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How Much Does a Kitchen Remodel Cost?

January 10th, 2024 | 8 min read

By Ray Stillions

Like other types of remodeling projects, kitchen renovations can range from a minor facelift to a total overhaul of the space. It is important to have a solid outline of your goals and a clear understanding of the pros and cons of the different types of kitchen remodels. This will help decide which option fits best for you. After 25 years of experience and over 500 kitchens remodeled, RWS has learned a thing or two.

In this article, we will go over the different types of kitchen remodeling projects and provide you with a few tools to help calculate an accurate budget. We will also review the biggest factors and problems that affect kitchen remodeling costs. Finally, we will wrap up with some advice that is applicable to any renovation.

Types of Kitchen Remodeling Projects

Kitchen renovation projects traditionally fall into two categories, facelifts and full remodels. Full kitchen remodels are then divided into two sub-categories, a full remodel with layout changes and a full remodel without changes to the layout. Like all types of remodeling, there can be gray areas. That being said, most projects will fall within these categories.

Kitchen Remodel Facelift

What is a kitchen facelift? With a facelift remodel, many of the existing aspects of the kitchen will remain the same. Homeowners contemplating this type of remodel are often happy with their existing cabinet layout. They want to update the kitchen without the substantial cost associated with removing and replacing the cabinetry. Here is a list of common areas that are updated during a kitchen facelift.

  • Replacing countertops
  • Retiling the backsplash
  • Replacing the sink or sink fixtures
  • Painting the kitchen
  • Refinishing/painting cabinetry
  • Replacing cabinet pulls, knobs and hinges

This is not an exhaustive list, but if the goals for your kitchen remodel align with these, a facelift could be a great fit.

Full Kitchen Remodel

The biggest difference between a full remodel and a facelift can be found in the cabinetry. Are you planning to replace your cabinetry? If so, you will be doing a more extensive project. Under the umbrella of full remodels, we can break up the projects into two types.

Full Kitchen Remodel with Existing Layout

In any remodeling project keeping the original layout is less labor-intensive than removing walls and changing appliance locations. Keeping the existing footprint may allow homeowners to avoid major expenses like refinishing hardwood floors or running new plumbing supply and drain lines. Walls, plumbing fixtures, and appliances usually stay in the same location during this type of remodeling. Options like changing doors to drawers, adding a full pantry cabinet, or changing from a 30” to a 48” stove are still on the table. Improvements in both the functionality and quality of your kitchen can be made. Homeowners are trying to avoid structural, flooring, and mechanical changes that can expand the budget.

Full Kitchen Remodel with New Layout

This is the largest and most expensive project. This could mean taking the kitchen from one side of the house to the other. This is an extreme example but it can be done if the homeowner wants a complete overhaul of their kitchen and first floor. Usually, when the kitchen footprint changes the project spreads into the other areas of the first floor.

The clearest example of this is hardwood floors. Frequently hardwood floors run throughout the first floor of the house. If a contractor is working on or replacing the floors in the kitchen you are almost certainly going to have to work on the adjacent flooring.

Home Value: How it Can be Used to Estimate Your Kitchen Remodel Budget

With any type of home remodeling project, the sky is the limit. There are, however, some good budget ranges that may be helpful when estimating the potential cost of your kitchen remodel. At RWS, we have found that price ranges based on home value to be the most useful metric when gauging what a homeowner is likely to spend.

RWS is located in Kansas City so these numbers will reflect our market. For more information on your market check out Remodeling Magazne’s Cost vs Value Report. For kitchen remodeling, there are three ranges to consider.


  • If your home’s value is $300k or less you should be prepared to spend roughly $15k to $35k.
  • If your home’s value is between $300k and $750k expect to spend $20k to $45k.
  • If your home is valued at over $750k you should anticipate a budget somewhere between $25k to $60k

Full Remodel with Existing Layout

  • For homes valued at less than $300k you’re likely to spend between $40k to $55k.
  • If your home’s value is between $300k to $750k you should spend $60k to $100k+.
  • If the value of your home exceeds $750k you are likely to have a budget of $85k and up.

Full Remodel with Layout Changes

  • If your home’s value is $300k or less you should estimate the cost of your remodel to be between $55k to $75k.
  • In the event your home is valued between $300k to $750k you should expect to spend somewhere in the range of $80k to $150k.
  • For homes valued over $750k you could expect to spend $150k and up.

Major Factors that Impact the Cost of a Kitchen Remodel

The biggest factor affecting the final cost of your remodel will be the overall scope of the project as mentioned previously. There are, however, some items that will impact the price of your kitchen remodel more than others.

Product Selections

Product selections will affect the final price more than in other types of remodels. This is because of the sheer amount of countertop surface and the large number of cabinets found in the average kitchen. As with every renovation, there are places to save and places not to save.

Where to Save and Not to Save in a Kitchen Remodel

If you are a homeowner on a tight budget you likely looking for places to stretch your dollar. While there are some places where it makes sense to be frugal, there are others where it is smart to spend more for better quality.

Where to Save

  1. Countertops – Countertops are one of the biggest expenses in most remodeling projects. Often, clients are dead set on a quartz or marble countertop for their kitchen. After touring a showroom, they find a granite countertop that is just as effective. Using a more modest material in certain areas can make your budget go further.
  2. Cabinets – Box or prefinished cabinets can cost significantly less than custom cabinetry. While you may not find every last option you were hoping for, cabinetry is the single largest line item affecting the final cost.
  3. Layout – As mentioned earlier, maintaining the existing footprint of cabinetry will help keep costs in check.
  4. Tile – Kitchen tile is one of the most common places to save money. Tile can range in price from $2 per square foot to $100 per square foot. By looking at options that match your style in a lower range, homeowners of often able to find great solutions that do not sacrifice quality.

Where not to Save

  1. Plumbing parts and fixtures are areas where higher quality will save you headaches down the road. At RWS, we cannot stress enough the difference in quality between plumbing parts from a box store and from a factory direct plumbing store. Parts from a box store are often made of plastic and will wear down. Earlier failure of inferior-quality plumbing fixtures can be a source of leaks water and damage to your home.
  2. Cabinetry – While pre-finished/box cabinetry can offer significant savings, it does not come without substantial risk. Large swings in quality between manufacturers pose real dangers to how your kitchen will hold up over the years to come. This can also hold true for custom cabinetry. Research and discernment are critical no matter what type of cabinetry you choose.
  3. Hardwood Floors – Refinishing your hardwood floors at the end of your renovation can enhance the aesthetic appeal, increase your property value, and help extend their lifespan. It is important to note that before proceeding with refinishing, it's essential to assess the condition of your hardwood floors and consult with professionals to determine the best approach for your specific situation.

Biggest Potential Issues with Kitchen Remodels and How They Can Affect Your Budget

There are many places where a homeowner can run into trouble when remodeling a kitchen. Failure to address these common remodeling landmines can lead to cost increases and change orders.

Poorly Defined Scopes of Work

What is truly included with your remodel and where does your project stop? Poorly defined project scopes are the single biggest source of homeowner frustration out there. Your remodeler needs to provide you with a clearly defined scope of work in writing. Is your contractor replacing the base trim in the kitchen or repainting the existing trim? Who is removing the wallpaper, you or the contractor? These are examples of things that should be specifically spelled out before you sign the contract.

Sometimes the scope of the project can increase due to no fault of the homeowner or the contractor. Exemptions and exclusions should also be clearly written within your contract. There may be problem areas that cannot be identified until a wall is opened or a soffit is torn down. We do our best to communicate to homeowners these potential problems before they become real problems. The time to discuss possible unforeseeable problems is before work starts, not after.

Age of the Home

As homes increase in age, so too do the potential problems. In many cases, this could mean some things are not up to code.

An example of this would be wiring. For many years codes stated that electric ovens should run on a 3-wire system. Now most cities call for a 4-wire system that must be updated at the time of remodeling. Sometimes things like upgrading the oven circuit or replacing old knob and tube wiring can be done easily. It is not uncommon for the opening of walls to expand into adjacent rooms to make changes. The older your home, the greater the likelihood that you encounter one or more of these problems that increase a project’s budget.

The experience of the contractor will greatly affect their preparedness to work in older homes. Someone who has been remodeling for a few years may have only worked on houses built in the last 20 years. If you have an older home, one built before 1960, it may be wise to hire a contractor with more experience remodeling older homes. It is wise to have contingency plans for surprises within your budget.


Appliances can be one of the largest costs when remodeling a kitchen. At RWS we prefer our clients to purchase and arrange for installation directly from an appliance retailer. Experience has taught us a direct line of ownership between the homeowner and the appliance retailer reduces potential warranty headaches.

Workmanship vs Budget Centric Contractors - How Different Contractor Types Affect the Cost of a Kitchen Remodel

The contractor you choose will be one of the biggest factors in determining the cost. There are two common types of contractors.

Workmanship Contractors

Often described as “craftsman”, workmanship-centric remodelers focus on quality and attention to detail. Both they and their employees tend to be highly experienced and the mantra of doing things right has often become ingrained into their DNA.

This means they will budget more time working in your home on the small details. They will make sure no screw is left unturned and the vision of the homeowner or designer is met with total precision.

These quality-minded contractors also spend more time working behind the scenes. When working on the plumbing and electrical lines, they will lay the lines in an orderly fashion. They tend to ensure that the mechanical elements inside the walls are well organized.

Workmanship-focused remodelers are definitely capable of including cost-based considerations. But doing so at the expense of materials quality or unfinished details may be hard for them to swallow.

Budget-Centric Contractors

Budget-Centric contractors are experts in how to stretch a homeowner’s dollar. By definition, their focus is on finding ways in which to reduce costs, both in terms of materials and labor. They are often adept at using unconventional materials to reduce the hours required to complete the project.

Using a material like high-end linoleum might be uncomfortable for a workmanship-focused remodeler because it will make the project less beautiful and polished. A budget-centric contractor would be very open to the idea. Because of their intense focus on cost reduction, they don’t always include additional hours for the final finishes.

This is not to say that a budget-centric contractor is going to do a bad job. It could mean that the project is less polished than a workmanship-centric contractor.

If your goal is to spend the least amount of money possible, a budget-centric contractor may be the best fit.

It Looks To Be Good To Be True

If a proposal looks too good to be true, protect yourself and dig deeper. Reputable Contractor A may quote $65k for your project and Reputable Contractor B may quote $45k. It is unlikely that Contractor B can do the same quality project for $20k less. A difference in either the scope of work or the allowances numbers is the most likely culprit. Consider it a red flag if either of these two items are not detailed and clearly defined.

Your Next Steps for a Kitchen Remodel

After considering all the previous factors, think about what’s important to you in your remodel. Making a list of what you are looking for is a good start. No article can tell you the exact dollar amount you are going to spend. The home value-based guidelines above should provide you with a solid foundation.

Contemplating a remodel? Visit our learning center as it contains various informative articles about the residential construction industry. If you find yourself ready to move forward with your home renovation project, please complete our RWS contact form here. Expect to receive an email response within 24 hours from Ray Stillions, owner, or Placher Sieben, senior remodeling contractor. We look forward to hearing from you about your potential remodeling needs!


Ray Stillions

About the Author Ray Stillions is the owner and operator of RWS Enterprises. He is a licensed and insured contractor with a BS degree from Pittsburg State University and has lived in the Kansas City area for over 35 years.