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Kitchens are one of the most popular types of home remodels and that’s not a huge surprise. Out of all the renovation photos on Pinterest, nothing is really as interesting as a complete kitchen upgrade.

As the hearts of our homes, kitchens serve as the most functional hubs, filled with more expensive appliances and apparatuses than any other room. From the backsplash to the cabinets, to the sink to the appliances, there’s a lot that needs to be maintained.

That’s why kitchen remodels have such a huge impact on resale value - and why they’re also the most expensive type of renovation, too.

If you’re considering renovating your kitchen, you’re probably trying to figure out exactly how much it’s going to cost and whether or not you can afford it.

A modest upgrade, a $15,000 kitchen remodel, has a return of 92% resale value. This means on average you can recoup 60-120% of the investment you make in your kitchen when you renovate - as long as you don’t go overboard.

A really upscale project that’s way out of the norm for the rest of your neighborhood isn’t likely to see as high of an ROI. But a moderate kitchen remodel should have the same, or a higher return than a bathroom addition, adding square footage, or even adding a deck.

How Much Does The Average Kitchen Remodel Cost?

According to Remodeling, the average mid-range kitchen renovation costs between $23,452 for a minor remodel and $68,490 for a major remodel. The average upscale major remodel costs $135,547.

And while the exact specification that you choose for your renovation can heavily influence the cost, let’s not forget that your location can also impact this. For example, a major mid-range remodel in San Francisco, CA could cost an average of $83,418, whereas the same project in Knoxville, TN would cost $63,999. In addition to location, perhaps the biggest considerations when budgeting for cost are developing the project scope, and choosing the right way to finance a kitchen remodel.

It’s recommended that you take the time to scope out the cost of your remodel as the first step in order to make decisions around the financing options that could and couldn’t work, especially when you consider that according to the 2020 U.S. Houzz & Home study, 31% of projects, on average, go over budget.

Small Kitchen Remodels

Average Cost: $10,000 - $15,000

Cost Includes:

  • Some DIY projects
  • Reface or refinish cabinets
  • Sink and faucet upgrade
  • Inexpensive countertop material upgrades like laminate or tile
  • Painting walls and ceilings
  • Upgrading some appliances and LED lighting

Medium Kitchen Remodels

Average Cost: $15,000 - $50,000

Cost Includes:

  • Hiring professional installers
  • Installing semi-custom cabinetry
  • Installing a new sink and faucet
  • Kitchen island
  • Stone, wood, or metal counters
  • Tile, laminate, or stone floors
  • Upgrading to high-end appliances

High-End Kitchen Remodels

Average Cost: $50,000+

Cost Includes:

  • Materials could include luxury stone or marble, high-end faucets and flooring, and commercial-grade appliances
  • Hiring additional subcontractors and designers
  • Having custom cabinets built and installed
  • Granite or quartz countertops
  • Hardwood flooring
  • Commercial grade appliances
  • Structural changes (knocking down walls, installing gas lines, etc)

What Is The Most Expensive Part of a Kitchen Remodel?

When planning your kitchen remodel, however, some of the questions that are often asked by homeowners prior to collecting contractors’ quotes relate to what the most expensive parts of a project typically are.

The most expensive part of kitchen remodels is the cabinets. Based on data obtained from HomeAdvisor, these are the elements that typically make up the highest percentage of a project’s budget:

  1. Cabinetry and hardware (29%)
  2. Installation (17%)
  3. Appliances and ventilation (14%)
  4. Countertops (10%)
  5. Flooring (7%)

Note: In order to prepare for unexpected expenses, such as water damage or electricity that is not up to code, we recommend setting aside 10-20% of your total budget.

Important Kitchen Remodel Cost Considerations

There are several factors to consider that will impact the cost of your renovation:

  • Are you going to stay in your home for at least 15 years and invest in your kitchen?

    • If so, it makes sense to pick quality materials that are built to last and stay away from any designs that are trendy and impractical. If you plan to move soon, picking splashy or trendy designs could be a great value-add for the next buyer.
  • Consider the layout - will you need to move any walls?

    • If the answer is yes, this will drastically impact the cost and timeline. It also depends on if the wall is load-bearing or not, and whether this wall spans more than one level. This will add anywhere from $500 to $3,000.
  • Consider the materials you want to use

    • Certain materials may be easier to source than others, or more expensive than others. For example - do you want natural stone or manufactured stone? Natural stone will be much more expensive and harder to source. It’s good to do research on this in advance.
  • Will you change your countertops and flooring?

    • Hardwood flooring and marble countertops will also add to the cost, but it’s important that you don’t skimp on labor or materials. Your countertops and flooring will get lots of use each and every day, and if you’re paying a lot, you want them to last.
  • Do you need to fix or move electrical and/or plumbing work?

    • It costs roughly $800-$1,000 to move each plumbing line - so if your plans include switching the location of anything plumbing-related, make sure to add this to your cost. Electrical wiring will be a little cheaper, at around $200 per new outlet. If you’re planning on fully replacing everything, this will be even more expensive.
  • How will you live in the house during the remodel?

    • If you plan to rent another home or a hotel during the remodel, you may want to factor this, as well as a load of take-out, into your cost.

Location of Your Kitchen Remodel

The location of your kitchen remodel will also impact the cost. Cost varies from state-to-state and from rural to metropolitan areas. There are different costs in the North, South, West and East areas of the country.

Southeast: the cheapest region for renovation costs.

Southwest: an average-cost region for renovation prices.

Northeast: an expensive region for renovation costs.

Midwest: a lower-cost region for renovation prices.

West: areas in California, especially around cities like LA and San Francisco, are going to have higher price quotes for renovations than other regions in the U.S.

Kitchen Remodel Money-Saving Tips

If you’re looking to embark on a kitchen remodel and want to be financially savvy, here are the best tips we have from our experts on how to save:

  • Only spend as much on your remodel as you hope to make back when you sell your home (if you expect to sell in the next five years)
  • The biggest cost investment may be custom cabinets, which typically use up to or over 25% of your budget. You could reface or repaint existing cabinets or save money by going to a big box retail shop and just add custom doors to give a more custom look. And instead of custom features like organizers inside your cabinets, use premade organizers from a retail store.
  • Simple clean woodwork will stand the test of time and will be easier on your budget than other ornamentation.
  • Stick to your game plan as the remodel is happening. Don’t add extras or other features that can quickly inflate your budget.
  • Use an inexpensive countertop material like butcher block and an affordable flooring material like laminate.
  • Shop smart and find bargains - in-stock merchandise usually costs less, check reuse centers and salvage stores.
  • Keep your current layout, try to move appliances without moving their hookup.

To start your kitchen remodel, get a loan estimate from RenoFi!

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