Budgeting for a Kitchen Remodel

Budgeting for a Kitchen Remodel

You’ve been dreaming of remodeling your kitchen or bathroom for quite some time and have gathered ideas and photos of what you like – and what you don’t like.  There comes a point when you get serious and say, “Let’s get this done!”  What now?  Establishing a budget for your remodeling project is one of first steps toward making your dream a reality.  Here are some things to consider in developing a budget:


  • Think about how long do you plan to stay in your house. If you are planning to move within five years, then the remodel should be considered as an improvement for selling.  If you are staying longer than five years in your home, incorporate features in your plan that you love.


  • Know where your money will be spent in a kitchen remodel. The Remodeling 2018 Cost vs Value Report indicates the nationwide average for the cost of a major, mid-range kitchen remodel is $21,198.00 * with the breakdown as follows:


Major, Mid-range Kitchen Remodel

Based on $21,198 budget *

From: 2018 Cost vs Value Report, Hanley Wood

Area of kitchen % of Budget Low Budget Amount High Budget Amount
Cabinets & Installation 20-40% $4,329.60 $8,479.20
Countertop & installation 10-30% $2,119.80 $4,239.60
Flooring, framing, drywall, paint 10-20% $2,119.80 $4,239.60
Appliances 10-20% $2,119.80 $4,239.60
Electrical 10% $2119.80 $2,119.80
Plumbing & appliance installation 5-10% $1,059.90 $2,119.80
HVAC & ductwork < 5% $0.00 $1,059.90
Plumbing fixtures < 5% $0.00 $1,059.90


Remember, these are averages, but it will give you an idea of what to expect. Knowing how much should be allocated to each category of your remodel will help you decide if you want to move some money from one category to another that may be most important to your goal or needs more attention.


  • Make a list of your priorities for upgrades and stick with your plan. Decide which items you want to splurge on and where you can save a little money by not having the best of the best.  You can allocate funds to other areas if you decide not to renovate all the areas in the kitchen. 


  • Get educated! In order to compare pricing between different cabinet companies you need to know you are comparing the same materials.  Make sure you know the construction of the cabinetry you have quoted so you can make an informed decision as to which fits best with your goals.  Also, research appliances and check ratings.


  • Take advantage of promotional pricing for cabinetry and appliances. Some manufacturers regularly have promotions that include a free cabinet with the purchase of a minimum number of cabinets in addition to discounted pricing.  Shop for the best pricing on appliances and look at manufacturer websites for rebates!


  • Don’t let your budget get sidetracked by the unexpected. Plumbing, wiring, and subflooring are the main reasons for going over your budget.  Plan accordingly by having 10-20% set aside to repair problems that may not be seen until the demo starts.


Our advice?  Don’t sacrifice on kitchen cabinetry quality, as you may regret it later.  Consumer Reports agrees.  A survey they conducted with people who remodeled their kitchens indicate this was a “top spot where they wished they’d spent more” **.


*A major, mid-range kitchen remodel includes updating an outdated 200 SF kitchen with a functional layout of 30 LF of semi-custom wood cabinets, including a 3x5 kitchen island, laminate countertops, standard double stainless steel sink and single lever faucet, an energy-efficient range, ventilation system, built-in microwave, dishwasher, garbage disposal and custom lighting, as well as new resilient flooring, painted walls, trim and ceiling.