You can ask any Realtor about what projects appeal more to buyers, have the greatest impact and higher perceived value, and you will get TWO predominant of answers.
Complete Kitchen Remodel AND Kitchen Upgrades
More than any other renovation, the very thought of a kitchen remodel will allow you to see the noticeable impact that it will have on you and your family, your daily routine and the enjoyment that you have when being at home. The kitchen is the hub of almost any household. It's not only where you cook and prepare meals, but entertain, pay bills, do homework and gather together as a family.
There are numerous reasons WHY homeowners want to do a kitchen remodel, what are yours?
- To upgrade worn-out and/or dingy surfaces.
- Bring in new current finishes and materials.
- Add more functionality to their home.
- Improve the livability and flexibility of the home.
- Modernize the look of the space.
- Increase the salability.
As you start thinking about doing a kitchen remodel, your thoughts are naturally going to turn to price…
"How much will my kitchen remodel cost?"
The complexity and components of a kitchen remodel have a direct effect on the overall cost involved, thus making it somewhat difficult for you to anticipate a generalized cost. Most commonly speaking, a kitchen remodel will cost anywhere from 10%-25% of the value of your home depending on the level of work needed. During the initial consultation that our expert design team will have with you, we'll explore what level of remodeling is needed for your space to achieve your ultimate "WHY".
Simply stated there are 3 levels of remodeling that we are going to reveal to help you start planning your remodel and expectations.
LEVEL: BASIC KITCHEN REMODEL
Budgetary Cost: $15,000 – $35,000
Maintaining the existing kitchen layout without any plumbing relocation, utilizing the existing flooring, taking into account minimal electrical changes and standard appliances. This level is generally for homes that were built up to current building codes and are within 10 or so years old.
Here are the typical projects completed during a basic remodel:
- Reface the kitchen cabinets. This includes painting or staining the existing boxes, new cabinet doors and drawer fronts, as well as replacing the hardware.
- If refacing or refinishing is not a viable option due to damage, upgrading to a builder grade or mid-level durable cabinet line may be a better option and still fall within the budgetary cost of a Basic Remodel if you have a compact sized kitchen. Many homeowners in the Phoenix market have a smaller to average-sized kitchen.
- Replace the countertops with something more durable (and something that has a higher resale value), such as a Group "A" quartz.
- A tile backsplash is a great way to bring in an additional texture or color to your space.
- Update the faucet, sink and garbage disposal. Delta, Moen and Kohler alike have all launched new plumbing fixtures with touchless capabilities and other beneficial features for your kitchen.
- Exchange existing lights for new lights while maintaining existing fixtures location. You can also install light strips under the cabinets.
- Replace wall sockets and light switches. Updating your outlets to more tech savvy ones that provide USB charging capability for your smart devices might be something worthwhile to consider in the kitchen, especially if that is a common area of your home that you tend to charge devices and/or use for looking up videos or recipes.
- Painting: While many homeowners opt to do all their painting themselves, the kitchen tends to be one of the more complex rooms to paint. As such, you'll want to consider having the pros do your kitchen's ceiling, trim and walls after any necessary drywall repairs.
LEVEL: INTERMEDIATE KITCHEN REMODEL
Budgetary Cost: $35,000 – $75,000
Involves slight modifications to the layout of the space, new flooring and professional appliances. Includes stock new cabinetry or mid-level cabinet re-facing, additional lighting, under cabinet lighting and minor electrical to be done. Minor building code updates to be made as needed. This level is generally for homes in the 10-30-year-old range.
Here are the typical projects completed during a mid-range remodel:
- Upgrade countertops to a better and more durable material, such as a Group "B" quartz or a beautiful granite.
- Install new cabinetry. Wellborn Cabinet manufactures wonderful American made cabinetry at a great price point. With so many colors and stains to choose from, your kitchen will surely to undertake a drastic transformation. Talk to your designer about incorporating a few special drawer or cabinet organizing features or explore a staggered look for your upper cabinets.
- Wish you had more prep area in your kitchen? Now is the time to talk to your designer about incorporating a kitchen island or extending your current countertop space. A mid-range remodel includes minor modifications to your existing layout.
- Update lighting fixtures and install new task lighting and under cabinet lighting. For older homes, this may require additional electrical work to update your kitchen to current building codes.
- Upgrade existing appliances. Talk to your general contractor or designer about relocating your microwave to another convenient location within the kitchen besides over the cooktop to avoid risks. They can also discuss other key tips for making your kitchen safer for your entire family.
- Replace sinks, faucets and fixtures. Take a look at some of the new technological features that major brands have begun incorporating into their fixtures. From touchless technology with auto shut off to precisely measured water and temperature control.
- Replace the flooring within the kitchen. When modifying your existing cabinetry, it becomes necessary to consider what that might do to your existing flooring. In many instances, new tile flooring is needed.
- Add a gorgeous tile or glass mosaic tile backsplash to your kitchen design. Love the look of your new countertop? Your designer can quote you on the cost difference between doing a tile backsplash and using the additional square footage from your countertop slab as your new backsplash to give you a few options to consider.
- Drywall repairs and painting will be needed. Choose a soothing color that will compliment your new kitchen.
LEVEL: MAJOR KITCHEN REMODEL
Budgetary Cost: $75,000 – $125,000+
This level is classified as a major overhaul of the space, including more elaborate modifications such as changing the layout of the room, moving walls to open up or expand the space. Includes upgraded or semi-custom cabinetry with upgrade options, additional lighting and electrical work, built-in appliances and all new flooring. This level is generally for homes over 30 years old that were not built up to current building codes.
Here are the typical projects completed during a major remodel:
- Change the layout. This includes opening the floor plan, which may involve removing multiple walls. It may also require moving or adding windows and even doors. Finally, you may change the location of appliances, sinks, countertops and even cabinets to achieve the look you want. This level of remodeling is an almost unrecognizable full room transformation.
- Install semi-custom or custom cabinets with upgrades and specialty features such us pull-outs for spices, staggered heights, mouldings, high grade stains, and more! During this remodel, consider the indulgences that you've always wanted. You may include a new kitchen island with the sink relocated to it. Yes, saw cutting the foundation to run new lines is included in this level of remodel.
- Install an upscale sink, faucet and other fixtures. This is a complete over-haul, so everything is being upgraded accordingly. Includes plumbing relocation as needed.
- Upgrade the flooring to something durable or even eco-friendly. Plank tile or over-sized flooring is still the top choice in the Phoenix market.
- Install high-end countertops with durable materials, such as a Group "C" granite or quartz. You may also create workstations or a butler's area nearby. If you have been scrolling through Pinterest anytime lately, you've likely seen large scale kitchen islands that extend into an eating area, waterfall countertops or other gorgeous ideas that you can share with your designer.
- A stunning backsplash of course. This could be made from your stone countertop slab, tile or mosaics. Contemplate going beyond the bottom of your upper cabinets. If you elect to have open shelving or a gourmet hood, you can take your backsplash to the ceiling and create the ultimate focal point in your kitchen.
- Install under cabinet lighting and recessed lighting. Update all fixtures, including the electrical to be sure your kitchen is built to current building codes and is safe for your family.
- Replace existing appliances with high-end, built-in appliances. These appliances come with many features such as being "smart" (connected to the internet and controlled by apps) or having deluxe features.
- Drywall repairs as needed, and complete painting of walls, trim and ceilings.
True and accurate remodel costs will vary per job and are dependent upon the scope of work and labor costs associated. Being mindful that these are very rough ballpark numbers for general purposes, you can however use them as a broad rule of thumb when budgeting.
Now let's look at how specific components will factor into your overall price and budget…
How Common Components Affect the Price of a Kitchen Remodel
Most homeowners find that the cabinet work ends up being about 30% of the total cost of the remodel. This is especially true if you're installing semi-custom or custom cabinets, which is usually a good idea since they tend to improve the home's value. If you expand your existing cabinets' footprint, expect to pay more money.
If you want to freshen your kitchen without investing in custom cabinets, then one option is to refinish your custom cabinets. Refinished cabinets plus new hardware will make a big impact while keeping costs down.
This component can vary widely depending on what you need done and the materials you choose. Obviously, fixing your existing flooring (such as cracks) is going to be the least expensive option. Replacing the flooring will cost more, but how much more depends on the materials you're using. Choosing vinyl flooring will keep costs down if budget is a concern. However, more expensive flooring – like hardwood – will increase your home's value.
Be sure to also consider what sort of maintenance you'll need to do on your choice of flooring, which can impact the long-term costs. Talk to our experts here at TWD if you need help deciding what sort of flooring best fits both your budget and your lifestyle.
If you decide to change the layout of your kitchen in a way that involves moving the existing plumbing, you can expect higher costs. To keep costs down, you can install a new dishwasher, sink and faucets no more than two feet from the current fixtures so that you can use the same plumbing set up.
Like other components, the price of the countertops is going to vary depending on the materials you choose. Certain countertops (like laminate) are the less costly options, but they require more maintenance and don't contribute much to the home's resale value. Other options, such as granite or quartz countertops, boost the home resale's value, but they do cost more upfront.
You'll also want to consider your backsplash, where the materials you use and the complexity of the layout will affect price. If you're looking for a nice balance between price and good looks, you may want to explore ceramic tile options.
Keeping your existing appliances is going to be your most cost-effective option, at least in the short term. However, if your appliances aren't energy efficient (look for the Energy Star label), then it could be costing you more money in the long term. Upgrading to energy efficient appliances will save you money on your electric bills while freshening your kitchen at the same time.
If you do a lot of gourmet cooking or entertaining, then you may look into upscale appliances. Obviously, this is going to be your most expensive option, but it also can make your kitchen a more enjoyable place to be for you.
Electrical and Lighting
If you've thought about adding features to your kitchen such as under-cabinet lighting, new fixtures, or new outlets, then you'll want to make plans to include these projects during your kitchen remodel. It's less expensive to have this sort of electrical and lighting work done when the kitchen is already torn apart, versus doing it separately at some other time.
One inexpensive way to freshen your kitchen is to paint it. Some homeowners choose to do this part themselves. However, even if you hire the professionals at TWD to do this task, painting makes a big impact at a relatively low cost.
Prices here will depend on what all you're doing. For example, labor costs are going to be higher if you're doing things like pulling up the existing flooring and removing cabinets. While you may think that you can do this portion yourself, you'll need to consider the cost of clean-up and haul off of all the debris you remove. Your general contractor has these processes down to a science, thus is able to complete the task quickly, efficiently and cleanly.
Is It Worth It?
By this point, you've got a ballpark figure in mind for your kitchen renovation. Now you may start wondering, is it worth it? And how will this investment affect your home's resale value?
Here are your answers…
How will a kitchen remodel affect the price of your home?
According to a recent survey, 80% of home buyers rank the kitchen as one of the most important rooms in the house. That's why an updated kitchen can positively impact your home's value. Indeed, a majority of home buyers say they'd pay even more if the home had new appliances and updated (granite) countertops.
What is the average return on investment for a kitchen remodel?
The average ROI depends on whether you do a minor or major remodel. For a minor remodel, you can expect to recoup up to 80% of the cost of the remodel. If you do a major remodel, however, your ROI falls significantly. You may get 54% of your investment back if you resell your home soon after a major remodel. The reason being is that a luxury or high-end remodel is typically tailored to your individual wants and needs, which may not be the same as other buyers.
Which leads us to the next question…
Is it worth it to do a kitchen remodel?
This depends on your goals and why you want a kitchen remodel. If you're looking to resell your home fairly quickly, then updating the kitchen with a basic remodel can attract more buyers and boost the value of your home. However, it's not wise to do a major remodel at this point, as you won't recoup as much of the cost.
On the other hand, if you intend to live in your home for the long term, then you can spend whatever the kitchen is worth to you. For example, if you love cooking and entertaining, then a major remodel may be worth it to you. Another reason for doing an extensive remodel is to ensure your home is built safely and to withstand the years that you plan on living in it. Outdated electrical or plumbing can be a risk simply not worth taking if you plan on aging in place.
Questions to Ask Before You Begin
As you just learned, the cost of a kitchen remodel can vary greatly depending on what all you do. A good starting point in planning and estimating costs is to answer the following questions:
- Why do you want to do a kitchen remodel?
- How do you use your kitchen? For example, is it primarily for cooking the family meals? Or is it the place where you entertain guests?
- Do you do any gourmet cooking?
- Are you planning to resell your home anytime soon, or do you plan to live in it for the long term?
- Are you satisfied with the current overall layout of your kitchen?
- What are your top goals when it comes to a kitchen remodel?
- What do you like best about your current kitchen?
- What do you like the least about your current kitchen?
If you answer these questions honestly, then you'll start to get a good sense of whether you're looking at a basic, intermediate or upscale renovation.
Once you've decided what you want to do, then it's time to hire a contractor. Which brings us to the next point…
5 Keys to Hiring a Home Remodeling Contractor
Key 1: Get multiple bids. A good guideline is to solicit detailed bids from three contractors. Be sure they outline their bids in detail so that you can compare apples to apples. And be sure that TWD is one of the contractors you call, as we'd be happy to provide you with a no-obligation bid.
Key 2: Check that the contractors are licensed and insured. Most contractors provide this information on their website. If you don't see it, you can ask for it, but it's important to do your research.
Key 3: Check reviews. Your next stop is the Better Business Bureau, to see what sort of reputation your selected contractors have. You'll also want to look at online review sites, as well as ask the contractor for references.
Key 4: Sign a contract. This contract should outline the exact scope and price of the work, and it should include clauses to protect both you and the contractor. Beware of contractors that ask you to sign a contract with alliances for materials. Your contract price should include everything for your project.
Key 5: Pay a reasonable amount upfront. You generally need to pay a down-payment before the work starts which lets the contractor purchase supplies. Be wary of anyone who asks for a very large payment upfront, unless the contractor is well-established with a great reputation.
Hiring a good contractor is the first step to a smooth kitchen remodel. You'll also want to check out these tips…
5 Tips for a Smooth Kitchen Remodel
Doing a kitchen remodel can be like a dream come true… or a nightmare. You can stack the deck in your favor by hiring the right contractor as outlined above, and then following these additional tips…
Hire a Kitchen Designer
You're probably only going to do a kitchen remodel once, so it's worth hiring a designer to make the most efficient use of the space. A good kitchen designer can help you create a beautiful and functional layout, as well as maximize storage space. A general contractor that employs on-staff designers is the best of both worlds, as it minimizes the frustration of having to coordinate with them separately and keep everyone on the same page.
Be Realistic About Your Budget
You may have some dreams about what you'd like your kitchen remodel to look like. However, those dreams need to bump up against the hard reality of your budget. Be sure to set a realistic budget up front, and then be realistic about your plans as you design your kitchen remodel around this budget. An experienced designer will work with you to design around your budget and make budget-friendly material recommendations to keep you on track.
Invest in Quality
As you're planning your remodel around your budget, be sure that you don't try to save money by installing inferior-quality items. For example, quartz countertops are more expensive, but they're also more durable and add more value to the home.
Likewise, don't skimp on quality when it comes to key features of your kitchen. This includes items like lighting, hardware such as drawer pulls, and components that get a lot of use such as flooring and sinks.
Install a Backsplash
A good backsplash is functional, in that you don't need to scrub grease and grime out of the grout. However, your backsplash also serves as the cohesive piece that ties your kitchen together and creates an impact when people first see it.
Get Prepared to Upset Your Routine
Depending on what type of remodeling you're doing, the remodel could take anywhere from a couple weeks to a couple of months. You need to be prepared for construction dust and debris (to be contained in the work area), daily noise, and disruption to your normal schedule. Keep in mind that you likely won't be able to cook while your kitchen is out of service, so stock up on microwave meals, prepare to eat out or plan meals that you can grill. Many homeowners have set up a makeshift kitchenette elsewhere in their homes to get by as well. Talk to your general contractor about any concerns like this before construction begins.
But is it worth it? You bet it is. Once the work is done and you look around at your dream kitchen, it all becomes worth it.
If you find yourself dreaming of the possibilities, then it's time to take that next step and call TWD (or visit www.twdaz.com) for a free no-obligation consultation.
Our team of kitchen design professionals will work with you and your family to understand your dream kitchen and bring those visions to life. When you meet with one of our dedicated on-staff designers you will get a free consultation and full access to our designer home showroom.
Upon entering into a design retainer (see TWD Blog for other informative articles regarding the purpose and benefits of having a design retainer in place) the magic begins to happen. You'll get 3-Dimensional renderings, design options and help to select the perfect materials for your project, all of which will be detailed out in your final contract amount.
Rest assured that you will know the exact fixtures, flooring specifics, countertop slab, beautiful cabinetry style and color, and every other finite detail that will go into making your dream kitchen, along with a fixed contract price!