Sure, asking how much does a kitchen remodel cost is like asking how wet is the ocean. It’s not only a variable thing that hinges on many different factors, and it’s not just a huge question. It goes even further than that: it’s a question that doesn’t seem to have any basis in reality.
National Averages for Remodeling CostsFor nearly the last 20 years, the good folks at Remodeling Magazine have published their annual Cost vs. Value Report, which breaks down average kitchen remodeling costs, as well as for other areas of the home. These averages are further broken down by area of the U.S.
I point them to this report all the time. Yet still I get the question:
”How much does kitchen remodeling cost?”
It took me awhile to realize this, but what I think the question really means is:
”How much can I skate by for?
I believe this is a perfectly valid question. And if the economy happens to be bad, no one is ever asking for the top dollar amount that they can spend.
Q: What does kitchen remodeling cost? A: $24,000.Remodeling Magazine’s national figures range from around $56,000 for mid-range kitchen renovation to $110,000 for upscale renovations. But you must understand that they derive their data from remodeling industry professionals such as Realtors, builders, remodelers, etc. Thus, these renovations are full-on, pro-level kitchen remodels. No DIY. No “intelligent shortcuts.”
I would hazard that most kitchen remodels involve some kind of do-it-yourself work. The more, the better. Or at least: the more, the cheaper. “Better” may not always be the word to use.
Here are the features of the $24,000 average kitchen remodel:
- Avoiding the full-blown kitchen remodeling companies and even a contractor. Instead, subbing out the job yourself to the trades. Trades would be: new flooring, electrical, plumbing.
- Taking on DIY. DIY in this case would be: demolition, painting, new flooring (if vinyl tile, ceramic tile, or laminate).
- Preserving kitchen cabinetry if at all possible. Painting, refacing, or sanding and staining your existing cabinets save the four or five figure bill for new cabinets.
- Keeping kitchen layout “as is.”
- Avoiding any upscale surface material like granite, stainless steel, or exotic hardwoods.
- More unadorned surfaces, less detail work. I often advocate crown molding to dress up a room. But it’s not a deal-breaker. You can do without. Or that cool Mexican tilework behind the kitchen sink can go on hold for now.