With all the information on kitchen remodeling and bathroom remodeling out there on television or the internet, one might think that it would be a quick and easy search to find an answer to a simple question like, “what does it cost to do a full kitchen remodel?” After doing enough researching online, I can easily say that the answer seems quite confusing. Whether it’s a small article or large publication, there’s all types of inconsistent national average numbers thrown out there and kitchen size comparison to costs ratios, but as a professional in this industry, I really haven’t seen a clear-cut answer. When I turn to renovation type programs on television, some of the numbers are understated, very misleading and unrealistic. When I read articles, different sources reference very different factors with little consistency.
As someone who has years of kitchen and bath remodeling in Philadelphia, Bucks County and Montgomery County areas, I hope this short article can offer some real world insight into your planned budget for an upcoming kitchen renovation.
To the Point – How about an overall Percentage
For years, I cannot even count how many times I’ve been asked “well, give me a ball park?”, in regards to the cost of a prospective project for a client. Answering that question outright is an absolute set up for failure nearly every time that question is asked. However, based on years of projects completed successfully, I can comfortably say that on average, you can expect your kitchen renovation to cost you anywhere from 10% – 20% of the total value of your home, at least in the greater Philadelphia area. That is of course, if you are not doing the job yourself. If you hire a reputable contractor or design/build firm, this is a good gauge to use in budgeting your project including labor, building products, cabinets, counter tops, finishes, fixtures, appliances, and problems that may arise during construction.
Consider a kitchen that is 10% the total value of a home as a necessary and/or practical upgrade vs a kitchen remodel at 20% total home value being a project with no compromise to design, selections and finishes.
Keeping the project in the 10%-20% range of your home value is also beneficial to the future value of your home and neighborhood. In most cases, using this percentage range will keep you from putting in a kitchen that is above or below a recoverable return on investment for your home. So before heading out to a local kitchen and bath dealer in the area, or calling a local contractor, think of this percentage range when discussing the budget range for your project.
Budgets – Factors to Consider
When you do get a number in mind, hiring the right kitchen designer or firm is the next key. A good design firm should do a thorough job in factoring all costs into the budget you set. Make sure they include things like permit costs, contingencies based on unforeseen issues that may present a problem mid project (figure 15% of total project value), all fixtures, materials, finishes, labor, and even takeout meals or staying at a hotel during the project if necessary.
Stay on target. While shopping around, it can be easy to start upgrading products and finishes you fall in love with along the way that can really start adding up down the road. Again, this is where your designer should step in and set design and product guidelines along with price ranges for you to shop within.
Another key factor to keep in mind is “how long do you plan on living in your home?” If you plan on selling in a few years, a full-blown custom kitchen with all the bells and whistles should not be on your radar. However, if you are in your forever home, aside from all the bells and whistles you can think of, you may want to think about universal design and aging in place. Make your new kitchen equally comfortable, practical and beautiful. We have even had clients that took their children’s interest into consideration as they planned on passing their home to them in the future. Either way, decide on how long you will be enjoying your investment. This decision may and should weigh in heavily on where in 10% – 20% range that you will want to be in. For more information on remodeling your kitchen or bathroom in the greater Philadelphia area, give us a call at 215-675-5000 or send us an email at email@example.com.
President at Luxury Bath and Kitchens Inc.
If you are planning on selling in the near future, please read remodeling magazine’s report on cost vs value.