When it comes to updating a kitchen, the sky is pretty much the limit. With so many choices on everything from cabinets to appliances to countertops, it can be challenging to know how to get the most bang for your buck. Here are 5 key things you should consider when budgeting for a kitchen remodel.
Kitchens are one of the most popular rooms in the home to remodel. Each year, roughly 2 million kitchens are refreshed or renovated. And they can vary widely when it comes to budget. Here are some of the best ways to budget confidently for your kitchen project.
1. Start by determining the extent of your remodel
Kitchen remodels typically come in to two sizes: Pull-and-replace or a full renovation.
A pull-and-replace kitchen is more like a kitchen refresh. The existing floor plan is retained, as is the location of the plumbing and electric. Things like the cabinets, countertops, light fixtures, and appliances are either replaced or refinished in order to give the kitchen an updated look and feel. A pull-and-replace option will be less costly as the work and materials required is usually smaller.
A full kitchen remodel is more complex. The floor plan may be revised. A wall may be removed to create a more open space. Plumbing and electric may be moved and added. And new finishes are usually installed. In terms of budgeting, this option may cost twice as much or more than a pull-and-replace.
2. Determine your big ticket items
Once you’ve decided what kind of remodel you want to do, the next step in budgeting for a kitchen remodel is to compile a list of what will likely be your biggest expenditures.
An often underestimated kitchen remodel cost is new cabinets. Depending on the quantity, style, and level of customization, new cabinets can result in up to 25% of your total remodel costs! Everything from demoing the existing cabinets, to the materials for your new ones, and their installation all factor in. As do customizations on type of finish, size, and the configuration of cabinet inserts.
When considering a kitchen remodel, flooring may not be the first thing you think of, but it should definitely be factored in to your budget, especially if you’re changing the footprint of your existing space. If you plan to remove a wall for example, all the other areas that intersected with that wall will need to have their floors refinished as well to match the ones in your new kitchen.
Another bucket that can eat up your budget is appliances. If you plan to replace your main appliances, a new package including fridge, stove, hood, and dishwasher will likely run upwards of $10,000. The labor involved in installing the new appliances should also be factored in, as more items typically means more electrical work that needs to be done.
Countertops, tile, faucets, and lighting
Finally on our list of big ticket items are the kitchen finishes. Countertop options abound and can be spendy if you prefer more high-end materials like marble, granite, or Dekton.
Similarly, tile cost and options are wide-ranging. But even a simple white subway tile can lend an air of sophistication to your new kitchen without breaking the bank.
Lighting and plumbing fixtures like faucets or disposals should also be included in your budget. Separately they may be a fraction of your overall costs, but together they can represent a significant portion, especially if you want special items like under-cabinet or in-cabinet lighting.
3. Areas you can save some money
Unless money is no object, you’ll likely want to identify some areas where you can economize. Your budget can really balloon if you decide to go for all high-end products and materials, but a little savvy can save you a lot in the end.
Be clever with your cabinets
As mentioned above, cabinets can be one of the most expensive line items in your budget, but there are some simple ways to save.
Choose standard sizes: Most cabinets come in a range of standard sizes from 12 inches up to 42 inches high. Sticking with one of these rather than going for custom height or widths can really help your budget.
Go for fewer drawers or inserts: Believe it or not, choosing to go with a drawer that has just 3 inserts instead of 4 can save you money, especially when similar choices are made throughout your kitchen. Unless you have very specific storage needs, this can be an area to save.
Skip the glazing: While glazing may add a bit to the overall look of your cabinets depending on the material you use, it isn’t essential and can be costly. If you’re looking to manage your budget, consider foregoing the glaze.
Consider alternative appliances
Maybe go for midrange: A massive stainless steel fridge can make a huge statement in a kitchen. But it can also make huge dent in your wallet. And they don’t always work in every kitchen. If you’re looking to save, consider going for mid-range appliances rather than high-end. Many brands will sell different versions of their appliances with different options and price points, so if your heart is set on a particular seller, you should still be able to find a model that works for you.
Rethink a built-in microwave: A built-in microwave does add to a clean aesthetic of a new kitchen, so if that’s what you’re after then this may be one you don’t compromise on. But if you do need some extra savings, this could be the place to find it. Built-in microwaves not only often require custom cabinetry, but also may need separate electrical. Those costs can add up quickly.
4. Areas where you shouldn’t skimp
Now that we’ve covered some parts of your kitchen remodel where you may be able to save, here are a few areas where trying to pinch a few pennies may not make sense when budgeting for a kitchen remodel.
One of the most visible areas of your new kitchen, and one you’ll likely use every day, are the countertops. Not only do you want to choose something that you’ll like to look at (because you’ll probably be looking at them a lot!), but you also want something that will be durable and can stand up to the wear and tear you may place on them. With several reasonably and stylish options available, this is one area that deserves a little love.
As with your counters, you’ll likely be looking at your backsplash a lot as well, so you should go with something that you like, even if that means spending a bit more. Adding a little extra height in your backsplash can also give your space enhanced visual dimension, and provide more protection for some of your walls.
One of the primary reasons our clients remodel their kitchens is to add storage. It’s easy to accumulate kitchen tools and gadgets, and over time you run out of space to put everything. Remodeling your kitchen is a chance to give yourself ample storage so you can de-clutter your kitchen and have more space for things like cooking and food prep. And as we saw above, you can still have all the storage you need while not breaking the bank on cabinets.
5. Average costs
Of course, budgeting for a kitchen remodel can vary widely depending on square footage, materials, layout options, and everything else we’ve talked about, but to give you an idea of what your remodel may run you, here are some average costs for the Portland, Oregon area (Source: Remodeling Magazine):
Midrange: $68,884. Includes 200-square-foot kitchen with 30 linear feet of semi-custom wood cabinets; 3×5-foot island with laminate countertops; Double-tub stainless-steel sink; Energy-efficient range with vented range hood; and more.
Upscale: $136,701. Includes 200-square-foot kitchen with 30 linear feet of top-of-the-line custom white cabinets with built-in sliding shelves and other interior accessories; Stone countertops with imported ceramic or glass tile backsplash; Built-in refrigerator, commercial-grade cooktop and vent hood, wall oven, and built-in microwave unit; High-end undermount sink with designer faucets and water filtration system; and more.
Find more information on our kitchen costs page.
Return on investment
Budgeting for a kitchen remodel is a smart first step in your project. It will help give you a sense of whether your budget aligns with your vision and it can give you some peace of mind knowing that your dream space is within reach.
And not only will a new kitchen add functionality and style to your home, it’s also one of the best investments you can make in it. In fact, you can recoup more than 80% of the costs if you decide to resell your home (Source: Remodeling Magazine).
Are you thinking about doing a kitchen remodel? We’re happy to discuss your project and start working with you on building your dream space. Simply schedule a conversation with us!