Most Expensive Parts of a Kitchen Remodel

The Most Expensive Part of a Kitchen

Share This Post

Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on twitter
Share on email

Kitchen renovations can come at a high price point—let’s explore the areas that can cause your renovation cost to soar.

The kitchen is one of the most popular areas in a home to renovate, but being the most popular doesn’t mean that it is the cheapest. Kitchen renovations can come at a very high price point simply because of everything that goes into them. Of course, if you want to lower these costs, you will need to understand what factors influence the price.

“Is there a way to save money during a kitchen renovation?”

“Kitchen renovations can be very expensive, but there are a few key factors that influence the price in a big way. Let’s explore what these are—and how you can make decisions to suit your budget without compromising on quality.”

There are three common considerations that will heavily influence the price of your renovation, which means that if you want to keep costs low, you will need to focus on these key areas when making your decisions. 

Understanding how certain factors can influence your price can help you to invest in a kitchen remodel that you will be proud to spend your money on—and not just because of the amazing work that we do!

The Cabinets

The cabinets are one of the biggest factors that will influence the price of your remodel, and one look in almost any modern kitchen will show you why—cabinets take up the majority of the space. Given how much space cabinets take up, it should be a surprise that the materials and the accessories that you choose will influence the price.

“Wow, it makes sense that cabinets would be such a big cost. I never really thought about it, but they really are… everywhere.”

“Quite a bit of material and labor goes into cabinet installations, but that’s not a bad thing. It is what makes your kitchen look so nice!”

Though it can be tempting to consider cabinetry the perfect place to save, it is important to remember that you are significantly more likely to find yourself struggling if you don’t choose quality items here. Cabinets face a lot of use, and they are also one of the more visible decisions that you will make—don’t skip out here if you can avoid it.

Prefabricated or Semi-Custom Sets

Prefabricated cabinets are one of the favored options by homeowners for one primary reason: they tend to be cheaper. These materials give you the ability to save significantly on expenses, but that doesn’t mean that they are entirely without fault.

On average, investing in prefabrication allows homeowners to save anywhere from $5000 to $10,000 dollars per project. This is a significant savings opportunity, which demonstrates just how great of an opportunity that it can be for your budget—but what you save in money you gain in time.

“I love that these cabinets are so much cheaper, but what’s the catch here?”

“We’re glad you thought to ask. These cabinets are cheaper, but it is really more of a trade-off with time.”

When ordering prefabricated materials, it almost always means that you will be ordering them from another country, which can cause significant problems. Right now, prefabricated materials can come with a wait lasting anywhere from 16 to 24 weeks—a fact that can significantly impact your project schedule. This is being caused by the global shipping delays that are impacting every industry right now, a problem that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. 

Custom Cabinets

At KHB Construction, we personally prefer custom cabinets made with a local fabricator. This is a more expensive option, but it is well worth the investment if you can swing it for your budget. This approach to cabinetry can cause you to spend more on labor and overhead. Still, it is arguably the better option. Custom cabinets can take as little as 3 to 6 weeks to receive. 

“Wow, only a few weeks for fully custom cabinets?”

“Yep! By working with local fabricators, we can dramatically improve the timeline compared to the alternatives.”

The obvious benefit with custom cabinets is in the name—custom. When you choose custom cabinetry, you gain access to all of the accessories and upgrades that you can imagine. While prefabricated alternatives will come as they are, custom cabinets let you choose what you do and do not want to see in your kitchen, including spice racks, organizers, and specialty designs. 

There is a less obvious benefit that still ties into the custom nature of these cabinets. Rather than investing in premade designs that seem like they will work, you gain the benefit of having the actual fabricators on-site in your home. This means that they can take the measurements and design everything to specifically meet the needs of your kitchen.

Solid Surface Fabrication Install and the Material Itself

Solid surfaces are the countertops and backsplashes that will be present in your kitchen. These surfaces, like the cabinets, account for a significant amount of space in the kitchen—and they are also available in a variety of different materials. Considering this, it isn’t a surprise that the decisions that you make here can significantly drive up the cost. 

“I know people always talk about marble countertops being expensive, but I had no idea how much counters can cost.”

The Price Range

The first factor to consider when making solid surface decisions is the price range itself. This particular selection can range from $800 to $5,000 depending on the decisions that you make and the materials that are involved. Considering the significance of this range, it is important to thoroughly consider your options—and the factors that influence them. This range will help you to know how you are doing compared to other homeowners.

The Amount of Materials

The reason that solid surface fabrication costs so much is that it isn’t actually a singular cost. Depending on the amount of surface that you have to cover, you can expect to pay more. On average, most people end up paying for 3 to 4 pieces of their chosen solid surface material. Ultimately, this means that you will need to multiply the price of any material that you choose by the number of pieces that you need. 

“So the initial price is just per piece?”

“Exactly, which means the ultimate price will be multiplied by the number of materials that you need.”

When you look at base prices, it is also important to remember that you will be dealing with markup to ensure that everything is covered and in good order. This markup can be anywhere from 30% to 70% depending on the contractor that you work with.

Fabrication Costs

The fabrication costs to make and present your materials can range from $100 to $150 dollars per square foot depending on the fabricator and the way that they run their company. These costs can vary depending on a variety of internal factors, so it is important to work with a fabricator that you can trust. This can easily be accomplished by working with your contractor directly for this step, which we would always recommend. 

“I guess I never considered the fact that these materials don’t come naturally cabinet-shaped.”

“Fabrication is one of those behind-the-scenes costs that are easy to overlook until we get the bill.”

An important consideration with fabrication costs and the fabricator themselves is the level of expertise that the group has. The reality is that not every fabricator has the expertise, knowledge, or ability to handle fully custom challenges. 

If you want fancy arches, waterfalls, or specialty backsplashes, you will find that not every fabricator is up to the job. To ensure that you spend the right amount of money and receive a quality design, it is important to work with a group that is able to handle these challenges.

Consider Your Materials

The materials that you choose can play a big role in your total cost, and this is where some homeowners can find themselves in trouble. The material costs can vary significantly because of what is involved when working with them.

“I guess it makes sense that different materials have different costs.”

“Yeah, different work goes into making and using these materials. Some materials are so fragile that they have to be cut slowly.”

The price differences here really come down to materials that are natural as opposed to man-made. Natural materials must be obtained, and they must be handled completely differently too. In most cases, natural materials are more fragile and need to be handled with care. This can take more time to work with, and it can also increase costs.

The Labor and Overhead

Any time that you work with a general contractor, you are giving yourself over to someone else’s level of expertise, time, and design experience. The amount of work that goes into bringing your kitchen remodel to life will always have a big impact on how your final price plays out.

Time, Material, and Labor Hours

When pricing out how much you will be paying the general contractor team for their work and services, you will need to consider the time, material, and labor hours. Time is the amount of time that will actually go into making your dream kitchen into a reality—and what that entails.

“Wait, so the amount of work that you put in changes from one project to the next?”

“It sure does. The amount of work that goes into every project is personally influenced by the decisions that you make.”

Material costs can influence pricing in a couple of different ways. There is, of course, the general cost of the materials themselves, but that isn’t the only point of interest here. The materials that you choose can also come with different installation methods and considerations, which might increase the price further.

The labor hours involved are the number of people that are present on the site in order to see it through to completion. This involves the different people required with different areas of expertise and the amount of time that they contribute to being at the site, a fact which can vary depending on what is involved—and whether or not you decide on any changes during the process.

Changes to the Area

The biggest factor when pricing out the labor involved and the total overhead costs is really whether or not you are making changes to your kitchen. Any time that you move something in your kitchen, you should consider the associated cost.

“So, it actually matters if I want to put my sink in a different part of the kitchen?”

“It sure does. If we have to move a sink, we have to move all of the plumbing too. This can take a lot more time and money.”

When we trade a kitchen like-for-like, it means that we are just going to put new materials in the same place as the old ones. This means that there is significantly less work involved, which ultimately means lower costs for you.

“Will keeping everything where it was help to cut costs?”

“It certainly can, especially if the alternative is moving components of the kitchen that will lead to other changes, like plumbing or electrical hookups. If they aren’t in the new space, we have to move them there before we can install anything.”

When we move certain items, it changes everything. Moving plumbing, hookups for accessories, or redesigning your kitchen in any way will ultimately have us offering more labor—and this means that it will cost more to see it through.

The Takeaway

Your kitchen renovation can vary significantly in cost based on the choices that you make, which is why it can be helpful to discuss your budget with your contractor in advance. Together, we can always find a way to give you your dream kitchen without charging you more than you want to spend. With your budget in mind, we can help guide you through the decision-making process and keep an eye out for ways to save on expenses as we go along.

More To Explore