Estimated Read Time: 6 Minutes
In most homes, the kitchen is the single-most costly room to renovate. Your kitchen is jam-packed with expensive amenities, including appliances, cabinetry, and countertops—just to name a few.
Even homeowners that plan on keeping these features in place during renovations find it pricey to work around the fixed components when completing non-related work, such as painting or upgrading electrical.
The bottom-line figure depends on a lot of moving parts. No wonder it’s so hard to nail down a concrete estimate for your kitchen re-do!
At Deslaurier Custom Cabinets, we've spent the last 40+ years providing our clients with custom cabinets and kitchen design services. While we don't conduct kitchen renovations, we have worked in conjunction with Contractors and Renovators on thousands of successful kitchen projects.
In this article, Deslaurier addresses the question marks, big and small, surrounding kitchen budgets. Keep scrolling for our design team’s expert analysis of what a kitchen costs.
Table of Contents
What Type of Kitchen Renovation Are You Planning?
Assessing the Scope of the Work
The first thing you need to do is set the parameters for your kitchen makeover. Put simply, what’s going to be involved? Do you want a full-blown kitchen overhaul with all the latest trappings? Are you happy with your kitchen’s layout and only want to see a cosmetic facelift?
The extent of your renovation to-do list will influence its overall cost.
Take a look at the table below to determine which type of kitchen renovation best describes your plans.
Types of Kitchen Renovations
I’m happy with the existing structure of my kitchen floor plan. I want to replace cabinets, appliances, countertops, and flooring.
If you agree with the above statement, you’re probably in the market for a basic kitchen renovation. For most basic kitchens you can shop at big box stores like Home Depot or IKEA and select budget-friendly finishes according to your tastes. A basic kitchen renovation costs between 10-20K.
I’m not happy with the layout of my kitchen. I want to move walls and change the location of lighting and utilities. I want a customized space with some material upgrades.
A mid-range kitchen renovation involves demolishing your old kitchen and having a professional design a more customized space. Mid-range kitchens typically use a combination of budget-friendly and high-end materials. A mid-range kitchen renovation costs between 20-40K.
I’m not happy with the layout of my kitchen. I want to move walls and change the location of lighting and utilities. I want a completely customized space. I want to upgrade most, if not all, of my kitchen’s amenities with top-of-the-line materials and fittings.
A high-end kitchen renovation requires all the same demolition and custom work as a mid-range kitchen. The difference in cost between mid-range and high-end is the selection of materials. Higher-end kitchens incorporate top-of-line materials and truly specialized fittings. A high-end kitchen renovation costs between 40-80K and up.
How to Save Money on a Kitchen Remodel
Tips for Saving Your Hard-Earned Cash
For many homeowners, renovating a kitchen is a first - and hopefully last - time endeavor. You’ve never done it before, and you don’t know what’s in store.
It’s not surprising, then, that homeowners have a hard time staying on budget during kitchen renovations. Here’s a few tricks to reign in unnecessary expenditures:
- Do your due diligence when contractor shopping. Get at least three (if not more) quotes before signing a contract.
- DIY what you can. Complete less technical renovation work on your own (think painting and tearing up floors). Any task that you can remove from your contractor’s work load will put money back into your pocket.
- Consider look-alike, low-budget materials. Many homeowners have their hearts set on granite countertops, and they’ve no idea that engineered quartz can clone the look of granite at a lower price point. Similarly, vinyl and laminate flooring offer realistic impressions of hardwood without the sticker shock. Explore all material options without bias for the best deal.
- Budget realistically. Few homeowners do their homework when budget planning. It pays to be as specific as possible from the start when setting financial limits.
A bargain here and a budget-saving move there—these small tips will help you reap big savings.
Other Factors that Influence the Average Cost of a Kitchen Renovation
Once you’ve determined the category of your upcoming kitchen project (whether it’s a basic, mid-range, or high-end kitchen renovation), it’s time to assess the individual elements and costs of the job.
Let’s take a look at the big four: countertops, flooring, cabinetry, and backsplashes.
Countertops are one of the most eye-catching aspects of your kitchen design. They also happen to be one of the most expensive. Countertop prices vary drastically depending on the material you choose.
Simple laminate countertops might cost you $25 per sq. ft. whereas a rare marble variety might cost ten times as much at $250 per sq. ft. The sweep of variation is astounding.
For a more in-depth review of kitchen countertop materials and their unique characteristics, visit our Learning Centre’s article on the best kitchen countertops.
Below is a simple chart of the most popular countertop materials out there, along with their average cost per sq. ft.
Average Cost (per sq. ft.)
$20 - $50
$80 - $180
$80 - $250
$75 - $200
$35 - $100
$80 - $150
As you can see, a luxurious slab of marble for a very large kitchen could quite easily run a tab of $10,000—the equivalent of a starting budget for a basic renovation project!
Because countertop prices vary so drastically, they offer the perfect opportunity for homeowners to trim their budget in a pinch.
At Deslaurier, we recognize the countertop conundrum homeowners face. We’ve built a far-reaching supplier network of reputable names like Urban Stone, Urban Quarry, Cosentino, and Cambria, all of which work closely with customers to select a budget-appropriate product.
Talk with your countertop supplier for professional assistance exploring your options.
Much like countertops, kitchen flooring options and prices vary.
Average Cost (per sq. ft.)
$7 - $10
$5 - $10
$3 - $5
$2 - $5
$1.50 - $4
Keep in mind, these examples are merely estimates. A very high-quality, rare hardwood species can come in at $13 per sq. ft. Likewise, at a great bargain, you might find a solid cork product at only $4 per sq. ft.
Costs depend on the product, the supplier, and the sale, among other factors. Head over to our top 5 kitchen floors article to learn more.
When it comes to cabinetry, the cost issue boils down to whether you opt for custom cabinets or stock cabinets.
If you’re looking for a basic kitchen that does not require a designer to create custom plans, you can find affordable cabinets at hardware and furniture stores like IKEA, Home Depot, and Rona. Cabinets from these places will cost you between $5-$10K.
As for custom cabinetry, prices fluctuate. Besides the cost of working with a professional designer, cabinetry costs range from $600 to $2500 per linear foot, depending on the materials, finishes, styles, and accessories you choose. For example, cabinets with melamine interiors will be cheaper than authentic wood—this simple selection can add or subtract hundreds, and even thousands, from your final bill.
The Price of Cabinetry at Deslaurier
Deslaurier Custom Cabinets offers cabinetry in the mid- and high-end range. We customize cabinetry. Unlike stock products from IKEA or other similar businesses, our cabinetry is hand-crafted and made-to-order.
That being said, Deslaurier offers a broad selection of products at different price points, allowing clients to tailor their cabinetry to their budget.
For example, more precious wood species like cherry and walnut will cost more than species like textured melamine or oak. You can upgrade to handless mechanisms. You can purchase built-in cabinetry accessories. The list of potential modifications goes on and on.
A general break-down of the main cost contributors within your custom cabinetry system includes:
- Door and cabinet material selection (wood, MDF, melamine, HPL, etc.)
- Door style (shaker, slab, raised panel, etc.)
- Drawer glide style (ex. soft close)
- Features and accessories (wine racks, tray dividers, door-lift mechanisms, etc.)
- Embellishments (glass, crown moulding, light valance, hardware, etc.)
Naturally, the size of your custom kitchen will also play a factor in how much your new kitchen costs. Below are some average price ranges for the various custom kitchen sizes we design:
Size (sq. ft.)
Total Average Cost
$15,000 - $26,000
$21,000 - $52,000
$40,000 - $100,000
Trades Needed for Kitchen Remodeling
Unless you’re working with a full-service kitchen design company or have a project manager in charge of the show, you’ll need to hire several tradespeople in addition to your designer. These professionals typically charge by the hour, and you’ll want to factor their fees into your reno budget.
The three essential tradespeople you’ll need to accomplish your kitchen goals are:
1. An Electrician
Nearly every home improvement project needs a qualified electrical contractor on the scene. Your electrician will assist you with upgrading voltage capacity, moving power outlets, and wiring everything to code. Expect to pay an electrician anywhere from $70 - $120 per hour.
2. A Plumber
Another must-have journeyman is a licensed plumber. Your plumbing contractor will install code-compliant pipes, drains, faucets, and other appliances. Hourly rates for plumbers range from $80 - $150.
3. A General Contractor
A skilled general contractor is an excellent choice if you want someone to oversee the above tradespeople on your behalf. Although more costly (you’ll have to request a personalized estimate), having a contractor in your corner is sure to save you time and stress.
Sifting through the yellow pages for a trustworthy contractor is a tall order. Here are a few questions to keep in mind while you hunt down the right person:
· Are they licensed?
· Are they insured?
· Do they provide a detailed timeline?
· Does their quote break down labour and material costs?
· Do they have positive recommendations?
· Do they have photos of their past work to show you?
Make sure your prospective contractors answer these questions with a “yes” before making a commitment.
Also, make sure you ask your kitchen designer for reputable referrals!
How to Determine Your Kitchen Budget
According to Deslaurier Sales Manager Sam Marrello, your kitchen should equate to 10-15 percent of your home’s overall value. In other words, this means your kitchen remodel should cost no less than 5 percent of your home’s value, and no more than 15.
Here’s an example to illustrate the concept. If you own a $500,000 home, a basic to mid-range kitchen remodel would end up costing between $25,000 and $50,000 (5 to 10 percent). A high-end renovation would reach, but not exceed, a budget of approximately $75,000 (15 percent).
Spending less than 5 percent might not be enough to see your home’s value increase while investing more than 15 percent could put you at risk of losing money if you decide to sell your home.
It’s also a good idea to add 15 to 20 percent to your budget as a safety net to handle surprises or unexpected costs that come up.
You never know what could be lurking behind those old walls. Without a cash reserve to fall back on, you might need to sacrifice precious wish list items for invisible work, like fixing electrical code violations.
Ultimately, your budget is in your hands. 10-15 percent is a good rule of thumb, but that’s all it is. If you decide that you want an upscale, gourmet chef-worthy kitchen regardless of the cost, go ahead: break the benchmark!
Seeing Your Kitchen as an Investment
Spend Now to Save Later
A kitchen renovation is a big investment. While it’s tempting to skimp on upgrades and cut corners, the money you save that way isn’t really money saved. Because a kitchen renovation is a big investment, it’s worth doing right the first time.
Sometimes you need to spend on your kitchen now to save on it later.
In the industry, designers like to say that the “bones” of your kitchen need to be solid. Even if you plan to sell your house years from now, a sound kitchen layout with ample storage and high accessibility pays off by boosting your listing price. After all, one home tour is all it takes for real estate agents and buyers to weed out quality kitchens from the rest.
As alluring as a “quick fix” can be, the immediate savings don’t justify the long-term consequences. Investing in your kitchen now will make it profitable down the road.
Deslaurier's New Kitchen Designs
Deslaurier is a custom cabinet maker with 40 years of experience. To connect with a kitchen designer in the Jupiter, FL area, book a consultation.
We leverage decades of know-how to craft individualized, user-friendly, and exquisite kitchens. Our design approach is client-oriented through and through—we make your kitchen work for you, not the other way around.