5 Things to Know Before Starting a Kitchen Remodel

Don’t Commit Until You Read This Guide!

Taking on a kitchen remodel is a daunting task. All too often, it ends up with the homeowner stuck with a half-done job for an extended period of time or a budget that’s been blown to smithereens and put the family in a difficult position. Even when the timing and the money are right, you have to beware of the dreaded designer’s regret. It’s that one detail that didn’t turn out the way you envisioned and now it eats at you every time you lay eyes on the kitchen. It’s a slightly-too-green beige in your blue color scheme or a corner cabinet that’s just a little bit inconvenient to get into. Fortunately for you, there have been millions of kitchens redone all over the world, and you can learn from their mistakes.

Kitchen remodel beautiful kitchen furniture the drawer in cabinet.

What Does a Kitchen Remodel Cost?

A lot of people search the web looking for a ballpark cost to remodel their kitchen and are disappointed to find that most estimates just say “it depends”. That’s because it does. Kitchens come in all different shapes and sizes, and remodels can have any level of material quality, not to mention the variety of remodeling levels there are. You might be giving your kitchen a facelift with updated cabinetry or gutting the whole thing and changing the layout of your living space. All of that will affect the overall cost. The “average” kitchen remodel cost doesn’t help much because averaging will taking into consideration extremely high and extremely low remodels that have nothing to do with the cost of your kitchen. It’s essential to speak to a contractor and get a reliable estimate before jumping in.

Very General Estimates

If we assume you’re doing a “standard” remodel with cabinetry, flooring, counters, hardware, fixtures, appliances, etc., but not gutting the kitchen, your overall costs might look something like this, depending on your location and exact specifications:

Small Kitchen

High-end materials $20,000
Mid-range materials $13,000
Cheap materials $5,000

Medium Kitchen

High-end materials $40,000
Mid-range materials $28,000
Cheap materials $15,000

Large Kitchen

High-end materials $60,000
Mid-range materials $45,000
Cheap materials $30,000

What is The Average Time to Remodel a Kitchen?

This question is a lot like asking how much your kitchen remodel should cost. It depends. A lot depends on factors other than your kitchen and your remodeling plans. Your location and the demand for construction work will have an impact, as well as the quality and availability of your team. This is why it’s so important to shop around and vet your contractor before committing. As far as the kitchen goes, it’s going to depend on the size, the extent of the remodel, the accessibility of your kitchen (will you allow them to work when you’re not home?), and the availability of the materials you’ve chosen. Six to twelve weeks is a fair estimate in most areas, assuming you have a team who will show up and get the work done. Six to eight weeks for a small to medium-sized kitchen and eight to twelve weeks for a medium to large kitchen.

Add 10% to Your Budget

Kitchen remodels go over budget almost every time, and not by a few dollars. In fact, some experts recommend adding 20% to your budget for unexpected overages. Sometimes there are plumbing issues or framing issues that you couldn’t have foreseen, but typically, the budget gets done in by high expectations. Changes to the layout, high-end materials, custom craftsmanship, and unnecessary tech that are added along with way are almost guaranteed to blow your budget.

How to Stick to Your Budget

Start by making a budget. A lot of people start by making a list of everything they want in the new kitchen, but that’s a setup for immediate budget failure. The first thing you should do is decide how much you’re willing to spend. Then, make a bare-bones list of needs. This shouldn’t have more than three or four items. What do you absolutely have to have in the new kitchen? Then make a list of wants and rank them in order. Add your wants to the needs list until you hit 90% of your budget. That’s it. That’s all you get. Go over your list and see where you can lower costs if you want to add another want.

Avoid Designer’s Regret

Two things: don’t commit to an element until you find the option you really love and don’t accept less than what you paid for. Far too often, homeowners and designers pay a contractor for a particular material or design element and receive something similar, but cheaper or more common. If this happens, let your contractor know that it’s not right and get it fixed. This will prevent you from being disappointed with your results down the road.

3 Kitchen Layout Ideas to Keep Your Costs Low

Don’t Change It!

The first layout idea is simple. Leave it alone. Changing your layout gets expensive fast. If there are things you have to move, try to move them with the least amount of layout modification possible, especially walls and appliances. A layout change that seems simple to you might require permits, requiring, plumbing, gas, and more.

Toss the Tech

Ask yourself if you really need your refrigerator to communicate with your microwave. Chances are, it will be just as convenient to work your appliances separately. Even if you do have to sacrifice some convenience, take a look at the price difference for the cutting-edge tech and ask yourself if that little bit of excessive functionality is worth that much money. Hint: probably not.

Don’t Replace Your Cabinets

Cabinets are the number one item people want to update in kitchen remodels, but you don’t have to replace the whole assembly with custom cabinets. Refacing the body of the cabinets with a veneer and upgrading the doors with modern, custom replacements will create the same beautiful and long-lasting results you’re dreaming of while saving you a ton of money.