Guide to Budgeting a Kitchen Remodel

Guide to Budgeting a Kitchen Remodel

According to the National Kitchen and Bath Association, current costs for kitchen makeovers range from $15,000 to $45,000 with an average price of $30,000. Costs will vary based on region, design, materials, quality of appliances and budget.

Things to consider before you begin your budget.

  • Studies suggest that 90-98% of kitchen remodeling costs can be recouped, but kitchen remodeling is only a good investment if the cost is relative to the house’s worth.
  • A trendy, state-of-the-art kitchen makeover could be a dramatic selling point in a growing community or a prime location, but probably not a good investment in a modest neighborhood.
  • Consider the market value of your home to determine your kitchen remodeling budget.

A kitchen budget starts with fair market value.

The kitchen represents 10-20% of the fair market value of a home.

  • Investing less than 10% of the fair market value may result in a kitchen that doesn’t meet expectations.
  • Exceeding 20% makes it more difficult to recoup expenses when you sell your home.
  • 50-65% of the cost should be designated for cabinetry and countertops (or 50% for cabinetry and 15% for countertops).
  • Another 15% can be expected for appliances, flooring and other goods like lighting, plumbing fixtures, etc.
  • The remaining 20-35% includes the costs of labor, design elements, contracting services, etc.

For a home worth $100,000

Category% of Total BudgetAmount
Cabinets and countertops50%-60%$10,000 – $13,000
Appliances, flooring and other goods15%$3,000
Labor, design, contractors, etc. 20%-35%$4,000 – $6,000
Total Budget$20,000

For a home worth $250,000

Category% of Total BudgetAmount
Cabinets and countertops50%-60%$25,000 – $32,500
Appliances, flooring and other goods15%$7,500
Labor, design, contractors, etc. 20%-35%$10,000 – $17,500
Total Budget$50,000

For a home worth $300,000

Category% of Total BudgetAmount
Cabinets and countertops50%-60%$30,000 – $39,000
Appliances, flooring and other goods15%$9,000
Labor, design, contractors, etc. 20%-35%$12,000 – $21,000
Total Budget$60,000

For a home worth $400,000

Category% of Total BudgetAmount
Cabinets and countertops50%-60%$40,000 – $52,500
Appliances, flooring and other goods15%$12,000
Labor, design, contractors, etc. 20%-35%$16,000 – $28,000
Total Budget$80,000

How to stick to a remodel budget.

  • Be honest about your cabinet budget. Design professionals and contractors will be happy to work within your reasonable guidelines if they understand the limitations from the onset. Better communication in planning results in lower stress for everyone.
  • Plan ahead. The best way to avoid overspending your budget is to be specific in your planning.
  • Consult a design professional. While they do charge for their services, their experience and insight can more than compensate for costly errors due to inexperience or misinformation. They may notice details your might forget, or anticipate expensive structural changes that you might overlook.
  • Make a list of all the features you have in your existing kitchen. Are these enough? Are there any features you would like to eliminate in your remodel?
  • Plan for unexpected costs. Will there be any “surprise” costs to bring the structure up to local codes? Some remodeling projects exceed budget early simply because there are structural issues to be addressed that aren’t initially apparent.
  • Older homes may require electrical or structural upgrades to accommodate the remodeling project and bring the structure up to local codes. Homes newer than 20 years are less likely to need major work of this nature.
  • Make a “top ten” list of the features you most would like in your new kitchen. Be willing to compromise on less important items in order to invest in the more important features.
  • While planning your design, be aware that moving major features like plumbing adds to the cost quickly.
  • Know what you have available to spend in each area, and then be diligent in observing limitations.