How to Budget for a Kitchen Remodel

Contractor Writing an Estimate for a Kitchen Remodel

A kitchen remodel is one of the best investments you can make for an older residence, and it has some of the highest returns of any home renovation. In fact, a major kitchen remodel can recoup as much as 74.20 percent of the total project cost. If you’re considering a kitchen remodel, here are a few tips that will help you make a realistic budget.

How much does a kitchen remodel cost?

In general, a widely accepted rule of thumb is to allocate between 5 and 15 percent of your home’s value towards a kitchen remodel. For example, if your home is worth $300,000, your budget for a remodel should be around $45,000. Of course, this cost is just an estimate—the scope of your kitchen remodel and the building materials you select can greatly impact the total cost of renovation.

If math is not particularly your strong suit, you can use this remodeling budget calculator to get a ballpark figure of your kitchen remodel. This tool gives you a budget, an itemized cost breakdown of the renovation, as well as a revised estimate of your home’s value.

Prepare for Unexpected Costs

According to the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA), you should plan on setting aside an additional 10 to 20 percent of your budget for unexpected costs. This is especially important for older homes because you never know what you’ll find once you start tearing into the floor and walls. Maybe the electrical wiring is outdated, or perhaps the floor is rotten underneath your dishwasher from a small water leak.

These setbacks can quickly delay your kitchen remodel, so make sure you have a plan to tackle unforeseen repairs in addition to your existing budget.

Stick to Your Priorities

Once you have a cost in place, make sure you allocate enough of your budget towards the things that matter to you most. Maybe new kitchen cabinets are beyond the scope of your project, so you budget for refinishing them instead. Or perhaps the current layout is inefficient, and thus you place more value on redesigning your kitchen instead of buying the most expensive appliances.

“Keep your priorities front and center,” says the NKBA Kitchen Planner. “A $500 range or a $10,000 one? A $100 sink or one that’s $3,500? A $4 polished brass knob or a $98 crystal model? What’s important to you?”

Josh Garskof, a home renovation expert, says you should allocate the following costs for a kitchen remodel:

• 29 percent for cabinets and hardware
• 22 percent for design and installation
• 16 percent for walls, ceilings, floors, doors, and windows
• 14 percent for appliances and ventilation
• 9 percent for electrical and plumbing