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Kitchen Remodeling Costs, Budgeting, and Tips

Few improvements add as much to the comfort of your home as remodeling your kitchen. Having a functional and beautiful kitchen not only makes life easier, but it can give you pleasure every day. The kitchen is the heart of the home. It's where families spend the most time: eating, cooking, doing homework, paying bills, and just hanging out.

Create a Kitchen Remodeling Budget

But before you embark on a full kitchen remodel, take time to consider your options. On average, a major kitchen remodel costs $56,611 in the U.S., according to Remodeling magazine's annual Cost Vs. Value report. That figure is based on updating a 200-square foot kitchen with semi-custom wood cabinets, a 3-by-5' island, laminate countertops, new kitchen appliances, a standard double-tub stainless sink and new faucet, custom lighting, new flooring, and fresh paint and trim.

In comparison, a minor kitchen remodel averages $21,246, and includes refacing--rather than replacing--cabinets, new countertops, a new sink and faucet, new flooring, fresh paint and trim, and replacing only two kitchen appliances--the wall oven and cooktop with energy efficient models.

Guess which option gives you the greatest return on investment? The minor kitchen remodel. Remodeling's figures, based on regular contractor surveys, show that the lesser investment reaps a 79.5 percent return, versus a return of 76 percent for the pricier job.

An upscale kitchen remodel, which averages $110,964, brings an even lower return on investment of 70 percent.

Seek an Expert Opinion

Because your kitchen is such an important part of the home, and remodeling it is such an expensive proposition, consider seeking the help of a professional. An architect, interior designer or certified kitchen designer can help you create a design--and a budget--that works for you and your family. If you'd rather go the "do it yourself" route, check out design software programs that allow you to experiment with floor plans.

Even if you do decide to hire a professional, these software programs are a wise investment because they serve as a starting point and get you thinking about what you expect to gain from your kitchen remodel.

Remodeling, 2008-09 Cost Vs. Value Report

About the Author
Mary Butler is a Boulder, Colo.-based writer and editor, who spends much of her free time fixing up an old house.

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