If you’ve considered a kitchen remodel, chances are you’ve spent hours creating Pinterest boards, gathering inspiration on Houzz, and creating a vision of your perfect kitchen. Perhaps you’ve even bookmarked the counter top you’d like, your favorite backsplash tile, or your must-have appliances.
But, many people fail to discuss their budget until the work is about to begin – or even worse, they run out of money mid-way through a project. Creating a budget is integral to designing the kitchen of your dreams and ensures you are able to finish the job you begin. But, how much should you spend? Check out our kitchen remodel cost breakdown to find out!
How To Budget for a Kitchen Renovation
Starting a renovation of any kind can be daunting, especially if you don’t prepare adequately. Start by sitting down with any other financial decision-makers in your home and discussing how much you are willing to spend for your entire project.
If you’re wondering how to budget for a kitchen renovation, keep in mind that there is no right or wrong answer. But your total budget will help you decide how expensive your tastes can afford to be when it comes to individual fixtures and finishes.
Some other factors that will determine what you can afford include:
- The size of your kitchen
- Your geographic area (city vs. suburb vs. rural)
- The quality standard you desire
- Current industry cost standards
- Time of year (sales on appliances and other fixtures)
If you’re looking for a ballpark estimate, Home Advisor suggests that you spend 5-15% of your home’s total value on your kitchen renewal. This will ensure that the quality will be consistent with the rest of your home for optimal resale value. Another benchmark to consider in your kitchen remodel cost breakdown is that the average customer spends $150 a square foot on their renovation.
Kitchen Remodel Cost Breakdown
Now that you know the total amount you’d like to spend, it’s time to look at how you should split up that sum to avoid over or underspending in any one category. While these numbers will vary based on your taste and the quality and functionality you desire, here are some ballpark numbers to consider.
It comes as a shock to many people, but your cabinetry may be the biggest expense of your kitchen remodel. High-quality cabinets need to be carefully made and perfectly leveled, which means there is a ton of hands-on labor required in their construction.
We recommend allocating 30-35% of your budget for your cabinetry. Elements that may affect this number include:
- The number of cabinets you need
- Whether you choose upper cabinets or open shelving
- The style of cabinets you want
- Any custom sizes or shapes you need
Labor & Installation: 15-20%
Because of the sheer amount of physical labor required, installation is often the second largest category when looking at a kitchen remodel cost breakdown. In addition to allocating some of your budget to expected costs, set aside an additional 5% (or more if you have an older home) for unexpected finds and contingencies. And, be sure to discuss with your contractor how they handle change orders before work begins.
Here are some common unexpected installation costs to consider:
- Outdated electrical
- Leaks and bad plumbing
- Structural issues
- Fixing shortcuts taken in previous projects
- Backordered parts/project delays
Countertops are another major expense in the kitchen remodel cost breakdown. The two most popular countertop materials, granite and quartz, are some of the most expensive options. But, there are plenty of other materials like concrete, solid surfaces, and natural stone that can make countertops a larger or smaller part of your budget.
Some of the factors that may affect the price of your countertops include:
- Material selection
- Square footage
- Number of holes for sinks, faucets, and other utilities
- Chosen edge profile
- Waterfall countertops
- Supports for islands and overhangs
Mechanical Components: 10-15%
The behind-the-scenes components of your kitchen like electrical, plumbing, and HVAC can be a major expense in your kitchen remodel cost breakdown. This is especially true if you are significantly changing the layout of your kitchen or taking down/putting up new walls.
Some of the largest mechanical component expenses in a kitchen remodel include:
- Moving plumbing for sinks, dishwashers, and refrigerators/ice makers
- Tearing down walls and relocating electrical/plumbing/HVAC
- Adding additional water fixtures like a pot filler or bar sink
- Adding electrical or plumbing to an island
10% should be considered the bare minimum for including quality appliances in your kitchen remodel cost breakdown. This cost may be less if you are keeping any of your existing appliances, especially your refrigerator as it is typically the most expensive appliance.
However, this category can easily eat up over 30% of your budget if you are looking at luxury appliances with smart technology or other advanced features. If you have a long wish list for your appliances, budget for them early to make sure you can afford them alongside the rest of your kitchen renovation.
Some factors that can affect the cost of your appliances within your kitchen remodel budget include:
- Number of appliances (consider extras like double ovens, pantry fridges, etc.)
- Style and quality
- Features like ice makers, griddles, and built-in air fryers
- Smart technology capabilities
- Brand loyalty (for matching appliances)
Finishing Touches/Miscellaneous: 5-10%
If you’re interested in how to intelligently budget for a kitchen renovation, be sure to save around 5% for the finishing touches. Many people fail to save for the final stages of their kitchen remodel, but these are the elements that truly pull the space together.
Finishing touches include items like:
- Doors, door knobs, and hinges
- Cabinet hardware
- Curtains, curtain rods, blinds, and associated hardware
- Lighting fixtures
- Wall and trim paint
- Any final design or styling fees
Kitchen Remodel Cost Examples
To help you budget, we’ve laid out three possible scenarios for a kitchen remodel budget. Here’s how your kitchen remodel cost breakdown could shake out at these budget points.
|Mechanical Components: 10%||$2,500||$5,000||$10,000|
|Finishing Touches/ Misc.: 10%||$2,500||$5,000||$10,000|
The Bottom Line
Depending on the functionality and style you want in your kitchen remodel, your percentages and numbers may vary wildly. However, sticking to a budget and cost breakdown like this one can ensure that you budget your money effectively to finish your remodel in a timely fashion.