Kitchen is a place that has a vital position in our daily lives. It is undoubtedly the heart of the house. It is not only a place with essential tools and appliances to prepare meals, but also a place where we store edibles, sit, and communicate with each other.
A lively, airy, and fully lit kitchen makes your cooking experience enjoyable. Standing in a dark and closed-off kitchen is nothing less than a nightmare. So, we have compiled everything you need to know to transform the dark and dull kitchen into a dreamy and stylish one. The major considerations before heading towards the kitchen renovation plan are:
- The budget
- Your must-haves in the kitchen
- Function with style
Let’s begin to learn the magic you can do to your kitchen.
Topics Covered in this Guide
- 1 1. Distinctive Kitchen Remodel Ideas
- 2 2. How Much Does a Kitchen Remodel or Renovation Cost?
- 3 3. Average Kitchen Remodel Cost
- 4 5. Necessary Budget for Kitchen Remodeling
- 5 6. Small Kitchen Remodel Process
- 6 7. How to Hire Kitchen Remodel Contractors
- 7 8. Kitchen Remodel Design Tools and Ideas
- 8 9. How to Start A Kitchen Remodel – Step by Step Guide
- 9 10. Common Kitchen Renovation Mistakes to Avoid
- 10 FAQs
- 11 The Final Cut
1. Distinctive Kitchen Remodel Ideas
Here are some creative yet functional kitchen remodeling ideas you can adopt to change the look of your kitchen.
- If you are planning to work on an open floor plan, the thing to consider is to keep your dining area and kitchen connected and complementing.
- Secondly, always pay special attention to the storage space. Consider places that are usually overlooked to create plenty of storage. For example, the back of the door, over the hood, or maybe innovative drawers in the corner.
- Renovation is all about bringing style in your kitchen without compromising on the functionality and comfort. Therefore, while selecting utility items give priority to the form and function.
- You can give a new look to your kitchen by elevating the hardware. Variable-shaped handles, hinges, faucets, or knobs can make your kitchen interesting. Also, these accessories are available in several colors. Just highlight the detailing and enjoy the amazing results.
- Then comes the cabinets. Plain and solid front gives a heavy and dull look. You can break the design and create interest by adding some glass fronts. Glass is a better option to add delicacy to the heavy wooden structure.
- The choice of colors plays a vital role in the overall look. You don’t have to add color everywhere. A dark island in a white kitchen or the contrasting hardware gives a sophisticated look. You can also select a fine-grained wood finish for the cabinets to add a little color.
- You can also add color or pattern to your kitchen by adding a backsplash. How about adding a contrasting backsplash in a monotone kitchen?
- A good alternative for marble countertops is a more durable engineered stone called Quartz. It is heat resistant, easy to clean, and scratch & stain resistant.
- Be more innovative by adding panel-ready appliances to your kitchen. The integrated appliances not only widens the space but also gives you the option to create more storage above and underneath the appliances.
- Great rooms are the new norms. By great room we mean no walls in between the dining and the kitchen area. The open kitchen idea is trending because it gives a wider look to the space. To add flow and give a more unified look, using the same flooring is important. So, while renovating, consider using similar tiles all over.
- Adding color to your ceiling can be a game changer. You can add contrasting wooden planks, false ceilings, or beams to create patterns and break the monotony.
- One other important factor that must not be ignored is the lighting. Adding task, ambient, and decorative lights to your kitchen enhance the look and make the working space more visible.
- Whether to add a breakfast table, a service window, or an island, don’t forget to add a couple of stools with them. It can also be a banquette with the side wall or as a divider between the kitchen and the dining room. This casual seating area is a great way to accompany the chef while watching your meal being prepared, or eating your breakfast before going to the office.
2. How Much Does a Kitchen Remodel or Renovation Cost?
Before moving to the estimate and costs, it’s important to know that renovation is different from remodeling.
Renovation VS. Remodeling
By renovation we mean repairing, retouching the finishes, or changing the out-of-order appliances. On the other hand, remodeling includes replacing bigger things like ceiling, flooring, or walls. It also includes replacing the water, electrical, or gas pipeline connections.
So, in this respect the costs vary from project to project. There is no accurate cost that we can suggest, as it depends on the project, material, and your area. However, the average kitchen modeling cost varies between $14,500 and $40,500.
3. Average Kitchen Remodel Cost
The average remodeling cost of a kitchen varies between $75 and $250per square feet. This wide range gives you the flexibility to manage your choices and the unexpected expenditures. For example, you can go for an expensive countertop by purchasing a cheaper cabinetry or lighting fixtures.
|Small Kitchen Remodeling||Average Kitchen||Lavish Kitchen Project|
|$10-15,000||$14,550 – $40,425||$130,000+|
Table 1: Kitchen Remodeling Costs
Let’s break down the cost estimate into a table for a better understanding:
|Cost Factors||Minimum Cost/Small Project||Maximum Cost/Lavish Remodeling||Average Kitchen Remodeling Cost||Accounting to the total Project Budget||Negotiable|
|Installation & Labor||$3,500||$6000||15-20%||Yes|
|Doors & Windows||It can be minimal in an open plan kitchen||A kitchen with more doors and windows can cost you more||$920||5-10%|
|Countertops||Natural stone can boost the average cost||$2,300||10%||The choice of material can help you save money|
|Backsplash||$150||$10,000||The size, material, and labor expenses are the factors behind varying costs|
|Flooring||$1,500||$4,500||$1,610||7%||Vinyle and laminates cost you less than ceramic tile, wooden floor, or natural stone|
|Walls & Ceiling||$1,150||5%|
|Faucets & Plumbing||$920||4%||If remodeling involves major pipe rerouting, it can lead to higher costs|
|Cabinetry & Hardware||$6,670||30%-35%||Custom cabinetry and adding more cabinets to generate more storage takes the budget up|
|Appliances||$200 (price of one appliance)||$10,000 (price of one appliance)||$3,220||14%||The style and priority of the owner decide the final cost|
The minimum cost of a kitchen less than 70 sq/ft is $5000.
The upper limit of the cost of a 70 sq/ft kitchen is $20,000. A larger kitchen can cost you up to $60,000.
|The size also determines the per sq/ft cost. Usually, larger the space, the more luxurious finishes it requires.|
|Location||Small cities tend to have low average rates.||Major cities, high rates||The average kitchen remodeling cost in California is $40,000, whereas in Ohio it is $16,000.||It is better to take an estimated cost from 2-3 contractors to have a better idea.|
Table 2: Various Factors and Their Cost Estimation
4. How Professionals Estimate Kitchen Remodeling Costs?
Giving an accurate estimate is impossible. You must always keep the on-time and on-site expenses in mind. Usually professionals plan their kitchen renovation project according to the client’s budget.
There are three levels of remodeling the kitchen – low, mid, and high level.
- Low-Range Estimates: Professionals suggest not to make big changes in the kitchen to the clients with a low budget ranging from $100 – %125 per sq/ft. Renovations like door replacements, low-budget tiles or counter tops, or brightly lit spaces with innovative lights can bring a positive change to your space in a limited budget.
- Mid-Range Estimates: Mid range falls between $200 and $250 per square feet. Professional contractors suggest better options of renovation to the clients with this price range. They can select better quality products including counter tops, flooring, and tiles. However, this is not a budget in which you can plan to remove walls, or relocate plumbing and electric wiring.
- High-Range Estimates: When the client has a big budget and can afford $300 per sq/ft or even more, then professionals have the flexibility to plan a full-scale renovation. High budget opens up the world of choices and innovations. Introducing high end products with fascinating woodwork and backsplash is a dream of every contractor.
5. Necessary Budget for Kitchen Remodeling
First of all, think of these three factors before making a remodeling plan.
- Your budget
- Your stay in the house (Spend more if you plan to live in the house for more than 5 years)
- Your neighborhood (Do in Rome so as Romans do! With modest neighbors, stay modest, don’t overdo)
Following are some key points to consider to calculate the necessary budget you must have in hand before starting your kitchen’s makeover.
- Division of Cost: As we have mentioned earlier the average breakdown of cost. You can select the items you want to remodel. In this way you can have a better idea of the total amount you need before starting the project.
- Budget to Handle Unexpected Expenses: This cost is a must-have. In a renovation project, there are many things that will come up unexpectedly. You must set aside 20% of your total budget for such unpredicted amounts. For example, you may see the leakage and breakage in the pipeline and wiring on pulling out the appliances. So, be prepared for these surprises.
- Set Up Your Priorities: When planning to have the necessary amount in hand, first of all make a list of things you want to remodel. This is because, in case you run short of budget, you don’t have to regret – your priority things have already been done.
- Your Stay: Another necessary factor to consider, while budgeting, is your stay. Whether you are going to stay in the same house (maybe on the upper floor), or planning to enjoy a stress-free time somewhere else? If you are planning to go to another apartment or hotel, consider its rent and shifting cost too.
- Costs of Food: How can we overlook the amount you need for the food during the kitchen renovation time? The place where you cook and eat is all torn up. Consequently, you must add the expenses you need for food during this time.
- Avoid the Extras: While calculating the necessary budget, try to avoid extra things as much as you can. If you can do good without a top-notch cooking range, or a simple countertop can work best with your kitchen style, why spend some extra bucks on marble tops?
6. Small Kitchen Remodel Process
Here are some tips and tricks to know how you can remodel a small kitchen.
- First of all plan your budget
- Now, think and be clear about what you want to renovate. Take your time to imagine things you want around you while cooking in your space.
- Create a list to manage the project. Some things need to be done before the others. So, jotting them down can make things easier for you. For example, if you plan to change the sink and countertop, the countertop has to be installed before the sink. So, to avoid hassle, prioritize your list.
- Create a complete layout plan before starting the flooring. You can save time and money by calculating the space beneath the counters and island. You don’t have to install new flooring underneath.
- Have you calculated the electricity points? Power outlets for all your appliances without overloading them is a major consideration before heading towards the wall paints.
- In a small kitchen, ensure you have pulled out all the appliances and have not installed the cabinets before starting the wall painting. This is the only way to avoid mess and stress.
- Space management is a real task while renovating a small kitchen. Think smartly to create storage and choose appliances that don’t take up much space. Also, if you want an island, make it small.
- How about tearing a wall down to open up the kitchen space? It will add additional space to your kitchen and make your cooking experience even better.
- Keep the counters and floor empty in a small kitchen. For decorative purposes use walls and ceiling.
- Make your small kitchen airy and well-lit by adding one or two windows.
7. How to Hire Kitchen Remodel Contractors
Even if you are a DIYer, you still need an expert to make the best of your time and money. Following are some helpful tips to choose and hire a contractor for your kitchen renovation project.
Select a Pro – General or Specialist?
A general contractor is the best choice if you have a whole-home renovation. He can handle a broad variety of work which a specialist cannot. However, ensure that the contractor has a wide experience in kitchen remodeling.
On the other hand, the specialists of kitchen remodeling know everything about the kitchen. They can design, renovate, and decorate your kitchen if you want. You must go for a specialist if your project is limited to the kitchen alone.
Whether you go for a general contractor or a kitchen remodeling specialist, both must have a state license to prove their work standards. Ask the contractor for the license number and verify the standing of the license.
Check its coverage by contacting the insurance policy carrier. If the contractor is an active member of the professional association it’s a plus.
Hire Someone Who Offers the Services You Need
Look for a kitchen remodeling contractor who offers the services you are looking for. For example, if you want something more than just remove-and-replace, you need a specialist contractor who can offer design and architectural services to you.
Search and Make A List
Ask your friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers about a good contractor. You can also reach out to your local professional associations to find their members.
Then by browsing the social media links, you can check their ratings and reviews. Pick the top 3 or five and reach out to them. Request and verify their license before inviting them to an in-house meeting.
Here are some suggestions about what you must ask questions from the contractor:
- His license and insurance
- References from the past experiences
- Employees or subcontractors will be working on the project
- Payment expectations
- Estimated project cost
Hire a Contractor
After verifying the documents of the selected contractors and receiving estimates from them, provide them with every detail of your project. Tell them about your budget, the design and material you want, and your timeline. You must judge and finalize the contractor by evaluating their proposals.
Pro Tip: A detailed and professional document must be well-defined and detailed. It must include payment details and schedule, site plan, warranty, and dispute resolution & change order clause.
8. Kitchen Remodel Design Tools and Ideas
This is my personal favorite section. Be your own designer. You can find several online paid and free apps and design tools with the help of which you can design your kitchen.
Whether you are a professional designer or want to show off your skills by renovating your own kitchen, these apps are awesome. Put in your requirements, play with the design, and there you go!
Following are some of the best apps you can try to design your kitchen.
- Best for professionals
- Allow you to draw 3D rendered kitchen plans
- You can conveniently design your whole house as the tool does not restrict you to design the kitchen only.
- The app has the option to draw floor plan, furnish, customize, adjust accessories, and fill the color of your choice.
2. Planner 5D
- Best for kitchen owner/consumers
- Easy to use on your smartphone or computer
- You can get monthly, yearly, and premium packages in $6.99, $15.99, and $24.99 respectively for 3D design renderings. However, you can enjoy 2D renderings for free.
3. Lowe’s Virtual Kitchen Designer
- Best for individual consumers
- Free and easy to use
- Get a professional rendering with the 3D illustrations and designs
- You can also seek help from the Lowe’s design specialists
9. How to Start A Kitchen Remodel – Step by Step Guide
Step 1: Clear out the Space
The first step to remodel a kitchen is to create a lot of space so that you can make changes accordingly. Remove all the items from the kitchen. You can also demolish the unwanted cabinets, countertops, windows and doors. It depends on how much of your kitchen you want to remodel. A contractor may help you in the process so you can hire one.
Step 2: Electrical Wires and Plumbing
Next step is to rough in any wiring and plumbing. It is important to do this before anything else as any electrical dysfunction or leakage can be a hurdle later on. Install wires, plumbings and HVAC systems or drywalls if you like. This can also be done through the help of professionals.
Step 3: Paint Your Kitchen in Beautiful Colors
Now that you are done with clearing all the mess, paint the walls and ceilings in beautiful and vibrant colors. Painting the walls and ceiling with the same color will make your kitchen look bigger. You can also install wallpapers at the backsplash to add a beautiful look.
Step 4: Install Cabinets
The most important step of remodeling is to install the cabinets. This costs a lot so you better have a good amount from your budget specified only for this purpose. There are different types of cabinets you can choose for your kitchen. Some are installed up on the walls while some are installed under the countertops or island.
Step 5: Install Countertops
Another important step that can change the whole look of your kitchen in remodeling is to change the countertops. There are many options to choose from like marble countertops, quartz countertops, wooden countertops etc. These may be costly so you can install concrete countertops and decorate them with wallpapers. This isn’t a long-lasting solution but can save you your budget.
Step 6: Get the Floors Done
Flooring can be installed before or after the cabinets depending on their type. If you go for more simpler styles then you can install them before installing the cabinets. But if you choose more fancy ones like floating flooring, vinyl flooring, laminated flooring etc. then get it done after cabinetry as the process may cause some damage to it.
Step 7: It’s Time to Get Your Appliances Installed
As you are almost done with the remodeling now, it is time to get your appliances installed. It is the final step of kitchen remodeling. Install all the appliances with the help of professionals to avoid any problem.
Step 8: Final Touch Up
Your kitchen is almost ready now. Get done with the final touches like installing the lighting, repaint any damaged paint, decorate with accessories, clean up the construction mess and you are done.
10. Common Kitchen Renovation Mistakes to Avoid
Here are some common kitchen renovation mistakes that can change your renovation into a nightmare and some tips to avoid them:
- Not Pre-Planning: If you are not planning your kitchen remodel in advance you are wasting your time, money and energy. Kitchen renovation is not a matter of a day or two; it can impact your lifestyle. Plan each and everything beforehand and do a thorough research on all the materials and budget.
- Neglecting the ‘The Kitchen Triangle’ Rule: Experts say there’s a kitchen triangle rule that we all should follow for easy cooking. The stove, the sink and the refrigerator are the three sides of the triangle that you roll in all day. The three sides of the triangle should be in close distance so that you don’t have to walk miles to reach from one end to another.
- Neglecting the Space: You have to plan your kitchen renovation according to your kitchen size. If not, this can cause your kitchen to look overcrowded or you may end up choosing the wrong size appliances. Also, keep in mind your family and friends before deciding the dining space.
- Leaving out Too Much of a Space: Sometimes you may leave out too much space to avoid overcrowding. Keep it balanced. Measure the accurate size of your room and then install the materials accordingly. It’s also best to measure your cabinets and appliances for an accurate fit.
- Oversized Islands: Kitchen islands are important elements of the kitchen that affect not only the look of the kitchen but also its functionality. It’s better to keep two islands in a big space than one island that’s too big as you might have trouble reaching the other end.
1. What’s the Difference: Kitchen Renovation Vs. Remodel?
Kitchen Renovation and Kitchen Remodeling are commonly indistinguishable among people but the two are quite different. Renovation means ‘to repair’ while remodeling means ‘to remake’. Remodeling is like adding/replacing something new in a space while renovation is to repair an existing thing.
Both terms differ in that the remodeling requires a lot of time, effort, and money but renovation costs less. To remodel is like to change the whole foundation and structure of an area but in renovation it requires slight upgradation. You can choose kitchen renovation and kitchen remodel depending upon the changes you need in your kitchen. Both can bring drastic changes in making your kitchen look brand new.
2. What’s the Difference: Kitchen Renovation Vs. Makeovers?
Makeover is a simpler term as compared to renovation. Makeovers are most likely done to change the style and appearance while renovation is more linked with changing functionality and repairing.
Kitchen makeovers include changing the color scheme, changing in the wires and plumbing, etc. It includes slight changes which makes it cheaper than kitchen renovation. Kitchen makeover is preferred for short term solutions.
3. What Is A Realistic Budget for A Kitchen Remodel?
A budget depends on how you want to remodel your kitchen. A remodeling budget lies in three categories ranging from low to medium to high. A low kitchen remodeling budget mostly includes DIYs, small changes, etc., which doesn’t cost much. Medium and high budget remodeling includes hiring the professionals and using fancy material.
An average budget for kitchen remodel ranges from $10,000 to $40,000 depending upon the size of your kitchen and the way you are remodeling it. However, the budget can also be as high as $130,000.
4. Can You Remodel A Kitchen for $5,000?
The answer is Yes! The budget can be as low as $5,000 if you plan it beforehand and with good professional advice. A good contractor lets you know the options you have in the limited budget.
There is a rule that says your budget for remodeling should be in between 5% to 15% of the total value of your house. A way to remodel your kitchen on a low budget is by doing it yourself. It saves labor cost. Also if you makeover some of the items instead of remodeling, it will cost you less.
5. How Much Is An Average Kitchen Remodel Cost This Year?
In 2023, an average kitchen remodel cost ranges from $10,000 to $40,000. The cost for an average size kitchen can be approximately $20,000. It depends on many factors like the size of the kitchen, the materials you want to use, labor cost, your geographical location, and other expenditures.
6. What Cost the Most in A Kitchen Remodel?
The cabinets are the most expensive parts of kitchen remodeling. It is because they occupy most of the space in your kitchen. The cabinets should be of high quality so that they last for longer.Cabinets typically cost between 25% and 30% of your total budget. An average cabinet remodel costs approximately $15,000.
7. How Much Do Most Kitchen Renovations Cost?
A typical kitchen renovation costs $15,000 to $30,000. This might include some changes in appliances and designs. But if you want to make your renovation more luxurious, it can cost you $50,000 and up.
Kitchen remodeling primarily involves changes to countertops, appliances, and colors. It usually costs between 3% and 8% of the home value.
8. In What Order Should You Remodel A Kitchen?
The most basic steps in a kitchen remodel are choosing a design and creating a budget plan. Only then will you know what kind of makeover you want in your kitchen.. The right order for remodeling a kitchen is
- Seeking professional help
- Wiring and plumbing
- Installing cabinets, doors, and windows
- Installing countertops, sinks, and faucets
- Painting the walls and ceiling
- Installing appliances
9. What Is the Kitchen Trend This Year?
According to experts, this year the kitchen with bold colors especially pink and blue is a trend. In addition to this, people are also loving the less or no upper cabinets look. Panel-ready appliances are also the new norms.
Furthermore, the extended kitchens (open kitchen plans) with a lot more spaces for seating and dining are trending as well. People are also loving marble backsplashes and countertops as they are easy to clean and give a pleasant look.
If you have a high budget you can go for a Quartz countertop as well. Kitchen with huge windows that open into out-door spaces are also making it to the trending list.
10. What Is the Average Cost to Update A Kitchen?
The average cost to update a kitchen differs according to the changes you want. Small makeovers not only cost less, it also adds to the beauty of your kitchen. You can go for as little as a $50 update to $500, $750, and $1,000 worth update.
11. How Can I Modernize My Kitchen Cheaply?
There are many ways to modernize your kitchen without spending all your savings. The cheapest way to do this is by adding plants, laying rugs, hanging art, painting cabinets, replacing cabinet knobs and handles, etc. Also, the right lighting will transform the look of your kitchen. Installing bars and islands not only helps you with storage but can add an elegant look to your kitchen.
12. What Is the First Thing to Do When Remodeling A Kitchen?
Having a proper budget plan is the very first thing to do. This not only manages your expenses but also saves a lot of time. A good budget plan will help you choose the kind of remodeling you want and the way you want to do it.
13. Things I Wish I Knew Before Remodeling My Kitchen
- Before you plan a remodel you should know the reason behind it. Do you want to expand your kitchen space or just follow the trend? This will help you make a better plan.
- Set a schedule so that the process doesn’t interfere with your work or family.
- Hire the contractors for the things you can’t do yourself. This will have a good impact on your budget.
- Try to keep things in hand before starting the work. Shopping between the remodel process can be stressful.
- Hire a professional to do rough-ins as this can become a big problem later on. Also this should be done before anything else.
- Take extra preventive measures to prevent the rest of the house from becoming a mess.
- Keep an extra budget for the unexpected problems to arise.
- Communicate well with the contractors and if you find anything wrong speak up.
14. How Much Should A 10×10 Kitchen Remodel Cost?
An average cost of a 10×10 kitchen is $15,000 to $30,000. Minor remodeling will cost approximately $10,000 to $15,000 while major remodeling and some fancy updates can cost you $30,000 to $35,000 and more.
You can break down the cost into small details that can help you predict a more accurate cost. A 10×10 kitchen cabinet may cost you $2,000 to $8,000. While the countertops may cost $1,500 to $5,000. Floor and walls may cost a maximum $1,600 to $6,000. Lastly, the appliances may cost you $200 to $300.
15. What Could Be the Labor Cost for a Kitchen Remodel?
The labor cost is 15% to 30% of your total kitchen remodel budget. On average, labor costs you $3,000 to $5,000. Some laborers prefer to get paid on an hourly basis and the average cost per hour is $20. However, these costs are negotiable, if you have prior good terms with your contractor.
The Final Cut
So, fix a budget, create designs by using software or hire a professional contractor, prioritize your work, and let the magic begin. Give a new look to your old kitchen. I tell you, planning, budgeting, dealing with the workers, purchases, and going through all the mess during the makeover is not an easy task. But trust me, with my personal experience, I tell you that the outcome makes you forget everything. And you say the struggle was worth it. Good luck for your upcoming kitchen remodeling task!