Are you considering a kitchen remodel but finding yourself worried about the price? Let’s talk through that.
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When you moved into your home, chances are that you were absolutely thrilled with it. You probably loved every nook and cranny, reveling in the fact that it was yours. Still, with time, most of us find ourselves wishing for something more—and that isn’t a bad thing. Considering a remodel doesn’t mean that you love your home any less. In fact, it means that you are willing to invest to make it that much better.
Every single day, we invest in ways to improve our lives. It might be choosing to pursue a new hobby or educational opportunity. Sometimes it is something as simple as buying ourselves a new set of luxurious sheets. A little change can make a lot of difference, and change is a very good thing for us.
One change that people love the idea of is remodeling their kitchen—and it is easy to see why. Our kitchen is a valuable space in our home. It is where we try out new recipes and make memories. With that being said, it can come with a price tag.
You might ask yourself:
How much will a kitchen remodel cost me?
Don’t worry. In this article, we are going to explore some of the factors that influence the price of a remodel in order to help you turn your renovation into a worthwhile investment.
Understanding Your Budget
Before you can fully commit to a kitchen remodel, you should always know how much you are willing to spend—and this should be a comfortable number for you. If you spend too much, you might not enjoy the remodel the same way, and if you spend too little, you might not be pleased with the results.
Consider Home Value
When we work with a new client, we always like to help them to determine what an appropriate budget will be. Personally, we believe that the best way to create a budget for your remodel is to consider the overall home value.
If you’re home is worth $500,000, you probably wouldn’t want to spend over a million dollars on a renovation, even if you have the money hidden under your mattress. You can receive an estimate on your home’s value here.
Instead of asking yourself:
❌ How much can I spend on my remodel?
Ask yourself this instead:
✅ How much can I spend to guarantee a return on my investment?
Investing too much will ultimately not yield the return on investment that you are looking for. Even though the upgrade will drive the home value up, it is unlikely that the investment will truly be worth it if you spend too much compared to the existing value of your home. Fortunately, kitchen remodels are believed to offer a significant boost in value.
Recognize the Range
Home renovations of all kinds can come at different price points. In reality, two people can invest in kitchen remodels in identical homes and come away with very different costs—and this isn’t just based on who you choose to work with.
Spot the difference between these conversations:
“Your new kitchen looks great! How much did the remodel cost?”
“Thank you! It came in just under $120,000!”
“I love your new kitchen! Was it expensive?”
“Thank you, we love it too! It actually came in under $40,000!”
That’s right, the only real difference here is the price. Both parties invested in a kitchen remodel and ended up with kitchens that they loved (and that their friends loved too!). Price doesn’t determine whether or not you will enjoy your remodel, but it does play a role.
Kitchen remodels can have a very wide price range. In our experience, the average remodel comes in around $75,000–but that doesn’t mean that is the price for you! Some remodels come in at as little as $35,000 and others can cost upwards of $160,000. When it comes down to it, it is all about the choices that you make and what feels right for your home.
Be Prepared to Talk with Your Contractor
Having a specific budget does not have to be a limitation, but it is something that requires consideration. If you have a known maximum amount that you are willing to spend, make sure your contractor knows that. This can help you and your team to choose the best approach for your remodel.
How Do I Fund My Budget?
Before you can jump into your kitchen remodel, you need to know how you will pay for it. Fortunately, there are a lot of ways to fund a remodel, making it possible for everyone to choose a method that works well for them.
Most people choose this option when it comes to investing in a remodel, particularly a large one. Refinancing allows you to easily obtain a large amount of money very quickly, which can be used to pay for the upgrades and improve your home. Relying on this approach is favored because your home investment will automatically drive up value and make the investment worth it without causing problems for your monthly payments. Even better, refinancing can help you to lower your interest rate and might be a cheaper solution than buying a new home.
Home Equity Line of Credit
Depending on how long you have lived in your home, this might be a better option for you. In the event that you have been building up equity in your home after paying it off, we have good news: you can use it. People with equity can use their equity like a piggy bank. Since you are investing in your home, this can help you to improve home value and increase your equity even more. Home equity loans can even help you qualify for a tax break.
Some people choose to save for their remodel advance, or make the investment when their rainy day fund has begun to flow over. Paying in cash is always an option. If this feels best to you, that is just fine!
What Factors Go Into The Budget?
As far as remodels go, kitchens have a tendency to be more expansive. There are a lot of different components in a kitchen, which is why the price range can be so extreme for this type of renovation. When you invest in a kitchen remodel, you are investing in multiple different trades and different materials. The decisions you make with each factor will influence the overall price.
In a full kitchen remodel, cabinets have a large influence on the total cost—and this is good news. Your cabinet choices generally account for about a third of the overall cost of your remodel. This means that you can use the cabinets to ensure that your remodel comes in for a budget that works for you.
Cabinets can be made from a lot of different materials, each with their own benefits. Depending on the materials and designs, you might be looking at $14,000 for cabinets, or it might be more in the ballpark of $35,000. It all depends on your choice.
Your new cabinets are so beautiful!
At the point where you show off your new kitchen, this is what everyone wants to hear. Don’t worry, you don’t need to buy the most expensive cabinets to hear it! There are beautiful cabinets at all different price points.
Tile and Solid Surfaces
A large part of the kitchen is all of those solid surfaces. You want a beautiful floor beneath your feet and stunning countertops for your cooking process. Like cabinets, these materials can vary in price significantly. There is a good opportunity to save here, but you can also invest in extravagant options that will completely change the look and feel of your kitchen too.
Your backsplash tiles are the pieces of tile that line the walls of certain parts of your kitchen. Generally, you will find them behind the counters and the stovetop—and with good reason. Most of us know by now that sometimes cooking can get messy. Backsplash tiles make it easy to clean up, even if your spaghetti sauce gets a little spirited!
Labor and Overhead
Labor and overhead can generally be responsible for another third of your overall renovation cost. Unfortunately, the materials in your kitchen will not install themselves, which is why you are hiring a local contractor in the first place.
Overhead is the actual cost of keeping a business running. It is what a contract team requires to be able to keep the lights on and show up everyday to make beautiful new kitchens. This is paired with a labor cost, which is the cost of paying every person who walks into your home to make your new dream kitchen a reality for you.
These costs can change from one contractor to the next. Since every business has different operating costs, slight deviations in pricing can be expected. However, the competitive nature of the market makes it possible to keep costs in a general ballpark. This means that you don’t have to worry about paying significantly more money from one team to the next in most circumstances.
How Can I Control Project Costs?
We have a lot of conversations with our clients. Remodels have several different factors to consider and discuss, but nothing is more common than the following question:
How can I save on my kitchen renovation?
Saving money is a key point of concern for most people when they make the decision to invest in a renovation. We completely understand this! Who doesn’t like saving money? We know that we do, which is why we are happy to help our customers find savings that work for them too!
Can I Buy My Own Materials?
We hear this question a lot. It could save you up to 30% because there is a markup on the products that we buy. However, the markup is not simply intended to drive up the cost. It is our way of ensuring that we receive products that we can stand by—and this matters for you. It is all about the warranty process.
The markup that we employ is our way of guaranteeing the quality of what you receive. It means that if something breaks or needs to be replaced, we can handle it for you. However, if you choose to invest in your own materials, that guarantee is no longer present. There will not be a warranty on the products, so if there is a crack, chip, or any other damage, you would be responsible for fixing or replacing it.
Can We Do Demolition?
As renovation experts, we love HGTV as much as anyone. If there is one thing that HGTV loves to show off, it is demolition. After all, what would all those shows be if no one got to pick up a hammer and drive it into their wall? It looks like a ton of fun, doesn’t it?
The good news is that you can absolutely do that, but demolition really isn’t all that fun. In reality, it is a ton of work, and a majority of people don’t realize it until they get started. The prep work associated with the process alone is substantial. While it might save you money, that isn’t a guarantee.
If you are considering doing your own demolition, that is something to discuss with your contractor. We need to have a very specific scope of work to ensure that you demolish the right areas and don’t end up creating more work than the team would have had to do originally.
Unfortunately, a misstep during the demolition process could permanently damage your home, or even create more costs for you by making more work for the contractor.
Can I Paint?
People love to ask this question more than any other. With all those movies showing us how fun painting can be, we completely understand why. For some people, painting is a great experience, especially for couples!
A few days of painting can be fun, but it does bring some additional risk. You might find yourself with paint that doesn’t match your vision, and it will be your job to fix it. If the contractor orders the paint, the discrepancy would be on them.
What it All Means
At the end of the day, there are several different factors that will influence your total cost. Working with your contractor is the best way to guarantee that your remodel gives you the kitchen of your dreams. If you want to take on some of the tasks, that is just fine. As long as you are aware that your involvement might bring the cost down or raise it up, you can make the decision responsibly. It is all about what you want!
If you have questions about how to get started or you want to talk through the cost of your remodel, contact us directly for a quote!