Over the past few weeks I have written about things that drive the cost of a kitchen remodeling project. In this blog, I will attempt to answer ”What’s the Real cost of a kitchen remodeling project?” First I have a few qualifiers:
1) No two kitchen projects are the same – so it is tricky to compare the cost of one to another.
2) Identifying the average cost of a new kitchen is like asking how much a bag of groceries costs – it all depends what you put in the bag.
3) My experience is based mostly on people who desire upgraded to upscale projects so my cost ranges reflect this paradigm.
Remodeling Magazine in their Cost vs Value Report 2013 (http://www.remodeling.hw.net/2013/costvsvalue/division/south-atlantic/city/washington–dc.aspx) reports that a major kitchen remodeling project (mid-range as opposed to upscale) in the Washington DC area to be $53,950. The “good news” is that this is pretty accurate, and I feel the product and Scope assumptions made by Remodeling Magazine are good. The “However” news is that the product and Scope assumptions do not include some upgraded to upscale products and do not allow for many of the popular modifications that people in our area have come to expect – such as tile backsplash, layered lighting, removal of soffits, door/window modifications, stainless steel appliances, better than standard faucets, wood or tile flooring (as opposed to vinyl) and granite/quartz countertops (as opposed to laminate).
So in our area here’s what I typically see as the average cost of a new kitchen where people are selecting at least some amount of upgraded/upscale products and/or modifications. Generally the starting point is approximately $65,000 and can pretty easily reach $85,000 – $90,000 when folks add in a fair amount of upgraded options and make structure modifications. Unfortunately I am compartmentalizing the project as just the cost of kitchen remodeling – most people also experience scope “Creep”. This means that they expand the work to include improving space adjacent to the kitchen to look as nice as the new kitchen – adding additional project cost.
To take the “real cost” talk a little further, Remodeling Magazine reports the upscale kitchen in our area is $107,242 in their Cost vs Value Report 2013. Again, I think this is realistic for the average cost of a new kitchen with upscale products and modifications. However, most upscale kitchen remodeling I see also involves making structural changes to the kitchen space, relocating appliances and/or plumbing and “Creep” into adjacent spaces. The “upscale” cost range is much greater as the products and scope have an even broader cost range. I believe the $107,000 reported in Remodeling Magazine is a good starting point for a very nice upscale kitchen. But once again, when you start selecting all commercial grade appliances, stone floors, top of the line cabinets with more elaborate trim, layered lighting, structural modifications and adjacent space “creep”, it is not uncommon to have a project in the $200k range.
More information regarding kitchen cost drivers can be found in my earlier blogs. However feel free to ask questions or comment using the link below. I hope I have prepared and not scared you by discussing the Real cost of a kitchen remodeling project.