How to estimate the cost of your kitchen remodel

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Embarking on a kitchen renovation can be a daunting task. There’s the scope of your project and the layout of its design (these are the cogs in your renovation), but then dozens of selections follow, each with hundreds of options.

The internet, magazines, and model home tours are full of style inspiration that can take your breath away — and your budget. Most of those beautiful photographs or showroom kitchens don’t advertise their price tags, which leads to a whole new arena to navigate: knowing how much to save and how much to spend.

A number of homeowner questions come up on almost every kitchen remodeling project. Many companies avoid or outright refuse to answer these questions coldly, which can be understandable. But that doesn’t make it easy for homeowners to navigate the renovation process. So, in this four-part series, we answer and explain the four most common questions. Part 1 kicks off with the most universal question: cost.

When you walk into a showroom and it’s your first question, companies may avoid answering it at all costs (no pun intended) due to variability – and that’s a good point.

Take two identical kitchen layouts, one designed in maple cabinets with a mission style door and no cabinet storage accessories, and another designed in cherry cabinets with a raised panel door style and many internal bells and whistles. There could be a $20,000 price difference between these two.

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This example assumes two identical kitchen layouts, but normally when this question is asked cold, the designers have no information about your actual needs or space (and specifying that “I don’t need a lot; it’s is small” isn’t as useful as you might think. ).

To give a realistic price, companies need more information. This is, in part, why they want to take your information and ask you lots of questions that can lead to a design they can assess for you with great specificity. This is a much more accurate method of answering the question “how much will it cost”, from a business perspective. However, that’s a lot of time for a homeowner who literally has no idea whether redoing the kitchen might cost $5,000 or $500,000.

With rising material costs, in East Coast suburban single-family homes, it’s increasingly difficult to find a company to provide the design, material and installation of a complete kitchen renovation for less. of $30,000. A range of $30,000 to $40,000 tends to be on the lower end of the spectrum, and you can estimate incremental increases of around $20,000 from there to reach the mid to high end.

The frequent follow-up question: is it possible to renovate for less than that?

Sure. First of all, keep in mind the parameters defined upstream: “suburb”, “single family house”, “east coast”. Different parts of the country – even different parts of a state – and different types of homes are going to affect your renovation costs. (It’s important to remember this whenever you don’t see those defining parameters listed, but a price associated with a remodel.) Also, most designers are savvy enough to know how to minimize costs – for example , cabinet doors are less expensive than drawers – especially on the particular product lines they carry.

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There are also other options to consider, such as coordinating the project yourself: hiring individual professionals is usually less expensive than going to a one-stop shop offering design, material supply and installers as part of a global offer. To be clear, this “global deal” is not a scam: it takes a lot of energy to find and retain good talent, and the extra cost is directly related to the value of someone else having figured it all out. that, plus managing the entire project for you.

But if you’re organized, available, and willing to put in the effort yourself, working with a designer on the layout and specifications and hiring separate contractors for installation can be a money-saving opportunity. (You will first want to discuss who will be ordering the materials, such as the cabinetry – you, the designer or the contractor. Some professionals prefer or require ordering the materials themselves, which could be based on anything, liability to trade agreements.)

One additional noteworthy note: These ballpark numbers (such as $30,000 to $40,000) usually exclude the cost of new devices.

The reason appliances aren’t usually included in renovation estimates is, again, because of variability. You can buy a new microwave oven for $30 or $1,500; a new refrigerator for $800 or $8,000. There’s also a healthy market for used devices worth considering, which could get you exactly what you want for a fraction of the price, especially if you buy from a reliable source (the same can be said for many other components of a kitchen, too).

“How much will it cost” can be a difficult question to answer for any professional who is unfamiliar with your particular project. However, there are some important clues to listen for and consider when you hear prices given for certain models on home improvement TV shows or from your friend across the county or country. The best question to ask any company you are considering is, “What are the typical low, medium, and high cost ranges for your full kitchen renovations?”

This is the first report in a four-part series answering your most burning home improvement questions – the questions companies rarely want to answer for you. Keep an eye out for parts 2, 3 and 4.