Educational, Kitchen and Bath | 01.06.2016

How Much Will it Cost to Renovate My Kitchen?


How much does a kitchen cost? Excellent question, and one that we get asked a lot. Unfortunately, it’s a lot like asking “How much does a house cost?”. There are just so many factors that influence what you will be paying. But let’s try to break things down…
 
General Rule of Thumb

Industry guidelines, and our experience, suggest that a complete kitchen renovation will cost between 10-15% of your home’s current retail value BEFORE you buy those new appliances. This assumes changing the layout of your kitchen which will require the moving of plumbing and electrical, updating the flooring, creating a backsplash, as well as painting and fixing up the ceiling. So if you feel that your home is worth $450,000.00, then, your complete kitchen renovation will likely cost between $45,000.00 and $67,500.00.
 
Although this is a very good rule of thumb, there are many factors that will influence the final costs to be either higher or lower than this estimate. Many people may want to remove walls in order to open up their kitchen from the closed room that it was when the house was first built. As soon as you do this, the costs increase. There are floor and ceiling repairs required to now make multiple rooms appear seamless. If any of the walls coming out are load-bearing then beams and bulkheads need to be added, and if there was electrical, plumbing, or mechanical (hot or cold air vents) components in any removed walls, then they have to be re-located. All this costs time and money.

Renovation Creep?

Another way that the costs can escalate is something we refer to as renovation creep. You start with a project with one thing in mind, but it becomes very easy to keep expanding the scope of the project. One of the most common project additions is to give adjoining rooms the same new look and feel as the new kitchen. This is often done by updating the flooring in rooms that connect to the kitchen, and painting rooms, so there aren’t obvious old and new parts of the home. Adding elements like these to the overall scope of the project may be the right thing to do for your home, but it does increase the overall costs of the project.
 
Cost Break Down

When all is said and done, your costs are going to break down into several main categories.

  • Design – Expect to pay something (it is often included in the price from a full service firm). Good designers will significantly increase the enjoyment of your kitchen for years to come.
  • Cabinetry – Like cars, there are different price points. Many of the costlier options are “under the hood” and your designer can discuss these with you. We can delve into these differences in another Blog.
  • Countertop – There are many different options with different price points, each with their own pros and cons. Again, a good designer will understand your needs and steer you to a countertop that will work great for you.
  • Plumbing and Plumbing Fixtures – This includes sinks and faucets and costs will depend on what you are doing. There are lots of options and prices are all over the map depending on how fancy you want to be.
  • Electrical and Lighting Fixtures –There are many aspects to consider. Pot lights, and how many, under and in cabinet lighting, and how much. What about that gorgeous pendant light over the sink?
  • Painting – We often see people choosing to paint the whole first floor of their home when they do their kitchen, and often to remove the stippled ceiling.
  • Flooring – Ceramic, vinyl tile, cork, hardwood… what’s your pleasure?
  • Backsplash – This is usually this is the key design element that ties the whole kitchen together.

As I write this, I am reminded just how important the design element is. A homeowner is making a major investment in their home. An investment that they hope will pay off in the future. The most important element, far more important than the materials used, and even more important that the person doing the installation (which is a close second!), is the person you are working with to do the design. If they do their job well, you will have a great kitchen and will have spent your money wisely. They will have prevented you from spending money where you will not see value, and ensure that your newly renovated space is one you will be proud of.
 
We hope that this information will help you understand the elements that comprise the costs for your kitchen renovation. It’s a major purchase; one that should be undertaken thoughtfully, and one that you will enjoy for years to come.