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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Smith

What is the Cost to Remodel a Kitchen?

When you look at this picture of one of our recently finished kitchen renovations in Baltimore, what would you estimate the cost was? You have the flooring, plumbing, cabinets, appliances, back splash, electrical, lighting plus trimmings like moldings and walls to consider. Each of these can be broken down as follows:

Plans/Permits 5 percent

Cabinets + installation: 20 to 40 percent of budget

Countertop materials + installation: 10 to 30 percent

Flooring/framing/drywall/paint (the basics of a room): 10 to 20 percent

Appliances: 10 to 20 percent

Electrical work: 10 percent

Plumbing & appliance installation: 5 to 10 percent

HVAC and ducting work: Less than 5 percent

Plumbing fixtures: Less than 5 percent

So it's a trick question really because there are so many variables. A good place to start to get your budget is to know what the value of your home is. A good guide is that you shouldn't spend more than 15% of your home value, this works out to $42,500 based on the average Federal Hill home price of $280,000. Next, was this is minor updating or a full remodel? Did the layout change? The true answer to the question is, what is YOUR budget and needs? Kitchen renovation contractors like us estimate based on what your needs are and then adjust. Maybe you wanted to splurge on an additional sink, have high end appliances, add in a ventilation hood. Now having gotten your estimate, you decide I can live without the sink, downgrade the appliances and keep the hood because that's what my budget allows. A good idea is to create a list of 3-5 items that are non-negotiable in your new kitchen. The elements you identify will be your priorities throughout your project.

Your long-term plans also play a significant role in deciding your budget. Even if you are not planning to live in your house for a long time, remodeling the kitchen could add market value to the home if you plan to sell it. Employing a local general contractor means they are familiar with the area and can help with making sure you aren't overdoing your renovation and advising on where to splurge and where to save. Whatever your budget, you need to add in an additional 10%-20% for contingency purposes. Labor delays, factors like bad weather, or simply changes you make along the way will push your costs up and you'd rather be safe than sorry. Your kitchen renovation budget has an intangible as well, remodeling represents an investment in the quality of your life. Your home is the most expensive thing you probably own and the kitchen is a place where you spend a lot of time.

Back to our Federal Hill row home, what are you likely to get for $42,500:

Custom cabinets

New high-end appliances (refrigerator, microwave, range, garbage disposal, dishwasher)

Luxury counter tops

New luxury flooring

New range hood

20% for unplanned expenses

Now if we cut that in half to $21,250 we get:

Stock cabinets

No structural or layout changes

New appliances (refrigerator and range)

Mid-rage granite counter tops

Mid-range flooring

20% for unplanned expenses

All of the above are the physical items that are part of your new kitchen, but how do you choose them? Well you need to consider the following:

Firstly, you need to make sure that your kitchen space is planned in such a way that you can move freely and efficiently and that it suits the needs of you and your family. Does your family use the kitchen for studying as much as eating? Do you host elaborate dinner parties? Tell us!

Avoid choosing materials that are fragile. Choose materials that are strong enough to withstand all of the hustle and bustle of a busy kitchen.

Before you make any permanent decisions, take the time to visit kitchen showrooms and home improvement stores to learn exactly what items and materials cost. From there you can determine what you need and what you can afford.

So the answer to the question is, make a budget, get a general contractor to come over to actually look at the physical space and see what kind of kitchen renovation you want. That way we can prepare your free estimate to know what your cost is relative to the budget you have.

One final thing, the kitchen above, it would be rude to tell you how much it cost, but it was done completely on budget!

Want to know the cost of renovating your dream kitchen? Click this link to give us your name and email and we'll be in touch to start the process with you.

Our next blog post will focus on the process, how long a kitchen remodel takes, the stages that work is done and what to expect along the way.

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