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How Much Does It Cost to Redo a Kitchen?

A kitchen renovation can do a lot for your home's value (not to mention your quality of life), but is the cost prohibitive? Read on to learn more about the many costs involved in a kitchen remodel–from materials and labor to permit fees.

Before You Begin

How much does it cost to redo a kitchen?
Chances are, if you're considering a kitchen overhaul, you already know that it can result in huge gains for your home's value. In fact, experts say that the return on investment for a kitchen remodel can be as high as 81.1 percent, but the real value is in the increase in your quality of life. If you love to cook, bake and entertain, few things stack up to a brand-new chef's kitchen outfitted with the latest top-of-the-line kitchen appliances and magazine-worthy finishes.

Total Costs on Average

So how much does it cost to redo a kitchen, exactly? The truth is that there's no simple way to figure out how much a kitchen remodel will cost you, since every project is different. Factors such as the size, scope and current state of your home will determine how much a project might cost. Of course, finishes—floors, countertops, backsplashes, cabinets and hardware—vary widely in cost from the economical to the luxury, so your preferences will play a big role in cost as well.
However, looking at the average cost of kitchen remodels can be helpful to get a very general idea of what people are spending on renovations in the current economy. According to Remodeling's 2020 Cost Vs. Value Report, the national average spent on a kitchen remodel ranges from $23,452 for a minor, midrange remodel to $131,510 for a major, upscale remodel. Other sources estimate the cost to range from $100 (low-range) to $300 (high-end) per square foot.
Blueprints For Remodel
According to the Remodeling report, costs include:

For a $23,452 midrange, minor remodel, updates included:

  • Replacing cabinet fronts and hardware
  • Swapping old appliances for new, energy-efficient ones (range and fridge)
  • Replacing laminate countertops
  • Installing a new sink and faucet
  • Installing new, resilient flooring
  • Painting the ceiling, walls, and trim

For a $68,490 midrange, major remodel, updates included:

  • Semi-custom wood cabinets with a 3 by 5-foot island
  • Laminate countertops
  • A stainless steel, double-tub sink with faucet
  • An energy-efficient range with a hood vent
  • A built-in microwave
  • A new dishwasher
  • A garbage disposal
  • Custom lighting 
  • New resilient flooring
  • Painting the ceiling, walls and trim.

For a $131,510 upscale, major remodel, updates included:

  • Top-of-the-line custom cabinets with sliding shelves
  • Stone countertops with a ceramic or glass backsplash
  • A built-in refrigerator
  • A commercial-grade range with a hood vent
  • A new wall oven
  • A built-in microwave
  • An under-mount sink with designer faucets and a built-in water filtration system
  • New lighting
  • Tile or wood-look flooring.

Location, Location, Location

As you can see, the costs of kitchen remodels can vary greatly. On top of the scope and materials, costs can fluctuate significantly based on location. In areas where remodel demand is high and labor and resources are limited—Hawaii, California, and Washington, for example—you can expect to pay a whole lot more for every facet of your remodel. Additionally, regional permit fees can factor in and hike up the price depending on where you live.
The Cost of Kitchen Remodels
So where are the most affordable and expensive places to remodel? On the West Coast, kitchen remodeling rings up at $3,000 to $13,000 higher than the national average. In the Southeast and parts of the Midwest, costs come in several thousand dollars under the national average. If you'd like the numbers unique to your region, you can use Remodeling's 2020 Cost Vs. Value Report to get more detailed information on kitchen remodeling costs throughout the country.

What Costs What?

It's impossible to say what each kitchen renovation item might run you without knowing the specifics of your project, such as the size of the room and the range (low, mid or high) of appliances and finishes you plan on purchasing. However, looking at the percent of your total budget can be useful in determining how much you need to allot to what.
Kitchen Renovation Fees

Budgeting for Unforeseen Costs

If you've ever watched any remodeling shows on HGTV, you know that one of the things you need to remember when budgeting out your renovation is that things can and will go wrong. Therefore, you cannot underestimate the power of a good emergency fund. It can cover the cost of things like broken pipes and unforeseen structural issues, but also possible fees for consulting a structural engineer, electrician or plumber.
Estimate for Renovation

How to Get an Idea of What Your Reno Will Cost

Getting a proper remodeling estimate is vital to figuring out whether or not the cost is attainable for you and whether or not it's worthwhile considering the value of your home. The good news is that getting a realistic estimate shouldn't cost you anything besides time—and maybe a little bit of persistence. Here's what else you can do to figure out how much your kitchen renovation will run you.
Start with Proper Measurements—You'll need proper dimensions before you can get quotes on materials and labor, and guessing your kitchen's size will only leave you with rough, inaccurate cost estimates that won't do you much good when you're trying to get a realistic idea. Allot a couple of hours to deep-diving into measurements, recording the following dimensions in both feet and inches:
  • Cabinet length, width, height, and depth
  • Walls, including openings for windows and doors 
  • Ceiling height
  • Appliance opening length, width, height and depth
  • Height of all molding
  • Countertop length, width, and depth
  • Work triangle (distance between sink, range, and fridge)
  • Total square footage (total length by total width)
Get Multiple Estimates—The best way to figure out how much your specific project is going to cost is to get multiple estimates from contractors in your area. Patience and persistence are the keys to getting the best possible deal, so make sure to spend a lengthy discovery period getting several quotes. The more you get, the better the deal, so don't start until you've had at least two contractors weigh in on the estimated costs. Don't forget to read reviews online, either!
What Will Your Reno Cost
Use a Worksheet—As you can see, labor costs eat into a massive chunk of your budget, and you won't know how much that will cost until you get a quote from a contractor. However, you can price out individual materials—countertops, tile, flooring, appliances, etc.—by going directly to the big box store or construction supplier in your area and getting quotes. Fill out your own worksheet (this template is a great place to start) based on the costs you find. But remember, your contractor may be able to get you a better deal through their suppliers, so be sure to update it once you've settled on a professional.
Survey Your Friends and Neighbors—Given the fluid, regional nature of remodeling costs, homeowners often rely on friends, family and neighbors to help them determine if they're overpaying or not. Before you even begin, make sure to survey those around you—those you're comfortable asking, of course—how much they spent (a ballpark figure is fine) on their recent renovations or upgrades. You may also query people who work in the industry (not your contractor), such as realtors, appraisers, home inspectors and others.

Making Your Remodel Fit Your Budget

Looking at paint colors
The fact that kitchen remodels vary in cost so much is both good and bad. On the bad hand, it can make it hard to quickly determine whether or not it's realistic within your budget. But on the good hand, it means costs are flexible and customizable to each homeowner's unique needs and desires. Here are some smart ways you can make your budget restraints work for you without compromising too much.
Redo Rather Than Reno—According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), performing a kitchen upgrade rather than a full renovation is still highly valuable to buyers—it ranks only second to a complete kitchen renovation in terms of the most valuable home improvements sellers can make. So even a few small kitchen updates can be more valuable than things like a total HVAC replacement, new hardwood flooring, or a bathroom renovation. Upgrading worn-out finishes—walls, countertops, cabinet doors and hardware—and adding a few new appliances may be a good option if you're looking to add value on a budget.
Make a List of Needs and Wants—When strategizing your kitchen remodeling plan, make sure there are a few items you could comfortably nix. Perhaps it's a nice extra like a wine refrigerator or warming drawer, or maybe it's downgrading from the high-cost natural stone to a more affordable laminate countertop. You'll also want to have a list of must-have items that should get top budgetary priority. This will make it easier to add and take away items so you stay within budget.
Make Budget Restraints Work
Think About Long-Term Costs—Remember that spending a lot upfront can often mean cost savings over time, especially if you're planning to sell your house in the next decade or so. Purchasing a bundled kitchen appliance package, swapping out your old energy-hogging incandescent light fixtures, and installing insulated flooring are some simple ways to make your upgrades work for you in the long-run. Think of certain upgrades as investments, too. For example, brand-new hardwood floors will outlive laminate or tile floors tenfold, so they'll likely actually be cheaper in the long-run. Keep that in mind if you plan on staying in your house for the long-run or passing it along to future generations.
Salvage What You Have—A big remodel doesn't have to mean buying everything brand-new. Chances are, there are some things in your kitchen that you can spiff up and make like-new again for a lot cheaper. Whether that be having your older appliances fixed, slapping a fresh coat of paint on your cabinets or refinishing your old hardwood floors, there's no reason not to try to work with what you already have if you're trying to stay within a budget.
Go in Phases—Remember that unless you're doing a total kitchen gutting or tearing down walls, you don't have to do everything all at once. If the basic layout of the kitchen will remain the same, then you're in a good position to make big updates in phases as you save money. Redo the floors one year, the cabinets the next and the countertops the next. Before you know it, you'll have a totally new kitchen without all the cost and hassle of a major remodel. This will also prevent you from having to be without a kitchen for several weeks or even months like you would with an all-in remodel.
Beautiful Remodeled Kitchen

Is It Worthwhile?

No matter how you allot your budget, a kitchen renovation is a massive undertaking, and one that costs a lot of your hard-earned dollars. So, at the end of the day, it needs to be a worthwhile one for you and your family. Whether you measure value by an improvement in quality of life—which a big kitchen refresh will undoubtedly bring, especially if you love to cook and entertain—or by an increase in resale value, there are ways to make a kitchen remodel very worth your while, both immediately and in the long-run.

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  • Great delivery service! Best company in the market doing this right now easily. I ordered same-day delivery and received with ample updates through the process. Great experience!
    May 5, 2020 - Sam I.
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