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Friday, June 22, 2012

The Kitchen Is The Heart Of The Home

Budget For A Typical Kitchen Remodel
The average cost for a major kitchen remodel is roughly $60,000, a minor one under $20,000, but you can spend a lot more---or less.

Per John Bredemeyer, spokesperson for the Appraisal Institute, a standards-setting organization, you should spend 10 to 15 percent of your property value and expect about 75 cents back on the dollar at resale on a kitchen remodel.

The NKBA says for a "gut" remodel, plan to spend approximately 30 to 50 percent of the budget on cabinets (including installation), 5 to 20 percent on countertops, 10 to 20 percent for appliances, 5 to 11 percent for flooring, 2 to 5 percent for lighting and other electrical work, 1 to 2 percent for a tile backsplash, 3 to 6 percent for plumbing and fixtures, and 10 to 20 percent on fundamentals like windows and wallboard.

Using these guidelines, let's say your home is valued at $250,000. Your budget for the kitchen remodel should be $35,000.

By category:
Cabinets $17,500
Countertops $4,500
Appliances $3,000
Flooring $2,500
Lighting/electrical $1,000
Backsplash $1,000
Plumbing/fixtures $1,750
Misc. $3,750

You should also set aside a minimum of 10% of the budget as a contingency fund (in case of unforeseen structural problems, for example.)

Spend Smart
The July 2012 Consumer Reports is a special issue all about KITCHENS. If a kitchen update, large or small, is in your future, it is a great guide to have. Some of our favorite pointers include:
~~Open shelving (instead of closed cabinets) keeps the frequently used items accessible and adds decorative interest-as long as you keep them neat.
~~Seemingly small touches like cabinet hardware or countertop appliances can help create a sophisticated, finished look on even the tightest budget-so stay detail oriented.
~~Concrete countertops, limestone backsplash tiles, enameled sinks, and white-painted cabinets are all gorgeous options. But they are also risky ones because they're vulnerable to staining and chipping, and they therefore require more care.
~~Add freestanding storage like armoires, hutches, and chests. Flea markets and estate sales are great sources for these storage-rich furniture pieces.
~~Consumer Reports tests showed quartz countertops outperform granite and that factory-finished wood floors are more durable-and less messy-than those finished on-site. Plus the finish on the prefinished floor is covered by the manufacturer's warranty

Kitchen Don'ts
~~DON'T be trendy. Kitchen-design trends are nearly as fickle as runway fashions. The more up-to-the-minute something is today, the more dated it's likely to look in a few years. Trendy choices today include translucent glass tiles, industrial-style lighting fixtures, super-dark hardwood floors, and retro red and blue appliances.

~~DON'T try to fit an island into a small kitchen. You need at least 36" of walkway on each side of the island. A 12-foot-wide kitchen is too narrow for an island.
~~DON'T trust a swatch when you pick your countertop. A visit to the stone yard is a must.


  1. These numbers make me sick to my stomach. My wife and I purchased a home last year and we are ready to start remodeling the room. We already started a kitchen cabinet refacing project and are probably going to start laying down the floors next. Do your costs include just materials or materials plus the labor to put it together?

  2. Yes, these prices are labor and material. It is incredible what things cost, but a kitchen makeover is one thing you do not want to cut corners on and have to redo later. Because of the inconvenience and doing without a kitchen (I have lived through it and it is not fun!) you truly want to do it once and do it right. Hopefully you got a great deal on the house and that makes spending money a little more palatable.