Kitchen Remodel Cost: What You Need to Know Before You Start

    Kitchen Remodel Cost: What You Need to Know Before You Start

    When it comes to kitchen remodeling, understanding the costs upfront is essential. As a homeowner, you want to know what to expect before starting this exciting project. Let us get straight to the point. You will find different sources giving different estimates, but here is what you need to know:

    • It is estimated that the average cost of kitchen remodeling is 27000 USD in the USA.
    • Home Guide provides a range of $15,000 to $50,000 for a complete kitchen renovation, excluding structural changes.
    • HomeAdvisor suggests an average homeowner spends around $26,000 on a kitchen remodel.

    But what is the actual cost of remodeling a kitchen? Well, the answer is more complex than it seems. Let's explore the details and create a roadmap for your kitchen transformation.

    1. Factors That Affect Kitchen Remodel Cost

    Before we dive into the numbers, consider these key factors:

    Size and Complexity

    The size of your kitchen is the primary driver of the overall cost. Upgrading a small kitchen is simple, but large kitchens require more materials and extensive labor. For instance, if you just want a simple update, it will require less budget. But, if you are looking to make structural changes, such as replacing cabinets or adding new windows, it will be more costly.

    Material Choices

    The cost can vary significantly based on the quality and type of materials used. For example, stock cabinets are much more affordable than custom cabinetry. Similarly, laminate countertops are budget-friendly compared to granite or quartz. It is better to write down your budget and select the material you want to improve the beauty of your kitchen.

    Labor and Contractor Fees

    Labor and contractor fees can take up a large portion of the budget. Labor costs can vary widely depending on the region and the skill level of the workers. Hiring an experienced professional for a successful remodel is essential, but remember that it will also increase the overall cost. Besides this, always get multiple quotes to ensure you get the best value for your investment.

    Regional Variations

    It's important to know that the cost of remodeling can vary by region. It is because of factors like the local cost of living, the demand for remodeling services, and the cost of materials in the area. Remodeling the same size kitchen in two different regions will have different budgets. For example, kitchen remodels are more expensive in urban areas like San Francisco or New York City than in rural areas. It is important to research local costs to set a realistic budget.

    2. Average Cost Breakdown

    It is essential to understand the average cost breakdown of kitchen remodel. Let us break it down depending on the scale of the project.

    Basic or Small Remodel

    • Refacing Cabinets: It is an affordable way to give your kitchen a new look without completely replacing them. It can cost between $1,000 and $9,000.
    • Painting Walls: Fresh paint on kitchen walls can transform the space's aesthetic. It can vary from $200 to $600.
    • Upgrading Appliances: It is better to use energy-efficient models as they will save you money in the long run. It can cost $300 - $5,000 per appliance upgrade.
    • Budget-Friendly Materials: Using budget-friendly materials can also save you costs. Laminate countertops or vinyl flooring can reduce costs. Cost: Varies based on selection.
    • ·Average Total Cost: $8,000 - $25,000.

    Average or Full Remodel

    • New Appliances: You can replace your appliances with modern, energy-saving ones. It will not only improve the aesthetic of your kitchen, but it shall save you money in the long run. It typically costs between $5,000 - $15,000+.
    • Upgraded Floors and Countertops: You can use mid-range quality materials like ceramic tile or solid surface countertops. It will cost you from $2,000 to $7,000.
    • New Lighting: LED fixtures provide bright, focused light, making them ideal for task lighting in areas where you prepare food. The cost for LED fixtures typically ranges from $50 to $200 per fixture, depending on the style and quality.
    • Under-cabinet lighting: It is a fantastic way to add ambiance and improve visibility on countertops. It is beneficial for tasks like chopping vegetables or reading recipes. Under-cabinet lighting can range from $457 to $583 per fixture when factoring in labor and materials. If you're also considering adding lights above the cabinets, this could add another $345 to $800 to the project.
    • Semi-Custom Cabinets: If you want to give your kitchen a personalized touch, then semi-custom cabinets are a way to go. It should cost between $4,000 - $15,000.
    • Average Total Cost: $25,000 - $55,000.

    You can watch the following video to understand the pricing breakdown.

    $40,000 Kitchen Renovation - Pricing Breakdown of a Complete Kitchen Remodel

    High-End or Large Remodel

    • Structural Changes: Removing the wall or adding square footage is a significant change and would require a higher cost ranging from $10,000 to $30,000+.
    • Custom Cabinets: Getting custom cabinets tailored to your specifications will be heavy on your budget and can cost $8,000 to $30,000+. The cost varies because it depends on the number of custom cabinets.
    • Luxury Finishes: To give your kitchen a royal look, use high-quality materials like marble or custom tiles. It can vary from $5,000 to $20,000 depending on the aesthetics you are looking for and the amount of material you use.
    • Smart Appliances: They are the latest in kitchen technology and offer efficiency and convenience. They include refrigerators that track your groceries and suggest recipes. It also includes the ovens that you can preheat remotely from your smartphone. Features like voice control get integrated with other smart home devices. The cost of smart appliances varies widely based on functionality and brand. It typically starts at around $3,000 and goes up to $15,000 for high-end models with advanced features.
    • Upgraded Lighting: Upgraded lighting in the kitchen sets the mood and enhances the design. The designer fixtures can serve as statement pieces that reflect your style. Nowadays, we can do it through a smartphone app or voice commands. These lighting upgrades can start at around $1,000 for quality fixtures and smart controls and exceed $5,000 for top-of-the-line systems with multiple lighting zones.
    • Average Total Cost: $55,000 - $90,000.

    3. Creating Your Budget:

    Creating a budget for your kitchen remodel is a process that requires careful planning of various factors. Here's an expanded guide to help you navigate through the process:

    Step-by-Step Planning

    Assess Your Finances: First, determine how much you can spend without affecting other financial goals. Then, find the average costs of kitchen remodels in your area or region and the specific changes you want to make.

    Set a Maximum Budget: Based on your research and finances, set a higher budget for your total spending. You need to separate essential upgrades from desirable but non-essential ones.

    Cost-Benefit Analysis: Evaluate the impact of each element on your daily life and the value of your home.

    Allocate Funds Accordingly: Assign a portion of your budget to each element, starting with the must-haves.

    Categorize Expenses: You should break down your budget into categories. For example, you can break down labor, materials, appliances, and decorations costs.

    Track Spending: Keep a detailed record of all expenses to ensure you stay within budget. You must allocate around 20% of your budget to cover unexpected costs.

    Be Flexible: Be prepared to adjust your plans if unexpected issues arise during the remodel.

    Following the steps above, you can create a well-structured budget that keeps your kitchen beautiful while not burdening you. Remember, thorough planning is critical to a successful kitchen remodel.

    4. Cost-Saving Strategies:

    You can use several strategies to save costs during kitchen remodeling. Here are a few:

    • You can use laminate countertops as they are budget-friendly and come in various colors and patterns. They mimic the look of natural stone without the high price tag. 
    • You should use vinyl flooring as it is durable, easy to install, and cost-effective. It comes in different styles, including wood and tile patterns.
    • Consider stock cabinets instead of custom-made ones. Stock cabinets are more affordable because they are pre-made and readily available.
    • You should use ceramic tiles because they are cost-effective and come in various designs. They are easy to clean and can enhance your kitchen look.

    5. DIY Projects:

    1. Painting: Repaint your kitchen walls, cabinets, or backsplash. A fresh coat of paint can transform the space without breaking the bank.
    2. Hardware Updates: Swap out old cabinet knobs and handles with new ones. It's a simple DIY project that can make a big difference.
    3. Refinish Wood Floors: If you have hardwood floors, consider refinishing them instead of replacing them. Sanding and staining can breathe new life into worn-out floors.
    4. Cabinet Doors: Instead of replacing entire cabinets, consider replacing just the cabinet doors. You can achieve a fresh look without the cost of new cabinetry.
    5. Appliances: If your appliances are still functional, keep them. Focus on cleaning or minor repairs to extend their lifespan.
    6. Light Fixtures: Update light fixtures by replacing bulbs or shades. You can find affordable options that add style to your kitchen.
    7. Sales and Discounts: Keep an eye out for sales, especially during holiday weekends. Big-box home improvement stores often offer discounts on appliances and materials.


    Now you have an idea of the cost, you are ready to embark on your kitchen remodel journey. Remember, it's not just about dollars; it's about creating a space that reflects your style and enhances your daily life.

    What do you think about the kitchen remodel cost if you ever had a chance to upgrade your kitchen?

    Happy remodeling!

    James Cooper

    I am a brand reputation manager at citylocal101, reside in New York City and is in the forefront of developing and putting into practice competitive strategies to elevate companies. Since graduating from Arizona State University, I was immediately pr...