Remodel Smarter, Not Harder

It’s a big decision to take the remodeling plunge. Homeowners must deal with messy dust, strangers coming in and out, and the inability to use the parts of their home that are under construction. In return, most homeowners hope to recoup at least part of their costs through an increase in property values.

You don’t have to drop a ton of money and completely gut your home to get a good return on your investment, however. In fact, in this pragmatic economy, a minor remodel can often offer a better payoff than a major one, according to Remodeling magazine’s 2009 Cost vs. Value Report.

For example, in the Pacific Northwest, homeowners on average will recover 84.5% of the cost of a $63,000 kitchen remodel, which includes new cabinets, countertops, flooring and appliances. However, a minor kitchen remodel costing only $23,000 can result in a 94.8% ROI.

Here’s a list of minor kitchen improvements you can make for maximum ROI:

  • Reface cabinets with new raised-panel wood doors and drawers, including new hardware.
  • Replace oven and cooktop with new, energy-efficient appliances.
  • Replace laminate countertops.
  • Install a mid-priced sink and faucet.
  • Replace flooring.