Architectural Home Designs & Decorating Ideas

Plan and Budget Your Dream Kitchen Remodel

4 minute read

Imagine standing in your outdated, cramped kitchen and daydreaming about what could be. The gleaming granite counters, the cabinetry with hidden storage galore, the professional-grade appliances. No more knocking elbows with your partner at the oven or diving into that junk drawer overflowing with takeout menus. A kitchen renovation can make your cooking and entertaining dreams come true!

But turning that vision into reality means setting a realistic budget and estimating costs. Kitchen remodels range dramatically in price. While minor updates may cost $15,000, a complete overhaul with high-end finishes can exceed $100,000. Creating your dream kitchen within your budget takes careful planning and resourceful cost-cutting.

Determine Your Budget

Set Your Kitchen Remodel Budget

First, consider your budget and financing options. Gather inspiration from magazines and Pinterest, but avoid fallin in love before crunching the numbers. Typical kitchen remodels run $25,000 to $35,000. Major renovations are $40,000 to $60,000. Luxury kitchens with pro-grade appliances and premium finishes start around $70,000.

how much is it to renovate a kitchen

Be strategic in setting your budget. Prioritize must-haves like storage and workflow over splurges like a wine fridge. Weigh the costs versus long-term enjoyment. Financing can help fund a renovation through a home equity loan or personal loan.

Typical Kitchen Remodel Costs

According to the 2021 Cost vs. Value report by Remodeling Magazine, the average minor kitchen remodel runs $26,214 while a major renovation costs $66,196. Here’s a closer look at typical price ranges:

Calculate Cost Per Square Foot

One useful metric is cost per square foot. Total costs divided by the room’s square footage gives a ballpark estimate. The typical range is $150-$350 per square foot. High-end renovations exceed $500 per square foot.

Cost per square foot depends on factors like layout changes, product quality, and geographic location. Luxury finishes like marble and intricate tile patterns increase costs.

Make Your Dream Kitchen Plan

Define Your Needs and Wants

Envision how your ideal kitchen functions and feels. Make detailed lists of your needs like more prep space and wants like a built-in coffee station. Consider how you use your kitchen now and pain points you want to solve.

Plan traffic flow between sinks, stoves, and refrigerators. Think about a space for family members to gather and chat. Decide if you need amenities like a breakfast nook or walk-in pantry.

Choose Layout and Features

Select the cabinetry, counters, backsplash, flooring, lighting, and color scheme. Browse magazines and websites like Houzz for inspiration on styles from modern to traditional. Pull together ideas on a Pinterest board.

Think about splurging on focal points like a statement marble-topped island. Choose surfaces and fixtures in materials that fit your aesthetic and stand the test of time.

Select Appliances

Research brands, prices, sizes, and features for important appliances. Look for energy-efficient models. For the refrigerator, measure intended space and consider configuration like French door. Compare pro-style ranges for serious cooks versus standard.

Visit showrooms to test out appliances. Consult reviews on reliability from sources like Consumer Reports. Be sure to measure existing openings for replacements.

Estimate Your Remodeling Costs


New appliances make a huge visual impact but add significantly to costs. Budget $2,500-$5,000 total for mid-range refrigerator, slide-in range, dishwasher, and microwave. High-end brands like Viking and Sub-Zero cost $10,000 and beyond.

Double wall ovens, induction cooktops, and stainless French door refrigerators increase price but provide luxury functionality. Protect your investment with extended warranties.


For cabinetry, stock and semi-custom offer affordability around $3,000-$5,000 for an average 10×10 kitchen. Custom cabinetry starts around $12,000 and exceeds $25,000 for intricate styles and storage solutions.

Upgrade your current cabinet box construction for longevity. Opt for soft-close doors and drawers. Organizational inserts, pull-out shelves, and other storage solutions also increase costs.


Countertop material impacts cost significantly. Laminate is the most budget-friendly at $20-$50 per linear foot installed. Quartz and granite range $50-$150 installed.

Granite requires yearly sealing but provides a classic, elegant look. Quartz is highly durable and stain-resistant. Higher-end options like marble and soapstone need frequent sealing.


Hardwood offers a timeless look starting around $6 per square foot installed but shows wear over time. Porcelain or ceramic tile costs $8-$20 per square foot installed.

For water-resistance and affordability, luxury vinyl tile and plank cost $3-$7 per square foot. Evaluate subflooring needs that can drive up installation costs.

Lighting and Plumbing Fixtures

Better lighting and new faucets and sinks improve functionality and style. Budget $1,500+ for a statement chandelier or pendant light. High-end kitchen faucets run $500-$1,000 or more.

Undermount sinks provide a seamless look starting around $200 plus installation. Apron front and decorative sinks increase costs but provide serious style.


Professional installation and remodeling labor accounts for 40% or more of total costs. Get multiple detailed bids and read reviews. Pay attention to preparation and clean-up fees.

Typical contractor rates range $40-$70 per hour. Many charge around 10%-20% of total costs for project management fees. Architects and kitchen designers also add labor costs.

Minor Upgrades

Minor upgrades like painting cabinets, swapping hardware and light fixtures, and adding backsplash make a big visual impact for little cost. Budget $3,000-$5,000 to freshen up your kitchen’s look.

Tasks like installing backsplash tile or painting cabinets can even be DIYed to save substantially on labor. Focus on quick, affordable upgrades for a big return.

Looking to shave costs on your kitchen renovation? Here are budget-friendly tips:

With careful planning and resourcefulness, you can create a gorgeous, functional kitchen within your budget. Determine must-haves, research costs, and get creative saving. With a thoughtful plan and smart approach, your dream kitchen is possible without breaking the bank.