Have you ever solicited labor quotes for work at your home and been shocked at the wide range of pricing you received? I’ve talked with many people over the years that are simply amazed they can get such a wide range of numbers for the EXACT SAME PROJECT! This often is the case where the scope of work is very definitive – say a 10’x12’ pressure-treateddeck with a single set of stairs, or building a stand-alone 2-car garage with no interior finishes. Should be pretty straight forward right?
Now try it with a complicated project like a kitchen remodel. There are so many factors that can impact the cost of such a project it can be difficult for a homeowner to navigate their way through the planning, designing and selections process, which can lead to feeling overwhelmed.
The following are the major contributing factors that will impact the cost of a typical Kitchen Remodel Project: The scope of the project, the finishes and selections, the mechanical systems and the overall complexity.
- PROJECT SCOPE – The first factor in determining cost is the actual scope of work to be performed. Are there any walls being removed? Will the project involve an expansion of the kitchen space, either via addition or taking over an adjacent room? Is it a full gut project or simply a cabinet replacement where all fixtures are remaining in the same location? Are there other items that will be affected, such as a tile floor that extends into a foyer? Or windows that will need to be added or replaced.
- FINISHES & SELECTIONS – This one is really a customer driven item, but can often have the biggest impact. A homeowner’s personal taste and style can often have the largest impact on the overall project cost. Cabinet costs can cover a vast range depending on whether a client chooses a stock line with all standard size cabinets and a standard finish – or perhaps they go with a fully custom, furniture grade cabinet line with all the bells and whistles. The cabinets alone easily range from $15,000 to $100,000. The other components such as plumbing fixtures (sink(s), faucet(s), pot fillers, water purification systems, garbage disposals) flooring, backsplash tile, lighting and appliances are items that have just as wide a range in costs.
- MECHANICAL SYSTEMS – Many kitchen remodels can impact other areas of the home and can have a “trickle” effect that some homeowners may not be thinking of. For instance, a new kitchen will require at least 7 circuit breakers in their electrical panel. If the electrical system can’t support this or is outdated, an upgrade to a new 200amp electrical panel can often become part of a kitchen remodel. Plumbing upgrades may also be required depending on the age of the home and the condition of the existing pipes.
- COMPLEXITY – Talk about common sense right? The more complex a project the larger the investment. But what makes a project complicated? The following are some items that would add to the complexity of a kitchen remodel: Structural modifications, unique site conditions (ie: 3rd floor kitchen), temporary kitchen requirements, accelerated scheduling due to an upcoming event, major relocation of fixtures (or perhaps, creating a kitchen where there wasn’t one before). All these items, and more, can impact the overall cost of the project.
A tool we often use to help homeowners understand the investment costs of a kitchen remodel project, is Remodeling Magazine’s “COST VS VALUE REPORT”. http://www.remodeling.hw.net/2011/costvsvalue/national.aspx This report outlines and recaps standard home improvement and remodeling projects and what one can expect to invest for a “typical” project, including a Mid-Range Kitchen Remodel and an Upscale Kitchen Remodel. This will help provide a homeowner with a point of reference for their own project.