What It Costs to Remodel a Kitchen: Here’s the Typical Price Tag

Kitchen Remodeling

The kitchen is arguably one of the most important rooms in a house. It is a central gathering area where family and friends come together to cook, eat, and enjoy each other’s company. More and more homeowners have discovered the value of a kitchen that has ample space and quality appliances. So what is the typical cost of remodeling a kitchen?

Just like other remodeling projects around your home, a kitchen remodel has a wide range of possible price tags. Everything from countertop finishes to appliance upgrades affect the final cost of a kitchen remodel. Prices for these items as well as the cost of labor varies by area, however kitchen remodels can cost anywhere from $10,000 to more than $50,000. Before you reach for your credit card, you should consider the type of kitchen remodel that will increase your home’s style, functionality, and value.

Minor Kitchen Remodel

The most basic of remodels and the most budget friendly option is a minor kitchen remodel. If you choose this type of kitchen remodel you will update the most dated elements of your kitchen but avoid demolishing the entire room. A minor kitchen remodel will consist of painting your existing cabinets, replacing the backsplash, and installing low cost countertops with a material such as formica. You will also need to purchase new appliances.

These range in price from a few hundred dollars to upwards of $10,000. It is tempting to skimp on appliances but in the long run this will only hurt your return on investment. Over 40% of homebuyers have said they are willing to pay close to $2,000 extra on a home that has stainless steel appliances. A minor kitchen remodel will cost homeowners anywhere from $10,000 to $15,000.

Mid-scale kitchen remodel

A small step up from a minor kitchen remodel, the mid-scale kitchen remodel will cost anywhere from $15,000 to $30,000. You’ll stay within this price range by keeping your kitchen’s existing layout. Instead, you will reface your cabinets, replace cabinetry hardware, and install granite or quartz countertops. Granite or quartz countertops are more expensive than formica, but they add a bit of luxury to your kitchen that buyers are willing to pay for.

Energy efficient smart appliances would work well in a mid-scale kitchen remodel since they are particularly appealing to a large percentage of young homebuyers. If your kitchen is large enough, you can add an island. Over 64% of homebuyers said they want a home that has a kitchen island. This isn’t surprising considering islands are the central focus of a kitchen and provide a work area for children’s homework and extra tasks, additional storage space, and of course provide much needed counter space to prepare food.

Kitchen islands come in a variety of styles, sizes, materials, and colors. Choose a variety that fits the style of your kitchen. A kitchen island can cost anywhere from $800 to $20,000 so there is quite a bit of leeway here for what you are willing to spend and what will work in your kitchen. If your kitchen area is small and the addition of a permanent kitchen island will overpower the room you should forgo the island.

Major Kitchen Remodel

A major kitchen remodel will cost anywhere from $29,000 to $64,000. These types of remodels are beneficial in higher-end homes where the latest trends and appliances can give you a big boost over the competition. A major kitchen remodel will require you to open your floor plan. This means taking out the wall between your kitchen and dining area or living room. While this sounds like a hefty undertaking the cost to remove a non-load bearing wall can be as little as $700.

While you are having a wall removed you should also add a walk-in pantry. These are extremely popular among home buyers with 81% of people saying they would like to see a walk-in pantry in the home they are considering purchasing. A typical walk-in pantry is approximately five-foot by five-foot and costs on average $1,000 to $6,500 to install. In addition to your walk-in-pantry, your major kitchen remodel should include semi-custom quality cabinets.

The countertops should also be made of quality material such as marble, granite, or quartz. Again, stainless steel, energy efficient, smart appliances work best for increasing your home’s value. You should continue to be reserved with extravagant fixtures and hardware in order to maintain your budget.

Chef’s Kitchen Remodel

Finally, the kitchen remodel to top all kitchen remodels: the chef’s kitchen. You are literally transforming your kitchen into a restaurant quality space. Needless to say this remodel is not for the average home. Few buyers who are searching for their first home or a mid-level three bedroom home will be willing to pay extra for a chef’s kitchen. This remodel is best suited for luxury homes.

A chef’s kitchen will have top of the line culinary appliances. Think sub zero refrigerators, smart range hoods, a double gas cook range, multiple ovens, warming drawers, multiple sinks, and a large dishwasher. With all your food prep you will need durable countertops. Many chef’s kitchens use stainless steel countertops which cost approximately $70 to $215 per square foot. You will of course need custom cabinets to perfectly organize your cooking and dining materials.

A large chef’s kitchen with an open layout is perfect for a large kitchen island. With so much space your island can be multi-leveled and act not only as an area for food prep but as an artist focal point of the kitchen. Since you are going all out don’t forget to add additional lighting that can be installed below the cabinets, above the food prep areas, and around the dining area. When the chef’s kitchen is complete the final bill will be somewhere between $50,000 and $100,000.

You’ve seen the luxury and glamor of a chef’s kitchen and now you’re dreaming of using a double oven to make your next family dinner. But does your home really need a chef’s kitchen? And do you have the budget for a chef’s kitchen? How much you spend on your kitchen remodel will depend largely on your budget and your home’s value.

You should aim to spend between 5% to 15% of your home’s value if you want to get the best return on investment. If your home is considered a luxury home situated in a luxury neighborhood then chances are you can splurge for a chef’s kitchen and feel secure with the eventual return on investment should you choose to sell. If your home is a median priced home situated in a small community of other mid-range small family homes, then a chef’s kitchen will not assist you when you go to sell.

You should instead opt for a minor or mid-scale kitchen remodel. Don’t be disappointed that your dream chef’s kitchen won’t become a reality. A minor kitchen remodel that has mid-range finishes adds on average $18,927 to your home’s sale price. That’s a 72% return on investment. A major kitchen remodel that utilizes upscale finishes adds approximately $80,000 to your sale price, which after the cost of the remodel is only a 53.9% return on investment.

Prices for materials and the cost of labor vary by area. When considering your kitchen remodeling budget you should be prepared for additional costs brought on by plumbing, electrical, water damage and structural issues. Pad your budget by 15% to 20% for unexpected problems. As a general rule you should follow the one-third rule when creating your budget.

Spend one-third on cabinetry, another third on other upgrades like countertops, sinks, flooring, backsplashes, and appliances, and the final third on labor. This will evenly break up your budget so that you do not spend too much on one aspect of the remodel and not have enough money left over for additional items.

Before you begin your kitchen remodel you should consult a local real estate agent who can advise you on the best kitchen remodels to boost your home’s value and ensure the best return on investment. After you have decided on a kitchen remodel you can contact a general contractor who will assist you in making your dream kitchen a reality.