2018 Kitchen and Bath Remodeling Cost vs Value

The 2018 Cost vs Value for Remodeling Projects in Milwaukee is Available Now!


The Cost vs Value report is compiled from a pool of real remodeling projects to determine an average cost and return on investment for specific project categories. The report is organized by national, regional, and individual DMA markets. Projects are broken into different brackets and each project type is provided a description to allow a homeowner to compare apples to apples.

The return on investment or “Resale Value” of a project is determined by real estate sales figures and is something commonly used by real estate agents to give clients an idea of what a project might cost to make a certain improvement on a home.

There is a large difference in performance between different regions throughout the U.S. and we wanted to highlight some of the different project performance in the Greater Milwaukee Area.


While we can’t publish all the data, it is free to download at You can navigate to the region or city you are most interested in seeing data for and download a report specific to that area. The data is compiled from a survey of Realtors and Remodelers and Builders.

In Milwaukee, we evaluated the year-over-year changes for a few projects, so we wanted to highlight those as they are most pertinent to our customers.

Overall, the best value-added home improvement projects in 2018 are Garage Door Replacement (81.7%) and Entry Door Replacement (81.6%). This means that for every dollar invested, the home value will increase by that percentage of the investment. For example, if an entry door replacement project cost $5,000, the resale value added to the home would be 81.6% of that investment, or $4,080.

Another notable highlight from the 2018 data is that we’ve seen significant increases in project costs over the past 5 years. This is likely due to the shortage of labor and general condition of the economy. We’ve also seen some fluctuation in recouped costs for projects like bathrooms (slight increase) and kitchens (significant increase).


Refreshing your kitchen, especially with new cabinets or countertops, is the most significant change in Milwaukee from the 2017 survey. Minor kitchen remodeling projects ($22,395 in Milwaukee vs $21,198 nationally) have proven to be an excellent investment for Milwaukee homeowners. With a return of nearly 71%, this is an improvement of more than 28% from 2017. A big reason for this is the hot home market in Waukesha and Washington and Ozaukee Counties. Many homes from the boom of the mid-2000’s are requiring updated kitchens creating an opportunity for minor upgrades.

A minor kitchen remodeling project is the best investment you can make for your home in 2018.


About Zuern

Since 1953, Zuern Building Products, through the dedication of now well over 100 employees, has grown to be one of the largest independent, family-owned and operated lumber and building material suppliers in Wisconsin. With four expansive lumberyards with complete showrooms in AllentonCedarburgFranklin and Watertown, Wisconsin, the Zuern team provides traditional lumber, millworkwindowsdoors, and cabinet supplies for homeowners, builders, and remodelers across the greater Milwaukee area.