Estimating Your Remodel Budget

One of the most important decisions in preparing for the design process is to establish a reasonable budget.

Many homeowners hesitate to share their budget requirements with their designer. However, your design professional is your advisor and your partner.  He or she will recommend products and design options that align with your budget and product desires.

Your personal designer will help you visualize the overall scope of your renovation, select products to be used and determine the viability of your budgetary expectations.

The designers at Kitchen Masters use three general methods to establish initial cost estimates. These help your designer determine possible product options, as well as how extensive the scope of the project may be able to be.

1. Cost Per Foot Estimation

BASIC kitchen remodels will generally have a modest scope work, keeping the existing footprint, and using budget-conscious products.  The products might include laminate or tile countertops, stock oak cabinets, chrome finish plumbing fixtures, vinyl flooring, and fundamental appliances.

BASIC kitchen remodels can start under $100 per square foot and go as high as $150 per square foot.

STANDARD kitchen remodels will offer more flexibility in the scope of the project.  Soffits and non-load-bearing walls may be removed or relocated.  Electrical service is upgraded and plumbing can be relocated to create more efficiency.  Better quality products, including cabinetry with modification options and custom finishes, unique granite and man-made quartz countertops with elaborate edge profiles, decorative plumbing fixtures with higher-end finishes, tile flooring and backsplashes, up-graded lighting, under-cabinet lighting, and commercial looking appliances.

STANDARD kitchen remodels start about where BASIC kitchens stop, around $150 per square foot, and continue well into the $200’s per square foot.  This is the most popular remodel price point.

LUXURY kitchen remodels offer the highest level of choice in every aspect of the project.  All walls can be relocated or removed to open living space for maximum utility.  Custom drywall texture patterns and custom paint finishes.  Electrical improvements allow commercial style appliances, unique light fixtures with the latest technology, and concealed outlets and switching.  Plumbing fixtures is often highly engineered, constructed from the most durable metals, hands-free functionality, and sometimes finished in selected metal finishes.  Cabinetry is always customizable, finishes hand applied and highly detailed, the internal functioning is maximized, and it is usually highly decorative with detailed crown and trim molding.  Countertops will be the most unique and selected granites, often double stacked for thicker edge thickness.  Countertops will often be made of unusual or more delicate materials like concrete, glass, concrete and glass combined metals from stainless steel to zinc, recycled materials, exotic woods, and man-made quartz materials.  Flooring will be unusual and interesting patterns and materials, like hand scraped woods, porcelain tile, or stone and marble tile.  Backsplashes are often elaborate tile patterns using beautiful and exotic tiles.  Appliances are almost always the most technologically advanced brands and models.  European made and commercial style appliances are standard in this group.

LUXURY kitchen remodel budgets start at the top of the STANDARD kitchen prices, somewhere around $300 per square foot.  These projects can easily exceed $500 per square foot when all the high-end products are used in the scope of work.

Most homeowner projects don’t fall absolutely into any one category, but they pick products and services from all the groups.  It creates a blend of price levels.

2. Percent of Home Value Estimate

Many reputable publications advise investing between 10 percent and 15 percent of your home’s current appraised value in your kitchen remodel and appliance upgrade. Under this guideline, a $500,000 home would support a kitchen remodel budget of $50,000 to $75,000. In many LUXURY renovations this formula will not be a factor.

3. Comparable Project Estimation

Your designer is your consultant and your advocate.  He or she will provide a sense of the investment required, based on past projects that were similar in scope of work and quality of products used.  With a little research, your designer will be able to find comparable products and services to create a very accurate estimate of the total project.

The actual budget requirements will depend on your personal taste, choice of products, and the size and scope of work you want incorporated into the renovation. Remember, estimates are only guidelines. That said, when you and your designer carefully analyze the project, an estimation can be used with confidence.

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