How to Determine the Cost of Your Kitchen Remodel
So, you have decided to renovate your kitchen. Where to begin? The sad truth is that it all begins with money. So you need to know how to determine the cost of your kitchen remodel. We have gone out, found the facts, and put them together to save you some time.
As in any remodel, nobody can give you a fixed price for your kitchen remodel. What we can do is give you some information on the general and average costs of elements of your kitchen remodel. With a bit of ingenuity and dedication you can take these numbers and apply them to your own situation.
Keep in mind that almost every remodel will come with hidden costs. As you remodel your kitchen be prepared for these unexpected costs. These costs come from hidden problems, to permits you didn’t think you would need, to unavoidable delays. Set aside at least 15% of your total budget to cover these costs.
On average homeowners spend between $12,000 and $29,000 dollars on their kitchen remodel. Remember though, this is an average and your costs will vary widely depending on the size of your kitchen and the materials and appliances that you select. The upper end of a standard kitchen renovation can run up to $45,000.
As for how much you should spend on your kitchen, this is also a rough number. On average you should spend no more than 15% of the total value of your house on your kitchen. You may wonder why because it seems strange to say don’t spend every penny you have available. The problem comes in when your kitchen looks straight out of a magazine, and your living room is normal. You can overdo a remodel in one area and make it look like it doesn’t belong in your home.
Costs Broken Down by Item
- New cabinets cost on average of $120 per linear foot for standard cabinetry.
- Countertops begin around $20 per square foot for a laminate countertop
- New range costs start at around $500
- Dishwashers start at around $400
- Refrigerators start at around $450
- Microwaves, built in start at around $300, Over the range at $200, Countertop $80
- Sinks begin at $90 for stainless steel or acrylic single basin sink
- Kitchen flooring starts at around $1.90 per square foot for basic flooring
- New paint on your walls $4.50/square foot painted
- Wallpaper costs $4.68/square foot
- Lighting (Per Light), Recessed $269, pendant $300
When you have a fixed amount that you can spend it is often more helpful to look at how parts of your small kitchen remodel will cost. The advantage to this is that you can look at the larger picture and make decisions regarding what you should buy before starting your kitchen remodel.
- Labor can be anywhere where from 20 to 35 percent of your project costs.
- Cabinets are normally around 35% of your costs
- Spend around 20 percent on appliances
- Windows are about 10 percent of the cost
- Fixtures can be around 5 percent
- Fittings are usually about 3 percent
- Miscellaneous costs can often run around 7 percent
A look at specific parts of your kitchen remodel costs
One of the most visible options in your kitchen are your countertops. The most common choices are listed for you to get a good idea of the costs involved.
- Concrete ($2,600 – $5,300): A durable option, resists stains if sealed properly, but sealant will need to be reapplied periodically.
- Laminate ($1,200 – $2,000): Laminate/Formica is stain resistant and easy to clean. However it is often seen as cheap and can be damaged by sharp objects and extreme heat.
- Metal ($2,000 – $7,000): Metal is one of the most durable options that you can pick. It won’t melt, resists stains and doesn’t crack. It can scratch though and if scratched is often impossible to repair.
- Stone ($4,000 – $7,000): Natural durability including heat resistance, resists scratches as well. Regular maintenance is required, and stone can chip from impacts.
- Tile ($1,000 – $4,000): Tile is a more inexpensive countertop option. The good news is that this can be a DIY project. The bad news is that it is often difficult to clean and it is prone to chips and scratches.
- Wood ($2,000 – $7,000): This is good choice for those looking for a renewable option. Wood is heat resistant, but can be scratched. It must be sealed properly to resist stains though.
Cabinets often make a room’s first impression. If your cabinets are dated or damaged, potential buyers may walk away with a bad impression. The cost of new cabinets varies depending on whether you opt for custom or stock cabinets.
- Stock cabinets ($80 – $400) These are the kind of cabinets most often found at Ikea or other big box stores. The most affordable option, but this means the designs, colors, and styles are limited.
- Semi-custom cabinets ($150 – $1,000) Semi-custom cabinets are still found at the big box stores, but they have some customization available. The doors can be changed; cabinet depths can be varied. The styles and sizes are still somewhat limited.
- Custom cabinets ($500 – $1,500) As implied in the name custom cabinetry is built to your specific needs. These are created by a skilled carpenter and are made to exact specifications for your kitchen.
- Other cabinet options
- Refaced cabinets give your kitchen a new look without the cost of a complete set of cabinetry. This involves removing the current the current doors, finishes, and hardware. New doors, hardware, and facings are then purchased and put into place. The cost will depend on the new facing you select, and the cost of repairs.
- Refinished cabinets are less expensive since you keep all of the original elements. The doors, and facings are sanded and then refinished or repainted. Depending on how bad your cabinets are you may need a skilled carpenter to make repairs. This can increase the cost.
The appliances that you choose will be a major part of your budget. This can be a choice that blows your budget completely. Be conscious of the fact that rarely do you need the highest end gourmet style appliances. If you are not a gourmet cook, and most people are not, you don’t need gourmet appliances. While we don’t suggest going cheap, go with what you will use.
- Efficient appliances ($200 – $3,500) Appliances that have an EnergyStar rating are those that are certified by the Energy Department. These are appliances that give the best output with the lowest energy use. For long term savings these will lower your energy bills each month.
- Custom built-in appliances ($1,000 – $10,000) These appliances are almost always more expensive than other options. Appliances that are custom built to fit into your décor can give you a wow factor that is unmatched by other appliances, but you pay for that wow. These are the built in refrigerator that looks like your cabinetry, and the dishwasher that looks like a cabinet. Expect higher installation costs as well.
- High-end store bought appliances ($300 – $5,000) For your normal higher end remodel these are the appliances that you normally select from. These appliances have all of the newest innovations. Expect to find built in extra’s that still make your kitchen look luxurious and current. Be careful of going overboard on bells and whistles though. That flat panel display may seem ultra-cool to you today, but 5 years down the road it is just a dated reminder of a technology that didn’t catch on.
- Budget outlet appliances ($100 – $2,000) An easy choice is to go for your standard, no frills, budget appliances. That doesn’t have to mean they are not solid dependable options though. Your simple one goal appliance can be a solid addition to your kitchen. While they may not be anything to make your kitchen look luxurious a brand new stove can still bring your kitchen into a look that is more current and less dated than an old stove.
Your kitchen flooring cost is another cost that can be a large amount of your budget. There are a few special considerations for your kitchen flooring. Check out our kitchen flooring guide to get some more information on what you should be looking for in kitchen floorings. Factor into your decision that your flooring needs to withstand moisture, and damage from dropped pans and implements.
- Ceramic Tile ($1,300): The benefit to ceramic tile is that it is extremely durable. It rarely stains and requires little upkeep. Being a brittle material it is subject to chipping and cracking if damaged.
- Cork ($3,000): If you are looking for an eco-friendly option cork tops the list. Made from a renewable resource cork flooring has many benefits such as being mildew and stain resistant. It is also a softer flooring making standing in your kitchen a bit more comfortable. The downside is that it requires regular maintenance and is difficult to repair if damaged.
- Laminate ($2,500): One of the more inexpensive options, laminates can be found in a variety of different styles and colors. Laminates will require regular maintenance to ensure it keeps it’s stain resistance.
- Linoleum ($1,500): Your other eco-friendly option linoleum is not the one you remember from your youth. Linoleum is stain-resistant, and does require regular maintenance. Another downside is that if there is damage to the image layer, it is not able to be fixed.
- Stone ($1,400): One of the most sought after flooring is stone. This includes marble, granite and other natural stone options for your floor. Stone is durable but often prohibitively expensive. Without regular maintenance it can get to a point where it easily absorbs stains. It is also sometimes uncomfortable to stand on for long periods.
- Vinyl ($1,000): One of the most cost efficient options is vinyl flooring. Vinyl has a good balance of usability to cost ratios. Almost maintenance free, and durable, vinyl flooring is your go to for most kitchens. The downside is that it can emit volatile chemicals, is not resistant to heat, and can be seen as a “cheap” option.
- Wood (hardwood, engineered wood, bamboo) ($4,000): Hardwood is another of your expensive options. Highly sought after for most homes, hardwood gives a warm welcoming look. Unfortunately this is not the best flooring for your kitchen. The issue of moisture from the sink and dropped liquids means that unless you put in the effort to ensure regular maintenance is done your hardwood can go bad quickly.
Take your time as you research your kitchen costs. Keep track of the best values that you locate and build a budget that is realistic. The true cost of your kitchen remodel will be based on your wishes, and your home’s value. Plan your dream kitchen, but like the old saying goes “If your head is in the clouds, keep your feet on the ground”.