TriFection receives a very large number of kitchen remodeling inquiries. Homeowners across Greater Houston know they would like to update their kitchen, but they contact us for guidance on design options, budget, and process. During our consultations, we educate them on why an effective remodeling plan typically starts with the establishment of a comfortable working budget.
A full kitchen remodel can take many different forms, including variations of layout and desired materials. Homeowners must determine their most important remodeling objectives and the size of the investment they are prepared to make in their home. Personal finances, home value, and expected length of residency typically drive that investment decision. Contractors, architects, and/or designers shape recommendations consistent with a client’s desired investment level. Homeowners often discover a need to expand their initial budget to achieve the desired project scope and quality.
In this blog, the experts from TriFection share thoughts on the primary factors that will influence the ultimate price of a kitchen remodel.
Extent of Kitchen Layout and Utility Changes
Not surprisingly, more changes to the existing infrastructure of a home will result in higher costs. The removal or relocation of interior walls, electrical wires, plumbing lines, and/or HVAC requires a significant amount of skilled labor time. Architects and engineers also may be needed. At TriFection, we do not recommend such remodeling changes just for the sake of demonstrating our creativity. We prefer to utilize the current “bones” of the house as much as possible. However, when these types of changes are necessary to improve the design and satisfy our clients’ objectives, we don’t shy away either.
With qualified professionals, nearly any desired layout change is possible….for a price. For example, open concept kitchens have become incredibly popular in recent years. Many homeowners, especially those who entertain, love the seamless flow between the kitchen, dining, and living areas. To achieve this concept, we usually have to remove load-bearing walls and/or columns. In turn, this requires the installation of large structural beams and relocation of electrical, plumbing, and HVAC in the ceiling. More electrical and plumbing often will be rerouted in the foundation. Additionally, drywall must be repaired. Those costs add up very quickly.
The quality of the kitchen cabinetry serves as one of the biggest differentiators from one contractor to the next. Kitchens feature more cabinetry than any other room in the house, so cabinets naturally will play a large role in the price of a kitchen remodel. Pre-fabricated cabinetry made of cheap wood substitutes costs far less than custom solid wood cabinetry crafted by master carpenters. Pre-fab cabinets (sold in big box stores and found in most apartments and tract homes) are mass-produced with set dimensions and must be made to fit a home with awkward-looking fillers and spacers. Conversely, high-end custom cabinets, like those TriFection designs and builds, are created from durable hardwoods and solely for the space and appliances in each home. They also include a much better quality finish and hardware. The phrase “you get what you pay for” holds especially true for kitchen cabinets.
Granite and engineered quartz easily remain the two most popular kitchen countertop options. Marble does not function well in a kitchen due to its softness. More unique choices (such as stainless steel, glass, and concrete) also exist, but you can expect to pay meaningfully more due to the lack of qualified installers. Within the realm of granite and quartz countertops, homeowners can find a vast array of colors and flow patterns available.
For granite, the quality of the slabs (degree of natural pits, dry veins, and other imperfections), source of the stone quarry, and demand for the color will drive price. Similar to diamonds, you can find cheap, flawed, and oversupplied granite as well as ridiculously expensive, exotic, and flawless granite…and everything in between.
As a manufactured product, quartz color options do not have nearly as wide a price variance. Nevertheless, some colors are more expensive due to high consumer demand and/or the additional time and materials needed to produce them. On average, you can expect to pay a little more for quartz compared to granite.
Finally, the chosen countertop edge will impact price. More ornate edges like ogee involve higher costs compared to bullnose or straight polish due to the additional fabrication time required.
Like countertops, homeowners can choose from a number of flooring options – tile, wood, natural stone, etc. Stone usually comes with a higher price point. Within each material, obvious quality and price differences exist. However, you should also consider two other factors related to flooring. First, will you change flooring in just the kitchen or throughout adjacent areas? Do you have natural breakpoints where the new flooring can transition to the existing flooring? If not, you need to budget for new flooring across a broader area. Depending on the size of your home, that could be a fairly sizable expense.
You should also prepare for the possibility that the condition of your slab may need improvement before new flooring can be properly laid. The slab should be level, and the moisture content should fall below a certain level to ensure attractive installation and durability. Some concrete foundations require extensive and costly prep work. The condition cannot be known with certainty until demo and subsequent inspection.
Occasionally, homeowners seek to update their kitchen without the expense of new flooring. In doing so, the cabinetry layout should not change, and they should have some extra flooring material available in case repairs become necessary.
Kitchen appliances come in all shapes and sizes as well as with many “bells and whistles.” Technological innovations have advanced rapidly over the past decade. “Smart” appliances now offer high-resolution displays, highly customized settings, memory, and remote connectivity. Complete kitchen appliance packages can start around $10,000 and exceed $100,000+. The number of choices and upgraded features can seem overwhelming. TriFection directs our clients to the knowledgeable, friendly professionals at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery for assistance. One tip – you usually can save some money through a package discount when you purchase all appliances of the same brand through one vendor.
Do your research on different brands & models and determine which features are most important to you. Think honestly about your intended kitchen usage before making a large purchase. No sense in spending more than $20,000 on a professional-grade gas range if you don’t cook very often!
Speaking of appliances, a kitchen remodel and new appliances often require updates to your electrical circuits and even possibly your panel, which could be a meaningful expense. First, modern electrical code dictates that a dedicated circuit should power each major kitchen appliance. And, the circuits must be compatible with manufacturer-specified amperage and voltage requirements of the appliances. So, for example, your new oven might require a 50 amp circuit, but your existing oven only uses 30 amps. Therefore, you would need a new circuit for the new oven. Or, you might have multiple appliances currently on the same circuit. New circuits would be needed to separate the power supply for those appliances.
The cost of such circuitry work can vary greatly from one house to the next, depending on the pathway to and from the electrical panel and available circuits on that panel. Additionally, you might need stronger GFCI protection (against water-induced electrocution) or arc fault protection (against electrical shorts). Not surprisingly, we usually identify more extensive electrical upgrades in older homes. You won’t know the full extent of necessary electrical work until you have finalized a kitchen design, picked appliances, and allowed for a licensed electrician’s inspection. Nevertheless, you should account for electrical-related contingencies in your kitchen remodeling budget.
Lighting and Other Accents
Your lighting package will also impact your kitchen remodel price. Aside from the popular LED recessed can lights in the ceiling, do you want undercabinet lights? How about upper cabinet lighting for display or accent lighting? Pendant lights above the island? A decorative light fixture in the breakfast area? Those fixtures and the associated wiring can be very consequential to a budget.
Other accent and amenity choices for a kitchen remodel include:
- Decorative woodwork for cabinetry, such as corbels, onlays, and other trims
- Specialty glass for cabinet doors
- Spice racks
- Pot fillers
Ultimately, depending on your budget, you’ll need to decide whether these types of items represent “must-haves” or “nice to haves”.
Expected Kitchen Remodel Price
With all that being said, what price should you expect for a full custom kitchen remodel? Again, the answer largely depends on the size of the kitchen, the extent of desired changes, and your material selections. For TriFection’s excellent craftsmanship quality and turnkey service, our complete kitchen remodels typically start in the $50,000-$60,000 price range and can exceed $200,000. Admittedly, we do not represent a good fit for every project presented to us. But, for homeowners seeking a first-class experience and a “dream kitchen” outcome, our team will deliver! Call us at 281-KITCHEN to get started.