What Is the Average Cost to Remodel a Kitchen?

Looking to remodel your kitchen, but don't have a clue about what it will cost? Find out what a kitchen remodel will typically cost and how to save money on your new dream kitchen.

July 25, 2019
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Many of us dream of a stunning kitchen remodel. But knowing what it will cost will help you set reasonable expectations and stay on budget.

Photo by: Kyle Ortiz

Kyle Ortiz

Many of us dream of a stunning kitchen remodel. But knowing what it will cost will help you set reasonable expectations and stay on budget.

Kitchen remodels are one of the most popular, and also one of the most satisfying, home remodels. A fresh kitchen design not only updates your home and increases resale value, it can make your kitchen a more functional, compelling epicenter of your home. But one of the first questions homeowners will consider when planning a kitchen remodel will be price; what they can expect to pay, and more importantly, what they can afford.

The cost to remodel a kitchen can vary wildly, not just from state-to-state but also depending upon whether you live in a rural or metropolitan area. Kitchen remodels in the South tend to be cheaper than ones in the North and West with a major kitchen overhaul costing as much as $20,000 less in the South than one in California, for example.

In its annual Cost vs. Value report for 2019, Remodeling Magazine puts the national average for a midrange major kitchen remodel at $66,196 and an upscale major kitchen remodel at $131,510. In the Pacific region (Alaska, California, Washington and Oregon), according to Remodeling Magazine, that same midrange major kitchen remodel jumps to $72,513 and an upscale major kitchen remodel jumps up $11,823 from the national average, to $143,333. Compare those costs to the South Atlantic Region (Maryland, South Carolina, Florida, North Carolina, Georgia, Virginia and Washington, D.C.) where a midrange major kitchen remodel prices out at $63,387 and an upscale major kitchen remodel is $126,307. The addition of luxury stone or marble countertops, high-end faucets and flooring, a commercial-grade range and luxury faucets can all significantly increase the cost of a renovation.

HomeAdvisor puts the average kitchen remodel price in the $12,567 to $34,962 range. A small kitchen remodel can cost as little as $4,000 and a lavish remodel can cost as much as $50,000+.

Home builder insiders recommend only spending as much for your kitchen remodel as you hope to make back when you sell your home, if you expect to sell in the next five years. Staying in your home for longer than five years? Then creating a kitchen remodel that you and your family will love is the ideal end goal.

Part of determining that price of your kitchen remodel is the extent of your makeover. Your biggest cost investment for a kitchen remodel will usually be cabinets, which typically eat up 25 percent of your budget. Going budget-friendly on your kitchen cabinets at Ikea or a big box retail shop can save a huge amount of money. On-trend hardware in brass, for instance, stands up better to wear and tear and can give cheaper cabinets a more custom, expensive look. By the same token, splurging on a quality faucet but not necessarily buying a super expensive sink can also make a big difference in your overall remodel budget. You can also add custom doors to standard cabinet boxes to give a more custom look. And instead of spending money on custom features like pot or recycling organizers inside your cabinets, consider using customizable organizers purchased at retail stores to keep your cabinets neat at a lower cost.

Ornate crown moldings, pilasters and other unnecessary ornamentation will also eat up your budget quickly while simple, clean woodwork will stand the test of time and is easier on your budget.

Followed by cabinet cost, labor and appliance costs generally consume 20 percent each of your budget. By not fixating on status-oriented appliances by Sub-Zero, for instance, but instead using mid-range appliances, you can save a bundle on your remodel.

Experts also recommend setting aside 20 percent of your budget for unexpected surprises, which could include unpleasant demolition discoveries such as water damage, electric that is not up to code or other budget-spiking gotchas.

What is especially critical, experts advise, is to stick to your game plan (and budget) as the renovation unfolds. Adding extras or more features can quickly inflate your budget and lead to a domino effect of increased cost.

For those looking to remodel their kitchen within a tight budget there are several options including using an inexpensive countertop material like butcher block, refacing existing cabinets, adding new paint to existing cabinets, replacing existing floors with a laminate or other affordable material. And a fresh paint job can do wonders to refresh a kitchen. Using particleboard instead of plywood where it won’t be seen, doing the demolition of the kitchen yourself and other money-savers can help you get the kitchen of your dreams but without going into debt to do it.

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