How Much Does a Typical Kitchen Renovation Cost?

You know that kitchen renovations tend to be more expensive than other common home improvement projects, but remodeling the kitchen adds enormous value to your home and lifestyle. Dreaming, planning and budgeting often boil down to one question - how much does a typical kitchen renovation cost?

Straight answer - it's difficult to say for sure. Kitchen remodeling costs depend on your location, the size of your kitchen and the extent of the remodeling project. Experts quote that a typical North American kitchen renovation, including all costs and professional installation, runs from $15,000 to $40,000. But that range varies depending on the factors listed above.

Breakdown the individual ingredients to get a better idea of where your renovation dollar will go in that new kitchen.

Elements of a Typical Kitchen Renovation

Most kitchen remodeling projects include:

  • New Countertops - Probably the number one element replaced during a renovation, old and worn countertops are being replaced by granite, concrete, quartz and high end laminate styles.
  • New Cabinets or Refaced Cabinets - Many homeowners opt to save money by simply refacing their existing cabinets. This will only work if the existing cabinetry is in good condition and your new kitchen design works with the current layout. A redesigned kitchen calls for new cabinets, and extensions and islands require an investment in new cabinetry. Wood and laminate are the most popular types on the market today.
  • New Flooring - old vinyl floors often need to be removed and replaced, with laminate, engineered wood, tiles and cork flooring remaining the top choices for modern kitchen makeovers.
  • New Appliances - your old appliances will look out of place in a newly built kitchen remodel, and many renovation projects result from appliances purchases. Get that gas range you've always dreamed of, or upgrade to stainless steel appliances for a sleek, modern look.
  • New Lighting and Electrical - Light fixtures brighten your workspace in the kitchen, and custom lighting often requires electrical work. New appliance installation may also call for an electrician, and added features like garbage disposals and kitchen islands need to be wired in.
  • New Backsplash - Installing a tiled backsplash adds drama to the kitchen, and provides a great-looking low maintenance solution. Splurge on your favorite tiles in this area and save on flooring tiles to get the most bang for your buck. Backsplashes may also include mosaics and accents that brighten up a neutral space without overwhelming the area.
  • Drywall, Ceiling and Window Repairs and Renovations - If you're planning to move features within the kitchen, you may need to plan for repairs and renovations to the walls, ceiling or windows. Install larger windows for better natural light, repair damaged ceilings and put in recessed lighting or knock down a non-supporting wall to open up your new space. All of these aspects affect the surrounding drywall, ceiling and windows. Painting is commonly needed at some point in a kitchen renovation.

Calculating the Costs

Start your kitchen remodeling with a detailed plan. Looking at each element above, write down or sketch out the materials required. Use those notes to gather prices, whether from a kitchen contractor or at the local building supply store.

Look for price comparisons as well, noting your preferred style/color/brand beside an optional style/color/brand. This allows you to trim costs later if the renovation moves beyond your budget, and keeps your priorities balanced.

Once you have all of the individual elements priced out (including comparison costs) add everything up. This figure represents your total renovation cost. Many homeowners decide to tackle a major renovation like this in stages, perhaps installing the cabinets and counters first, while saving the backsplash and appliances for a few months. This helps to spread the costs out over time, but may result in higher labor costs and inefficiencies.

Always plan to spend about 10 to 15 percent more than these budgeted numbers. Unforeseen circumstances are bound to occur, especially if you're knocking down walls, moving appliances or renovating an older home. Structural repairs, electrical upgrades and demolition fixes can really add up on a project of this size. And small things, like appliance delivery charges, a few extra pieces of trim and upgraded floor underlayment, can add up to big money in the end.

What About DIY?

Many DIY enthusiasts have plans to save money by trying their hand at a kitchen renovation. Remember that you may save on labor costs, but DIY kitchen renos take much longer than professionally done remodeling projects and may not reach the same level of quality (depending on the extent of your reno). Weigh the cost savings realistically and value your time before committing to a DIY kitchen renovation. It's a good idea to get a quote from your local professional to accurately compare DIY and contractor costs.

You can tackle some aspects of your kitchen remodeling without risking the overall quality and wasting too much of your valuable time. Demolition is well within the skill set of many homeowners, and generally only requires a few weekends of hard work and the dumping charges. Depending on your skills, flooring installation, painting and trim may be handled by the homeowner.

Your home improvement project will be anything but typical. Designed with your lifestyle in mind, the reno will include various aspects, building materials and processes that make it difficult to come up with an estimate off hand. Start with your basic plan, gather prices and add 15 percent to that total for a better idea of the overall costs. Use that number for budgeting and to plan for financing.

How much does a typical kitchen renovation cost? The answer depends on where you live, the extent of your renovation and the materials used. Expect to spend anywhere from $15,000 to $45,000 for a fully installed kitchen remodel, and even less when DIY tasks are involved. Remember that kitchen renos add value to your home, and offer great return on investment as well as improved comfort in your home.

Posted by: diana
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