Many homeowners dream of transforming their kitchens into beautiful and functional spaces, but it’s a significant undertaking that requires careful planning, inspiration, and a budget to match their vision.

 The desire to upgrade this home’s central hub has only intensified since the COVID-19 pandemic, as people have spent more time cooking, working, and gathering in their kitchens.

But sometimes, our eyes can be a bit bigger than our stomachs – and the same goes for our kitchen remodeling ideas. Before you sign a remodeling contract, you have to consider both the aesthetic improvements and the potential return on your investment.

 In the Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia (DMV) areas – where housing markets are historically competitive – a well-executed kitchen renovation can make your home more appealing to potential buyers down the line.

 So, what should you do if you’re considering upgrading? Is it all about cost, or should your new kitchen’s long-term enjoyment (and retail value) be the top priority?

 Let’s explore what a kitchen remodel might look like for your DMV home and how it could impact your daily life and your long-term investment.

Minor Kitchen Remodel


A Modest Refresh with Major Returns

A minor kitchen remodel might be the perfect solution if you’re working with a limited budget or simply looking to give your kitchen a face-lift. In the DMV area, the average cost for a minor kitchen remodel is $26,790, which typically includes:

  • Refacing existing cabinets with new shaker-style wood panels and drawer fronts
  • Installing new cabinet hardware
  • Replacing older appliances with energy-efficient models
  • Upgrading to resilient flooring
  • Adding a fresh coat of paint to walls, trim, and ceiling
  • Installing a new mid-priced sink and faucet 

While this may seem like a substantial investment, the good news is that minor kitchen remodels offer the highest return on investment compared to their more extensive counterparts. In the DMV area, homeowners can expect to recoup an impressive 85.7% of the cost, with a resale value of $22,963. 

This high-cost recoupment rate makes a minor kitchen remodel an attractive option for those looking to enhance their kitchen’s appearance and functionality without breaking the bank. By

focusing on key elements like cabinets, countertops, and appliances, you can create a fresh, modern look that appeals to both your family and potential buyers in the future.

Midrange Major Kitchen Remodel


A Step Up in Style and Functionality

For homeowners seeking a more comprehensive kitchen update, a midrange major kitchen remodel might be the way to go. In the DMV area, this type of renovation averages $77,939 and typically includes:

  • Installing new semi-custom wood cabinets
  • Adding a 3×5-foot island
  • Replacing laminate countertops with stone
  • Switching to a double-bowl stainless steel sink with a single-handle faucet
  • Installing new energy-efficient appliances, including a range, microwave, dishwasher, and garbage disposal
  • Adding new resilient flooring
  • Repainting walls, trim, and ceiling
  • Installing custom lighting

While a midrange major kitchen remodel offers a significant step up in style and functionality compared to a minor remodel, the return on investment is lower. In the DMV area, homeowners can expect to recoup about 41.8% of the cost, with a resale value of $32,574.

Despite the lower cost recovery rate, a midrange major kitchen remodel can still be worthwhile if you plan to stay in your home for several years. The improved layout, updated features, and enhanced aesthetics can greatly improve your daily life and enjoyment of your kitchen space.

Upscale Major Kitchen Remodel


Luxury Finishes and High-End Features

For those with a generous budget and who desire top-of-the-line amenities, an upscale major kitchen remodel is the ultimate kitchen transformation. In the DMV area, this type of high-end renovation averages $154,483 and includes:

  • Installing custom wood cabinets with built-in sliding shelves and interior accessories
  • Adding a stone-topped island with a sink and custom lighting
  • Installing countertops made of stone or marble, along with a ceramic or glass tile backsplash
  • Upgrading to a commercial-grade cooktop or a built-in refrigerator within the design
  • Enhancing the space with a high-end undermount sink, stylish designer faucets, and a top-notch water filtration
  • Installing tile or wood flooring
  • Repainting walls, trim, and ceiling
  • Adding custom task and general lighting, including undercabinet LED lights

While an upscale major kitchen remodel offers the ultimate in luxury finishes and high-end features, it’s crucial to understand that the return on investment is the lowest among the three remodel levels. In the DMV area, homeowners can expect to recoup just 31.7% of the cost, with a resale value of $48,913.

This low-cost recovery rate means that an upscale major kitchen remodel is more about enhancing your personal enjoyment and luxury living experience than it is about maximizing your home’s resale value.

If you have the means and plan to stay in your home for a long time, investing in a top-tier kitchen remodel can be a fulfilling decision that caters to your specific tastes and needs. If you’re primarily focused on getting the best return on your investment, it may be wise to consider a minor or midrange major kitchen remodel instead.


How Do You Choose The Right Remodel?


While knowing the numbers on the potential return on investment for your kitchen remodel is helpful – it’s just as important to remember that your home is more than just a financial asset. Your kitchen is the heart of your home, and your decisions about its design and functionality should align with your personal preferences, lifestyle, and long-term goals.

When contemplating a kitchen remodel, consider factors beyond resale value, such as:

Improved functionality – A well-designed kitchen layout can streamline meal preparation, cooking, and cleaning, making daily life more efficient and enjoyable. Imagine how much easier it would be to cook family dinners with a larger countertop space or a double oven.

Energy efficiency – Upgrading to energy-efficient appliances, lighting, and windows can reduce utility bills and minimize environmental impact. You may not notice these savings up front, but over time, you’ll really see just how much they add up.

Personal satisfaction – This is the big one. Unless you’re flipping to sell, how your kitchen is designed and upgraded should play into your preferences and needs. Do you love to entertain? A kitchen island or open layout may be perfect for hosting guests. Are you an avid cook?

Investing in high-quality appliances and ample storage space could greatly enhance your cooking experience.

The right kitchen remodel for your DMV home will depend on several factors, including your budget, long-term plans, and personal priorities. Knowing the numbers can help you set a baseline for determining which path to consider – but in the end, it’s all about how your kitchen makes you feel.

Because when you feel at home in your kitchen, you’ll enjoy every moment spent there.