Your kitchen is one of the most well-loved areas of your home. It’s a place to entertain guests, spend quality time with your family, and prepare all your favorite snacks. With so much use, you may have considered giving your kitchen a cosmetic or functional upgrade with a remodeling project.
However, before you jump into a kitchen renovation project, it’s essential to have a good understanding of what your budget is, what your priorities are, and how much money you are willing to spend.
In this post, we’ll be breaking down all the most common costs associated with a kitchen remodel to help you create an accurate budget—you may be surprised where most of the dollars actually end up!
35% of Your Remodeling Budget: Cabinets
Before starting a kitchen renovation, many people assume that cabinetry will be one of the smaller financial commitments they have to make. In reality, cabinets are often the most expensive part of a kitchen remodel.
While the quality of the materials you choose plays a role in the price tag, most of the cost is dedicated to preparation and installation. Oftentimes, cabinets have to be customized and leveled to fit your home, which can quickly eat up a large chunk of your budget.
If you don’t need all new cabinetry and would like to open up room in your budget elsewhere, you can consider updating just the faces of your cabinets for a much lower investment—that way you get the shiny new look to show off to your friends and neighbors, but the scope of the project (and its price tag) are much more manageable.
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25% of Your Remodeling Budget: Labor
Outside of materials, labor and installation costs carry the second highest price tag on your renovation budget checklist. Your project will likely require a team of people performing strenuous tasks for several hours a day throughout the duration of your project, and their hourly wages will add up quickly.
While delays are never welcome, they aren’t uncommon during a renovation, so it’s better to be prepared in advance rather than caught off guard. By simply setting aside an additional 5% to the estimated labor costs, you can negate the stress of an unexpected financial burden and avoid having to compromise other parts of your project in the event of delays.
15% of Your Remodeling Budget: Appliances
The cost of appliances can vary dramatically depending on your needs and preferences—gas stoves are typically more expensive than electric ones, for example, and talented home chefs may want to splurge on extra quality. While you can expect to spend about 10-15% of your budget for standard appliances, this percentage can easily grow to over 30% if you choose high-end smart appliances.
One way to save money on appliances is to consider keeping some of the ones you already have. Refrigerators are often the most expensive kitchen appliances, but they are slow to lose functionality over time. While a new refrigerator may look nice in your freshly-remodeled space, you should consider how that money could be used to improve other areas of your kitchen.
10% of Your Remodeling Budget: Countertops
One element that generally takes up less of your budget than expected is countertops. The price of materials and installation can vary greatly depending on what style you prefer, but unless you choose an extravagantly expensive countertop, you can expect to commit about 10% of your budget.
While the most popular countertop materials (granite, quartz) also tend to be the most expensive, there are plenty of cheaper alternatives that can open up room in your budget and give your kitchen a unique style. Materials like concrete, stone, and even synthetic materials tend to be significantly cheaper, and can make your kitchen stand out!
When choosing your new countertops, keep the old saying in mind—if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen! Some countertops can handle a hot pan without needing a buffer layer, but others can’t, and some materials (like butcher block) will require a degree of extra care and maintenance.
10% of Your Remodeling Budget: Flooring
The cost of flooring can change depending on the size of your kitchen, which materials you use, and what the rest of your flooring is made of. Tile tends to be the most cost effective choice, since it won’t suffer from the humidity and frequent spills of a typical kitchen, but laminate and wood are also common.
If you choose wood flooring in your kitchen, remember that you may have to put additional money into matching the wood to the rest of your house.
5% of Your Remodeling Budget: Everything ElseOutside of the expected materials and costs associated with a remodeling project, you should always plan for the unexpected. By setting aside part of your budget for small costs like permits and delays, you can ensure the success of your project without going over budget or compromising your expectations for the renovation.
Other things to consider
While these numbers represent the average cost of materials and labor, there are several factors to consider that could potentially change these costs.
The biggest factor that could influence the cost of your project is the size of your kitchen. Obviously a larger kitchen is likely to cost more than a smaller one, but a bigger room also means more flooring, whereas you’ll probably still only have one stove. That means the percentage of your budget allocated to flooring costs may be comparatively higher. On average, a kitchen remodel costs between $100 – $250 per square foot.
Another factor that may influence your costs is location. Depending on whether you live in a city, suburb, or rural area, the cost of labor and materials will fluctuate. A remodeling project in a big city is likely to cost significantly more than a suburban home project.
The time of year and the price of materials (like lumber) can also play a big role in your overall project costs, and you should always try to shop smart. The price of appliances, for example, can be significantly lowered if purchased during a sale event. Additionally, you may receive discounts if you begin a project during the off-season, when contractor business is slow and availability is wide open.
Sticking to your budget
At the end of the day, your budget depends entirely on your priorities. While this post is a good estimate of what you should expect to spend, you may choose to alter your budget to put more money into some elements of your kitchen than others, and that’s okay. Your kitchen should feel like yours. That’s the point of remodeling!
You may choose to keep all of your current appliances in exchange for higher quality cabinets or countertops. While your priorities may differ from what we outlined here, sticking to your budget is the best way to avoid compromising or being left with a result you are not happy with.
If you’re considering a home renovation project, let us know. Our team of trustworthy home renovation professionals will work with you to design a kitchen that fits your needs, your budget, and your personality!