Major vs Minor Kitchen Remodel – What’s the Difference?

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The kitchen is the heart of the home . It is where you will make memories with your family and friends and cook meals made with love for those you care about the most. But, if your kitchen is dated or not functional, you may not want to spend time in your kitchen or use it as much as you would like to. A kitchen remodeling project can help to increase the function and aesthetic of your kitchen. If you are looking into a remodel, you may hear about minor kitchen remodels and major kitchen remodels. This may leave you wondering what is considered minor and what is considered major. Here is what you need to know about major versus minor kitchen remodels.

One of the first decisions you will have to make when you are looking to renovate or remodel a kitchen is to decide whether to undergo a major or minor remodel. In order to make this decision, you must first understand what they consist of. Once you fully understand the two, you can make an educated decision on whether you will need a major or minor kitchen remodel for your space.

A major kitchen remodel we completed in Houston, TX.

Read more about the project.

What Work Constitutes a Major Kitchen Remodel?

A major kitchen remodel generally consists of a kitchen remodel that is substantial. This could mean that your kitchen has to be gutted and completely put back together, that you are re-doing the layout in the kitchen, or that you are replacing the majority of the items in your kitchen. The average major kitchen remodel costs around $60,000 , so it is a substantial kitchen renovation project .

What Work Constitutes a Minor Kitchen Remodel?

A minor kitchen remodel is smaller in scope, size and cost from a major kitchen remodel. During a minor kitchen remodel, some of the items in the kitchen are left in place and/or reused, as is the basic footprint of the existing kitchen. For example, during a minor kitchen remodel, the existing cabinets may be left in place, and only the flooring and appliances are replaced. Or the kitchen cabinets may be repainted and a new backsplash may be installed, breathing new life into a dated kitchen. A minor kitchen remodel generally costs around $20,000 .

Overlap with Cost Tiers

When it comes to kitchen remodels, major and minor kitchen remodels are not the only terms used to define the type of remodel you are having done. Unhelpfully, the categories of kitchen remodels are not clearly defined and the same terminology is applied to different variables.

Some renovation companies also use price tiers to help define the remodeling work you are having done. In terms of cost, kitchen remodels are typically categorized into two or three cost tiers – often labelled minor or basic, midrange and major, upscale or luxury tiers.

Others, like the respected Remodeling magazine, divide kitchen remodels across scope (major vs minor) and quality of materials ( midrange vs upscale ). The cost of a remodel is the output of the chosen scope and quality.

This is a more helpful definition because, while there is a strong overlap between scope, quality and cost, it is possible for a minor (scope) and upscale (quality) remodel to match or even surpass the price of a major (scope) and midrange (quality) kitchen remodel. Thinking long-term, quality and scope also impact the frequency of kitchen remodels – major and upscale remodels are likely to better withstand the batterings kitchens endure each day. They will cost more initially, but you’ll get more out of them.

Ultimately, it is your budget that will determine the interplay between scope and quality. Unless you are working with an unrestricted budget, you’ll need to reach a compromise between scope and quality. It’s a personal decision but there are also lots of tricks and tips you can use for more flexibility and to get more out of your budget. For example, materials bought at the right time or from the right source can save money and some cosmetic touches can give off the appearance of more substantial changes.

Major vs Minor Kitchen Remodel – Cost Differences

There are many factors that affect exactly how much you will pay for a major versus minor kitchen remodel project , including what part of the country you live in, the average cost for contractors, how much work needs to be done in your kitchen, and the quality of the materials and appliances you select. According to Remodeling’s 2019 Cost vs Value Report , the national average for a minor midrange kitchen remodel is about $22,500. A midrange major kitchen remodel can cost $66,200. And an upscale major kitchen remodel can top out at over $131,500.

For Texas (our home state) and the West South Central Region, average costs were a fraction below the national average.

HomeAdvisor obtained data from nearly 7,000 of its members – the average kitchen remodeling job came in at a slightly higher $23,402 but with a lower high end range.

Since there is such a wide range between the prices, it is important to get estimates for your project . This will help you to see approximately how much your kitchen remodel will cost and whether you can afford it.

What Kitchen Remodels Provide the Best Value for Money?

Lastly, you need to consider how much value a kitchen remodel will provide for your home , or the return on investment . No one wants to invest in an expensive kitchen, only to learn it doesn’t add value to the home . It is important to note that kitchen remodels do not add a 100 percent or more return on investment . This means that if you spend $30,000 on a kitchen remodel, your home’s value is not going to increase by that full $30,000. In most cases, it can range between a 50 to 85 percent return on investment . In general, a minor midrange kitchen remodel provides you with the highest return on investment , at around 80 percent, while major upscale kitchen remodels come in with the lowest return on investment , generally around 60 percent. A great remodeling company can help you determine what items can help with your return on investment based on the size and price of your home and the general area you reside in.

There are many factors you need to consider when deciding whether you should have a minor or major remodel for your kitchen, including the current state of your kitchen, your budget , and the desired finished look for your project . A kitchen remodel is not a small decision, and is not one you should take lightly.

Legal Eagle Contractors is a Houston-based contractor and home builder with decades of experience remodeling kitchens , bathrooms and all other rooms of the house.

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