The cost of remodeling a kitchen depends on the current layout, size and condition of the room, as well as the quality of replacement products chosen. According to an annual construction cost survey by Remodeling Magazine, (Nov., 2011 issue) a minor remodel of a 200-square-foot (10×20) kitchen averages $20,077-$23,210 nationwide; a mid-range major remodel including an island and other upgrades runs $52,405-$63,803; and an upscale remodel for the same size kitchen can be $105,621-$120,379. These are averages; actual costs may be higher or lower.
The average cost-value ratio for cities in Washington, Oregon, and California is 71.3%, better than any other region in the country. In other words, if you spend $22,000 on your kitchen remodel, you can expect to see $15,686 in return on your investment when you decide to sell your home.
Features of the $24,000 average kitchen remodel:
1. Taking on some “Do It Yourself”, which might include: demolition, painting, and possibly installing new flooring depending upon your selections.
2. Keeping your old kitchen cabinetry if at all possible. Refacing, painting, or sanding and staining your existing cabinets save thousands for new cabinets.
3. Keeping kitchen layout “as is.”
4. Avoiding any upscale surface material like granite or exotic hardwoods.
Space is often a basic need when remodeling a kitchen. Before you knock out the walls, however, weigh the expense of acquiring the extra space vs. putting some of that money into higher-end appliances or better quality cabinets instead.
• Consider your true goals for kitchen remodeling. Do you really need more square footage or do you just need a lighter, brighter, more useful kitchen space?
• If square footage is a must have, look to adjoining rooms where you might take some square footage. For example, you might take an assortment of smaller rooms such as a pantry, bathroom, laundry, or mudroom and merge them into one efficient kitchen space.
• Talk over your venture with an interior designer or architect to get their ideas. A good space planner may be able to reconfigure the walls, the ceiling, or the windows to make a kitchen space feel larger without the expense of a room addition. Paying someone to do this is far more cost effective than going solo and regretting your choices later.
Today’s kitchens require many more circuits than kitchens of yesteryear. The entire kitchen once had one or two circuits serving all appliances, lighting and outlets. Today’s codes require separate circuits for most appliances, and GFI protected outlets everywhere in the kitchen. The need for additional circuits might generate a need to expand or upgrade the electrical panel as well.
One characteristic of modern kitchens is lots of light, both natural and artificial. There are hanging/decorative lights, task lights, recessed lights, under/in/over cabinet lights, etc. Essentially, 50% of the power used for lighting should come from ‘high efficacy’ lighting fixtures. That means LED lighting (note that the requirement is for 50% of the power, not the number of fixtures). Discuss this with your kitchen remodeling contractor, your lighting designer or the inspector to make sure you are getting a beautifully lit kitchen.
If you are altering your kitchen layout so that your remodel produces a less dated look, space for new appliances, or an open floor plan, recognize that it’s important to consider using an interior designer. Implementing your design criteria in a visually pleasing manner and so that the kitchen is a delight to use and entertain in is challenging at best. Why spend all that money for a kitchen that doesn’t meet your expectations?