What can you get for your money in a kitchen remodel?

by lcmremodel

You have one room to remodel: the kitchen. You have X number of dollars for the job and that’s it. What can you get for that money?

If you’ve had contractors visit your home to make bids, you may have been surprised at the high prices. Before you go further, do a little research into features you want to add. Here’s a rough outline of what you can expect to pay, but keep in mind every home has different problems and that prices change all the time.

What will $5,000-$7,000 buy?

Even this amount can pay for cosmetic improvements to make your kitchen more pleasant, according to local contractors and kitchen designers — but it won’t buy new cabinets. If you really like your cabinets, and you don’t have a large kitchen, you might be able to install granite or quartz countertops and a new sink and faucet at the same time.

Another alternative: Refinish or repaint cabinets and paint the kitchen and put new handles and knobs on the doors and drawers. If you can do it yourself, add a tile backsplash, an easy job actually, and do under-the-cabinet lighting.

What about new appliances instead of all of the above? That’s a possibility as well. Some major manufacturers like GE and Whirlpool will sell you the three big ones — stove, refrigerator and dishwasher — in an affordable package. But for three higher-end appliances, you could spend $30,000 or more, so a Sub-Zero refrigerator is probably not going to be in your budget.

Redoing the floor might be something you can do if you have a limited area to cover, but even then you’re not going to be able to do much else. Many of our kitchens flow into other areas and have a lot of square feet to cover. That might mean new flooring could break your budget.

What will $10,000-$12,000 buy?

For this amount you can replace countertops and put in a new sink and faucet. Or if you like the countertops but not the cabinets, you can reface the cabinets instead.

Refacing works well provided the boxes of your cabinets are sturdy and clean even if the exterior looks dated and worn. Of course, you can’t change the footprint of your kitchen.

During refacing, workers remove and replace all the doors and fronts of the drawers. Sometimes they replace the whole drawer. The doors and drawer fronts can be done in whatever style you want: sleek and modern, rustic or traditional; stained wood or painted finish. A veneer of the finished wood you choose could also cover sides and edges. Hardware and hinges will be new.

Depending on the size of your kitchen, you might have money left to add a backsplash, replace one or two appliances or do under-cabinet lighting.

What will $20,000 buy?

This amount means you can probably buy new cabinets, but it will depend on how big your kitchen is and how many you replace. You won’t get high-end cabinetry, but your cabinets will be very nice. You also can install quartz or granite countertops and put in a new sink and faucet. There will be some demolition in your kitchen, but moving walls around won’t be an option.

If you go a little bit over budget, you can get three new appliances for $5,000-$7,000. But you can’t switch from electric to gas — a modification that could cost as much as $1,000 to hook up. You can, however, buy one of those new induction cooktops for as little as $1,500. They shut off automatically when you take the pot off the burner.

If you decide to forego appliance changes for now, you can do them later, provided you leave 30 inches for a range, 24 inches for a dishwasher and a standard opening for a refrigerator.

You’re not going to be able to redo the floor at that point, but you will probably have money left for a backsplash or to repaint.

What will $40,000-$50,000 buy?

You can rework the layout slightly and get new, better-quality cabinets. You could pick a fancier-grade granite or quartz for countertops. You could undermount the sink instead of dropping it in, and you could buy a European faucet with special features for the sink.

You could redo the flooring and remove soffits in the ceiling and put in taller cabinets. You could put in new light fixtures as well as cabinet under-lighting.

You could buy better appliances and maybe add a gas stove and a fancy ventilation hood over the range. For some things you’re planning, you will have to make changes in electricity and plumbing. You could install a backsplash and repaint walls.

What will $100,000 and more buy?

You will get everything $50,000 can buy, but now you can make changes to the kitchen layout like moving the sink. The sky’s not the limit, but you can add to the wow factor.

You could rework the layout by ripping out an old wall of cabinets and installing a new granite-topped island. You could opt for two types of countertops, granite or quartz plus a butcher-block area.

New cabinetry could include such features as self-closing drawers, shelves with spice racks and lazy Susans and special compartments for silverware. You also could buy very nice appliances — maybe a restaurant-style stove or refrigerator covered with wood panels. But a full slate of professional-grade appliances could cost as much as $50,000, so move forward carefully. You might add a cabinet with a desk for a laptop or a built-in wine rack.

You could remove soffits with old boxy fluorescent lighting and get rid of popcorn on the ceiling. Pendant lights could hang over the island. You may have to change air-conditioning ducts and electrical circuits to do this.

That new backsplash could be made of glass tiles for $20 per square foot. You could be walking on travertine or hardwood, and that new flooring could run into the family room and hallway.

Now what we’re suggesting here is just a rough outline of what you could do. A lot depends on the age of your home and its initial construction.

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