How Much Does a Kitchen Remodel Cost? [2023 Data]

Normal range: $14,608 - $40,602

The average U.S. homeowner spends $26,254 on a kitchen remodel, but the cost ranges from $14,608 to $40,602 depending on the scope of the project.

How we get this data
Paige Bennett
Written by Paige Bennett
Reviewed by Robert Tschudi
Updated February 14, 2023
A kitchen with white cabinets
Photo: Catherine Smith Licari

Many homeowners consider the kitchen the heart and center of their home. It’s no secret that kitchen renovations can be a big undertaking, but how much does a kitchen remodel cost? While the average cost to remodel a kitchen is around $26,254, it ranges between $14,608 and $40,602. A minor kitchen remodel can cost as little as $10,000, while a high-end remodel can go as high as $130,000. This guide will show you where you can save money on the path to building your ideal kitchen.

See the price range for kitchen remodels in

your area
How we get this data
Normal range for U.S.
$14,608 - $40,602
  • Average
  • $26,254
  • Low end
  • $3,500
  • high end
  • $64,000

Average Cost of Kitchen Remodels by Project Scope

Not every kitchen remodel is the same, so figuring out how much it costs to build a kitchen is challenging. Your current kitchen footprint; the condition of your appliances, counters, and flooring; your needs and desires; and your budget will all impact whether you decide to do a small-, mid-, or large-scale remodel. Here’s what to expect at each level. 

Small-Scale Kitchen Remodel 

You can still transform your kitchen without going over budget for a small-scale kitchen remodel. You might decide to DIY some aspects of the remodel, and upgrading floors and countertops is possible, but sticking to lower-cost materials will help save money for other parts of the project.

  • Improving aesthetics and functionality without changing the kitchen layout

  • Painting walls for a fresh look

  • Refinishing or refacing cabinets or replacing them with stock cabinets 

  • Keeping appliances or replacing one or two for energy-efficient options 

  • Upgrading flooring or countertops  

  • New kitchen sink and faucet

Average Cost: $10,000–$20,000

Mid-Scale Kitchen Remodel  

If you're looking for new energy-efficient appliances, high-end flooring and countertop materials, and customization for your cabinets, then a mid-scale kitchen remodel may be for you.

  • Painting walls 

  • New appliances and garbage disposal 

  • Upgrading flooring and countertops 

  • Semi-custom cabinetry with new hardware 

  • Adding a kitchen island 

  • New lighting fixtures 

  • New kitchen sink and faucet with high-end brands and finishes

Average Cost: $20,000–$70,000

Large-Scale Kitchen Remodel 

With a large-scale kitchen renovation, you’re looking at a total overhaul. You’ll be tearing out walls, gutting out just about everything, and moving plumbing and electrical. In other words, you're starting fresh and making way for luxury materials and top-of-the-line appliances. 

  • Changing the kitchen footprint 

  • Moving plumbing, electrical, and a gas line 

  • Luxury countertops like marble 

  • Upgrading to high-end flooring like stone tiles 

  • Custom cabinetry

  • High-end smart appliances and built-ins 

  • Painting walls 

  • New luxury kitchen sink and faucet with built-in filtration 

  • Lighting additions and under-cabinet lighting 

Average Cost: $70,000–$130,000

How to Budget for Your Kitchen Remodel 

Kitchen remodel costs vary widely, but you can estimate costs to set a budget for your project. For example, you can factor in the cost of your dream appliances, measure out the countertop area to determine the amount of material you’ll need to buy, or get quotes for plumbing work. 

With the average cost of a kitchen remodel around $26,000, you can set your budget higher or lower based on your needs. If you plan to keep the existing layout of your kitchen, you may be able to work with a smaller budget; however, if you’re demolishing and rebuilding a kitchen, you’ll want to set your budget higher.

Once you’ve set a budget, be sure to add some cushion for surprises—like an unexpected leak that needs repairing or old plumbing that needs replacing. This can add at least a few thousand to your costs, but budgeting for surprises ahead of time will help you stick to your plan.

You can break down your budget by estimating how much kitchen remodel elements will cost. For example, cabinetry can cost over 40% of the budget on average, while appliances make up about 5%. Here are some cost factors you can expect to have on your kitchen remodel checklist.

10 common costs that go into a kitchen remodel, including cabinetry averaging 41% of the cost based on a $22,000 kitchen remodel

Kitchen Remodel Cost Breakdown

With kitchen remodeling costing around $10,000 to over $130,000, it can be easier to budget when you know how much to expect for different factors, like appliances, countertops, and flooring. Here’s how much several kitchen remodel components cost on average.


Dishwashers, sinks, faucets, refrigerators, microwaves, cooktops, ovens, range hoods, and other appliances are all considerations when building a new kitchen. Prices vary greatly, from less than $100 to $5,000 or more, depending on the item.  Don’t forget to budget for the cost of having a kitchen appliance installed, which ranges from $120 to $270. 

Finishes and Quality 

Different brands offer a range of appliance colors and finishes to choose from, which can change the look of your kitchen remodel. The two most common finishes are stainless steel and white, but there’s also black stainless steel, bronze, copper, and paneled, just to name a few. 

Appliance quality will also impact your final costs, as there’s an extensive range of budget-friendly and luxury options on the market. For example, a low-cost dishwasher may not have as many racks or dishwashing settings, but it will still get your dishes clean. Luxury options and built-ins will cost more, but they appeal to potential home buyers. 

Energy Efficiency 

Today, some homeowners opt to install smart and energy-efficient kitchen appliances. You may decide that investing in these, which cost more upfront, will be worth it in the long run for the savings on your energy bills.

Reuse Where Possible

Before dropping a considerable sum on brand-new appliances, consider saving money by reusing some or all of your existing ones. However, if your appliances have seen better days and it’s time to replace them, you can usually get a discount by purchasing a bundle.

Kitchen Cabinets 

New cabinetry is a major component of any kitchen remodel. The cost of kitchen cabinets ranges from $2,000 to $30,000 or more, depending on the amount of storage you’re adding and the materials you choose. Removing old cabinets yourself is a great way to save on labor costs.

Cabinets take up nearly 30% of a kitchen remodel budget. To put that into perspective, cabinets can cost around $8,400 in a $30,000 kitchen remodel. That’s more than appliances or labor and installation. Custom cabinets with high-end hardware will appeal to home buyers, but you can also cut costs by purchasing stock cabinets or refacing or refinishing your existing cabinets. 

Custom vs. Stock Cabinets 

When you order custom cabinets, you get personalized cabinetry custom-built by professional woodworkers. That means choosing every element, including the dimensions, hardware, and paint color. However, all of these benefits come at a cost. Custom cabinetry costs more than stock options, and most orders take six to eight weeks.

“Whether we use stock or custom cabinets in a kitchen remodel, we take the time to find an expert cabinet installer,” says Bob Tschudi, Angi Expert Review Board member and general contractor in Raleigh, NC. “Installing cabinets requires a temperament and skill set that is rare and worth every extra dollar it costs. Take the time to identify and hire the best cabinet installer! They will install cabinet hardware correctly, and doors and drawers will close perfectly.”

Custom cabinets cost $500 to $1,200 per linear foot installed or $300 to $750 per linear foot for the materials alone. High-end custom cabinets will cost $13,000 to $30,000.

Stock cabinets are budget-friendly and are usually pre-made and ready to ship when you order. You’ll choose between standard sizes, so measure twice before making your final purchase. Stock cabinets offer fewer personalization options, but they’re easier on your wallet. These cabinets cost $100 to $300 per linear foot installed or $50 to $100 per linear foot for the cabinets alone. 


Kitchen cabinet hardware costs range from under $100 on the low end to above $10,000 on the high end. For example, rare and ornate handles or knobs can go for $500 apiece, but it’s also possible to find stylish options for only $1 to $2 apiece. In most cases, you’ll only pay for labor because installing hardware is relatively easy to do yourself. However, if you hire a contractor to install your hardware, you’ll pay $300 on average for the additional labor and supplies. 


A kitchen with new countertops
Photo: Catherine Smith Licari

Countertops are made from many different materials and vary greatly in price. Though the average cost range to install countertops is $1,900 to $4,200, you may pay up to $10,000 or more for the materials and labor required to install certain options, like stainless steel or quartz. 

Looking at the wide range of countertop materials and styles can be overwhelming. Laminate is the most budget-friendly, while marble is the most costly. The materials listed below vary by quality, durability, availability of colors, installation methods, and required maintenance.

Countertop MaterialAverage Cost per Square Foot
Granite$15 – $140
Soapstone$20 – $70
Marble$15 – $190
Slate$30 – $90
Limestone$10 – $70
Travertine$11 – $35
Quartz$15 – $70
Corian$20 – $75
Laminate$10 – $40
Ceramic or porcelain$1 – $28
Wood$18 – $38
Stainless steel$60 – $100

Once you decide on a countertop material, you’ll want to account for the cost of any custom cuts and shapes (think: countertop edging like beveled edges, simple square or eased edges, or cutouts for a sink or stovetop). 

Remember that certain countertop materials are difficult to install, and you’ll want to hire a nearby countertop installer. For instance, heavy slabs of stone can weigh hundreds of pounds, so you’ll want a pro to install your new granite counters. If you’d rather take the DIY route, then laminate or butcher block counters are a good option. 


The cost of installing a new backsplash ranges from $600 to $1,300 on average for all the materials and labor involved. If you’re a handy DIYer, doing this project yourself can reduce the price by up to half because labor fees make up roughly 40% of the overall cost.

A backsplash is an easier project to DIY compared to other kitchen renovations, like installing cabinets. If your kitchen layout is straightforward and you use simple materials like tile, you can most likely take on this kitchen upgrade. However, suppose you aren’t comfortable removing existing tiles or have your heart set on a complex pattern. In that case, hiring a local tile installer is your best bet. 

“When it comes to backsplashes, we always consult with an interior designer,” says Tschudi. “A backsplash—which is usually not a lot of square footage of tile installation—can make or break a kitchen remodel.”

The material you choose will also significantly impact your final costs, and the larger the backsplash, the more materials you’ll need. A white subway tile is going to cost less than a high-end marble. Backsplash installation costs an average of $15 to $40 per square foot. For professional installation, the average total cost is about $1,000 total.

Here are a few backsplash materials to consider:

Backsplash MaterialAverage Cost per Square Foot
Marble$10 – $95
Tin$10 – $30
Brick$10 – $40
Stainless steel$20


New laminate or tile floors are common for major kitchen remodels. Depending on square footage, this could cost between $1,000 and $4,000, but considering some budget kitchen floor ideas might inspire you.

Budget-friendly kitchen flooring materials include sheet vinyl, vinyl tile, linoleum, and laminate.

Budget-Friendly Flooring MaterialsAverage Cost per Square Foot
Sheet vinyl$3
Vinyl tileLess than $1
Luxury vinyl plank (LVP)$3 – $7
Linoleum$4 – $7
Laminate$3 – $10

Higher-end materials include ceramic tile, hardwood, and natural stone.

High-End Flooring Materials Average Cost per Square Foot
Ceramic tile$4 – $40
Hardwood$6 – $12
Natural stone$6 – $20

The cost to install a new floor isn’t the only factor when choosing a kitchen flooring material. Also take into account your lifestyle and needs for your kitchen area. While linoleum costs less, it’s not very durable and needs regular maintenance. Stone is durable but absorbs stains; while it’s beautiful, it might not be the best option if you have kids who might drop dishes while helping out in the kitchen. 

Alternatively, dishes are less likely to break on vinyl floors. Wood is another durable material, but it’s not as scratch resistant as other options. Tile is susceptible to cracking and chipping, so it requires a lot of maintenance.


Kitchen remodels generally require a couple of plumbing projects. For smaller renovations, installing a new sink or faucet may be necessary. More significant renovations may involve relocating your water supply, moving drain lines, or installing new piping. Here’s what you can expect to pay no matter what kind of new plumbing your remodel needs. 

Installing a New Sink and Faucet 

It costs an average of $260 to install a new faucet and $420 to install a new sink. Sink prices can range from $210 to $2,000 depending on the type of sink you choose and the amount of demolition and construction needed in your space before and during installation. 

For example, you’ll pay more to spring for your dream farmhouse kitchen sink than a low-cost drop-in sink. Similarly, the type of kitchen faucet will also impact what you pay, with single-handle options typically costing less than dual, pull-down, and pull-out options. 

Installing New Piping

Adding new pipes to your kitchen or completely repiping your space costs about $7,500, but it can range from $1,500 to $15,000 depending on the size of your kitchen and the labor and materials involved. Plumbers typically charge an hourly rate between $45 and $200, but they may offer a flat rate based on the size of your space. 

Materials make up the bulk of the project cost, especially if you’re planning to switch your pipes to a more expensive type. For example, copper pipes cost $2 to $8 per linear foot, whereas you’ll only pay $0.50 to $1 per linear foot for CPVC piping.


Some kitchen remodels also come with a handful of electrical projects, like adding new outlets, moving wires, and upgrading electrical output for specific appliances. Electricians typically charge $50 to $100 per hour, but the added costs of materials mean some projects are more expensive than others.

For example, you’ll pay between $130 and $300 for the cost of adding a new outlet because such a change doesn’t require a ton of new material. On the flip side, switching out your electrical panel involves more labor and supplies. On average, expect to pay between $520 and $1,990 for this type of electrical upgrade.

If upgrading to an electric stove, you might need to upgrade to a heavy-duty outlet. These higher-voltage outlets range from 220 volts, 240 volts, and 250 volts. The cost to install a new heavy-duty outlet includes the cost of the outlet, which runs from $10 to $20, and your electrician’s hourly rate. Ask your pro if there are other costs to expect and if they can help you obtain the proper permits.


Lighting projects start at around $500 but can exceed $2,000. Many kitchen remodels involve adding ambient and task lighting for better cooking and functionality. Ambient light refers to ceiling lights that illuminate the whole room. A pendant light or chandelier over a kitchen island or dining table adds soft light and ambiance.

On the other hand, kitchen task lighting is focused light that brightens up a work space so you can easily read recipes, stir a pot of soup, or measure ingredients. An easy way to add task lighting to your kitchen is to install LED strip lights under your cabinets, in drawers, and above the stovetop. Under-cabinet lighting costs between $230 and $300, including labor and materials.

Gas Lines 

If you’re planning to move your oven or stove, you’ll also need to hire a pro to relocate your gas line safely. The price of moving a gas line ranges from $270 to $880, but you can avoid this extra fee by keeping your gas-powered appliances in their existing setup. 

Wall and Ceiling Renovation

Redoing a kitchen may involve a lot of demolition, including opening up walls to move wires or potentially tearing down walls if you change the kitchen layout. Wall and ceiling renovations can be necessary to give your kitchen a finished look. A fresh coat of paint helps bring your new design together and complements newly installed devices and countertops. A 150- to 250-square-foot kitchen typically costs about $900 to paint.

During this time, you might want to take the opportunity to make upgrades like constructing new walls with fire-resistant drywall and updating your kitchen ceiling. Tongue-and-groove ceilings add a mid-century modern feel with wood paneling, and it’s a doable DIY. A tongue-and-groove pine ceiling typically costs $1,350 to $1,800 in a 150-square-foot room.

Storage and Organization

If you’ve always hated how your cabinets can never fit your growing number of spices or have that one awkwardly shaped drawer that can’t hold anything, a kitchen remodel is your opportunity to get organized. 

Today, you can go as standard or custom as your want with your kitchen design. Keep in mind the more customized you go (think hidden storage or a new walk-in pantry), the more expensive it will get. The cost to build a pantry ranges from $1,100 to $2,900. If that is out of your budget, consider working with your current layout and talking with your cabinet maker on storage efficient styles, like deeper set cabinetry with pull-out style drawers. 

Kitchen Size

The cost per square foot for a kitchen remodel varies widely between projects and ranges anywhere from $75 to $250. A smaller kitchen might cost $10,000 less to remodel than a midsize or large kitchen. The larger the kitchen, the more materials you’ll need to account for—like paint, drywall, countertops, cabinets, and flooring—and the longer the installation will take. Below are examples of total price differences between smaller and larger square footage.

Kitchen Size (Square Feet)Kitchen Remodel Cost
75$5,625 – $17,500
100$7,500 – $25,000
150$11,250 – $37,500
200$15,000 – $50,000

Labor Costs

The labor cost for a complete kitchen remodel can vary, but 25% of the total cost of your remodel is a good guideline to follow. So for every $10,000 you plan to spend, account for $2,500 in installation expenses. 

It’s also worth mentioning that coordinating multiple projects at once for extensive remodeling jobs could cost extra. If you need a certain contractor to complete work before another—like installing new countertops before new appliances—you may have to pay rush rates or have work done during the busy season.

Average Cost of a Kitchen Remodel by Region 

Kitchen remodel costs can vary by region, as materials may cost more to ship to your area, or local permits may be more or less expensive in your city. Large urban areas with higher living costs tend to have higher prices for kitchen remodels, while smaller cities and rural areas fall on the lower end of prices for materials and labor.

U.S. RegionAverage Kitchen Remodel Cost
Northwest$25,600 – $61,100
Rocky Mountains$12,700 – $39,600
Southwest$12,350 – $33,950
Mountain Prairie$6,000 – $37,400
Midwest$10,500 – $34,300
Southeast$12,000 – $32,200
Mideast$13,600 – $37,650
Northeast$15,600 – $40,300

Remodel vs. Renovation or Expansion

When taking on a big home improvement project, the terms remodel, renovation, and expansion all sound pretty similar on the surface. Yet, they all actually take on different meanings for homeowners and pros. Before embarking on a project to construct your dream kitchen, familiarize yourself with each term. 

Kitchen Remodel

A remodel is a large project focused on transforming a space. It could include tearing down walls, moving plumbing, and upgrading electrical. For a kitchen remodel, you might change the kitchen layout; move around the appliances; replace cabinets, flooring, and counters; and paint the walls. 

Kitchen Renovation

A renovation focuses on restoring a room to its previous condition or making it look new and takes the form of more straightforward projects. A kitchen renovation might involve repairing appliances and flooring, refinishing cabinets, and replacing kitchen faucets.


An expansion refers to tearing down walls and possibly reframing a room to increase the size of a kitchen. For example, an expansion might look like creating an open floor plan, so a kitchen and dining room come together in one big space.

Ask your contractor how they define each of these terms, so you’re both on the same page, and consider the cost differences between each of these projects. An expansion is typically costly because of materials and the labor involved in reframing and moving plumbing and electrical. Likewise, a remodel will most likely cost more than a renovation since it requires demolition and more complicated changes and upgrades to the space.

Additional Factors Affecting Kitchen Remodel Costs 

When planning a kitchen remodel, you’re probably calculating tile costs and how much countertop material you need. But before you can order flooring or purchase cabinet hardware, there are other costs to consider when creating your budget.

Design Fees

Hiring an interior designer costs about $50 to $200 per hour, or you may pay $5 to $15 per square foot. While you might have ideas for your ideal backsplash color or a kitchen island, an interior designer will help bring your dream kitchen to life in a cohesive way.

Contractor Fees

Working with a general contractor costs about 10% to 20% of the project cost. The general contractor may charge around $300 to $500 per day plus $150 to $250 per day for each additional laborer. When you start a big home improvement project like a kitchen remodel, a general contractor’s expertise, guidance, and management are invaluable.

Building Permits

Building permits cost around $450 to $2,500 on average. Permits are required to ensure your project is completed safely, and you may need multiple permits for electrical work, plumbing work, demolition, and construction. Your general contractor may help secure the necessary permits for your kitchen remodel.

Appliance Moving and Storage

If you aren’t replacing your appliances, you can expect to spend $90 to $250 per month for a portable storage unit or $120 to $280 per month for a storage unit to store your appliances during demolition and construction.

Hiring movers costs around $25 to $50 per mover per hour to carry appliances out of the kitchen and into a portable unit or moving truck. You could also pay per appliance; for example, moving a refrigerator costs about $150 to $250.

How Much Does It Cost to Remodel a Kitchen Yourself?

A kitchen with kitchen white cabinets and appliances
Photo: Catherine Smith Licari

Labor costs are a significant component of any kitchen remodel budget. The average is between $3,000 and $6,000, but a more accurate way to project the total cost might be to assume that 25% of your costs will go toward labor. Opting to DIY some kitchen remodeling projects can offset some of this cost. Projects like demolition, installing a backsplash and new garbage disposal, and painting walls might be tasks you can handle.

Since cabinets are the biggest cost in a kitchen remodeling project, you can cut costs by refinishing your existing cabinetry. If you’re an advanced-level DIYer, you may be able to install flooring, countertops, and cabinets. 

You’ll only need to invest in supplies and tools by doing some kitchen projects yourself. However, always leave potentially dangerous DIYs like plumbing and electrical work to licensed pros. 

Signs You Need a Kitchen Remodel

Don’t let problems in your kitchen go on for too long. The damage can worsen, and the repairs can become more costly. And if you’re unhappy with your current setup, then deciding to remodel your kitchen can help you make better use of your space. 

Lack of Storage 

Imagine a kitchen with less clutter taking over your working space. Expanding your kitchen storage during an upgrade can make your space less stressful to work in and give you a place to store all of your small appliances, dry goods, tools and utensils, and measuring cups. A kitchen remodel is the perfect time to implement some creative kitchen storage ideas

Worn Cabinets 

Nothing lasts forever, and that’s true of kitchen cabinets. After years, or sometimes decades, cabinets start to look dirty. Grease takes its toll, grime finds its way into splintered wood, and hinges begin to buckle under wear and tear. It could be time to repaint, reface, or replace older cabinets. 

Old Appliances

Outdated and sometimes broken appliances make it frustrating to enjoy your kitchen and prepare your favorite meals. A faulty dishwasher or an oven that won’t heat will make everything take a lot longer. Modern appliances come with conveniences that will make life easier and make your home more appealing if you put it on the market. 

Cracked Countertops

If you’ve ever had a crack in your countertop, you’ve most likely noticed how food and dirt get stuck in there and how hard it is to keep it clean. Unfortunately, bacteria can start to grow in these crevices, and it’s best to repair or replace your counters. Also, look out for instability, like counters that shift or come apart from the wall or cabinets. 

Damaged Flooring 

The kitchen is one of the busiest rooms in the home, so you may notice signs of aging in your kitchen floor, like broken tiles or peeling linoleum. It’s time for a kitchen makeover to get your space functional and safe and upgrade to a flooring material that fits your lifestyle. 

Water Damage

Running water is essential to a kitchen where we wash dishes, brew coffee or tea, and fill stockpots. But leaking pipes in the ceiling or under the sink can damage walls, drywall, and bottom cabinets. And where there’s water damage, there could be mold. Repairing a bottom kitchen cabinet costs $200 to $300 on average or $4,900 for a complete replacement.

Kitchen Remodel Benefits

The price tag for a kitchen remodel might surprise you, but you should also know the benefits of completing this home remodeling project. 

Return on Investment 

Kitchen remodels are an ROI-heavy project, with approximately 72% return on investment when you sell your home. There’s also the potential that you can sell your home faster with an appealing kitchen. Next to bathrooms, this is one of the highest ROIs for a home remodeling project. 


Sometimes a remodel is necessary for a kitchen in an older home to bring it up to code or improve the safety of your home. For example, an older kitchen might not have circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets. After all, kitchens are where you cook large meals using electricity—or open flames if you’re using gas—and power dishwashers to clean dishes. Fire and water damage are serious matters, and your and your family’s safety should come first. 


A kitchen might look great on the surface, but once you start cooking in one and trying to prep your daily meals, you’ll begin to notice how much longer everything takes when a kitchen setup is less than ideal. For passionate home cooks, improving the functionality—like increasing storage space, improving workflows, and upgrading appliances—of the space goes a long way. 

Accessibility vs. Universal Kitchen Designs

A remodel can make your kitchen easier to navigate for people with disabilities, children, older adults, and any houseguests you plan to host. According to the National Association of Home Builders, universal design focuses on constructing spaces that are easier to use by all people. For example, an aging-in-place design may call for kitchen cabinet hardware that requires minimal effort to open, regardless of a person’s age or ability.

A more specific approach is accessible design. Accessible design allows people with disabilities to use the kitchen independently. Some examples of accessible design include lower countertops and sinks or wide areas of space around a kitchen island to accommodate wheelchairs.

Energy Savings 

Energy-efficient appliances can save you money in the long run, and they’re a more environmentally-responsible option. Modern refrigerators use less energy, and newer dishwashers function on less water. You might find that some of these appliances pay for themselves over time. 

Modern Aesthetic 

For many, walking into the kitchen every day to prepare breakfast, make a snack, or spend time with friends and family becomes more enjoyable when the space looks more appealing and modern. Working with a designer or contractor to reimagine your kitchen can bring it up to date and make it a happier space for your home.

DIY vs. Hiring a Contractor to Remodel Your Kitchen

When planning your kitchen remodel, think about which projects you can do yourself and which ones you’ll need to hire a pro for. Homeowners can save a lot by installing their own hardware or painting the walls themselves. On the other hand, hazardous or heavy-duty projects—like moving a heavy, natural stone countertop or rewiring a gas line—are better left to the pros; kitchen renovation pros in your area have the right tools, skills, and knowledge to get the job done right. Most kitchen remodels can be completed with a bit of DIY and some help from pros. 

Project Pitfalls to Avoid

Depending on the size of the project, a kitchen remodel can take up to four months or longer. Because it’s such a large undertaking, here are some common mistakes you can avoid to ensure your remodel ends on time and on budget.

Underestimating Your Budget

With supply chain and macroeconomic impacts, the home remodeling industry is more expensive than it was five or more years ago. It’s important to come prepared with a budget in mind, but also understand where you can have flexibility. If the top-of-the-line induction stove is a must-have, consider saving on a less expensive backsplash tile. If you’re prepared for increases in budget, you can quickly adjust with the guidance of your pro.

Going for the Lowest Bid

As the saying always goes: you get what you pay for. If a proposal seems too good to be true, it probably is. Be sure to get multiple bids from different contractors, and go over each of them in detail to understand what you’re getting. 

Not Researching in Advance

Before picking up the phone and scheduling on-site visits, research what your larger vision is for your kitchen. Live out your Pinterest dreams and start collecting your favorite kitchen design trends, but also start to get realistic about what can fit into your budget and what can’t. It also helps to start brushing up on common remodeling terms, so when you’re meeting with your pro you’re speaking the same language.

Neglecting the Infrastructure

Electrical, plumbing, ventilation—these are important things that aren’t usually in the Pinterest vision board. If you’re changing the layout of your kitchen, these will become an even greater focus in your discussion. 

Materials Arriving Late

Most heavy duty materials, like a new marble slab or cabinetry, will be ordered and shipped on-site by the pro. But many remodelers ask homeowners to purchase smaller items like the following:

  • Tile for floors and backsplash

  • Finishes like handles and knobs for cabinetry

  • New appliances

This means you will also be responsible for the on time arrival of those materials. It’s recommended to purchase all materials upfront at the very start of the project. It’s better to have items sitting at the jobsite ready to go over delaying the project days (or weeks) waiting for materials to arrive.

Not Planning Out How to Live During the Remodel

As mentioned before, kitchen remodels can last months. For a portion of that time, it means your kitchen could be completely out of commission. Ask your pro for a general schedule of when appliances won’t be installed and then work out how meals will be handled. You may want to consider a temporary kitchen in your house with a small mini fridge, stove top, and a few utensils in order to offset your takeout budget.

How to Save When Remodeling a Kitchen

A kitchen with new sink
Photo: Catherine Smith Licari

The trick to saving on kitchen remodels is knowing where to compromise and when you can save by doing a project yourself. Determine your budget before making any big decisions or commitments, then stick to it. 

Don’t Scrap Your Cabinets

Remember, cabinets are the most expensive component of a kitchen remodel, so keeping your existing cabinets will go a long way toward simplifying your budget. If you want to revamp the look of your kitchen, you can repaint or reface kitchen cabinets with new doors and change out the hardware. But if you do replace your cabinets, removing the old ones yourself is a great way to save on labor costs. And when you purchase the new ones, opt for stock cabinets instead of custom. 

DIY Where Possible 

Depending on your comfort level, there may be some tasks you can take on without a pro. For example, painting walls and cabinets yourself is time-consuming but will lighten your wallet in the end. Other DIY-friendly kitchen projects include installing under-cabinet lighting with LED strips, replacing your backsplash, and upgrading your kitchen faucet.  

Keep Your Kitchen Footprint 

Changing your kitchen’s footprint comes with significant costs like wall repair and electrical and plumbing work. Undertaking this project comes with extra costs of materials and labor. If you can make your existing kitchen footprint work for you, then focus on a kitchen makeover that will transform your space without driving up the costs. 

Shop Around 

Don’t hesitate to look for deals on materials and appliances when working within a remodeling budget. Instead of a brand-new refrigerator, you might find a floor model or a slightly damaged unit at a discount. A scratch on a fridge or dishwasher might not even be visible after installation.

Questions to Ask Your Contractor 

Before hiring a contractor, check their licenses and qualifications, and ask about previous work they’ve completed. Contact at least three contractors to get a quote before choosing one to work with. And come prepared with questions to ask your contractor, like how many years of experience they have, how long they have worked with their subcontractors, and whether their work comes with warranties and insurance.

Frequently Asked Questions

To decide which type of kitchen remodel you want, start by taking inventory of your current kitchen and making a list of needs, wants, and would-like-to-haves. Then plug those items into your ideal budget and plan accordingly. If your budget allows you to hire a kitchen remodeler or kitchen refacing pro, you can outsource the project to a professional.

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