Discover the signs that you need to renovate your kitchen, when the right time is, how much kitchen remodeling costs, and how much kitchen you can afford.
When Heraclitus said change is the only constant, he must have had a kitchen in mind.
You started with a kitchen good enough for yourself or you and your spouse.
But changes happened over the years.
You got a family, and the kitchen has become tiny for all of you.
You’d also love to update your kitchen’s look and feel. Or, you realize everything in your old kitchen is falling apart.
Worse. You can tell it is no longer a safe place to prepare meals for loved ones.
So you now have a flurry of questions.
When is the right time to remodel your kitchen?
Is kitchen renovation expensive?
Should you do a complete kitchen remodel or a quick update?
And how do you even go about it?
We get it.
So, here’s an in-depth guide to knowing how often to renovate your kitchen hassle-free.
How Many Years Should a Kitchen Last?
On average, a remodeled kitchen can last 15 to 20 years before needing another renovation. However, with newer, more efficient kitchen appliances, layouts, and personalization needs appealing, it would be wiser to plan for 8 to 12 years.
But that’s not the whole picture.
Suppose you decide to use cheap particleboard cabinets. You’ll undoubtedly need to change the cabinetry before the 15 years are over.
Yet, you may need to move for family reasons like this forum participant had to say:
Or it could be due to a career change.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics in January 2020 revealed that the average American now changes jobs every four years.
If you are a millennial, you’ll transition between jobs much faster. So you may need to remodel a kitchen every time you move into a new house.
You may have other reasons to do a kitchen reno within a short cycle like this other forum member:
Perhaps you finally got the disposable income you need to update your kitchen and match your lifestyle.
How often do kitchens get remodeled?
Americans renovate kitchens at least once in a lifetime. Still, one in 10 American households remodeled their kitchen in 2017, according to the National Kitchen and Bathroom Association (NKBA).
A kitchen is easily the busiest room in most homes.
Wear and tear affect its fittings as much.
That may help explain why 10.2 million kitchens were renovated in 2017.
Kitchen renovations were the second most common home renovation project that year after bathroom remodeling at 14.2 million.
P.S: Trulia research showed kitchen remodeling took the lead in 2019.
In 2021, 10% of the 4,700 online survey participants told the NKBA they were planning to renew their kitchens despite the pandemic’s economic effects.
But there’s something else.
Home renovations are popular among first-time home buyers and millennials.
A 2017 kitchen remodeling study showed the two groups were more excited about remodeling a kitchen to customize a house, making it feel like a home for them.
But how often Americans remodel their kitchens may not be the right question to ask.
Here’s a better one.
How often does a kitchen need to be updated?
Well, here are some signs you’ll want to look out for.
What are the Signs You Need to Remodel Your Kitchen?
The most significant reason, according to 43% of respondents in a 2017 Houzz study, is this:
You can no longer stand the old kitchen.
Maybe you’ve wanted to fix new kitchen appliances for the longest time. And you probably have a couple of energy-efficient models in mind already.
Or, you want to make your kitchen flow seamlessly into other living spaces, such as the dining area.
You know that would help make cooking, serving, and dining with family and friends much more inclusive and intimate, for example.
That’s not all.
Perhaps your old cabinets are breaking down. The room seems cluttered. The drainage makes it stink. It may be so bad that you are embarrassed to invite friends over.
And you may have other reasons for remodeling a kitchen:
- You just moved into a new house that you bought “As Is” with a run-down kitchen.
- Your kitchen appliances, cabinetry, and fixtures have become impossible to clean.
- You can no longer maintain the fixtures in good working condition.
- You want to fix it so you can sell your home.
- You feel it is time to upgrade your kitchen but do not have the money or see the necessity of buying a new home.
Is Remodeling a Kitchen Worth It?
It is worth it if you need or want to. Renovating your kitchen will improve its look, feel, and functionality. A 2017 report showed updating a kitchen helped homeowners lead healthier lives (33%), prepared food at home more frequently (41%), and enjoyed more time with family (50%).
Remodeling a kitchen is one of the top three best ways to add recoupable value to your home than other home improvement projects.
Image: Remodelling & FIXr 2020
Yet, a kitchen refurbishment is one of the most significant home remodeling projects you can make. So, is it an investment?
How much does a kitchen remodel increase home value?
Homeowners who remodel their kitchen can expect to fetch a higher price than a similar house with an outdated kitchen. Homebuyers are willing to pay more for new appliances (69%) and granite countertops (59%), for example.
A kitchen remodel also makes selling a house much easier and faster.
Because a staggering 80% of homebuyers say the kitchen is one of their top three most important considerations.
But, how much money can you expect to recoup from remodeling your kitchen?
What is the ROI on a kitchen remodel?
A minor kitchen remodel (midrange) offers the highest ROI at 77.6%. A major kitchen remodel (midrange) will recoup 58.6%, while a major upscale kitchen remodel can get back 53.9%. That’s all according to Remodelling’s 2020 Cost vs Value Report.
Image: Remodelling CvV 2020
As you can tell, you’ll rarely recoup 100% of your kitchen remodel investment from selling the home.
Still, you can get a higher ROI if you know what kitchen renovations to make to boost your home’s value for resale.
Start by asking this question:
Where do you start when remodeling a kitchen?
Let’s rephrase that question to this:
What are The Best Kitchen Renovations to Make to Add the Most Value to Your Home?
You can learn something crucial from analyzing this image:
What do you see?
It shows the most common upgrades homeowners make to improve kitchens.
- Wall finish
- Lighting fixtures
Now, here’s an interesting contrast.
Countertop, sink, backsplash, and faucet remodels may be the most sought-after kitchen features among homeowners. But they are not as crucial to homebuyers.
Those may not be the most valuable kitchen upgrades to make, either.
So, what is?
Remember how 69% and 55% of respondents said they would pay more for new appliances and granite countertops, respectively?
That’s the clue.
Here’s what to prioritize to optimize ROI.
In what order do you redo a kitchen?
Start by fixing what’s broken. First, fix the roof, plumbing, electrical, windows, and doors. Second, remodel the cabinets. Third, add new appliances. Fourth, update the countertops. Next, renovate lighting and flooring. Then, shift your focus to other areas, such as backsplashes and faucets.
That combination is ideal if you are looking to sell your house soon. But if you are remodeling the kitchen for your own needs, you can begin however you choose.
Is It Worth Replacing Kitchen Cabinets?
Absolutely. High-quality cabinets keep foodstuff safe, help declutter the kitchen and make it easy to find things. Some 63% of the Houzz study respondents said those were their most prominent reasons for revamping a kitchen.
How often should you replace kitchen cabinets?
Quality kitchen cabinets last in excellent condition between 15 and 20 years. Some people still have their 1970s cabinets in good shape. So it’ll depend on the cabinet materials you pick, uses, and the home improvement contractor you hired to help with the installation.
How Much Does a Kitchen Remodel Cost?
The national average cost of remodeling a kitchen is $42,000. That number can double or triple if you live in one of the coastal cities, such as San Francisco ($72,000). However, Trulia Research found that most households (47%) are only willing to spend $5,000 on kitchen upgrades. Only 20% are willing to pay more than $10,000.
Expect an upscale upgrade to go up to $136,000, according to HomeDepot. That would include high-end fittings such as an advanced water filtration system, designer faucets, advanced-technology appliances, and hardwood flooring.
What is the most expensive part of a kitchen remodel?
Often, many people splurge on countertops, new appliances, and cabinets. But you are more likely to spend more cash on what you deem indispensable, right?
Also, hiring a professional kitchen remodeling contractor can add to the materials’ cost as well.
How much should you spend on remodeling your kitchen?
Here’s a practical way to do that.
First, consider your reason for wanting to revamp your kitchen.
If you want to sell the house, spend as much as will help sell your home at a good price for you. However, keep in mind that you likely won’t recoup 100% of what you spend.
And if you are renovating an own kitchen, you can spend as much as you can afford.
An intelligent way to do so is to renovate slow and steady, over months or years. You can afford to add upscale features that way without crippling your financial life in the short-term.
Second, work within your budget.
Either way, you want to spend as much as you realistically can afford. For instance, it may not be wise to spend lavishly based on future income expectations. You can always upgrade later.
Third, consider getting help.
Work with a professional kitchen renovation company. Prefer an experienced contractor. The experience can mean they’ve had enough projects to know how to plan, where to start, and what to do in case of an unforeseen obstacle.
That can translate to efficiency in terms of remodeling time, costs, safety, and legalese.
How do you save on kitchen remodeling?
Here are some ways to keep kitchen improvement costs low.
- Revamp what you need
As many as 68% of homeowners remodel a kitchen, thinking they will sell the house within the next two years. But, only 17% of them renovate with the solid intention of selling the home within that time.
Ask yourself if what you are getting is what you want. It’ll help you prioritize your spending.
- Consider if it’s better to paint or replace kitchen cabinets?
You’ll be surprised what a new coat of paint can do. But if your cabinets are broken, tough to clean, and encourage mold growth, perhaps it is time for a replacement. If you have the cash for it, even better.
- Can you put new doors on old cabinets?
Refacing cabinets is practical to do if your cabinet boxes are strong enough to withstand the refacing process. The process involves removing the old doors and other hardware, such as face frames. Then the new doors need to come in with matching hardware. If your cabinet boxes are in good condition, an experienced contractor won’t have a problem doing that for you.
- Can you do a kitchen renovation yourself?
DIY kitchen remodeling tips can help you do a minor renovation, such as changing stand-alone appliances and repainting walls or cabinets. But unless you are a trained home remodeling expert, more significant tasks will be tough to accomplish. Think: installing new countertops, plumbing, electricals, backsplashes, and adding windows.
How often you remodel your kitchen will depend on your unique needs.
Perhaps you need to move house every couple of years for work or family reasons. And you prefer to customize your kitchen to look and feel truly yours wherever you go.
Or using the latest kitchen appliances may be vital to you. They are energy efficient, fast, and healthy.
Maybe you like to change your kitchen layout, cabinetry, and appliances to the latest kitchen designs. It serves you well, particularly when you host and entertain family, friends, and colleagues often.
Still, you can decide to revamp your kitchen any time you save up enough for it.
There’s no right or wrong way to do it.
Instead, you can learn to remodel your kitchen to your needs more affordably, with the right help, and hassle-free.