When you have the available funds, updating your kitchen is never a bad move – but how much should you expect to pay? Kitchen renovation keeps the décor and appliances current and increases the value of your home, should you ever choose to sell. Still, updating a kitchen is a massive undertaking. In this article, I’ll tell you what you can roughly expect in terms of cost when you begin this home improvement project. I’ll also show you ways that you can reduce the overall cost of updating.
A small kitchen upgrade can cost as little as $4,000 to $10,000. This is significantly less than the average kitchen upgrade cost, which sits at an intimidating $21,000. More lavish kitchen upgrades can exceed an eye-watering $50,000! Your project may sit between these prices, depending on what you plan to accomplish and whether you intend to commit to a full-blown kitchen demolition in the first place.
I know, I know, this is a lot to consider. In all fairness, though, a kitchen update is a lot to have on your plate. So much needs to be taken into consideration that it can be hard to keep it all straight. You’ll want to know what you expect to contribute to the final total, as well as what can be done to drive the price tag down a little bit. Continue reading to learn more about how you can save big bucks on a kitchen upgrade, regardless of size.
How Much Does It Cost to Demolish a Kitchen?
How much you pay to demolish your kitchen depends on a number of things:
- What materials are being demolished
- The size of the kitchen itself
- The rate at which the contractor does their work
- Your location
- Whether you plan to do any of the work yourself
There are many things that can be involved in a kitchen demolition. If you’re only wanting to replace/demo your countertops and cupboards, it’s going to be much less pricey than going all-out and doing a full kitchen demo. A full kitchen demolition includes, but is not necessarily limited to, the removal of these items:
- Sinks and Drains
If you plan to have all of these elements demolished, you can expect to spend upwards of $1,200. The fewer elements you need to have removed from your kitchen, the less it will cost. For example, the removal of only kitchen countertops and cabinetry can cost as little as $400.
The only way to know for sure how much you will be spending is to consult with your contractor. In fact, it helps to get quotes from several different contractors so that you can have an understanding of the competitive rates in your area.
Is Doing Your Own Demolition Worthwhile?
Demolishing your own kitchen can save you a hefty chunk of change, but that’s only if you know what you are doing. If you don’t know how to avoid harming electrical or water lines, for instance, you could end up paying even more to repair your mistakes before moving forward.
Demolishing a kitchen isn’t as simple as taking a sledgehammer to every surface around you. You need to know where all of your lines are, to avoid compromising them and know how to remove the materials safely. That means that you need to have the proper tools and protective gear to remove everything, as well. Failing to have the know-how when you go to demo your own kitchen can result in personal injury, property damage and potentially even sickness.
There’s also the matter of removing the old materials. You can’t have them simply sitting in your kitchen space, can you? Most contractors will include the cost of material removal in their initial estimate.
If you decide to take this on yourself, you will likely need to rent a dumpster and/or pay for removal services. This is a relatively small chunk of change in the grand scheme of things, but it is by no means cheap. If you have the means to hire contractors who can handle the demo process from beginning to end, it is something that you should seriously consider. Especially if you are no do-it-yourselfer.
What Factors Contribute to the Cost of a Small Kitchen Upgrade?
Even a small kitchen upgrade can be incredibly expensive, depending on what materials you choose to install into your newly renovated space. A simple walk through a home improvement store shows how drastically tiles, countertops, appliances, and flooring can differ in price based on their materials. Linoleum counters, for example, will set you back far less than marble or soapstone.
You will likely end up hiring a contractor to handle the bulk of this work, if not all of it. Contractors are not handymen. They are specialized, educated, experienced professionals who have a specific skill set that they are willing to put to work for you. And that expertise carries a higher asking price. A contractor has to consider financial matters such as:
- The cost of materials
- Paying their crew and/or subcontractors
- Their hourly rate
- The cost of insurance, both liability and workman’s compensation insurance
When conferring with your contractor, you should ask for and receive a full breakdown of what their costs entail. You should never be in the dark as to what you are paying for. Interview several contractors and determine from there who is the most financially feasible and most reputable among them. Some contractors, unfortunately, are not as reputable as others.
How Can You Cut Costs in Upgrading Your Kitchen?
There are many ways to reduce costs without sacrificing the quality of the outcome. Below I’ll provide a bullet-point list of tips that you can keep in mind when it’s time to renovate your own kitchen.
Tips for Reducing Kitchen Upgrade Costs
- Don’t move the stove if you don’t have to. Doing this means the installation of a new electrical or gas line, which will always drive up costs. If you have to move any appliance, go for the fridge instead. A typical fridge only needs a 120-volt outlet. This is also true of sinks. Don’t move your sink if it isn’t necessary. It can cost as much as $145 per hour to alter existing water/gas/electrical lines.
- Plan what you want to do with flooring. If you’re knocking out a wall to create a more open kitchen, how are you going to have the two different floorings meet, if applicable? You can choose to keep them the same or go over them entirely with a new flooring solution. Obviously, putting brand-new flooring across the whole space will be much more expensive.
- Porcelain tile is awesome and less expensive than some alternatives. It is also very durable, as it’s high resistant against stains and dents. What you could spend in initial installation will save you money in repair costs if you choose porcelain.
Porcelain looks especially great as a kitchen backsplash! Click here to buy this porcelain tile backsplash kit from Amazon.
- Don’t go for pro-style kitchen appliances unless you feel you must. Unlike popular belief might lead you to conclude, pro-style appliances don’t have a significant impact on the value of a home.
- Choose ready-to-assemble cabinets. 100% custom cabinets are more expensive to produce and install. Choosing this alternative gives you the same great look, but without the high price.
However, it is worth noting that this typically works best for standard-sized cabinets.
Here is an example of ready-to-assemble cabinets. Click here to buy this cabinet on Amazon.
- Even better, keep your existing cabinets! Have them stained or painted to give them new life. Cabinets are easily the most expensive element in many small kitchen renovation projects, so repurposing your old ones is a great way to save.
What About IKEA Kitchens?
IKEA has taken intuitive do-it-yourselfers by storm. This is thanks, in no small part, due to the significantly lower cost – especially where cabinetry (often the most expensive part of remodeling) is concerned. But unless you are quite handy, an IKEA kitchen could be an insurmountable task. Because their kitchen cabinets come 100% disassembled, though everything is included. Not unlike an IKEA bookcase, but much more complicated.
For a 10 by 10 kitchen, you can expect to spend anywhere between $1,000 and $3,000. It depends on the materials that you choose and whether you choose to involve IKEA builders – who add $300 to your expenses.
What you save in material costs doesn’t cover the cost of labor, leaving IKEA kitchens best self-installed by the experienced.
It is Possible to Save on a Quality Kitchen Upgrade
Kitchen upgrades are not inexpensive, but they don’t have to bury your budget if you take the time to be deliberate and choose the most affordable solutions available.
Never skimp on contractors, though. If they have the right experience, qualifications, and insurance policies in place, they are worth hearing out as you search for the right fit for the job. If there is anything in this process you can feel good about spending money on, it is the expertise of a professional contractor and their crew.
To save money, try to preserve as much of your existing kitchen as you can. Don’t need extra space? Then refrain from taking down the walls. Do you want beautiful cabinets? Repurpose your own and have them refinished for your new kitchen! Love your existing flooring? Keep it, or have it stained to look more up-to-date.
No matter what, you are going to be spending at least $4,000 for a quality kitchen demolition and upgrade. But whether that means spending $4,000 or $24,000, is largely determined by the layout and material choices you make during the process. If you carefully plan every detail of your renovation with a cost conscientious approach, you can save big.