By Dan Fritschen
Quick link to…instant Kitchen Remodel Cost Estimating Calculator.
Is it really possible to estimate the cost of kitchen remodel with an online tool.  Yes it is with a few very important limitations.
First lets look at the benefits.  Online cost estimating tools provide instant – private estimates of the cost to remodel.  This is a great advantage over the alternatives which is to come up with a basic design and then call a contractor to give an estimate or to research every aspect of your project and calculate the cost on your own.

Now for the limitations.  The most significant limitation with an online kitchen remodel cost estimator tool is that the tools – to be quick and easy to use – leave out a lot of very important details that are needed to get an accurate remodel cost estimate.  Details such as the type of plumbing and location, type of electrical service and locations, as well as all the structural details that are important to the ultimate cost of a remodel but can not be figured into the simple – fast online calculators.

An additional limitation is that the calculators are typically used before real design work has been done which means most if not all of the design decisions and material selections have not been made.  Especially with kitchen remodels the difference between one faucet and another can be hundreds of dollars and difference between one type of cabinet versus another, even though they look the same, can be ten thousand or more.

The important variables that kitchen remodel and renovation cost estimators can use include the location of the home, who will do the work, the quality of the materials used, and the design.  The location of the home is the easiest of these variables to determine – usually by zipcode.  The location of the home indicates the RANGE of labor rates, but only a range.  There is a huge difference from the lowest paid persons hourly rate from a lower cost are to a higher cost area.  The top hourly rates vary as much, so the labor rates used in these cost estimators are just to help refine the estimate.

Who will do the work for a kitchen remodel also has a big impact on the overall cost since labor can make up a big part of the cost of a kitchen remodel.  Some parts of a kitchen remodel require a lot of, potentially expensive labor like rewiring the electrical system, replumbing and complex tiling for the floor, backsplash and countertops.  If your project doesnt include these types of project then it is very likely that materials will cost much more than the labor when you consider the cost of high end cabinets, appliances and fixtures. For the online kitchen remodel cost estimators they should include a variable so you can adjust the amount of work – if any – you will do.

Finally the design has a major impact and is very difficult to estimate that impact with an online cost estimator.   To get an initial estimate of the cost for your kitchen renovation our calculator uses just the size of the kitchen, small, medium or large to help improve the cost estimators calculations.

So what is the final verdict?  Online kitchen remodel cost estimators are fantastic tools that can help give you an initial ball park estimate of the cost to remodel at the very beginning of a project.