Is your kitchen in need a facelift?
Here in the US, roughly 80% of homes are at least 20 years old, and 50% of houses were built prior to 1980. Kitchens are hard-working spaces that see a lot of wear and tear. They’re also one of the first areas of a home to look dated.
Consequently, kitchens are also one of the most costly rooms to renovate. As a result, they tend to get upgraded less frequently.
Which brings us to the big question. How much does a kitchen remodel cost?
Kitchen remodel costs can vary widely depending on the size of the space, scope of the renovation, the finishes you choose, etc.
However, because remodeling is (literally) our business, we can give you some expert guidelines on how much different types of kitchen remodels will run you. We also share some tips on how to budget for a kitchen remodel and how to maximize the budget you set, so keep reading.
Average Kitchen Remodel Price Brackets
The often quoted, somewhat misleading, national average kitchen remodel cost is $14,864. While it’s satisfying to get one’s teeth into a solid number, this is by no means a comprehensive representation of kitchen remodel costs and in reality is actually quite low.
For one thing, this cost data is from 2021. Since then, costs have risen as inflation reached record levels last year and a number like this accounts for a significant percentage of smaller DIY jobs.
Finally, averages aren’t exactly meaningful when budgeting for a kitchen remodel. A professional kitchen remodel can range anywhere between $10,000 to over $150k.
Sprucing up a studio apartment kitchen is vastly different from a luxury kitchen remodeling project.
Therefore, to give you a better idea of what it will cost to bring your specific dream kitchen to life, we’ve broken down the average price ranges of professional kitchen remodels according to the scale of the renovation, ranging from light remodel projects to luxury kitchen remodeling costs.
A Light Kitchen Remodel Cost
The average light kitchen remodel cost ranges between $25,000 and $35,000. Light kitchen remodels usually include upgrades like:
- Professional planning and installation
- Stock cabinets
- Solid surface countertop
- Tile backsplash
- Drop-in stainless steel sink
- Basic level appliances
- LVP flooring
- Paint walls, ceiling, and trim
- One new light fixture
Light kitchen remodels aren’t usually appropriate for upscale homes. For instance, installing laminate counters definitely won’t be in keeping with a luxury home remodeling project. But, light kitchen remodeling projects do offer a good ROI, making them an attractive option if you’re looking to sell the property in the near future or make rental property more attractive.
In fact, light kitchen remodels tend to attract a considerably higher ROI than more comprehensive remodels, netting an average ROI of 72%. Light kitchen remodels allow homeowners to incorporate the latest kitchen trends and colors, without making too many expensive alterations.
However, a light kitchen remodel isn’t always the answer, especially if you’re looking to make your kitchen more functional, custom, or high-end. Light kitchen remodels can update the feel of your space, but this might not be enough, especially if you’re looking for lux finishes, organization solutions, or things like built in appliances.
Midrange/Major Kitchen Remodel
If you’re contemplating a midrange to major kitchen remodel, you’re probably looking at a price tag of between $35,000 to $85,000.
Midrange kitchen remodels usually include:
- Professional planning and installation
- Semi-custom cabinets
- New pantry cabinet
- Granite countertop
- Decorative/mid mange backsplash
- Under-mount stainless sink
- Mid-upper range stainless appliances
- Mid-range hardwood flooring
- Paint walls, ceiling, and trim
- Layered lighting
Homeowners undertaking midrange/major kitchen remodels often opt to have the space professionally designed with an interior design service.
Upscale/Luxury Kitchen Remodel
Luxury kitchen remodel projects usually cost over $85k. Depending on the finishes, size, appliances, features, and layout, kitchen remodels in a luxury home can cost anywhere up to 100k or over.
Upscale kitchen remodels usually include:
High-end custom luxury wood cabinets with custom storage solutions
Double-sided island cabinet with a waterfall edge countertop
High-end cabinet knobs and pulls
Walk-in pantry with custom shelving
Quartz or marble countertop
Decorative/high-end imported porcelain or glass tile backsplash-(80 sq feet).
Under-mount sink and high-end faucet fixture
High-end stainless-steel appliances including commercial-grade cooktop, vent hood, double oven, built-in
refrigerator, built-in microwave & dishwasher with energy star ratings
New or refinished hardwood flooring
Paint walls, ceiling, and trim
Custom layered lighting solutions
- Layout changes
Upscale kitchen remodels definitely aren’t cheap, but they can transform a dated, run-of-the-mill kitchen into a show-stopping area in your home. What’s more, upscale kitchen remodels aren’t just all show. They can also seriously improve the functionality of your kitchen area and allow you to incorporate personalized features that fit your lifestyle.
Luxury kitchen remodels can also include:
- Wine storage
- Steamer ovens
- Pot fillers
- Custom panel appliances
- Seamless organization solutions
- Full extension drawers
- Dishwasher drawers
- Warming drawers
- Appliance garages
- Lux coffee bars
- Upscale pantry areas
Also, while luxury kitchen remodeling projects don’t command as high an ROI as light kitchen remodels—they can add a lot of value to your home. If you own an upmarket home, installing cheap finishes in your kitchen can bring down its value.
Factors That Influence Your Total Kitchen Remodel Cost
The level to which you want to upgrade your kitchen will play a big role in the total cost. However, this isn’t the only determining factor. Here are some other things that will affect your total kitchen remodel cost.
The Size of Your Kitchen
The size of your kitchen will have a considerable impact on the total cost. Material costs for things like tiling, cabinetry, and countertops increase per square foot.
A few extra square feet won’t influence labor costs all that much, but these will be more if you’re renovating a full-size kitchen vs something like a galley kitchen.
If you’re planning any layout changes in your kitchen remodel, this will definitely increase the price, especially if you’re looking to shift the placement of your sink, range, or outlets.
Changing the location of your sink or range usually means that you’ll need to get the gas lines and water pipes shifted. However, there are some simple configuration changes you can implement that might not require you to move gas or water pipes.
For instance, if you shift your dishwasher from one side of the sink to the other, you can still use the same water inlet and drain pipe.
Adding or removing an island, taking out a partition wall, or adding a bar counter are other layout changes that don’t necessarily require electrical or plumbing work.
However, don’t avoid electrical or plumbing work at all costs, simply because it’ll save money. Adding thoughtfully positioned outlets, an extra sink in the butler’s pantry or home bar, or an additional drawer dishwasher might increase your plumbing or electrical cost—but these types of features can add a huge amount of functionality.
Keeping vs. Replacing Existing Cabinetry
Another big price driver is how much you want to modify your cabinets. Cabinets and hardware typically account for around 35% of your total kitchen remodel cost.
Keeping your existing cabinets and opting to get them spray painted to match your new kitchen colors is the cheapest way to visually upgrade them. If you don’t like the style of the fronts, you can also replace the doors with new fronts that are more in line with the current kitchen trends.
Ripping out your existing cabinetry is the most expensive option, but it can be highly worthwhile if the box is made from cheap materials, or if the configuration isn’t functional.
If you want to install built-in appliances, organizational solutions like pull out spice racks and trash cans—then you will most likely need to have your cabinets rebuilt from scratch to incorporate these elements.
Appliances and Materials Costs
Another major cost factor is the quality of appliances and materials you choose. Appliances, range hoods, and ventilation usually account for around 14% kitchen renovation costs. Countertops, flooring, and lighting usually make up over 20% of kitchen reno costs.
However, the if you want to install premium finishes, materials, and fittings, you should increase your budget and expect the cost of these line items to add up to more than 40% of your total reno cost.
How to Budget for a Kitchen Remodel
Now that we’ve dug into the specifics of kitchen remodel costs, the next step is to set a budget. Creating a budget for your kitchen remodel will allow you to:
- Get clear on what you’re willing to spend on the project
- Make informed choices on the level of upgrade you want, as well as what finishes, appliances, and materials to choose
So how do you create a budget for your kitchen remodel?
How to Work Out How Much to Spend
A great place to start is by figuring out what you can afford. If you have the finances to pay out of pocket, determine how much capital you wish to dedicate to your kitchen remodel.
If you’re not sure how much you should invest in your kitchen, here’s a good rule of thumb. Ideally, a kitchen remodel shouldn’t cost more than 15% of your home’s value or less than 5%.
More than 15%, and you’ll be overinvesting. Less than 5%, and you might devalue your home.
If you’re planning to get financing for your kitchen remodel, you’ll also need to work out what monthly repayments you can comfortably afford, and over what term.
Add 20% For the Unforeseen
Whenever you tackle a home renovation project, there’s always the chance for unforeseen costs. For instance, if you discover mold, pests, structural issues, or electrics that aren’t up to code, this will add to the total cost.
Or, maybe you weren’t planning on replacing your kitchen flooring, but midway through the reno you realize that the tiles don’t extend underneath a cabinet that’s being permanently removed. If this happens, you will need to replace the flooring, unless you can source matching tiles.
A good renovation and design service, will do their best to minimize these types of things, but even the best contractor or interior designer can’t predict every unforeseen event in remodeling projects.
Therefore, it’s always a good idea to reserve 20% of your total budget for unexpected costs.
How to Maximize Your Kitchen Remodel Budget
Kitchen remodels require an investment, but this doesn’t mean there aren’t smart ways you can make your money work for you. Here are a couple tips for maximizing your kitchen remodel budget.
Keep or Tweak Your Existing Layout
Like we said above, layout chances can trigger a jump in your kitchen remodel cost. If your existing layout is functional, see if you can stick to the original floor plan.
If you do want to change the layout, speak to your contractor and see if there are clever ways you can reduce the need to reroute plumbing and gas lines.
Pick Your Priorities
Next, make your budget work for you by picking your priorities. Are you desperate for organizational solutions? Do you do a lot of cooking and want to invest in a high-end range?
Or maybe you’re not a big home cook, but you’d kill to have beautiful marble slab counters greet you each morning.
Figuring out your priority areas will help you balance cost vs value.
Another way you can make your budget go the extra mile is by investing in design elements that have big impact.
For instance, adding a backsplash won’t run you more than a few hundred dollars, but it can instantly upgrade your kitchen and make it feel more high end.
And if you’re really after maximum impact, here’s a hot tip.
Taking your backsplash to the ceiling can add subtle drama and draw the eye up, making your kitchen feel taller and more spacious.
Choose the Right Contractor
Finally, if you want your budget to go the extra mile, hiring the right contractor is key. A good contractor and design service will be able to save you time, disruption, stress, and hassle.
Besides this, there are hidden costs to going the DIY route. Renting tools and making mistakes while learning on the job can all trigger unforeseen areas of expense that many homeowners don’t factor in.
Are You Planning a Luxury Kitchen Remodeling Project?
There are various kitchen remodel cost factors that will determine how much you’ll need to invest in your kitchen reno, including the scale of the renovation, the materials you choose, and whether you need to make layout or structural changes.
Are you planning a kitchen remodel for a luxury home? If so, you need the right contractor. One that will help you bring your vision to life and seamlessly execute it.
Here at Michael James Remodeling, we offer a full-scale, turnkey remodeling service. Instead of you trying to source multiple contractors, we manage everything, from helping you design the space to every last construction detail. We also do our best to minimize disruption to your home by maintaining a clear work area.
Contact us to discuss your kitchen remodel project today.
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