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How To Budget Remodeling Your Kitchen

Your kitchen is aging and you and your spouse have decided to consider remodeling it (Figure 1). The problem you are facing is how much will it cost to remodel your kitchen? How do you create a budget?

remodeled kitchen

Figure 1 - Remodeled kitchen

Note: This is not a budget exercise for creating an "Accessible Kitchen". We have an article specifically for accessible kitchen remodeling.

If you search the internet you will come up with average kitchen remodeling cost s that range from $20 thousand to $60 thousand with some sites suggesting kitchen remodeling at over a $100 thousand.

The vast differences in budget costs are created because the term "kitchen remodeling" means different things to different people. In order for you to create a budget for your kitchen remodel you first have to define what the term "kitchen remodeling" means to you.

Although this is primarily a DIY website, handyman homeowners may not be comfortable in doing all of the kitchen remodeling tasks entirely on their own. The homeowner must decide which tasks in their kitchen remodeling project they are prepared to apply sweat equity too and do it themselves without hiring a contractor. As a general statement if you do it yourself the overall project will take longer and especially in the case of a kitchen remodeling project, the homeowner must consider the disruption to family lifestyle while the kitchen is being remodeled.

You can have a simple kitchen remodel or a complex kitchen remodel and a hundred levels in between. In order to determine your budget, you must first make some basic decisions.

The cost of your kitchen remodeling project will vary depending on where you live, the size of your kitchen, the materials chosen and how much sweat equity you are prepared to add to the kitchen remodeling project.

One mistake that is often made in a total kitchen remodeling project is to over or under spend in one area relative to the total cost of the kitchen remodeling project. There should be a balance in the grade of materials chosen when compared to each other.

Table 1 provides a typical percentage comparison of costs relative to the different segments of your kitchen remodeling project.

Table 1 – Typical Percentage of Total Kitchen Remodeling Costs For Each Kitchen Remodeling Item or Segment:

Kitchen Remodeling Item/Segment

Percentage of total cost kitchen remodeling project





Countertops (includes sinks, faucets, plumbing)


Lighting (includes electrical)




Wall & Window Treatments




The first step is to decide what parts of your kitchen need remodeling. To do this, we will break the kitchen into potential remodel work segments and tasks.

Kitchen Layout:

The first decision that you have to make is; are you happy with the current layout of the kitchen?

The question simply asks; are the refrigerator, range, microwave and kitchen sink in locations that satisfy your use of the kitchen? This is an important decision as relocating major appliances will most likely call for changes to the electrical wiring within the kitchen. It may also call for major changes to the range exhaust system.

Changing the position of the refrigerator and stove can add a substantial amount to the overall cost of the kitchen remodeling project. A similar situation applies to the kitchen sink. A major relocating of the kitchen sink will require modification to the drain line and hot and cold water pipes. Just moving the location of the kitchen sink can easily add a few thousand dollars in plumbing expense to your kitchen remodel project.

Relocating or adding a gas cooktop and/or gas ovens can add thousands of dollars to the total project.

Relocating major appliances will automatically cause the kitchen flooring to be replaced, unless the flooring is hardwood or if the current kitchen flooring was laid wall to wall with cabinets sitting on the finished flooring, which is an unusual situation.

The decision on whether or not the current kitchen layout is acceptable and satisfactory determines which budgeting path you can take as your next step.

kitchen remodel flowchart acceptable current kitchen design layout unacceptable current kitchen design layout

Click on the appropriate box to continue.