What Makes Kitchen Remodels So Expensive

If you are planning on making an overall improvement to your home, then the kitchen is a great place to start. The kitchen is where people spend a lot of their time, and it is also one of the most important rooms in the house. However, kitchen remodels can be very expensive, which can deter some people.

If you have the money to spend, kitchen remodels may be a great investment. The money you spend on the remodel will make your kitchen look better and increase the value of your home. If you plan on selling your home in the future, then a kitchen renovation can help you get more money for your home.

Things to Consider When Remodeling a Kitchen

white wooden kitchen cabinet and white kitchen cabinet

Remodeling a kitchen is not a cheap project, and there are many things that you need to consider before starting the process. Here are some of the things that you need to keep in mind:

✔Set your budget

When it comes to kitchen remodels, you need to be realistic about the expenses. It is important to set a budget before starting the remodeling process so you won’t overspend. Large restoration projects often take longer and cost more money than anticipated. So, it’s good to set a cautious budget below your maximum budget to guarantee that you have extra cash if your project exceeds your expectations.

A fair rule of thumb is to add a further 10% to 20% for unanticipated costs. The larger your financial buffer, the better. There are many different ways to save money on a kitchen remodel, and you need to be aware of them before you start the project.

✔Anticipate other hidden fees

In addition to the cost of materials and labor, there are other hidden fees that you need to be aware of when you are planning a kitchen remodel. These hidden fees can include permits, inspections, and utility hookups.

You also need to be aware that your kitchen remodel will likely require new appliances. If you do not already have them, you will need to purchase new appliances. It can be a significant expense, and you need to factor it into your budget.

✔Conduct some research

If you are unsure where to start, you should conduct some research. You can start by looking online for kitchen remodeling ideas. There are a lot of different websites that can give you great ideas for your kitchen remodel.

In addition to conducting research online, you should also talk to your friends and family members who have recently conducted a kitchen remodel. They will be able to give you some great tips and advice for your project.

To determine the cost of products, you can also visit kitchen showrooms and home shops and then determine what you need and what you can spend.

✔Seek for quality over quantity

While you want to save money on your kitchen remodel, you also want to ensure that you are getting quality products. It is better to spend a bit more money on higher quality products in many cases because they will last longer and look better.

You should always purchase the best quality appliances that you can afford when it comes to appliances. Cheap appliances will not last as long, and they will not look as good.

You also need to be careful about the contractors that you choose. You want to make sure that you hire a reputable contractor who has a lot of experience with kitchen remodels.

✔Weight your need vs. wants

During the planning process, you need to list your needs and wants. It will help you to prioritize your remodeling project. Your needs are the things that are essential for your kitchens, such as new appliances or countertops. Your wants are what you would like to have in your kitchen, but they are not essential.

It’s tempting to acquire all kinds of trendy appliances and gadgets. Still, it’s wiser to stick to the tried-and-true fundamentals you will use every day.

Also, keep in mind that some features will have a higher return on investment than others. For example, if you plan to sell your home soon, you will want to focus on features that potential buyers will be looking for.

✔Plan your entire kitchen layout

When planning your kitchen remodel, it is important to plan your entire kitchen layout before starting. It will help you to avoid making any expensive mistakes.

You need to think about the placement of your appliances, countertops, cabinets, and other features. You also need to think about the traffic flow in your kitchen. You want to make sure that your kitchen is functional and comfortable.

Take advantage of the conventional work triangle wherever feasible. Arrange the sink, refrigerator, and stove in a triangle formation to make meal prep and cleanup efficient.

✔Plan for other necessary kitchen space

Your kitchen will likely need other space besides the work triangle. For example, you will need a place for your family to eat. You also need to think about storage space. If you do not have enough storage space, your kitchen will become cluttered and dysfunctional.

You also need to think about the lighting in your kitchen. Good lighting is essential for a functional and comfortable kitchen. You also need to think about the ventilation in your kitchen. If your kitchen does not have good ventilation, it can become very stuffy and unpleasant.

What Is The Cost For Kitchen Remodeling?

white wooden cabinet near window

Before we get into the details, let’s look at how much a renovation job generally costs. The cost ranges from $15,000 to $30,000 for a kitchen around 1010 square feet. And the average cost of a kitchen makeover is roughly $25,000.

On the other hand, the expenses for your kitchen renovation project will be determined by several variables, such as:

  • Are you considering a DIY or hiring a specialist to paint your kitchen cabinets?
  • Do you prefer granite or marble as a countertop material?
  • What is your ideal kitchen layout?
  • Are you planning to install all new appliances or re-use the existing ones?
  • What type of flooring do you want in your kitchen?

As you can see, there are a lot of factors that come into play when it comes to calculating the cost of a kitchen makeover.

What Are Included In The Cost For Kitchen Renovations?

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There are several assumptions about the cost of a kitchen renovation:


  1. You will need to buy all new appliances and install them yourself.
  2. Purchasing all new countertops, cabinets, and flooring is necessary.
  3. You will need to hire a contractor to do the work for you.

These assumptions are valid, but they are not the only factors that come into play. For example, if you already have some of the appliances you need, you will not need to buy all new ones. And if you are planning to re-use some of your existing countertops and cabinets, you will not need to purchase all new ones.

But here are three primary factors that you must consider when remodeling your kitchen.


Every aspect of a kitchen must originate from somewhere. The countertops, cabinets, floors, walls, appliances, and fixtures all come from materials. And you need to purchase these materials before any work can begin.

The material cost will depend on several factors, such as the quality of the materials and the supplier. But in general, you can expect to spend between $5,000 and $10,000 on materials for a small kitchen. And suppose you are planning to use high-end materials, such as granite countertops or stainless steel appliances. In that case, you can expect to spend even more.


Similarly to the supplies, the labor necessary for a kitchen makeover will also come at a cost. The more difficult the project is, the more expensive it will be. And since a kitchen renovation typically requires a lot of work, such as demolition, plumbing, electrical, and carpentry work, it is usually one of the more difficult projects.

Indeed, the majority of tradesmen are journeymen, having spent years honing their profession to provide great services that set them apart from the competitors.

But the difficulty level is not the only factor determining the cost of labor. The number of hours required to complete the project is also a major factor. And since a kitchen makeover typically takes several weeks to complete, you can expect to pay a significant amount for labor.


In contrast to new building projects or even those in the private sector, remodels are sensitive, quick, and demanding tasks. It is best to hire a team of experts that can work quickly and efficiently to minimize the disruption to your home.

In general, the labor cost will depend on the size of the team, the experience of the workers, and the length of time they are working. However, suppose you hire a team of experts, such as a contractor, an electrician, and a plumber. In that case, you can expect to pay even more.

Why Are Kitchen Remodels So Expensive?

Kitchen remodeling may be a huge task, but it can also be highly gratifying. It’s a great way to improve your home’s look, feel, and value. But as with any home improvement project, it is important to understand the costs before you begin.

Here is a breakdown of the things included in the cost of your kitchen remodel.


Design is the initial stage in any kitchen redesign. When planning your kitchen makeover, you have three options, each with its own set of expenses to consider.

Interior designers and architects: You must first layout your kitchen with the help of an architect or interior designer. They will help you create a blueprint of your kitchen, including all of the specifications for the appliances, countertops, and cabinets. This option offers the most expensive up-front design costs, depending on the firm’s size and expertise. 

To put things in perspective, an architect recently told me that drawing out blueprints costs around 17% of your building budget on average. 

Showrooms for kitchens: If you want to keep costs down, you can visit a showroom specializing in kitchen design. You can visit large box retailers such as Ikea or Home Depot. Here, you will find all the materials and appliances you need for your kitchen makeover.

Constructive design: The design costs charged by design businesses, like those charged by architects, vary greatly depending on the company. Nonetheless, they are usually less than an architect’s costs.


Before pricing a kitchen remodeling, the architects or designers need to know the layout first. There are various distinct techniques to renovating a kitchen, each of which falls into a different price range.

U-shaped kitchen: A U-shaped kitchen is one of the more expensive layouts, as it requires more cabinets and counter space.

L-shaped kitchen: An L-shaped kitchen is less costly than a U-shaped kitchen since it requires less counter space and cabinets.

Pull and replace: Pull and Replace is the most simple method because there are few modifications. It is only a minor adjustment to your cupboards, appliances, and lighting. However, the wiring, walls, and plumbing are left in their original state. 

Full gut: The most extensive and disruptive type of kitchen renovation is a full gut. It involves completely gutting your kitchen, which means it requires replacement for all of the wiring, plumbing, walls, and flooring.

Expansion: Expansion is often combined with other types of kitchen redesigns, such as a full gut or pull and replace. If you’re expanding your kitchen, you will need to factor in the cost of additional materials and the labor required to complete the expansion.


Your kitchen makeover will need a permit. The price of the permit will depend on your location, as well as the scope of work. Additional permissions, such as an electrical or plumbing permit, may be required depending on the extent of your work. Other permissions may be necessary to modify a home’s exterior, historic properties, or communities with an HOA.


Demolition is the first step in a kitchen makeover. The cost of demolition will depend on the size of your kitchen and the amount of work needed. If your kitchen is small, you can expect to pay around $1,200 for demolition. If your kitchen is larger or needs to do a full gut, you can expect to pay around $3,000.


What you’ll need for framing is mostly determined by the condition of your current house and your selected layout design. If you’re doing a full gut, you’ll need to put up new walls and support beams. It will require more lumber, which will increase the cost of the framing.

If you’re doing a pull and replace or expansion, you may be able to re-use some of your existing framings. However, you’ll still need to factor in the cost of any new framing that’s needed. The cost of framing will also depend on the type of lumber you use. For example, using engineered lumber will be more expensive than dimensional lumber.


If you’re doing a full gut, you’ll need to factor in the cost of running new utilities. It includes running new electrical wiring, plumbing, and gas lines. The cost of running new utilities will depend on the length of the run and the type of utility. For example, running an electrical line will be less expensive than running a gas line.

If you’re doing a pull and replace or expansion, you may be able to re-use some of your existing utilities. However, you will still need to factor in the cost of any essential new utilities.

💲Electrical & mechanical

You’ll need to factor in the cost of electrical and mechanical work, regardless of the type of kitchen makeover you’re doing. It includes the cost of installing new outlets, switches, fixtures, and appliances. The cost of electrical and mechanical work will depend on the amount of work needed and the job’s complexity.

💲Doors and windows

The cost of doors and windows will depend on the type of door or window you select. For example, a basic sliding glass door will be less expensive than a French door. The cost of doors and windows will also depend on the number of doors and windows you need.

💲Drywall and insulation

The cost of drywall and insulation will depend on the type of drywall and insulation you select. For example, green board drywall will be more expensive than regular drywall. The cost of drywall and insulation will also depend on the amount of wall and ceiling surface that needs covering.


Flooring is a huge financial swing piece. Depending on the scope of the renovation, it might go anywhere within your expense. Do your flooring need replacement, patching, or refinishing? The size of the room and the product selected play a big role in pricing.


You have a lot of options when it comes to a tile backsplash. Tile backsplashes are more practical than plasterboard since they are easy to clean and stand up better to water and culinary heart. Tile backsplashes come in a wide range of materials, colors, and styles. The cost of a tile backsplash will depend on the type of tile you select. For example, using ceramic tile will be less expensive than using glass tile. The cost of a tile backsplash will also depend on the amount of wall surface that needs covering.


Most of us don’t consider the final finishes when it comes to the initial planning. However, they consume more of your cash than you anticipate. Finishing materials like molding, veneer and trim can drive up the cost of your kitchen remodel. Using crown molding will be more expensive than using baseboard trim. If you paint your kitchen with a poor finish, everything will seem cheap. A high-quality paint job will last longer and resist fading, staining, and chipping.


Paint may be costly when dealing with a certified specialist. There is a secret explanation for this, and it has to do with insurance. A qualified painter will have business risk protection, which safeguards you as the property holder if something somehow happened to turn out badly while they were at work. It is something you need to factor into the cost of your kitchen remodel.

💲Cabinets & Tops

Cabinetry can make or break the look of your kitchen. High-quality cabinets will last for years and resist warping, cracking, and chipping. The cost of cabinetry will depend on the type of cabinet you select.

  • Custom: With a customized style, the possibilities are endless. You’ll be able to select the perfect style, finish, and hardware for your space. The cost of custom cabinetry will depend on the materials you select and the complexity of the design.
  • Semi-custom: Semi-custom cabinets offer more flexibility than stock cabinets. You’ll be able to select from various styles, finishes, and hardware options. The cost of semi-custom cabinetry will depend on the materials you select and the complexity of the design.
  • Prefabricated cabinets: Prefabricated cabinets are a more budget-friendly option. The disadvantage of any prefabricated line is that you have limited options. They only have a few cabinet sizes to pick from and only a few door types in particular finishes. They usually provide zero to minimal customization options, making planning an efficient kitchen around them challenging.
  • Countertops: Countertops come in various materials, colors, and styles. The cost of countertops will depend on the type of material you select. There are several countertop options, including cement wood, glass, laminate, stone, etc.


You may be bombarded with advertising promoting free installation when you purchase appliances every time a holiday comes around. However, this is a luxury that will cost you. Installation of appliances costs extra, and it’s something you need to factor into your budget.

When it comes to appliances, you have a lot of options. Choose from the latest refrigeration technology, cooktops, ovens, dishwashers, and more. The cost of appliances will depend on the type of appliance you select and the features you desire.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the most expensive part of a kitchen remodel?

A: The most expensive part of a kitchen remodel is the cabinets & tops. It is because they are a major focal point in the kitchen and can make or break the look of the space.

Q: How much should I budget for a kitchen remodel?

A: The answer to this question depends on several factors, including the size of your kitchen, the scope of work, and the quality of materials you select. However, a general rule of thumb is to budget around $5,000 for minor remodeling and more than $50,000 for major and lavish remodeling.

Q: How can I save money on my kitchen remodel?

A: To save money on your kitchen remodel, select a more budget-friendly countertop material, such as laminate or tile. Another way to save money is to select prefabricated cabinets instead of custom cabinetry. Lastly, you can save money by avoiding unnecessary features and appliances.

Q: Is a kitchen remodel worth it?

A: A kitchen remodels typically worth the investment. Not only will it make your kitchen more functional and efficient, but it will also increase the value of your home.

Q: How long does it take to remodel a kitchen?

A: The answer to this question depends on the scope of work. A minor kitchen remodels can typically be completed in around 2-4 weeks. However, a major kitchen remodel can take 6-8 weeks or longer.

Q: How do I add luxury to my kitchen?

A: One way is to select high-end materials, such as granite or marble countertops. Another way is to select custom cabinetry and built-in appliances. Lastly, you can add luxury with little touches, such as brass hardware or glass doors.

Q: Do I need to install floor or kitchen cabinets first?

A: The order in which you install kitchen cabinets and floors depends on the layout of your kitchen. However, a general rule of thumb is to install the floor first and then the cabinets. It will ensure that your floors are not damaged during the installation of the cabinets.

Final Thoughts

Our kitchen is one of the most important rooms in our home. It is where we prepare and cook meals, but it’s also a gathering place for family and friends. Because of its importance, it’s no wonder that many homeowners are willing to invest a significant amount of money into a kitchen remodel.

While kitchen remodels can be costly, it’s typically worth the cost. Not only will you be able to enjoy a more functional and beautiful kitchen, but you’ll also see an increase in the value of your home.

When budgeting for your kitchen remodel, factor in the cost of materials, appliances, installation, and any other necessary expenses, by doing so, you’ll be able to create a kitchen that meets your needs and budget.

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