Cost Guide And Materials
Kitchen Remodel Cost Guide
Select Your Kitchen Remodeling Project
Table of Contents
- Where Will Your Kitchen Budget Go?
- Small Kitchen Remodel
- Mid-Range Kitchen Remodel
- High-End Kitchen Remodel
- Kitchen Remodel Cost Factors
- Common Kitchen Projects
- Final Questions to Ask Before Kitchen Remodel
- Kitchen Inspiration
Remodeling a kitchen is one of the most effective ways to raise the overall value of a home before selling, and it can be a wonderful way to give any home a face-lift. The cost of remodeling a kitchen can vary widely depending on the size and scope of your project, with the national average coming in around $17,000, with most homeowners spending between $12,000 and $21,000. This guide can help estimate your costs and give you a starting point for various upgrades and services.
Where Will Your Kitchen Budget Go?
Before you budget, you must decide what you want to remodel. Some homeowners don’t have the budget or time to completely remodel the entire kitchen. As such, you have to pick and choose your additions. Remember, the smallest details can sometimes make the biggest difference. Refacing your kitchen cabinets or replacing your kitchen hardware can oftentimes have as big an effect as large kitchen renovation projects.
Nonetheless, if you you’ve reviewed our average kitchen remodeling costs above, you’ll want to know where every dollar is going. While every kitchen renovation project is different, common trends have emerged over the years. According to the National Kitchen & Bath Association, kitchen remodeling costs break down as follows:
- Cabinetry & Hardware: 29%
- Installation: 17%
- Appliances & Ventilation: 14%
- Countertops: 10%
- Flooring: 7%
- Walls & Ceilings: 5%
- Lighting: 5%
- Design Fees: 4%
- Doors & Windows: 4%
- Faucets & Plumbing: 4%
- Other: 1%
Remember that the above numbers are averages. Just because most homeowners spend nearly 30% of their budget on cabinetry and hardware, that doesn’t mean you have to as well. If you think your floors are in really bad shape, spend more there. Even if you’re completely renovating your kitchen, you must spend and distribute your budget wisely. To ensure you’re putting your money where it needs to be, continue reading below.
Small Kitchen Remodel
Budget: $1,000 - $12,000
While many of the prices above may seem intimidating, know that all include professional installation or repair. If you’re working with a small kitchen, expect to pay between $5,000 and $12,000 on your kitchen renovation. Nonetheless, whether you’re working with a small or big kitchen, the best way to cut costs is to DIY. ImproveNet has a wide array of DIY articles and videos, no matter how much or little DIY experience you may have.
If you have to hire a pro and still want to limit your kitchen remodeling costs, focus on smaller ticket items like cabinet repairs, hardware changes, the faucet or smaller appliances. See their costs below:
- Cabinet Repairs: Even durable cabinets become damaged over time. Whether it’s the kids horsing around or an adult slamming one too hard, cabinets need repairs every so often. Luckily, the average cost of cabinet repair is only $364.
- Hardware Updates: Hardware is often referred to as the jewelry of the cabinetry. Luckily, certain styles and types of hardware are cheap, but can still transform the look and feel of any kitchen. Just know that a typical kitchen can have anywhere between 20-40 knobs and pulls. Remember, the cheaper items will not last as long as the more expensive purchases.
- Faucet Installation: Believe it or not, installing a kitchen sink is not expensive, with the average coming in at $250. If you have recently updated your kitchen and didn’t touch the faucet, chances are, your old sink does not mesh well with the new design. Given its low cost, there’s no reason to put it off any longer.
- Replace Appliances: There are millions of kitchen appliances out there, which means there is the right fridge, stove or dishwasher for every kitchen and its remodeling budget. The average cost of having an appliance installed in the kitchen is $471.
Mid-Range Kitchen Remodel
Budget: $12,000 - $20,000
Those homeowners willing to spend between $12,000 and $20,000 can afford a few high-end finishes as well as not worry about completing the project yourself. While finding your own materials or helping out your pro will certainly decrease your total cost, a mid-range kitchen remodel can be completed without your assistance.
If you have the money, start off by replacing old or inexpensive counter materials, such as laminate. Granite and corian are popular choices, but Quartz, while pricey, has been dominating the new the kitchen counter industry for the last few years and we don’t see that trend going away anytime soon.
Additionally, you also have the budget to repaint the kitchen if you wish. If you want your kitchen to look bigger, go with white or other bright colors. An all-white kitchen can create an illusion of roominess, as it offers a seamless transition from walls to floors.
Finally, in addition to all projects discussed below, you should consider installing energy-efficient lighting in the ceiling and under the cabinet. Their upfront costs may be more, but they’ll certainly last and help the environment.
High-End Kitchen Remodel
Once you get beyond $20,000, your wish list is almost endless (without going crazy). After replacing all counters and refacing or installing new cabinets, focus on the flooring, backsplash and island. If you don’t have a kitchen island, go out and find a kitchen pro to add one right away. They are becoming a staple in kitchens across the country. They not only add a new and improved design feature, but also improves your storage and expands your seating.
Other high-end kitchen updates may include:
- Installing custom cabinets
- Installing high-end kitchen appliances
- Adding recessed lighting and rewiring as necessary
- Opting for additional overhead lighting
- Adding tech features such as automatic lights or Bluetooth speakers
Bear in mind, the above prices and budgets are based on averages across the country. To get an exact estimate, consult a kitchen remodeling pro in your area.
Kitchen Remodel Cost Factors
Besides the budget, cost of materials and price to hire a pro, there are other factors that greatly affect your total kitchen renovation cost. Return on investment (ROI) is key with not only kitchen remodels, but any remodel throughout the house. Furthermore, your general taste, how long you plan on living in the home and general kitchen remodeling trends can all increase or decrease your total kitchen renovation cost.
The No. 1 component of any kitchen remodel is your budget. If you don’t have the money, you can’t spend it. It’s imperative that all homeowners know exactly how much you can and can’t spend on a kitchen remodel. Those who don’t set a budget almost always go over and spend way more than they originally intended.
Like any renovation project, always have a contingency budget. Surprises can and will happen when you open up the walls, floors or other components you can’t see before the remodel begins.
Cost of Materials
Even if you DIY the entire kitchen, you still have to pay for the raw materials. Their overall costs will depend on your budget and style. As previously discussed, there is a wide range of prices for all counters, cabinets, flooring types and so on. For example, laminate counters start at $25/sf, while engineered quartz counters start at $38/sf.
Price to Hire A Pro
Most kitchen renovations are not simple and as such, many homeowners opt to hire a pro. Well, no one works for free and that expert labor will add to your total costs. For mid-range or high-end kitchen remodels, expect 25% of your total budget to go towards labor.
ROI should always be in the back of your mind throughout your renovation. Unless you plan to live in your house for the rest of your life or longer than 20 years, your potential ROI will affect your total renovation cost.
Sadly, most home remodeling projects do not return 100% of your investment. In fact, according to Remodeling’s 2016 Cost Vs. Value report, only one project will return a positive investment (attic insulation). Nonetheless, that doesn’t mean you should skip all remodeling projects. After all, if you plan to live in your house for another 10 years, you will enjoy those long overdue upgrades. You’ll get a higher sale price down the line and a higher quality of life living with a remodeled kitchen.
Speaking of sale price, your expected date of sale has an affect on your total cost. Like I said above, if you plan on living in the home for a long time, don’t be afraid to splurge. After all, this is your kitchen, one of the most trafficked rooms in any house. However, if you plan on selling your house in the near future, say less than three years after the remodel, don’t go crazy with your kitchen renovation.
According to HomeAdvsior, you should spend between 5% and 15% of your home's total value on your kitchen remodel if you plan to sell your home in the near future. This is the optimum range to spend and expect to recoup during a home's resale.
Additionally, personal taste will increase or decrease the total cost of your kitchen remodel. Some of us have expensive taste while others are content with inexpensive solutions such as laminate counters or plain white walls. Furthermore, as time moves on, more and more homeowners are opting for modern touches, which of course come with a higher price tag. Traditional kitchens are still very popular, but they also tend to be less expensive than modern designs. Needless to say, whether it’s the counters, appliances, dishwasher or cabinets, your personal taste will alter your kitchen renovation cost.
Kitchen Remodeling Trends
Finally, kitchen trends can make or break your kitchen remodeling budget. Going back to simple economics, as demand goes up, so does the price. Therefore, when certain materials are trending, such as quartz counters, those prices go up. After all, if you can expect more in return the day you sell, you should expect a higher upfront cost.
Therefore, before you start your kitchen redo, research what’s trending. According to Kitchen Remodeling Trends for 2016, the following materials and designs are hot:
- Neutral Kitchen Colors
- Thin, Quarts Countertops
- Contemporary Cabinet Designs
- Hardwood Flooring
- Gray Tones
- Sleek Appliances
- Decorating with Glass or Metal
Common Kitchen Projects
If the kitchen is the heart of the home, then the countertops might be called the heart of the kitchen. Therefore, as you can tell above, it’s one of the most popular kitchen remodeling projects. The average cost of having new countertops installed is $3,401, but it's important to realize how much this can vary from project to project. The price will depend on the size of your kitchen, the simplicity of the layout and the materials used.
Tile and laminate countertops are the cheapest option, but beware, laminate is the easiest material to chip and is not very durable. As you move up the chain, price and longevity increase. Below are the average kitchen countertop prices for the most popular counters.
- Tile Countertops: Prices start at $6/sf.
- Laminate Countertops: Prices start at $25/sf.
- Granite Countertops: Prices start at $35/sf, but can go up to $100/sf.
- Soapstone Countertops: Prices start at $36/sf.
- Quartz Countertops: Prices start at $38/sf.
- Butcher Block Countertops: Prices start at $40/sf.
- Marble Countertops: Prices start at $40/sf.
- Corian Or Acrylic Countertops: Prices start at $42/sf.
- Concrete Countertops: Prices start at $55/sf.
Worn down cabinets stand out like a sore thumb. Whether it’s scratched paint, lose handles or chipped corners, old cabinets should be one of the first considerations of your kitchen remodel.
Fortunately, unlike your counters, there are plenty of remodeling tactics to choose from. For kitchen cabinets, you can install new, replace, refinish or repair your cabinets. The prices vary as on the amount of work and number of cabinets being altered.
Furthermore, there are different cabinet prices depending on the style and location.
- Custom Kitchen Cabinets: Prices start at $60/linear foot
- Tall Kitchen Cabinets: Prices start at $298/sf
- Kitchen Base Cabinets: Prices start at $300/cabinet
The third wheel of the kitchen tricycle is the flooring. After the counters, cabinets and flooring, the rest of the kitchen remodel gets easy. Nevertheless, flooring will not come fast or cheap.
Traditionally, tile was the No. 1 option for all kitchens. It didn’t matter if you wanted a traditional or contemporary design, tile was the source. However, as we mentioned above, hardwood flooring has certainly come around over the years. While it can be expensive, hardwood offers a modern, yet rustic touch to the heart of the home.
Fortunately, even if you don’t like wood, you have plenty of options to choose from when it comes to kitchen flooring. Most tiles start at $5/sf, while hardwood begins at $6/sf. The prices go up from there, all the way to $50/sf for stone. More prices below:
- Tile Flooring: Prices start at $2/sf.
- Bamboo Flooring: Prices start at $2/sf.
- Travertine Flooring: Prices start at $3/sf.
- Sheet Vinyl Flooring: Prices start at $3.50/sf.
- Wood Flooring: Prices start at $6/sf.
- Limestone Flooring: Prices start at $8/sf.
With the three big players out of the way, we can focus on the smaller items that can still make or break a kitchen remodeling budget. When you talk about appliances, you have to first consider the stove, oven, fridge and dishwasher. All elements must blend with your kitchen design. Once again, if you’re going to live in your house for at least a few years after the remodel, don’t update two appliances and the leave one outdated appliance sitting in the corner. It will undoubtedly stick out.
As always, there is a wide range of prices for all kitchen appliances. In the end, the price will largely depend on installation, material chosen and the final design. According to HomeAdvisor:
- Budget outlet appliances go as high as $2,000.
- EnergyStar appliances go as high as $3,500.
- High-end store bought appliances go as high as $5,000.
- Custom built-in appliances go as high as $10,000.
The layout of kitchens has drastically changed over the years. While the kitchen triangle is still important, many creative designers and homeowners have completely transformed kitchen layouts. As such, with any major kitchen remodel, you must consider plumbing costs. If you want to move your sink or dishwasher to the other side of the room, you may have to install new pipes. Additionally, for new sinks, you may have to add a new drain. While the costs are not large, they must be considered when researching kitchen remodeling costs.
Much like your plumbing, gas lines may be moved during a major remodeling project. While you should certainly try to avoid, as it can add thousands to the overall project, just know that is can be done with an experience electrician.
Just like plumbing, new electrical issues may come to light as soon as you take down a wall or two. Since you are already remodeling the kitchen, going into walls and moving large appliances around, you might as well tackle those longstanding electrical problems you’ve been putting off.
Additionally, you may have to move an outlet or two. As such, outlet installation must be considered. Below are some common electrical costs that may come up during your kitchen renovation:
- Electrical Switch Installation: $174
- Outlet Installation: $221
- Hire A Local Electrician: $279
- Light Fixture Installation: $1,067
- Electrical Panels & Wiring Installation: $1,107
Final Questions to Ask Before Kitchen Remodel
After you determine your budget, there are still plenty of questions you must answer before starting any kitchen renovation project. The below questions will not only clear your mind and simplify the entire process, but save you both time and money in the long run.
1. What Do I Like About Other Kitchens or My Current Kitchen?
Inspiration can come from anywhere. It can hit you in the car, while watching HGTV, hanging out at friend’s place or just browsing Pinterest. No matter where you get it from, make sure you’re noting what you like and dislike.
Before any remodel, everyone has a rough idea of what they want the final product to be. Sadly, we can’t always see an exact replica of what we have on our mind. Therefore, when you see a kitchen design, appliance or layout you like, take a picture, save a pin or do whatever you can to not lose that image. If you’re meeting with a kitchen designer, show them everything you saved. It will undoubtedly make the process much easier.
2. How Will I Use My Future Kitchen?
Homeowners use kitchens in different ways. For those of you who eat out a lot, don’t have children or prefer to go to other housewarming parties may not have use for an open layout or large kitchen island. In essence, if you don’t use the kitchen that often, it may make more sense to invest your money elsewhere in the home (that is, unless you’re selling soon).
On the other side of the spectrum, those homeowners who like to cook, host dinner parties or have small children would greatly benefit from an open kitchen layout with a large island.
Open concepts not only make the room feel bigger, but also give you a clear sight into the living room, where your little ones are most likely running around. Open floor plans give any mom or dad that extra sense of safety knowing they can always have an eye on the kids.
Needless to say, how you use your kitchen largely affects your kitchen remodeling cost.
3. How Long Can We Function Without A Kitchen?
How you use your kitchen also affects how long you can last without a working kitchen. Believe it or not, kitchen remodels can get very dirty, chaotic and loud. As you can imagine, such an area does not lend itself to a family that cooks and eats every meal at home.
Therefore, if you’re planning a large kitchen remodeling project, prepare to eat out or even move out. It may sound scary and expensive to move out of your home, but believe it or not, you could end up saving money and reducing the overall completion time. You’re giving the contractor more freedom and space to complete the project faster. It eliminates a lot of cleaning they would have to do if you were occupying the home.
ImproveNet has heard from homeowners who originally tried to live through the kitchen remodel, but ended up moving out in the middle. If you use your kitchen a lot, it’s not worth living through a dirty and messy kitchen renovation.
4. When Do I Plan to Sell?
This question was already discussed above, but it deserves repeating. All homeowners must keep their five-year plan in mind as you plan your kitchen remodel. If you plan on living in the home for more than five years, remodel and decorate however you wish. If you plan on selling soon, keep trends and neutral designs in mind. While you may love an orange accent wall, chances are, potential buyers will not.
As noted above, one can gather kitchen inspiration from a myriad of places. Whether it’s Pinterest, friends’ homes, HGTV or other home remodeling websites, you should never have to settle when it comes to kitchen inspiration.
Additionally, we are constantly updating the ImproveNet blog with kitchen design tricks, costs, designs and trends. Check out all our kitchen stories here.
Last updated on Apr 27, 2016
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