How to start your dream kitchen remodel

Interior Remodeling Paint and Texture Bathroom Flooring

How much should I spend? Will I be able to afford it? These are questions that are at the core of any remodel. We want the biggest bang for our bucks, especially when it comes to the kitchen, a room full of big ticket items with costs of up to $15,000 for a single, high-end French range. For some, where money is no object, choosing this cooking appliance can be made without blinking an eye but most homeowners are not that lucky.

During the planning phase you will determine Scope of Work or the work that needs to be done and what work you would like to have done as part of the remodel. The result will place the project into one of two remodel categories that differ greatly in average costs.

Minor Remodels
  • Average costs: $17,000 to $25,000*
  • Scope of Work: Some kitchens can be laid out well and/or existing plumbing and electrical can already meet current building standards but the finishes are simply outdated and need to be updated. The layout of the space virtually remains identical to the original one.

Major Remodels
  • Average mid-range project costs: $50,900 to $59,700*
  • Average high-end project costs: $103,500 to $115,500*
  • Scope of Work: Some kitchens, due to poorly planned layouts and/or need major updates and/or repairs, will result in an overhaul with possible structural changes, new layout or expansion in size.

When you have determined which type of remodel your kitchen will go through, you now have a general idea of the budget range. In order to get a more specific number, take into account the components that a budget needs to cover in revamping any kitchen.

Design Services:

If you choose to use the services of a design professional, he or she can take the project from design concept, to selection of the finish materials to project managing the construction process.

Average costs
  • Architects: $150 and up her hour, flat fees from $500 to $5,000
  • Interior designers: $100 to $150 per hour, flat fees from $500 upward to $10,000
  • Kitchen designer: $50 and up per hour


Check with your local building permit office to find out what current fees cost for work such as demolition, building/construction and inspections. Some areas will charge a percentage of the total project and others determine the fees by the specific work that is planned. Fees can cost from a few hundred dollars for minor remodels while major ones could be in the thousands.


Typical appliance types include: range, microwave, ventilation, refrigerator/freezer, dishwasher.

Average costs
  • Good: $2,250 to $3,500 (usually black or white)
  • Mid-range: $3,600 to $8,100
  • High-end: $12,400 to $35,000

Cabinets: 40% to 60% of total costs

Material type: Materials used to build cabinets (listed from least expensive to most expensive) include painted wood, laminate, veneer, and solid wood.

Average costs
  • Pre-fabricated/in-stock lines: $4,000 to $5,000*
  • Semi-custom: $8,000 to $10,000*
  • Custom: $16,000 to $30,000*


Material types: Nonporous material types should be used like laminate, ceramic tile, solid manmade surface of corian and quartz natural stone(slab and tile), wood, stainless steel and copper.

Average costs
  • Pre-fabricated: $360 to $2,000*
  • Custom: $450 to $18,000*

Plumbing Fixtures
Furnishings: furniture, accessories


Once the finish materials have been selected a qualified, licensed and insured general contractor (GC) will be needed to oversee and/or install them. Make sure that the GC and his/her sub-contractors are familiar with installing the types of finish materials you have chosen. Costs will differ from contractor to contractor but one formula that can give you a general idea of costs is: 3 X (cost of the finish materials) = construction costs.

If the sight of these average costs has you thinking twice about working on your kitchen, or any other part of your home, there are ways for you to make the financial burden lighter. We are familiar with tax deductions that you can make on work done to your home but these are not the only programs available. Public utility companies and government agencies offer incentives to homeowners that plan and install eco-friendly items such as energy efficient fixtures and equipment. Some utility companies offer rebates on cooling and heating equipment, lighting, appliances and even insulation that meet their high standards of energy efficiency. The benefits are both long term where you can lower your energy consumption resulting in lower utility bills, but also immediate where you can receive hundreds to thousands paid directly to you for making smart choices.

Kitchens Remodels Dominate

Kitchens are overwhelmingly the No. 1 major remodeling project among U.S. homeowners surveyed, measured by past kitchen remodeling activity, future remodeling plans and renovation research. Of Houzz homeowners surveyed, 32% remodeled their kitchen in the past five years, and another 45% are planning to remodel their kitchen in the next two years.

What kitchen features do Americans want?

For most Americans, the ideal kitchen starts with better storage. In fact, the most popular kitchen photos on Houzz are pantries with the ultimate in custom shelving for every type of food and other kitchen items. Kitchens with traditional cabinetry, new stainless steel appliances and stone countertops are also at the top of survey respondents' must-have lists, and homeowners are saving these types of inspirational images to their personal ideabooks.

Popular kitchen details saved to ideabooks include large islands that accommodate both a workspace and space for eating, bar stools for island seating, transitional-style metal and glass pendant lighting, wide-planked wood flooring and dramatic ceiling details, from rustic exposed beams to elegant two-tone painted and coffered architecture.

The cost estimates below include demolition of existing kitchen, all material costs, typical installation labor costs and project supervision in the Dallas, TX area. Costs are current for the year 2011 and are accurate to within +/- 10% for Basic and Better grade levels. Costs for structural modification or repair as well as HVAC, electrical and plumbing alterations and upgrades are not included.




Small 10' x 12' Galley $7,875 $25,034 $44,661
Medium 12' x 16' Island $10,452 $32,308 $55,117
Large 15' x 18' Island $15,171 $40,908 $66,056
Included: Builder grade cabinets. Laminate countertops. Vinyl flooring. Entry level appliances. Surface mounted flourescent room lighting. Builder grade sink and faucet. Quality cabinetry with premium finishing Common grade granite or stone slab countertops. Mid grade wood or tile flooring. Premium grade stainless steel appliances. Designer tile backsplash. Recessed, undercounter and pendant lighting. Higher quality plumbing fixtures. Custom cabinetry with superior finishing and hardware detail. Premium grade granite or stone slab countertops. Select species wood plank flooring. Top of the line built-in grade stainless steel appliances. Designer backsplash. Recessed, undercounter and pendant lighting. Designer grade sink and faucet.

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Insperational Kitchen Photos

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