Before you renovate your kitchen, determine what your budget needs to look like.
A kitchen renovation is a huge commitment for any homeowner and requires careful planning. Understanding the financial resources required for the project is crucial, and you’ll need to develop a full budget that takes into account how much materials, labor and installation will cost when you decide to undertake a project of any size.
The total cost of revamping your kitchen will vary considerably depending on the location of your property, the size of your space and the materials you want to use. How you use your kitchen will also play a role in determining your total budget. A home chef may want to opt for more pricey appliances whereas a person concerned with the look of their kitchen may want to choose the fixtures found in popular magazines.
While some jobs can be tackled by DIY enthusiasts, the larger jobs that involve electrical or plumbing work should be done by professionals. You should consult a licensed home contractor for any project that requires moving appliances, building walls or changing the footprint of your kitchen.
How much will a kitchen renovation cost?
The average cost for a kitchen remodel depends on how large your space is, what you want to renovate, how you plan on tackling the renovations and where you live. When determining your budget, try to think of everything you might include and how much you can afford to spend. The costs can add up quickly, so it’s best to start with a budget in mind and work your renovation into it rather than cutting corners to get the latest design.
Minor Renovations: $10,000 to $25,000
Minor upgrades might not feel minor at the time, but they generally involve less structural changes than other, larger renovations. The lack of structural work means that you won’t have to spend as much to improve your kitchen. This type of renovation generally involves simple additions such as new cabinet knobs, installing new light fixtures or adding a backsplash–all projects a home owner can tackle without the help of a professional. The major features of a kitchen, like the floor and ceiling, will remain intact.
Choose your materials wisely by noting warranty terms and opting for reputable brands. This can make the difference between a kitchen that looks cheap and one that looks professional, and it can protect you from things going wrong in the future, costing you extra money.
If you’re after luxury but on a small budget, there are several ways you can minimize your costs:
- Leave your plumbing and electrical outlets in their current position.
- Choose an acrylic backsplash instead of expensive tiles.
- Opt for laminate wood that can snap together rather than real wood that needs a professional.
- Keep your existing appliances and repair them as needed.
Moderate Renovations: $25,000 to $45,000
For a moderate kitchen renovation, you can upgrade your space and make some changes to the shell structure by choosing new flooring, replacing a window or relocating lighting. However, this estimate assumes that the major features of the kitchen will stay in place and the floor plan won’t change dramatically.
You’ll also want to include the minor upgrades as well. Brand-new cabinets with older fixtures don’t mesh, so make sure you have these additional costs worked into your budget. At the higher end of this estimate, people start incorporating an open plan into their design, but this may start deplete your budget if your house is older or the wall between your kitchen and another room is load bearing.
It’s best to hire a designer and/or contractor at this point to handle coordinating multiple projects at once.
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Major: $45,000 to $75,000+
The major difference between a moderate kitchen renovation and a major one is the budget. You could have the same work done, but if you choose to go with high-end finishes, you should expect a high-end cost. It may also include a new layout of the kitchen space, removal or addition of walls, adjustments to the height of the ceiling and other expensive projects. In this case, much of your budget may go to things people can’t see, but it will be worth it to have the design you want.
These aren’t DIY projects. With this large of a budget, you’ll want to invest in a professional doing the labor for you, especially if you’re having electrical, structural or plumbing work done. A contractor and designer can come in handy to organize the renovations and bring your vision to life.
A major renovation is expensive and takes months to complete, but once its done, you’ll have a stylish and durable kitchen that will last for years to come.
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What are the costs for different parts of a kitchen?
Each component of a kitchen renovation costs a different amount, so we’ve broken it down to give you a solid starting point when planning your budget.
Since many kitchens are done every few decades, appliances will most likely need to be replaced. Your other style choices will influence whether you opt for stainless steel or another, more classic look. Keep your budget in mind when deciding what to buy.
- Minor expense: If nothing needs to be replaced urgently, keep your old appliances. This is the easiest way to save money, and there’s nothing wrong with postponing a large purchase until you have the money to pay for it.
- Moderate expense: Having a portion of your budget earmarked for appliances is your best bet if they need replacing. You can find appliance packages that include a fridge, range, dishwasher and microwave for under $5,000.
- Major expense: Redoing your whole kitchen with name-brand appliances will certainly put a large dent in your wallet. Expect to pay upwards of $10,000 if you want a space ready for a professional chef.
One of the most influential kitchen renovation designs you’ll make is selecting the right countertop for your kitchen. Factors such as durability and style are likely to guide your decision when choosing between different materials. There’s a surface for every budget, so do your research and contact multiple businesses to find a counter that fulfills your needs.
Prices change quickly in the countertop industry and vary greatly depending on where you live. Below you can find rough averages of countertop prices as found on CounterTopguides.com and improvenet.
|Granite or Marble||$45/ft2||$250/ft2|
- Minor expense: Repairing small problem areas, like re-sealing the joints between the backsplash and the counter, will be your cheapest option and can be handled by a DIY enthusiast if you want to save on labor costs.
- Moderate expense: Replacing your current counter with laminate or tile surface is much cheaper than stone or wood counters, but the resell value will be impacted.
- Major expense: Stone counters, quartz and granite being the most popular, are pricey. The materials cost anywhere from $50 to $300 a square foot, and labor costs will vary based on where you live, what material you choose and the complexity of the installation.
Updating your counters is one of the easiest ways to update the entire look of your kitchen. When you’re selecting which option to go with, keep the return on investment in mind. You don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on an exotic stone counter if it won’t improve the value of your home.
The variety of cabinet designs, materials and hardware can put many homeowners into a state of confusion as to what to pick. Do you want a custom fit, or are you happy with cabinets you can take out of the box? Do you need someone to install them for you, or are you handy enough to hang them yourself? What type of wood do you want to use? How do you want the doors and drawers to look? What material do you want for your handles, and does their design matter?
All of these questions and more will influence your choice. Take the time to browse retailers, and if you find yourself overwhelmed, there are designers who specialize in cabinets and can help.
- Minor expense: Quick touch ups are cheap and easy to do yourself. Putting on a fresh coat of paint, replacing the handles and finding new organization tools will cost you materials and a few hours’ time. Not bad if you’re looking for an inexpensive kitchen remodel.
- Moderate expense: If you’re going to be replacing your cabinets entirely and are concerned with budget, consider buying semi-custom cabinets. These can be fitted for your kitchen for a fraction of the cost of fully custom cabinets.
- Major expense: High-quality wood custom cabinets with expensive fixtures will be the most expensive option and cost you anywhere from $500 to $1,500 per linear foot.
You’ll also need to include the cost of having your cabinets professionally installed. The cost of labor will depend on the size of your kitchen and the cabinets themselves. Have multiple builders give you estimates before you start on the project, and don’t forget to ask for references and pictures of their earlier work. Bad installation can be costly to fix, so you’ll want to prevent the problem by hiring someone who is trustworthy and has a capable team.
The type of sink you choose will impact the overall aesthetic of your kitchen. The type of sink you have or want to have will impact how much you’ll have to spend. Some variations will require you to hire a professional plumber, while others others can be installed by anyone with a little elbow grease. From basic models with two-way handles to trendy curved taps, there is an infinite choice of sinks to suit every budget.
- Minor expense: Whether you decide to replace the faucet or the entire sink, doing it yourself will save you a large chunk of change. There are plenty of drop-in sink models that cost less than $500 that you can replace with only a few hours of work.
- Moderate expense: Undermount and farmhouse sinks are much more expensive than their drop-in counterparts and will require outside help to install. Expect to pay anywhere from $250 to $1,000 for the sink, and don’t forget to budget an additional few hundred for installation.
- Major expense: In addition to the costs of a new sink and its installation, a person looking for garbage disposal hookup or specialized features will have to pay more. The more unique you want your sink to be, the more it will cost.
There is a backsplash available for people with any budget. From simple ceramic tiles to glass tiles on mesh, you can find a stylish design that suits your own personal aesthetic. Tile prices vary by location and quality, below you can find the average price range for backsplash costs as found on RemodelingExpense.com.
- Minor expense: Ceramic tile costs $10 to $15 per square foot, but you’ll also need to purchase the mortal and sealer. Another easy way to save money is to only add backsplash over your stovetop and sink, then paint the remaining portion of the wall between the counter and cabinets. Either way, you’ll likely be able to tackle this project yourself.
- Moderate expense: Because tiles come in a range of styles and materials, you can find moderately-priced options that run between $20 to $40 per square foot.
- Major expense: Complex patterns or exotic materials will increase the price of your backsplash. If you have the budget for it, this can add a unique feature to your kitchen.
If you’re not into the DIY scene or want a pattern that exceeds your ability, labor will add another cost. There are few national averages for the cost of installation since each project is different, but you should expect to pay a flat fee to the installation team, and many builders will charge an additional fee per hour or per square foot.
The size of the area and the material you want to use will impact the overall cost of the flooring. Inexpensive materials such as vinyl and linoleum may reduce costs in the short term, but you need to consider whether these materials will endure and if they will add value to your home. Wood and tile require a larger upfront investment, but they will last much longer and appeal to buyers if you’re looking to sell.
Based on national averages, the materials and installation of a new kitchen floor will cost approximately $3,000. That’s why it’s important to know exactly what type of material is desired and how many square meters need to be covered.
Below are the average costs of flooring material listed by Home Advisor.
|Vinyl (not including a sub-floor if needed)||$0.50-$2.00ft2||$2.50-$5.00/ft2||$3.00-$5.00/ft2|
|Tiles||$1.30/ft2 (ceramic or porcelain)||$3/ft2 (slate)||$7.50/ft2 (marble)|
|Hardwood||$3-$6/ft2 (soft wood)||$5-$10/ft2||$8-$14/ft2 (exotic woods)|
- Basic: Laminate wood or tile is one of the more popular choices in modern kitchens. Not only are the materials cheaper, but the installation costs will be lower. Handy homeowners might even choose to tackle this project themselves, further lowering the total price. ^Home Advisor states the average cost per square foot for laminate flooring with a hardwood finish is about $1 to $2, and the price for installation ranges between $2 to $8.
- Standard: A solid mid-range option for your kitchen flooring is tile. They’re durable, easy to clean and come in multiple styles to suit anyone’s budget. If you have a busy space, you should opt for higher quality, which runs about $2 to $7 a square foot for ceramic and $6 to $15 a square foot for stone. Labor costs vary drastically by region and type of tile being installed. You should contact multiple teams to find an average in your area.
- Premium: Wood is a classic choice for many homes, but it can be quite expensive–especially since you likely won’t be installing them in just your kitchen. Decent quality hardwoods, like oak and maple, are durable and can last many years in a busy kitchen, but you’ll pay the price. According to Home Advisor, materials cost $5 to $10 a square foot and labor will add an additional $3 to $10 per square foot. More exotic types of wood will be more expensive, and complex patterns will take more time to install.
Once you’ve covered the big ticket items of a renovation, it’s time to turn your attention to the smaller things that you may have missed. Lighting, decor, and window coverings all play a role in the overall design of your kitchen.
- Lighting. If you’re looking to change the style of your lighting–for instance, installing recessed lighting above an island–you should make room in your budget for the fixture and the cost of an electrician.
- Decor. It’s so simple, but decor can have a huge impact. Your kitchen towels, seating and other aesthetic choices will show others your style. These are inexpensive ways to showcase your personal taste.
- Window coverings. Blinds and drapes have a large range of price points, so find options that fit your budget and match the other design choices you’ve made.
Should I consider any other costs?
There is certainly much more to a kitchen renovation than picking out your cabinets and floors. Depending on the magnitude of your remodel, you might have to hire a number of professionals to cover the design and building costs. Most moderate and major kitchen renovations require a certified professional to get the job done right–and legally.
- Contractor: A general contractor will be able to plan a large renovation and coordinate different teams to get your kitchen remodeled finished quickly.
- Designer: A designer is good for couples with opposite styles or people who aren’t sure what they want.
- Electrician: If you need any wiring reworked, you should cease other jobs immediately and contact an electrician.
- Plumber: As with the electrician, a plumber should be contacted if you need any pipes moved or changed.
- Engineer: Opening up a space or removing walls requires an engineer.
In addition, certain renovations require permits, which usually cost a few hundred dollars.
Hiring a professional may be a necessary part of your renovations, but you should have multiple companies come in and give you an estimate for the work they’ll be doing. Doing this will help you save money and find the professional help you’ll need to turn your dream kitchen into reality.
How much value can I expect to add to my house?Kitchen investments should be seen as an investment in a house’s value. Because of this, it’s important to keep your budget in line with how much you’d like to make after the renovation is complete. According to Remodeling magazine’s annual Cost vs. Value report, a large kitchen remodel costs around $60,000 and nets $40,000 in return. A smaller kitchen remodel with a smaller budget will cost about $21,000 and net $16,500 in return. Your return-on-investment may not pay for the full cost of the renovation, but over time it will increase the equity your home has and thus increase its total value.
Ways to finance your kitchen renovation
- Borrow a home equity loan.
A home equity loan is a secured loan–you’ll use your house as collateral. By doing this, you can take advantage of lower interest rates and a large pool of financing that you might not otherwise have access to.
- Open a home equity line of credit.
Home equity lines of credit are like a mixture between credit cards and home equity loans. Rather than receive one lump sum, as with a home equity loan, you can withdraw as much as you need at any time.
- Use your credit card.
A credit card won’t be able to cover the full cost of a renovation, but you can use one to cover the cost of appliances, paint, decor or finishings. This gives you the ability to pay off things you may not have budgeted for, so keep it in mind when planning a kitchen renovation.
- Take out a personal loan.
A personal loan is unsecured. Your credit will impact your eligibility, and the best rates are usually had by people with near-perfect scores. However, there are a number of lenders that can work with you no matter your credit.
Compare your personal loan options here
Planning a kitchen renovation can be stressful no matter the size. You’ll have to budget for the materials, the labor and the time it will take to complete. All renovations should have a contingency, that is, money set aside for emergencies or unexpected costs. Although it might seem like an insurmountable process, breaking into parts like we have here can help you tackle every aspect of a renovation.
Browse more home renovation guides to learn about costs, DIY tips and more.