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According to a study done in 2017, 45% of homeowners spent between $5,000 and $25,000 remodeling their kitchen. 26% spent between $25,000 and $50,000, and a good 21% spent more than $50,000. The prices are understandable, especially if you consider the fact that a good kitchen can raise a house’s market value considerably. However, the price ranges are a little all over the place, which doesn’t really help anyone looking to construct a solid remodeling budget.

How much does it cost to remodel a kitchen, really?

The answer is a little less straightforward than you might like.

The Big Picture: Know What You Want

how much does it cost to remodel a kitchenBefore you can even begin estimating your budget, you need to know your intended result. How much of your kitchen are you planning to remodel? Are you just looking to switch the tile and wallpaper, or are you focusing more on the cabinets and countertops? Did you want a complete kitchen overhaul, or did you just want to switch out the appliances for sleeker, state-of-the-art models?

Design and selections cannot start without a budget, unless money is not a consideration. Unfortunately, we have yet to meet that client.  The possibilities are endless, especially if you are considering reconfiguring space. In most cases the budget is a primary driver of decisions. You do not want to design a $150,000 kitchen if you only have a $50,000 budget. Usually the design process is a slow adjustment of budget to scope of work. 

Budget Breakdown: Are You Doing All These?

It’s also important that you know what you want from your kitchen remodel so you can better adjust your budget to suit the specifics. For instance, the average homeowner who wants a complete kitchen overhaul usually spends 14% of their overall kitchen budget on appliances and only 4% on sinks and faucets. However, if the homeowner is not planning to renovate the whole kitchen, and in fact decides to just replace the appliances and faucets, then the percentages can obviously stand to be higher.

Here’s a breakdown of the average overall kitchen budget, according to the National Kitchen & Bath Association:

29% for cabinetry and hardware
4% for design fees
17% for installation
10% for counters
14% for appliances
4% for plumbing (sinks,faucets,etc.)
5% for electrical (lighting, extra outlets, etc.)
7% for flooring
4% for doors and windows
5% for trim (walls, ceilings, decorations, etc.)
1% for miscellaneous

Again, someone doing a complete kitchen overhaul might follow these percentages closely, whereas someone who’s only doing three or four items can afford to adjust the break down accordingly (e.g. dedicating 35% to cabinetry, for example, or raising the flooring budget to 10%). Ergo, you can get a good idea of your budget and any potential changes to it by knowing which areas are your top priority.

>> Learn Nine Ways to Save Money on a Kitchen Remodel

Additional Cost: Count the Contractor

Some people choose to cut out the cost of the contractor and do it all themselves.. This has two possible positive impacts. It saves money and it can result in a deeper connection to the space. For small-scale projects and homeowners with experience, DIY is a viable option. But beware; we have seen far more projects in which the D stood for disaster. Unfortunately, for the majority of kitchen remodeling projects, a contractor is considered crucial—ergo pretty much non-negotiable.

A good design build firm will eliminate the guesswork regarding the kitchen remodeling cost. Working with a contractor changes the answer of ‘how much does it cost to remodel a kitchen?’ from ‘it depends,’ to ‘the contractor will tell you.’  No matter how skilled of a DIYer you may be, people who do it every day are probably a lot faster and, if you have chosen your contractor well, will be very skilled.  A good contractor can tell you what the schedule will be and maintain it. That seldom happens with a DIY project.

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