It’s time to remodel the kitchen; do you know what to expect? If this is your first kitchen remodel, the answer to that question is, “probably not.” Costs add up fast, and even the best of budgets have been broken by many well-meaning homeowners.
To help you form a realistic plan for your kitchen, we’ve gathered cost estimates that can help you get the big picture into focus. Some items are inherently costly, and cutting corners on them could backfire. Some items let you scale back and save some money without sacrificing style or function.
Here are 5 important items, and what you can expect to pay for them in your kitchen remodel:
Kitchen Remodel Item #1: Cabinetry
One of the show-stopping features of any kitchen is the cabinetry, or at least it can be. New cabinets are definitely not cheap, even when the fabrication and materials aren’t the best. So when you’re considering an investment this large, look past the cheapest choices, and go for the best quality you can afford.
Cabinets can claim as much as 40% of a full kitchen remodel, according to Better Homes and Gardens. Stock or ready-made, mass-produced cabinets range between $75 and $400 per linear foot. Semi-custom cabinets are still mass produced, but with more choices than stock, and they range between $150 and $900 per linear foot. Step it up a notch to custom, and you can expect to pay between $500 and $1,400 per linear foot.
If you don’t want to go with custom cabinets, but would like some special tweaks to perk up lower-end cabinets, think about custom trim molding or special storage inserts.
Kitchen Remodel Item #2: Flooring
The cost of new flooring for your kitchen remodel can range from downright cheap to out-of-this-world expensive. Vinyl is so much better now than in generations past, and you can’t beat its easy-to-clean nature. It’s also one of the least expensive choices, ranging from as low as $2 per $7 per square foot installed, according to House Logic.
Porcelain tile is another classic that can hold up beautifully for years. Porcelain is a better choice for floors than ceramic because it’s much tougher. Porcelain isn’t necessarily cheap, but you can find it installed for a cost that ranges between $6 to $30 per square foot installed.
Hardwood is another choice that was once considered impractical for kitchens. Installed and maintained properly, it can last beautifully for years. And if it becomes scratched, you can have it refinished. Hardwoods will cost anywhere between $8 and $24 per square foot installed, depending on which species of wood you choose and the installer’s labor costs.
Kitchen Remodel Item #3: Countertops
The range of countertop choices is vast, and so are the price points. This is another feature that’s noticed right away, so choose a material that you will love for years to come.
Laminates and tile fall into a similar price range, based on estimates at Countertop Guides. For an installed cost between $20 and $75 per square foot, you could have new laminate in a wide range of colors, or ceramic tile with choices that are almost immeasurable. Laminates are easier to clean but more susceptible to damage. Tile has grout lines, which can collect grime, but it resists scratches and other light damage better than laminate.
Wood is a trend that has the earmarks of becoming a classic. Butcher block is already a classic, but other wood surfaces such as solid slab and planks hold up as well and can be refinished if damage occurs. Wood costs between $35 and $200 per square foot.
Marble and granite add a substantial and rich look to your kitchen remodel. And they come with a price tag that shows it! Whether you choose tiles or slabs, these heat, and stain-resistant surfaces will add between $100 and $250 per square foot to your budget.
Kitchen Remodel Item #4: Lighting
Lighting is a very difficult upgrade to pin down, cost-wise. There are too many factors to consider to give a realistic estimate.
You can choose from inexpensive track lighting, high-end pendants, recessed can lighting, under-cabinet bars, and even ceiling fans that range from less than $100 to several hundred dollars, depending on your style and budget.
When choosing lighting for your kitchen remodel, quality absolutely counts. If you skimp on fixtures, metal parts and pieces may rust from the humidity that’s common in a kitchen environment.
Kitchen Remodel Item #5: New Wiring and Plumbing
New wiring and plumbing might come into the picture if you plan to rearrange the existing kitchen floor plan, or install special fixtures in areas where none exist now. The costs of new wiring and plumbing vary greatly depending on the contractor you hire for the job and the complexity of the work involved, but you can plan within a range.
Home Advisor suggests that an average cost to install an electrical outlet ranges between $94 and $410 per outlet. New wiring for a simple light fixture is much the same, so the costs should fall into the same range.
New plumbing pipes range between $322 and $2,322, again depending on the complexity of the job and which contractor you hire.
A general rule of thumb on hiring contractors is to get several estimates, and select one toward the middle range. Get recommendations, when you can, from people who have used the contractor in the past.
A new kitchen can be one of the most rewarding and exciting home remodel projects you ever consider. But it can also be one of the most costly. Be sure your choices not only fit your budget, but will also stand the test of time. It’s better to save up a little longer to afford what you want than to settle for something cheap and regret it in a year or two.
It’s your kitchen, so make it one that you enjoy.