An average kitchen remodel cost can run into the tens of thousands of dollars, which is no doubt one reason why many homeowners put off renovating the kitchen for as long as possible. However, your home's kitchen might be the one room that everyone uses every day, so it should be beautiful and inviting and functional for your needs in particular!
A lower end kitchen remodel cost might range from $15,000 to $30,000, with many homeowners typically spending $25,000 on a kitchen makeover. While some small upgrades might cost only a few thousand dollars, a renovation that is an investment in your home might cost $50,000 or more, while lavish and detailed projects run upwards of $70,000.
Since kitchen renovations can have such varying price tags, how do you know the right amount to spend for your home, and what to expect from contractors when inviting them to write up a quote? To better understand your expected costs and why some kitchen remodeling projects have a steeper price tag than others, and why a higher-priced renovation can often be worth that money, note some further information about kitchen renovation costs, how to manage those costs, and what costs you don't want to cut when planning a remodel.
Kitchen Renovation Cost Breakdown
To better understand the details involved in the cost of a kitchen renovation, note some common services needed for most improvements, as well as various surfaces and materials that are often replaced during a kitchen remodel:
- An architect might draw up new plans to redesign the entire layout of a kitchen, including relocating the appliances, doorways, and the like, and also include the addition of new windows and skylights, if desired. If you're planning on installing any materials or features that will add significant weight to the kitchen space, such as stone floors or a new center island, an architect can note any needed structural changes to support that weight, such as additional bracing for the subfloor.
- A designer is needed when you're ready to make a significant change to the overall look of your kitchen, or if you want to bring in a particular style, such as a European style kitchen or a New England coastal look.
- A contractor should always handle needed demolition work and the installation of new appliances and surface materials. A homeowner trying to rip out their kitchen appliances or flooring can easily damage electrical wiring or plumbing fixtures and compromise the structural stability of the home. Improper installation of appliances, flooring, and other features and materials can result in future water leaks, as well as damage to the home's drywall and subfloor. Improperly installed cabinets, flooring, and other such features can also eventually come loose and need replacing.
- If you plan on installing upgraded appliances, you'll need the work of an electrician, to ensure the home's wiring can support added electrical demands of larger or more powerful kitchen equipment. Relocating or adding new appliances during kitchen remodeling also require the assistance of an electrician, to move those wires, rewire the home's circuits, and the like.
- Cabinetry often accounts for a large part of an average kitchen remodel cost, and high-quality cabinets are typically worth the investment! Kitchen cabinets need to be roomy enough for needed storage, sturdy enough to withstand the weight of items stored and to stand up to constant use, and made of materials that are easy to clean as well as attractive.
- Countertops are often the second most expensive material in any kitchen renovation; like cabinets, however, a homeowner shouldn't skimp on the quality of their chosen countertop materials. Counters should be durable, easy to clean, and beautiful in appearance.
- Flooring, lighting, and windows can add to a kitchen renovation's overall cost, as does paint, window treatments, oversized hardware, and other such decorative items, although these features are typically not as expensive as other details in a kitchen renovation.
How to Decide the Cost of Kitchen Remodeling Options
A kitchen renovation is an investment in your home's overall property values and your own family's comfort and convenience! A kitchen that is ugly and unattractive or that doesn't function for your needs, in particular, can mean added stress when it's time to prep meals, and not being able to indulge your love of cooking and entertaining. However, if you're not sure you're ready to invest top dollar in a complete renovation for your kitchen, or need to save some money on a kitchen remodel cost for any reason, note a few tips for deciding on materials and other such options:
- Never sacrifice the durability of surfaces in your kitchen, as poor-quality countertops, flooring, and backsplash materials will quickly fall apart under the wear and tear of everyday food prep and foot traffic, and the increased heat and humidity in a kitchen. Low-quality laminate countertops and cheap flooring tiles especially are prone to peeling away from their base and showing scruffs, nicks, cuts, and scratches. Invest in affordable but quality materials for these surfaces.
- Don't sacrifice the size of the appliances you need, but reconsider the many "smart" features they might offer. For example, a large refrigerator is a great feature for families, but do you need a refrigerator with several cooling zones? A dishwasher with a pot scrubber and a light wash feature is very convenient but carefully consider how many other wash cycles you'll use every day. By downgrading on these "smart" features, you can easily afford the size and quality of appliances you need.
- High-quality solid wood cabinets will be less likely to chip, scratch, or warp over the years than cheap pressboard or laminate cabinetry. Investing in added storage features, such as adjustable internal cabinets, also makes the kitchen more functional overall. Generic cabinets from a big box supply store may be cheaper than custom cabinets with these features, but consider the long-term value of investing in cabinets made from quality wood materials instead.
- A full renovation might be more expensive than a simple facelift and cosmetic upgrades, but renovating the kitchen can add more value to your home. Note, too, that a full renovation also makes the kitchen work for your needs in particular; for example, you might add a small built-in desk for the kids to do homework while dinner is being cooked. You might also appreciate a built-in bar for mixing up your favorite cocktails or coffee drinks, so your kitchen is a welcoming area for the family and for entertaining.
When Is It Time to Remodel a Kitchen
If you've been considering a kitchen renovation for any reason, it's probably time to move ahead with those plans! Considering a remodel of your space usually means that the kitchen is just not working for you for some reason, and changing the kitchen's layout, cabinetry, appliances, and other such features can create something more functional and workable, as well as more attractive and inviting.
Note, too, that a growing or changing family often indicates that it's time to improve the overall look and function of the kitchen space. A small kitchen might work for a single person or couple, but once you have children, you probably need more room for food storage and dining. If the kids have moved out, it might be time to change the kitchen from something casual and workable for a family to something more formal for entertaining. You also might want to scale down the center island and remove a built-in banquette to make room for a cozy breakfast nook for two!
Outdated surfaces are also more than unsightly; old countertops with lots of nicks and scratches often harbor unhealthy germs and bacteria that you cannot reach with a sponge. Chipped flooring tiles are a tripping hazard, and broken or missing sections of a backsplash won't protect the home's walls from foot splatters or work so well to stop a cooktop fire from spreading. Once your kitchen is unsafe, it's time for a renovation and some major kitchen remodeling, no matter its overall cost.
Top Kitchen Renovation Trends to Consider
A full kitchen renovation gives you a chance to add some features and details that have become very trendy in the past few years so that your kitchen offers you everything you need by way of function and style. Check out some top kitchen renovation trends and kitchen remodel ideas you might consider when it's time for a full renovation:
- Two-toned cabinetry, with darker lower cabinets and upper cabinets in a lighter shade, help to avoid an overpowering or "cookie cutter" look in your home's kitchen. Two-tone cabinets are also an excellent option when you can't decide on your favorite shade of a particular color of cabinetry for your kitchen. You might also incorporate this two-tone theme in your kitchen by painting the center island or one wall of cabinets a different shade than the rest of the kitchen's cabinets.
- Statement lighting is a fun trend that also adds functionality to the kitchen. Oversized track lighting helps to draw the eyes up and make the kitchen look lighter and brighter, while also bringing more light to food prep areas. Lighting under and inside the cabinetry also adds brightness and makes it easier to access items in those cabinets, read recipe books on the counter, and the like.
- Choosing a stove that works as a statement piece is another hot trend that brings both style and function to the kitchen. A chef-inspired, six-burner stove with an oversized oven, or side-by-side double ovens, allows you to cook large meals while also offering some eye-catching appeal in the kitchen. Add a beautiful backsplash behind the stove, and the entire arrangement will be as beautiful as it is functional.
- Fun and bold colors are also trendy and yet timeless. Rather than settling for all white or beige in the kitchen, or just a palette of gray tones, add some turquoise, cobalt blue, or retro red along one wall or in a tile mosaic along the backsplash. Bold color makes the kitchen uniquely your own and ensures it doesn't look bland or boring, without adding much to an average kitchen remodel cost!
When is the best time to schedule a kitchen remodel?
Appliances and other materials often go on sale at the end of the year, when manufacturers need to make room for new items. Construction companies might also lower their prices during the last months of the year, to schedule as many projects as possible before the new year begins.
Do all kitchen renovations add value to a home?
While not all renovation projects result in increased property value equal to a kitchen remodel cost, an old and outdated kitchen does nothing to increase a home's value! Upgrading a kitchen almost always increases a home's value, even if not by the same amount as you spend on that remodel.