These are 12 areas in which you will need to make decisions and that impact the cost of your kitchen remodeling project. Knowing them and their relative impact will help you understand how your decisions affect your remodeled kitchen’s cost.
At Metro, we work with you every step of the way, providing you information and guidance to help you get the best possible kitchen, the one you desire, and one that offers you great value.
The impact on cost explanations factor in both the degree of impact and cost (from low to high) of your decisions for this aspect of your remodel. Some of the 12 points overlap.
1) The Type of Kitchen You Desire
Impact on cost: large
You can select any kitchen from an economy to high-end luxury kitchen. You may want a kitchen with good quality appliances or top-of-the-line gourmet or commercial grade appliances. If cooking is not your thing, you may want to keep your kitchen small. If you entertain, you may want a large kitchen with room enough for people to mingle without getting in your way. Each of these types of decisions will impact the cost of your kitchen remodel.
2) The Level of Reconfiguration and Size
Impact on cost: large
Not changing your kitchen’s size or configuration (floor plan), keeping appliances, plumbing, lighting, and counters where they are now, requires the least amount of work and is the least costly. In the industry, we refer to this as a “pull and set.”
Changing the configuration, but not the size or structural elements, like the location of walls, windows, doors, and so on, still requires opening walls for adding new electrical, water, wastewater, and gas lines. We then must repair the walls we opened by installing new drywall before placing appliances and fixtures. So, changing your kitchen’s configuration adds more cost.
Changing the configuration and structural elements, like walls, doors, windows, or size adds the most cost to a kitchen remodel, short of building an addition for your kitchen.
IMPORTANT: Configuration and structural changes may have a significant impact on your kitchen’s cost, but if your current kitchen is configured poorly, is not the right shape or size for your needs and the look you desire, these changes are well worth the investment both for your needs and when you sell your home.
3) Type of Flooring
Impact on cost: small to moderate
The flooring material you select will not only influence the functionality and aesthetic appeal of the kitchen, but it will influence the price as well. Natural stone, hardwood and designer tile floors typically cost more than engineered wood, laminate, basic tile, or faux stone floors. Flooring can have an impact on your kitchen remodel’s cost, but unless you go for very cheap or very expensive flooring material, it usually doesn’t greatly impact the kitchen’s remodeling cost.
4) Kitchen Cabinets
Impact on cost: large
The new kitchen cabinets you select, their quality and quantity can greatly impact your new kitchen’s cost. There are many types and grades of cabinets.
Kitchen cabinets come in three main categories, regardless of their quality. These categories are Stock, Semi-Custom, and Custom.
Stock, semi-custom or custom cabinets each come in a wide variety of construction grades. At the low end, you find particleboard, fiberboard, film laminate finishes, unfinished surfaces, poor quality hardware, few features and poor-quality joinery. At the high end, you find solid, quality wood and furniture grade plywood, thick wood veneers, high-quality hardware, more features like soft-close doors and drawers, adjustable door hinges to assure perfect alignment, special interior storage options, and high-quality joinery.
Metro has eliminated your need to compromise quality because of cost.
Our clients want high quality, but want to be conscious of their budget at the same time. To help provide them both, we became a distributor for Prevo Cabinetry. Prevo makes quality semi-custom and custom cabinets. As a Prevo distributor, we can offer you high-quality cabinets starting at prices as low as you might pay for lower quality, stock cabinets from other remodelers or even big box stores.
Because we are a Prevo distributor, we make your selection of high-quality custom, and semi-custom cabinets a great value.
In case you are wondering why we do not charge full retail for high-quality Prevo cabinets, it is to help us attract more quality-conscious clients with kitchens (and bathrooms) to remodel. We use Prevo cabinets as a loss leader instead of a profit center.
Of course, if you have your heart set on another brand of cabinets, we can use another brand. However, we won’t be able to offer you as good a price on other brands because the supplier of the other cabinet line will now be acting as a middle-man, whereas with Prevo, there is no middle-man. Our pricing on non-Prevo cabinets would be comparable to what other remodelers charge for the non-Prevo cabinets you select. MBRG chose to go this route, so you can get “high-quality” cabinets for what other remodelers charge for “average-quality” cabinets, giving you high quality and lower costs.
5) Trim Work
Impact on cost: small
Most cabinet installations and other parts of the kitchen need some level of “trim.” Shoe molding, crown molding, chair rails, trim around windows and doors, and decorative trim on walls and ceilings are types of trim typically used.
Basic trim work is not a significant cost factor. If you desire more elaborate levels of trim, you increase costs some because of the added design, materials, and labor. If your kitchen’s design uses stock trim materials, then trim is a small part of your new kitchen’s cost.
Extensive trim work and trim that requires custom millwork can become a noticeable cost. However, for the most part, trim is an easy way to add style without much cost.
6) The Type and Size of Countertops Installed
Impact on cost: moderate to large
The countertop material you select, and the amount of countertop area you need impacts your kitchen’s cost by a fair amount.
Natural stone kitchen countertops are the most popular option today. Most homeowners select granite or marble. Natural stone comes in different grades and thicknesses, and so costs vary based on what you choose.
The cost of natural stone countertops varies based on the stone’s grain, color, thickness, the area covered, the sizes needed to be in one piece, how well the grain matches at the seams, and their place of origin.
Contrary to its name, “quartz” countertops, which are also very popular but are not “natural” stone counter material. They contain natural quartz, but it is ground up and bonded with synthetic binding agents.
Quartz countertops vary in price based on the quality, and durability of the countertop material and its design. Lower cost quartz countertops tend to have a lower quartz-to-binding-agent ratio. They tend to look less like stone and are usually less durable. As a general rule of thumb, quartz countertops are about double the cost of granite tops.
Low-end stone is less expensive than low-end quartz. But high-end quartz is similar in price to most high-end granite or marble.
Imported natural stone (which is not necessarily any better than domestic stone) and when you are very selective about the grain and color of the stone and matching grain at joints, the natural stone becomes the most expensive of your choices.
From the lower end, basic natural stone to the high-end natural stone and high-end quartz there is about a 1:5 cost ratio. If you select unusually expensive natural stone, such as imported, it can be even more expensive.
7) Kitchen Appliances
Impact on cost: large
Like cabinets, the quality and quantity of your major kitchen appliance selections greatly impact your new kitchen’s cost.
Most home kitchens in our area have at least a range with an oven or a cooktop with one wall oven, a refrigerator/freezer, microwave, and dishwasher. However, some remodels have double ovens, large stove and grill tops, hood fans, trash compactors, wine coolers, separate full-size refrigerators and freezers, stand-alone icemakers, and more.
As of this writing, the costs for refrigerators installed in area homes have a cost ratio of about 1:10, from low to high. Cost ratios for cooktops are also about 1:10. If you have your heart set on commercial grade appliances, the cost ratio can be even higher.
8) Lighting, Fixtures, Automation
Impact on cost: small to moderate
Lighting is not usually a major cost factor. Most kitchens have both general (overhead) and task (undercabinet or directly over islands) lighting.
The number of lights needed in a given size kitchen doesn’t vary much. Recessed lighting fixtures in ceilings and basic undercabinet lighting are standard and not that expensive per light installed. Basic dimmable LED cost only slightly more than basic and non-dimmable LED lighting.
Costs move from average to higher if you add designer or custom-made fixtures such as hand-blown glass pendant lights, ceiling-mounted designer fixtures, home automation controlled lighting, and variable color temperature lighting.
9) The Quality of Installation and Construction
Impact on cost: moderate
The quality of your kitchen remodel’s installation and construction is a serious consideration if you want your new kitchen to look its best and not have problems down the road. It is also a cost factor.
Highly skilled installers, carpenters, project managers and specialty trades cost more. They work efficiently but don’t rush through projects. They take the time needed to do the job properly and to a high quality standard. They take pride in what they do and so they do things the right way.
Low-cost kitchen remodelers are lower cost for a reason. They typically use inferior quality materials and construction methods. They hire lower skilled, lower-cost labor. They also need to rush through projects to be profitable. “Good enough to get by” becomes their quality standard.
However, a low-cost kitchen may only cost you less upfront. You may have problems later because of poor quality, or shortcuts taken when installing flooring, appliances, and cabinets (like not using the right size and number of screws to mount the cabinet, or using materials that don’t stand up. For example, lower quality cabinet doors generally can’t have their alignment adjusted after installation. Even if they look alright when installed, the doors will sag over time and need readjusting.)
10) Kitchen Design and Value Engineering
Impact on cost: small but can generate savings and better value
The design of your kitchen is a minor part of its cost. But it has a large impact on how good your kitchen looks and how well it functions. A good design allows you to accomplish more within your budget. So, in the end, the cost of good design is offset by helping you maximize the value you get.
Our kitchen designers take the time needed to understand how you use your kitchen, who will be in the kitchen, how many cooks are working together, whether they are left-handed or right-handed, and so on. We have a packet of information and a questionnaire that you fill out as your “homework” ensuring that we design a kitchen that truly fits your needs.
When you work with Metro Building & Remodeling Group, we not only provide excellent design services, we also use “value engineering” as part of our design process. Value engineering is the process by which we help you get the most mileage from your budget based on what your priorities are.
When working with Metro, our kitchen designers will go over all your product selections and cost options before the project starts. This way you will know up front and accurately, what your kitchen will cost. This review also gives you the opportunity to make educated decisions related to the final cost. If you decide to “splurge” on the quartz countertop, while selecting a different floor to stay on budget, you certainly can.
11) Product and Material Selection Help
Impact on cost for help: small
Clearly product and material selections impact your new kitchen’s cost, but getting help making those selections doesn’t need to.
Unlike some remodeling firms, we can help you make these selections with all the information you need to make the best decisions. We help you not only from a design standpoint but from a cost-benefit and value engineering standpoint.
This ties into both our design services and value engineering because if we know your preferences, priorities, and needs, we can make you aware of products we believe will fit your needs, priorities, and budget best. Our kitchen designers will go over all your product and cost options before the project design is finalized and the construction part of the project begins. This way you will know up front and accurately what your kitchen will cost.
Our product selection and price option review also gives you the opportunity to make educated decisions related to the final cost. If you decide to “splurge” on the quartz countertop, while selecting a different floor to stay on budget, you certainly can.
We also often hear from suppliers, homeowners, and others if a product line or specific product has a poor reputation.
12) Project Management
Impact on cost: small to moderate
Poorly planned and managed remodeling projects are the ones that become nightmares, run up extra costs, require more of your time to deal with and upset your life during and after finishing the project.
Professional project planning and effective management, including excellent communications, requires both more time and expertise. So, expect to pay a bit more for expert management, but expect to have a smoother, more enjoyable, and more successful kitchen remodel as well.
The Bottom Line
Every kitchen’s cost is dependent on the many decisions you must make. Some decisions are based on needs, others on preferences and taste. All decisions must square with the amount you are able or willing to spend on your kitchen remodel.
We want you to be as happy as possible with your newly remodeled kitchen, in every way possible.
The more we know about how you plan to use your kitchen, who will use it, your needs and wants, design sense, how long you expect to live in your home, your priorities and the like, plus how much you feel is appropriate for you to invest in your new kitchen, the better we can develop proposed kitchen designs that you will love, will work for you and that fit within your budget.
ALSO READ: What does it cost to remodel a kitchen in the Washington DC metro area.