If there’s one thing that holds us back from jumping into a kitchen remodel, it’s the cost. We’ve all seen stunning kitchens in the pages of magazines, pinned on Pinterest, and in our feeds on Instagram that we’d replicate in our own kitchens in a heartbeat – if only they were in our budget!
To help you figure out how much money you need to play with, we’ve done all the research on average costs of kitchen remodels in the US – read on to find out!
What is the Average Cost of a Kitchen Remodel?
In the same way the average size of a kitchen varies wildly across the US (New York kitchens are nothing like those in Texas, for example), so does the cost. Some people remodel on a tight budget, while others will go for all-out luxury. That means you need to take the average cost with a pinch of salt.
Costs depend on the size of kitchen, the cabinets, materials, and fittings chosen, and the extent of specialist structural, electrical, and plumbing services required. It’s also worth keeping in mind that a remodel and a renovation are two different things: the costs we’re considering here are for a remodel which means everything is ripped out and you start with a clean slate.
In 2019, the average for an upscale kitchen remodel was $131,510, the mid-range average was $66,196 and budget kitchen remodels were an average of $22,507. The average US spend on kitchen remodels overall came in at $25,047 with the majority of people spending between $13,160 and $37,011 on their new kitchen.
What is the most expensive part of a kitchen remodel?
According to the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA), the most expensive part of a kitchen remodel is the cabinetry, with an average cost of $6,550, taking up around 28% of the total budget.
The next highest costs are installation and labor, at an average of $4,130 (18%), appliances at an average of $3,390 (15%), and countertops/backsplash at an average of $2,450 (11%).
Can you remodel a kitchen for $5,000?
It is possible to remodel a kitchen for as little as $5,000, but you have to be prepared to do most of the work yourself. This will take more time and a lot of research, but it will save you a huge amount of money overall.
If you decide to DIY your kitchen remodel, make sure that you set aside part of your budget to pay professional electricians and plumbers, as any mistakes with these elements could be detrimental to your kitchen remodel, and to your health.
Average Labor Cost to Remodel a Kitchen
Depending on the size of your space and the scope of your kitchen remodel, the average labor cost to remodel a kitchen falls somewhere between $2,000 and $6,000. As mentioned above, you will want to set out about 15% to 20% of your budget to cover labor costs.
To get the most out of this portion of the budget, it is a good idea to hire a reliable contractor who can oversee the project and hire the necessary skilled professionals for each job.
Although prices will vary depending on where you live, average labor costs are:
- electrician for $75 per hour
- plumber for $55-$85 per hour
- carpenter for $70 per hour
What is the Average Cost to Remodel a Small Kitchen?
A small kitchen is defined as about 75 square feet or smaller, although this can be presented in any number of shapes that will need extra special consideration of the layout in order to make the most of the limited space that is available. If your kitchen is a galley or L-shape it is still possible to include many of the essential things you need in your kitchen, make it fun to work in, and get the style you’re looking for.
Remodels can be low-range costing $100 to $125 per square foot, mid-range at $200 to $250, or high end at $300+ per square foot. For a small kitchen, the cost would be around $7,000 to $20,000, an average of about $13,000.
What is the Average Cost to Remodel a Large Kitchen?
A large kitchen might be more than 200 square feet in size, typically costing $40,000 to $60,000 dollars to remodel. With a large kitchen the possibilities are endless, perhaps making it even more important to plan a kitchen remodel carefully and have a clear idea of how much is to be spent on every aspect. An upscale remodel could reach $75,000 to $100,000 and beyond.
What is the Average Cost to Remodel a 12x12 Kitchen?
A more common size for kitchens in a small-to-average home would be 12x12 feet. To remodel a kitchen this size, it will cost an average of between $20,000 and $45,000.
Within this spread of costs, you could choose a minor remodel targeting areas that are most dated, more affordable tiles, and lower cost countertops perhaps concentrating on new appliances. A mid-scale remodel could keep the existing layout while upgrading cabinets and appliances.
What is the Average Cost to Remodel a 10x10 Kitchen?
A standard kitchen of around 10x10 feet will cost an average of between $15,000 and $30,000. Again, the remodel can be tailored to meet your budget with a minor or mid-range remodel. You could do some of the work yourself too to cut costs and make more money available for the fittings.
In what order should I renovate my kitchen?
The order in which you should renovate your kitchen may differ slightly depending on your unique space and the scope of your project. With that being said, this will give you a baseline to work from, which you can tweak depending on your specific kitchen remodel:
1. Clear out and demolish old kitchen
2. Replace old plumbing, wiring, and lighting if need be
3. Put up drywall (optional step)
4. Paint ceiling and walls
5. Put down flooring and baseboards
6. Install kitchen cabinets
7. Measure/template for countertops
8. Fit and install countertops
9. Mount backsplash
10. Install appliances and cabinet hardware
11. Add finishing touches
How Can I Plan Out my Kitchen Remodel?
So now that you’ve decided to do a kitchen remodel there are some careful steps you need to go through to make sure you have complete control of both your finances and the practicalities of designing and building your perfect kitchen.
- Do as much research as possible before you start serious planning. Look around showrooms, home stores, and other people’s homes. Make a board or Pinterest and save inspiration on Instagram if you haven’t already. Set a realistic budget with a little wiggle room.
- Think carefully about the kitchen layouts you can choose. What works in your existing layout and what drives you crazy? How many people will be using your kitchen, what storage solution will you need, will you want to eat in it? Now is the time to identify priorities for the remodeled space, the things you want to change, or improve. (If you need help here, we can generate hundreds of options for your kitchen, no matter the size – find out more here.)
- Getting down to the details, start planning; try and use the kitchen ‘triangle’ - that’s putting the sink, refrigerator, and stove as three sides of a triangle for the best traffic flow in your kitchen. Can you fit in an island for more cupboard space, countertop, and maybe an eating area? Make sure you are planning for all the countertop space you need.
- Determine your budget. Before you make any decisions you need to be certain how much you want to spend on your kitchen remodel. All decisions about the units you look at, materials you’ll use, and appliances you want to replace will need to be tailored to your available budget. Plan for the labor you’ll need and what it will cost. To cut costs think about what work you could do yourself.
- Make a schedule to plan the order in which you will need to do work. A spreadsheet will help you book contractors for when you need them and order materials and furnishings to be ready for work to start when you want. If you have the budget, hiring a designer or a service like Skipp's to manage the entire process can be a massive weight off your mind.
How Can I Stay On Budget?
It is most important to set your budget before you start and aim to stick to it. Plan a cost slightly below your maximum budget just in case of unexpected charges, adding another 10-20% for contingencies. To save money think carefully about where you want to spend and where you can save. Don’t be led astray by things you feel you must have, be realistic and remember that you can achieve a lot when you put more careful thought into the project.
How Can I Make My Kitchen Remodel More Affordable?
There are lots of ways you can reduce costs on your kitchen remodel and still achieve a stunning and top-end result.
- Focus on items that give a kitchen an expensive-looking finish such as countertops and handles
- Do as much of the labor as you can, by yourself
- Look out for bargains. Shop around and compare prices, search for less expensive alternatives to expensive items that will give the same look, and consider using ex-display items
- Be creative, and use your own ideas to achieve your own style. Make your own shelving or use expensive materials just for an accent
- Be practical about the gadgets and appliances you need. There are always great gadgets we’d like, but do you really need them?
- Work with your current layout – the reason for a remodel is often to change things up, but if you are replacing outdated cabinets, then sticking to a similar layout may save money overall
- Skip the island and use a kitchen table or mobile island. Islands are incredible, but they also increase the cost of a kitchen unnecessarily
Is Remodeling My Kitchen a Good Investment?
Even a small kitchen remodel is a great investment for your home. Minor kitchen remodels can bring a return on investment of around 80%. If you’re thinking of moving house in the fairly near future it could also be really important to have a desirable kitchen to get a good sale. Surveys have shown 80% of homebuyers place the kitchen in their top three most important spaces when looking at a new home.
When you’re investing thousands of dollars into a new kitchen, it’s vital you get it right first time. You don’t want to be heartbroken after doing a DIY remodel if you realize you got your measurements even an eighth of an inch off.
What is the average return on a kitchen remodel?
According to the Remodeling 2020 Cost vs. Value Report, the average return on a kitchen remodel ranges from 53.9% to 77.6%, depending on the scale of the project, size of room, and quality of finish.
For instance, you will recoup 53.9% of an upscale, major kitchen remodel, which will increase the value of your home by $72,993. On the other hand, you will recoup 77.6% of a mid-range, or minor, kitchen remodel, but it will only increase the value of your home by $18,206.
The return on investment also depends largely on the neighborhood your home is in and what buyers are prepared to pay for a house of that size in that location.
What percentage of home value should be spent on a kitchen remodel?
The real estate industry recommends that you should spend between 5% and 15% of your home’s value on a kitchen remodel to get the best return on investment.
Common Mistakes: What should you not do in a kitchen remodel?
A kitchen remodel is a big project and, although you have the freedom to do what you want with your space, there are a few common mistakes that you should be aware of when undertaking a kitchen remodel. Here is what you should not do in a kitchen remodel:
Don’t skimp on storage. We all want to create a beautiful, dream kitchen, but you must focus on the practicalities as well as the overall look. Adding practical storage solutions such as pullouts, drawer dividers, Lazy Susans, and toe-kick storage might not be a glamorous part of kitchen design, but they are sure to make your new kitchen well organized and clutter-free. Yes, you can make these additions later, but it is cheaper and easier to add these elements during your kitchen remodel.
Don’t forget about workflow. Although it might look sleeker to have your appliances with equal space between, you should always think about workflow when deciding the layout of your kitchen, otherwise known as the “work triangle.” Your stove, sink, and refrigerator should all be near one another so that you never have to walk across your kitchen to reach one or the other.
Don’t wait to select your appliances. It is much easier to design the kitchen around large appliances, such as a refrigerator, than to try and squeeze appliances into an already-designed kitchen. Choosing appliances first may also help you decide on the finish for your cabinet hardware and other fixtures.
Should I pull a permit for a kitchen remodel?
You will need to pull a permit for a kitchen remodel if you are looking to relocate or remove walls or have new wiring, plumbing, or mechanical systems installed. There is a chance that you won’t need a permit if you are only doing a minor kitchen remodel, but you should always check your local Planning and Development rules to be sure.
If you hire a contractor to oversee the project, they will ensure that they get the permit for you and ensure that everything is in order before work begins. The permitting authority will typically review your kitchen remodel plans and send an inspector to the worksite to ensure that all work is being done properly and safely.
What happens if you don’t get a permit for a kitchen remodel?
On average, a building permit will set you back between $500 and $1,500, depending on your location. This may seem like a lot of money, but this permit is required for your safety, and there are consequences if you don’t get a permit for a kitchen remodel.
Firstly, unpermitted work means that laborers you use will be able to cut corners, perhaps compromising the safety of you and your family, as well as anyone who lives in the home after you, especially if electrical work is not completed properly.
Moreover, if you decide to sell your home, you will need to disclose any unpermitted work to potential buyers. If the unpermitted work doesn’t cause them to walk away without considering the purchase, they will likely give you a much lower offer than you believe your house is worth.
As well as this, if anything goes wrong during an unpermitted kitchen remodel, your insurance company is much more likely to refuse to payout, and so damages will have to be fixed entirely from your own pocket.
Lastly, if your city finds out that you are remodeling without a permit, they will fine you until you acquire a permit. Even if the work has already been completed, you will still be subject to city penalties and be required to get permits for the completed kitchen renovation.
Lower Your Kitchen Remodel Costs Today
Fortunately, that’s where we can step into help. Skipp not only helps you through the difficult and potentially-challenging design process, but in just four steps, you can have your dream kitchen and save as much as 40% on what you would have spent with a contactor elsewhere. We work with proprietary and top-of-the-line software and AI-aided technology to fully tailor your kitchen design to the rest of your home, and we’ll even provide support for DIYers.
With Skipp, you can easily achieve your dream kitchen and stay on budget while remodeling. Click here to get the ball rolling on your kitchen remodel today.