Everybody loves a chef-quality kitchen, and that shows in the realty market.
Zonda, an California-based housing data and consulting firm, released a report in 2021 that ranked remodeling the kitchen third for home improvements that provide homeowners the highest return on their investment (ROI), during resale.
Elizabeth Gomez, coowner of Bridge City Contracting (a contracting firm that specializes in home remodeling in Battleground, Washington), says, “You don’t always get a dollars-for-dollar return. A kitchen remodel can make your home more comfortable and more appealing, while also increasing its resale potential.
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Kitchen remodels come at a cost. A kitchen remodel’s average cost can easily exceed five figures. This means that most Americans will need to take their time and prepare. Here are some tips to help you estimate the cost of a kitchen remodel and get the most bang for your buck.
Remodeling a kitchen at an average cost
It can be difficult to estimate the cost of a kitchen remodel, especially with the recent disruptions in global supply chains. According to Zonda’s Cost vs. Valu report, a minor kitchen remodeling project is expected to cost around $26,214.
Mindy Jensen is the host of BiggerPockets Money Podcast and licensed real estate agent. She’s also an experienced home flipper. Jensen states that cabinets can cost as much as $50,000, but just as easily $10,000. “Flooring can be more expensive than $20 per square feet or as low as $0.99 per sq foot. It all depends on what materials and finishes you choose.
Gomez says that depending on where you live there may be additional costs. In the Pacific Northwest, Gomez is a contractor and mold and mildew testing are required before any kitchen work can begin. Gomez highlights that environmental testing can cost as little as $1,200.
There may be additional expenses that many people are unaware of. Gomez states that you will usually need to rent a dumpster outside your home. This can run from $600 to $800 per monthly.
Gomez says that permits are required for any work. You can expect to pay between $350 and $20,000, depending on the details. While a smaller remodel project may have a lower permit cost, it could cost thousands to get the permits for an addition to your house.
You should also consider hiring professionals to help with the remodel. Jensen states that you should expect to pay $100 an hour for professional services if you have to move or add electrical.
Budgeting for a Kitchen Remodel
You must take the time to evaluate your situation before you decide on a budget.
- Research First
Jensen recommends visiting big-box retailers like Lowes or Home Depot to get a sense of the cost. Talk to the kitchen staff. She suggests that you bring pictures of your current layout to show them and discuss what you would like to change. They should be able give you an estimate but it will likely be in the range. Due to the uncertainties of work and changes in supply chain, they won’t be capable of giving you a fixed price.
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- Find out what you want
Gomez says to be clear about your goals before you start. It can lead to long waits and higher costs for your new kitchen fixtures if you change them after the process is complete. Gomez recommends looking at repurposed wood from previous projects, as well as checking warehouses for second-hand sourcing. This will allow you to find low-cost materials of high quality that are still high in quality.
Jensen recommends that you determine what you can do yourself and what you could salvage from your original kitchen. Planning can help you save money by using what you already own and completing the more difficult tasks on your behalf.
- Personal Loan
Gomez suggests that personal loans may be available for home improvement projects. Smaller credit unions and community banks often offer flexible products that are affordable and easy to use. Be sure to verify all fees, including early payment fees and origination fees.
- Home Improvement Grant
Gomez recommends looking into home improvement grants. There are funds available from federal, state and local governments to assist homeowners in upgrading their homes. For information on qualifications and programs, visit the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.