How much does a kitchen remodel cost?

For many of us, the kitchen serves as the heart of our homes. Sometimes the heart needs a little work. But that work will bring a lot of joy for years to come.

In a 2019 survey by the National Association of Realtors[1] , U.S. consumers expressed enthusiasm about kitchen remodeling projects. In fact, 85% of them said they had more of a desire to be home after wrapping up a kitchen remodel.

However, as you know, a kitchen makeover comes at a cost. But just how much of a cost is involved in a minor or major kitchen remodel? Just as every remodeling project is different, so is the expense of each project.

According to HomeAdvisor[2] , an average kitchen remodel costs $25,093, or $150 per square foot. The website puts the typical price range at $13,095 and $37,115, and says most homeowners spend anywhere from $75 to $250 per square foot.

HomeAdvisor points out that the total cost depends on a variety of factors, such as the size of the kitchen and quality of materials.

A smaller project, costing $10,000 to $15,000, might include painting walls, refacing cabinets, upgrading the sink and installing a tile backsplash, HomeAdvisor says. Meanwhile, a $30,000-plus renovation might feature custom cabinets, hardwood floors, granite countertops and high-end appliances.

Remodeling magazine offers different estimates[3]  for the cost of a kitchen remodel. For 2020, its says the typical cost is:

·   $23,452 for a basic kitchen remodel.

·   $68,490 for a mid-level kitchen remodel.

·   $135,547 for a high-end kitchen remodel.

The National Kitchen and Bath Association[4]  puts a different spin on the cost of a kitchen remodel. The group recommends budgeting 15% to 20% of the value of your home for a kitchen remodel. Here’s how that might look:

·   For a home valued at $200,000, the budget for a kitchen remodel would be $30,000 to $40,000.

·   For a home valued at $400,000, the budget for a kitchen remodel would be $60,000 to $80,000.

As part of determining your budget, says you should ask these five questions:[5] 

1.    How much can I afford to spend?

2.    What do I want in a kitchen?

3.    How do I want to use the kitchen (cooking, entertaining, studying, working and so forth)?

4.    How long can I go without a kitchen during the remodeling project?

5.    Will I be selling the home in the near future?

“Once your budget has been determined, cut it by at least 25%. Set the extra money aside as a cushion to make unexpected surprises much less stressful,” suggests.[6] recommends[7]  setting aside less money (10%) to cover construction overages and other expenses that might pop up.

Regardless of the amount you allocate for surprise costs, says you should price out every component of your kitchen remodel, including materials and labor. Cabinetry and hardware typically represent 29% of the cost of a kitchen remodel.

“Cabinets are the workhorse of the kitchen,” Tennille Wood, CEO and principal designer at Beautiful Habitat in Denver, tells NerdWallet[8] . “The entire floor plan and function of the kitchen is built on them.”

Consumer Reports emphasizes that cabinets play a big part in how your kitchen looks and functions.

“Bottom line: Get the cabinets right and your chance of loving your new kitchen will go way up,” the magazine says.

However much the cabinets and all the other elements cost, the price is worth it, according to a survey by the National Association of Realtors[9] . In 2019, Realtors ranked a complete kitchen renovation as the project with the greatest appeal to potential buyers, followed by a kitchen upgrade. They ranked those projects in the same order when asked which projects offer the biggest boost to a home’s resale value.

A kitchen remodel also can add value if you plan to stay in your home for years to come.

“A kitchen remodel can do wonders for your productivity and sanity, particularly if you spend extended periods of time in it,” kitchen blogger Grace Woinicz says.

When you’re considering a kitchen remodel, Woinicz recommends:

·   Thinking through your kitchen plan by imagining how you want to set up the zones of your kitchen. For instance, the “fire” zone is where you cook, while the “ice” zone is where you store food.

·   Looking at the number of counters and drawers. “You can never have too many,” she says.

·   Pondering a pantry. “Even a small walk-in pantry with floor-to-ceiling shelving will do wonders to making your life easier and more organized,” she says.