The Remodeling Corner

Janet Cook

For over 20 years, Remodeling magazine has conducted annual surveys of over 6,000 realtors, giving them 23 home remodeling project specifications and average costs and asking, “How much would this project increase the sale price of the home?” Typically, each year the exterior cosmetic improvements (i.e., garage door, siding, stone veneer, new door) have the highest return for the home’s asking price, because a good first impression is key for a potential buyer. Still, the reported speculation can be a useful tool to realize that a well-designed and built home remodel that you want to enjoy now will likely bring a monetary return on investment when it is time to sell in the future.

According to the Remodeling 2023 “Cost vs. Value Report,” the greatest return increase from last year is with a minor kitchen remodel, going from a 71.2% return in 2022 to a 90.2% return in 2023. A mid-range bathroom remodel also increased from 58.9% in 2022 to 66.7% in 2023. In a time when the supply of homes to buy is low and the mortgage interest is higher, people still value a home that is move-in ready so they can buy the most home they qualify for and not feel the need to remodel. The reason realtors predict an upscale remodel for a kitchen or bathroom has a lower rate of return is because of the impression that it was tailored to the homeowner’s style and tastes, and a buyer may not have made the same selections. In the last 10 years, though, a major kitchen remodel and upscale bathroom remodel had rates of return in a stronger economy (e.g., 2014) of 74.2% and 63.6%, respectively, and in the last 10 years, have averaged over 60% recoupment of cost. So, if a homeowner plans to wait to sell in a better economy, they may realize a greater return on investment on major remodels than what the 2023 survey is reporting.

The data shared here is for the Mountain Regional area of popular projects that homeowners are requesting, ranked in order of highest estimated return based on if one was selling at this time.

Minor Kitchen Remodel: Job Cost: $26,941, 2023 Estimated Cost Recouped: 90.2%

Window Replacement with Vinyl: Job Cost: $20,444, 2023 Estimated Cost Recouped: 72.5%

Mid-range Bathroom Remodel: Job Cost: $25,054, 2023 Estimated Cost Recouped: 66.7%

Mid-range Kitchen Remodel: Job Cost: $77,433, 2023 Estimated Cost Recouped: 43.5%

Bathroom Remodel Upscale: Job Cost: $77,947, 2023 Estimated Cost Recouped: 34.8%

Happy Home Remodeling! God Bless America!

© 2023 Zonda Media, a Delaware Corporation. Complete data from the Remodeling 2023 “Cost vs. Value Report” can be downloaded free at

Janet Cook, certified health coach and aging in place specialist, President of Cook Remodeling (celebrating their 44th year), invites you to see our website for a description of the scope of work of these project types.