11 Budgetary Factors to Consider When Planning a Kitchen Renovation

Kenneth Wilson

We keep in touch with homeowners daily, and they often ask us similar questions like: "how much does it cost to renovate a kitchen?" and "what is the average cost of a standard kitchen renovation?".

But when it comes to remodeling a kitchen, no one size fits all. A good rule of thumb is that the average cost you see on online guides will still depend on several considerations. That said, we've compiled essential budget factors that can affect the cost of your kitchen renovation project to help you get a better gist of how much the total tab will be. (Related: Kitchen Remodeling: A Cost & Consumer Guide)

11 Factors that Affect Kitchen Remodel Costs

Here we go...

1. Kitchen Renovation Elements

Simply put, the cost to renovate a kitchen will depend on the individual elements you plan to include in the space. This consists of new appliances, furniture, flooring, and more. According to the National Kitchen & Bath Association, here's a quick breakdown of the different kitchen elements and the average costs they take from your overall budget.

  • Cabinetry & Hardware: 29%
  • Countertops: 10%
  • Appliances: 14%
  • Faucets & Plumbing: 4%
  • Walls & Ceilings: 5%
  • Flooring: 7%
  • Lighting: 5%

Meanwhile, the rest of the budget (26%) can be allocated for the labor and professional design costs.

2. Home Value

If you're still setting a budget to cover kitchen remodeling costs, consider the current market value of your home. Experts recommend designating about 10 to 15% of the market value total on your kitchen renovation project.

Suppose your home is currently valued at $300,000. A good estimate is to spend anywhere between $30,000 to $45,000 to take your kitchen to the next level. If it's valued at $150,000, you might consider spending around $15,000 to $22,500.

3. Location

The location of your residence can also affect your total kitchen remodeling costs. Several states have a higher cost of living than others, so your project might be more expensive in a Los Angeles, California home than in Nashville, Tennessee.

It would be best to research the average costs in your location to form a better budget to cover all your kitchen renovation project needs. Or better yet, talk to local construction or design-build professionals to get a more accurate, in-depth pricing estimate.

4. Kitchen’s Existing Configuration vs. Ideal One

The cost to renovate a kitchen will depend on how you intend to use the space. So, if you’re looking into moving the location of the sinks and ovens or making changes to the existing layout– note that this will increase the overall project costs accordingly.

Any changes to the location of these kitchen items may require extra plumbing, wiring, and gas line work.

  • Minor change to kitchen size or configuration: This involves replacing old, faulty appliances while keeping the original kitchen layout. Some homeowners may also include replacing their outdated countertops or cabinet doors/drawers, which gives the kitchen some sort of “facelift.”
  • Updating the current kitchen configuration, except for the size or location of structural elements: Since you won’t need to move the doors or windows, a kitchen renovation project of this scope won’t be as expensive as a total reconfiguration. But you may also opt to open up some walls to install new wiring and gas lines– so you can adjust your appliances and fixtures.
  • Major changes (Total kitchen reconfiguration): This means you’ll start with a blank slate of the home's floor plan and remove everything to achieve the new kitchen layout you want. It is crucial to keep in mind that structural relocation and reconfiguration adjustments might have a significant impact on your renovation budget. However, these extra costs are well worth it if the design and arrangement of your current kitchen don't work for you.

5. Labor Costs

The labor fees also affect the cost of renovating a kitchen. On average, this may consume up to 22% of your total budget. For this reason, we strongly advise working with a professional home design business to manage your kitchen redesign project. This allows you to save a lot more money, time, and effort if they will also handle the construction.

6. Flooring Type

The kitchen flooring material you choose will affect not only the total project costs but also the practicality and aesthetic appeal. Generally, designer tile, natural stone, and hardwood floors are more expensive than engineered wood, laminate, plain tile, or simulated stone floors. But if you choose inexpensive flooring options, it won't have a significant effect.

7. Kitchen Cabinets

The cost of your new kitchen renovation project can also be influenced by the type and number of new cabinets you choose. Kitchen cabinets have three primary categories: Stock, Semi-Custom, and Custom.

Additionally, numerous construction grades are available for stock, semi-custom, custom cabinets, and extra premium features like soft-close drawers and doors, adjustable door hinges, and unique interior storage possibilities. (Related: Cabinet Installation Cost & Consumer Guide)

8. Trim Work

Most cabinet installations and other kitchen components require some sort of "trim." Trims that are frequently used include chair rails, shoe molding, crown molding, trim around windows and doors, and decorative trim on walls and ceilings.

Simple trim work does not significantly affect costs. But expenses will go up a little because of the different designs, materials, and labor required for more intricate trims.

9. The Type and Size of Countertops Installed

The cost to renovate a kitchen can also be influenced by the countertop material you choose (plus the countertop space you need). Nowadays, a natural stone, such as marble or granite, is one of the most popular kitchen countertop materials. The price of natural stone varies depending on the quality and thickness you select and how well the grain matches the seams and their origin.

There is a 1:5 cost ratio between low-end, basic natural stone and high-end natural stone and quartz. It may cost much more if you choose an unusually pricey natural stone, like an imported kind. (Related: Concrete Countertop Cost And Consumer Guide)

10. Kitchen Appliances

Similar to cabinets, the cost of your new kitchen will be significantly influenced by the type and number of new appliances you include. Modern homes have a refrigerator/freezer, microwave, dishwasher, range with an oven, or a cooktop with one wall oven.

11. Lighting and Fixtures

Lastly, lighting may also influence the cost of renovating your kitchen– though it is not as significant. Standard and reasonably priced lights are undercabinet lightings and recessed ceiling lighting fixtures. Basic non-dimmable LED lighting is slightly more expensive than essential dimmable LED lighting.

If you add designer or custom-made fixtures like designer ceiling fittings, home automation-controlled lighting, and variable color temperature lighting, the project costs may only skyrocket.

How to Successfully Budget Your Kitchen Renovation Project

Here are some tips that can help you in your kitchen remodel without spending a hefty price.

  • Focus on the essentials. You must be thorough and consider even the most minor features, such as shelving, cabinet hardware, and many more. You may avoid unnecessary expenses by paying attention to details. Misjudgment of the material value can also raise your total spending unexpectedly, so avoid underestimating costs.
  • Consider any extra expenses. In addition to the costs of remodeling your kitchen, you should also account for any additional expenses you may incur. It can mean ordering food since your kitchen is unsuitable for cooking food or moving out for a few days while the work is being done.
  • Monitor all your spendings. Even with a detailed budget plan, it is still possible to go beyond the spending limit, especially if the actual expenses are not being monitored. Determine which things you need and want to determine if the modifications will be worth your money. Keep all the records and receipts to ensure you are within your budget.
  • Opt to handle some tasks yourself. Determine what tasks you can do yourself. Allocate the time for them and put yourself to work on the project. This will help you stay on track with your budget and minimize the chances of overspending.
  • Work with a reliable kitchen renovation contractor or specialist. Contractors with experience will be able to give you a space that is both functional and appealing. Choosing the right company for the job is essential since they can provide excellent kitchen remodeling ideas that fit your budget.

Bottomline, finding a general estimate for the cost of a kitchen remodel can be challenging because there are so many different factors to consider. Ideally, work with a budget that aligns with your home needs, current situation, and design preferences.

Kenneth Wilson
September 11, 2022
Contractor Tips, Interior, Remodeling

Kenneth Wilson

Retired contractor. Currently residing in Southwest Florida. Now in semi-retirement, I write and manage this blog focused on helping home owners make savvy decisions when it comes to finding contractors and getting their projects done. I also operate remodeling design service for homeowners.

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