is a major factor – the quality of the project. 

Kitchen/Bathroom Remodels That Add Value to Your Home 

Speaking of quality… A poorly, unprofessionally done kitchen or bath remodel can have the opposite effect you’re looking for. Instead of enticing buyers and building value, you turn them off or create more headaches for yourself. That said, here are a few tips to keep in mind when approaching your project: 

Be Strategic  

You do not have to go all-in, top-to-bottom to see a great remodeling ROI. If your goal is to recoup as much as you can with an eye towards the future, focus on the projects that count. Kitchens and bathrooms are the best places to start, and you can focus on the top performers. 

  • Replace and upgrade flooring 
  • Replace and upgrade tile floors, shower surrounds, fireplace surrounds, backsplashes, etc. 
  • Upgrade your shower (particularly to curbless options that make aging in place easier for you or the next owners. In fact, adding in accessibility features, from shower seating to non-slip surfaces, is a smart move in general) 
  • Replace your tub 
  • Modify the layout or increase the size of the kitchen or bathroom to improve functionality and flow 
  • Install a second kitchen, butler’s pantry, or appliance garage, depending on space constraints  
  • Opt for energy efficient smart appliances  
  • Update cabinetry 
  • Replace vanities and countertops  
  • Increase counter space (bonus if you can add a luxe island) 
  • Install lighting to include task and ambient options 
  • Ensure all bathroom fans, kitchen hood ranges, and other exhaust systems vent properly  
  • Install new sinks (particularly undermount styles) 

These are extensive projects however, they will increase your home’s appeal to potential buyers, thus boosting value.  

Remember Small Projects Can Yield Big ROIs  

While it may seem counterintuitive, smaller projects can deliver exceptional ROIs. For example, a minor bathroom remodel has a typical return of 102%. There are a number of steps you can take in the kitchen or bath to add value, including:  

  • Fresh paint on the walls and trim 
  • Replace cabinet hardware 
  • Replace lighting and plumbing fixtures (faucets, shower heads, etc.) 
  • Install discrete and stylish handrails and grab bars for bathroom  
  • Install new tile or regrout existing tile 

If time or budget constraints limit your remodeling capacity, they don’t need to limit your returns. Even small improvements can have a big impact. 

Go with a Pro 

No matter what route you decide to take, go with a professional. DIY around the house is a great hobby – but you need more than hobby-level results. The quality of your remodel directly impacts your ROI, so get the most from your investment. 

To get a jumpstart on planning, check out our Kitchen Remodeling Cost Calculator and Master Bathroom Remodeling Cost Calculator.  

Don’t Forget the “Joy Factor” 

What if you’re not doing all this for a potential buyer? What if it’s for you? You might not measure your results in terms of an ROI… you might measure it in joy. 

It’s the Joy Factor. We love this National Association of REALTORS metric. The NAR looks at which projects make homeowners want to stay home and increase enjoyment the most. They then assign a Joy Score. Bathroom remodels scored an impressive 9.6, while kitchen remodels earned a perfect 10. People report feeling happier and more satisfied with their homes after these projects. 

Our mission is to help you love where you live, and if your goal is to stay beautifully, comfortably ensconced in your dream home… Well, kitchen and bath remodels add tremendous value as well. To you. To your household. To your lifestyle. When the essentials are more seamless, streamlined, and stylish, it simply makes us happier.  

Love Where You Live 

What’s your current Joy Score? If you want to improve that, or you’re focused on adding value and achieving a great ROI – connect with ACo 

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