Kitchens are notoriously expensive to remodel.

Photograph provided by Kendyl Young

Costing as much as 30% of the rest of house they are the most complex and most used rooms in our homes.  Here is a list of the 5 biggest Kitchen Remodel Cost drivers and what you can do to help manage them.

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1. Cabinets are typically the most expensive component of a kitchen.  And there is a good reason for this.  They need to be well built and have a super durable finish to withstand the years and decades of use they will receive.  Cabinets are not a great place to scrimp to save money but you can save some by considering prebuilt versus custom manufactured.


Sometimes custom manufactured can be less expensive so make sure you get accurate quotes for both options.   You can save a lot by the door design you select as well as the type of wood.  Look at your options and see if you like something that fits your budget.

2. Countertops can vary dramatically from the least expensive to most expensive options.   Laminate tops are often the least expensive for materials and installation and are great for light use and for a few years but over time they are more susceptible to wear and damage and they do not offer the design options and appearance available with quartz, granite, acrylic and tile.   If you want one of the higher cost countertops shopping hard will help you get a good price.  Finding remnants of quartz and granite can save you a lot on the material but there is still the cost of labor.   Tile is less expensive per square foot but the labor adds up quick to make tile countertops the same prices as some other materials.

3. Flooring, like countertops, range from super low cost vinyl flooring to expensive tile and hardwood.  One big advantage of flooring is that replacing it after a few years is much easier than replacing countertops or cabinets.  So this is one place where if you want to save some money and haven’t decided which floor is best for you go with vinyl flooring for 3 to 5 years as you save up for the more expensive materials and decide on the flooring that will work best for you.

4. Appliances are numerous and potentially expensive.  Appliances for the kitchen can run form a few thousand to $20,000 and more for the complete set.  To save on appliances consider not buying all new appliances when you first remodel – it may not be the look you dream of but sticking with your old white appliances until they die a natural death or you save up the money to replace them can defer a big cost plus – It can be the “greener” thing to do.

If you are looking for design inspiration for your kitchen remodel try our IdeaFile where you can search thousands of kitchen design photos and save and share you find.