How Much Does It Cost to Remodel Your Kitchen?
If you plan to revamp your countertops, cabinetry, and appliances, here's what you should expect to spend.
The kitchen is often called "the heart of the home" and so, when it wears out, repairs can be expensive. Costs aside, maintaining a kitchen is not only essential for resale value, but doing so will also impact your daily life; considering the fact that this is one of the primary gathering spaces in any home, a renovated kitchen will make everyday life more functional, streamlined, and beautiful. With summer approaching, renovations across the country are already underway. Here's everything you should know about the remodel process, including overall costs, the big-ticket items you should consider, and ways to save money.
Calculating Estimated Costs
When envisioning how to design or remodel a new kitchen, "you should assess your needs and priorities," says Yaiza Armbruster, principle of New York-based architecture and interior design firm Atelier Armbruster. What you need, in addition to the size of the kitchen, will influence how much you'll need to spend. For example, if you're a chef and will be cooking lavish meals every day, you'll want high-end appliances, which can add up very quickly. If you're a novice cook, a mid-range option might work better for your budget.
When it comes to costs, there are levels depending on the extent of the upgrades and also your geographic location. The costs in New York will differ from Alabama, which could also look different from Wyoming. You could do a completely custom kitchen using companies like Henrybuilt, a semi-custom remodel with Intelligent Kitchen, or an "off the shelf kitchen" from IKEA. With that in mind, a general estimate of kitchen renovation costs is as follows: For an elaborate kitchen remodel with high-end appliances, top-of-the-line lighting, floors, and countertops, custom cabinets, and so on, you're looking at $140,000 to $160,000. For a mid-range kitchen renovation, with high quality but slightly less expensive appliances and so on, the average cost is around $68,000. For a basic kitchen remodel, with small upgrades and less expensive finishes, you might spend about $18,000.
Again, these are just estimates; it varies depending on what appliances and design elements you prioritize. So, which fixtures should you consider?
"There are few different routes to go, not only with budget, but also determined by your timeline," says Armbruster. Atelier Armbruster does custom cabinets in most of its projects, but they require a longer timeline. "It takes eight to 12 weeks to build a kitchen if it's custom," she says. If you go one level down price-wise, a semi-custom kitchen might be better because you have some commercial aspects that are less expensive. For example, you could do IKEA cabinet boxes and internal hardware, but with SemiHandmade fronts costing an estimated $4,900 for a medium-sized kitchen. Other good alternatives are Superfront and Reform, which also partner with IKEA for custom cabinet fronts.
"It's easy to spend $15,000 on appliances, but it's also easy to spend much more than that," cautions Armbruster. She notes that many customers have moved away from natural gas and toward induction cooktops and ovens, which are more sustainable, but you need a 200-volt line for those, which means an updated electrical system, depending on the age of your home. For beautiful but affordable appliances, Armbruster recommends Bertazzoni. (For reference, the company's single 24" Electric Convection Oven runs at $1,149.)
"There are lots of great countertop options these days that don't require someone going to a quarry to get the product," says Armbruster. "It doesn't have to be marble to look high-end, although I love marble and use it a lot." As an alternative, she recommends man-made options that look just as elegant such as back-painted glass and quartz. The biggest difference between stone and man-made stone is the maintenance (stone like granite has to be sealed routinely, whereas man-made stone like quartz doesn't but can be more easily stained).
"There are a lot of cool hardware companies nowadays so you really have options here," Armbruster says. One inexpensive option is Signature Hardware for the plumbing fixtures like sinks. "For faucets, I would do Waterworks, Lefroy Brooks, or Dornbracht," she says, noting that faucets are usually an easy upgrade. (For context, Waterworks has upwards of 25 kitchen faucet options that are less than $1,000.)
Where to Save Money
If you want to refresh your kitchen, but don't have the budget for a full remodel, here are some tips. "I recommend painting your kitchen cabinets, if possible," says Armbruster. Farrow & Ball's Peignoir, a soft shade of gray pink, decorates Armbruster's own kitchen. "Paint makes a difference," she emphasizes. She says playing with a two-tone color scheme can add intrigue to a simple project. "I also suggest small upgrades like faucet replacements, and hardware," she says suggesting less expensive options like Zara Home and Schoolhouse, which have knobs from $5 to $12, with some higher-priced options as well. "I also recommend installing a backsplash, even if you build the new over the existing one," she says. Create visual interest. "I'm not a fan of upper cabinets, so you could remove a few and put in some shelving to display a vignette of small sculptures and the prettier condiments like olive oil, salt, or tea," Armbruster suggests. "Or hang some Shaker wall hooks and display your beautiful cutting boards and cookery. Install a wall sconce for atmospheric lighting," she says. Essentially, don't underestimate the power of good décor.