The uncertainties surrounding kitchen remodeling costs often become a barrier for homeowners wanting to begin a remodel project. Oftentimes, it’s not just about the overall price of the project; it’s about understanding where the money goes. Without a clear breakdown, homeowners find themselves feeling pressured to make decisions without fully understanding the cost of their kitchen remodel.
At Lamont Bros. Design & Construction, we work with homeowners like you who are eager to breathe new life into their kitchens. Many of the common questions we get from our clients revolve around the financial details of their kitchen remodel. What is the breakdown of the budget? Which elements of the kitchen remodel make up the highest expenses? And are there ways to avoid unnecessary costs?
This article aims to shed light on the various cost categories associated with kitchen a kitchen remodel. We’ll navigate through different elements and their corresponding cost proportions as they relate to the total remodeling budget. Armed with this insight, you’ll have a clearer picture of your own renovation expenses and can collaborate with your design team to fine-tune the project in line with both your aspirations and financial parameters. The topics we’ll explore in this article include:
- An Introduction to Kitchen Renovation Costs
- Breakdown of Kitchen Remodel Cost Categories
- Strategies to Save Costs on Your Kitchen Remodel
How Much Does a Kitchen Remodel Cost?
Before we explore a breakdown the cost for your kitchen remodel, it’s important to first understand the overall cost.
The cost of your kitchen remodel depends on the size of the kitchen and how much you want to change. If you only want to update a few finishes and don’t plan to change the layout, it may cost as little as $30,000. For a fully customized kitchen with an updated layout, new appliances, new fixtures, and new cabinets, the cost could reach over $400,000.
In Portland, the average kitchen remodel costs about $130,000. To learn more about the different types of kitchen remodels and what they cost, check out our Kitchen Remodel Pricing Page
What are the Different Cost Categories of a Kitchen Remodel?
To help you better understand the cost of a kitchen remodel, we’ve created this breakdown using the total cost of a $130,000 kitchen remodel.
Rather than include labor costs as their own category, each line item includes the cost of labor as part of its total. For example, the section on cabinetry includes the labor costs of building and installing the cabinets, and the section on design includes the labor hours spent designing the remodel.
Cabinets: $28,600 — 22%
Cabinetry is not just about storage—it’s a critical element in setting the visual tone of your kitchen. Due to the intricate craftsmanship and high-quality materials required for kitchen cabinets, they often constitute a major portion of the remodeling budget. From the selection of wood to the type of finish, your choices in this category will influence the entire aesthetic of your kitchen.
Plumbing & Electrical: $19,500 — 15%
The layout of your kitchen has a direct impact on its functionality. Moving appliances or sinks can lead to necessary shifts in plumbing and electrical systems. Because both require specialized tradesmen, plumbing and electrical modifications contribute significantly to the total cost. For safety and legal reasons, this type of work must be done by licensed professionals, especially given the combination of water and electricity in close proximity.
Finish Work: $19,500 — 15%
Detail is everything. After the major installations, the finish carpentry begins. This is where carpenters meticulously work on drywall repairs, moldings, door casings, and other finishing touches that seamlessly blend the visual elements of your kitchen. The craftsmanship and attention to detail required to complete a kitchen remodel can take many hours, but it’s this precision and expertise that transforms a merely functional kitchen into a visual masterpiece.
General & Administrative: $13,000 — 10%
Every established construction company has operating costs. This category includes the logistical aspects of the remodel, like company vehicles, equipment, site supervision, and the numerous unseen elements that ensure the project runs smoothly from start to finish.
Appliances: $13,000 — 10%
Modern kitchens demand modern appliances. Whether it’s a state-of-the-art oven, a smart refrigerator, or a silent dishwasher, kitchen appliances can be hefty investments. Moreover, they need to be safely delivered and expertly installed. Opting for bundled appliance packages might offer some savings and ensure that your appliances have a unified look and feel.
Countertops: $10,400 — 8%
Your kitchen’s countertop isn’t just a work surface; it’s a visual statement. Materials like quartz or granite require precision in measurement and cutting to fit perfectly in your kitchen. Beyond the base cost of the materials, it’s also important to consider expenses associated with custom adjustments, transportation, and installation.
Tile & Flooring: $10,400 — 8%
Your kitchen floor experiences daily wear and tear. Selecting the right flooring material is a blend of aesthetics and durability. The choice of material — combined with the expertise needed for its installation — can influence costs. Similarly, backsplash tiling can enhance the kitchen’s visual appeal while also adding costs to this category.
Demolition: $7,800 — 6%
Demolition is more than tearing things apart—it’s understanding how to prepare the space for construction, maintaining load-bearing structures, and preserving elements that need to remain unchanged. This phase sets the stage for your new kitchen and must be executed with care and precision.
Design: $6,500 — 5%
An effective kitchen demands thoughtful design. Every square foot counts. A professional kitchen designer brings their expertise in optimizing space, ensuring workflow efficiency, and capturing the homeowner’s vision. This cost category includes the hours required to create detailed construction plans, 3D visuals, and sometimes even virtual walkthroughs to ensure that everyone is aligned on the expected outcome.
Cleanup: $1,300 — 1%
Your build team should do their best to clean up their workspace at the end of each day. However, after the hammering, sawing, and installation is complete, it’s time for a true cleaning. Many contractors opt for professional cleaning services to ensure every nook and cranny is spotless when the homeowner begins using their new kitchen. The aim is to hand over the keys to a pristine kitchen, free of construction debris and dust, allowing homeowners to start their culinary adventures in a clean, fresh environment.
What Can You do to Save Money on Your Kitchen Remodel?
Embarking on a kitchen remodel is undoubtedly exciting, but without careful planning and consideration, costs can spiral quickly. Given the detailed breakdown of where your money goes during a kitchen remodel, you should understand how every choice has financial implications on the cost of your project. Here are three common-sense tips to help you get the most out of your remodeling budget:
1. Prioritize and Plan Ahead:
Cabinets, plumbing, and finish work alone account for over half of the typical kitchen remodel budget. Before diving into the renovation, determine what elements are most important to you.
Is it premium custom cabinetry, a specific tile backsplash, or state-of-the-art appliances? Prioritizing your wish list can help guide your spending decisions. Moreover, planning in advance helps avoid the likelihood of costly last-minute changes.
2. Avoid Extensive Layout Changes:
The second-largest portion of a kitchen remodel’s cost comes from plumbing & electrical work, especially when changing the kitchen’s layout. As a result, keeping the sink and other major appliances in their current locations can save a considerable sum.
It might be tempting to envision a completely new setup, but if you’re satisfied with the existing layout, work with it. By enhancing the current configuration with updated storage solutions and fixtures, you can achieve a fresh look without the additional costs of rerouting plumbing and electrical systems.
3. Invest in Design:
While design costs make up only 5% of the total remodeling cost, a professional’s input can be invaluable in avoiding costly mistakes and ensuring efficient use of space. A well-planned kitchen not only looks better but can also save you money by optimizing storage, reducing the need for additional cabinetry, and ensuring that all chosen elements fit together seamlessly without the need for expensive adjustments later on.
Are You Ready to Begin Your Kitchen Remodeling Journey?
Now that you can use this breakdown for a better understanding of how different cost categories can affect the overall price of your kitchen remodel, take the next step in your research. Download our free Kitchen Remodel Buyer’s Guide for expert tips on how to effectively plan for your kitchen remodel.
The best way to have a successful kitchen remodel is to begin with a clearly defined, detailed plan. If you’re planning a kitchen remodel, click the button below to schedule a free design consultation with a member of our team. We’ll help you design your kitchen remodel and plan the process so you can have a successful project free of unwanted surprises.