Why Is Kitchen Remodeling So Damn Expensive? (Cost Breakdown)

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Remodeling a kitchen always seems like a great adventure until you start thinking about all the work that goes into the entire job. There are many factors to consider, and of course, these cost a lot of money!

Kitchen remodeling is expensive because it includes labor, furniture, installation, paint, and other decorations. Cabinets are about 30-35%, labor 15-20%, appliances another 10%+, and more. The average remodel job costs about $12,567 to $34,962, though some go as high as $50,000.

Now, we will discuss the best ways to approach kitchen remodeling to avoid going over budget. You’ll also learn what you should expect to pay for a remodel’s different aspects to better plan the financial end.


Planning a Budget for Kitchen Remodeling

It’s easy to run out of money when you are remodeling any part of a home, and kitchens tend to be more costly in general. Even smaller galley-style kitchens! You should typically plan to spend about 5 to 15% of your home’s total value on remodeling your kitchen.

Without a proper budget, your kitchen remodeling dreams could come to a premature and heartbreaking halt.

So, how much should you spend? Which parts of such a project will require the most money?

Factors That Determine the Cost of a Kitchen Remodeling Project

  • Where you live: Your neighborhood, town, and state will affect how much your kitchen remodeling costs. If you live in a city, you will likely be closer to many more shops and have more options to choose from. Rural areas lack these, so they are cheaper to remodel in.
  • Kitchen size: If you want to build a kitchen that will suit a professional chef, you might have to expand your kitchen size. Meanwhile, a kitchen made for entertaining might need extra features, such as a built-in bar and islands to sit and eat.
  • Quality of your project: The new furniture, appliances, plumbing, paint, and any other expenses can be more costly if you want to use only the highest quality products. It can be tempting to skimp on some of them, but try to choose quality when possible.
  • Time of the year: Not many folks realize this, but the time of year you decide to start your kitchen remodeling can also affect how much you pay. There might be sales or special discounts at specific times, so research this before you begin buying.
  • Industry cost standards: The industry’s prices will also influence how much you will end up spending. There isn’t much you can do about it, but consider shopping around a bit before making your purchases.

Need some inspiration or tips on how to get your kitchen remodeling project started the right way? Check out this video!

Cost Breakdown of Kitchen Remodeling

Now that you know the main factors that influence the cost of kitchen remodeling, you should have an idea of how you will proceed. Now, let’s look at a general breakdown of expenses for such projects so that you can have a more detailed plan and budget.

Keep in mind that the factors mentioned above will impact how much you spend on your final kitchen remodel project.

Labor and Installation

Expect to spend a chunk of your budget (15-20%) on labor and installation. This aspect also takes into account unexpected expenses, such as pipes that require replacing. It is possible that leaks, poor plumbing, outdated electrical wiring, and other structural issues pop up as the remodeling takes place, which all cost extra!

If the previous builders took shortcuts during the home’s construction, you might also have to deal with that now. Your contractor will give you an idea of what to expect by looking at your kitchen and the age of your home before the project starts.

Here is an idea of the expected cost:

  • Carpenter: $70 per hour
  • Electrician: $75 per hour
  • Plumber: $55 to $85 per hour
  • Cabinet installation: $100 to $1,200 per linear foot
  • Counter installation: $100 to $500 per square foot


You will pour most of your budget into new cabinetry, often between 30 to 35% of your overall costs. This includes high-quality cabinets that are handmade and perfectly leveled and the labor needed to install them in your home.

The number of cabinets you want, their style, and whether you want open shelving or upper cabinets will also affect how much you spend. Of course, if you request any custom shapes or sizes made, you’ll have to pay more.

You will have an expected cost of  $100 to $1,200 per linear foot (off-the-shelf to high-end custom).


Kitchen appliances can be expensive and will probably eat up 10% or more of your budget to avoid low-quality products. Your kitchen remodeling is an investment, so there’s no need to be stingy when buying appliances.

However, if you want to fill your kitchen with luxury appliances, the expenses can rise up to 20%. Your appliances’ style and quality, special features (such as built-in fryers and ice makers), innovative technology features, and brands you choose can all be pretty damn expensive. If you want to add extras such as pantry fridges and double ovens, expect to pay more.

Your expected cost is anything from $200 to $5,000. If you want to install high-end appliances, you can spend up to $10,000 or more.


Another unexpected but costly expense is the countertops, accounting for about 10 to 15% of your budget. You can choose between quartz and granite (or other popular choices such as marble or soapstone), and they’ll all cost a pretty penny.

Your edge profiles, material, support for overhangs, number of holes for faucets and sinks, and the square footage of your kitchen will all play a role in how much your countertops cost.

This will all cost between $2,000 and $4,000.


Many behind-the-scenes components are needed for a successful kitchen remodeling project. Plumbing, electrical, and HVAC components can take up between 10 and 15% of your budget.

If you need to break down and put in new walls or change your kitchen’s layout, you can expect that this expense will go up even more. Relocating plumbing and electrical wiring, for example, can be pretty expensive. If you need to move sinks and add fixtures or plumbing and electric wiring for islands, the cost will go up as well.

Here is a breakdown of the expected cost:

  • Plumbing: $150 to $1,000
  • Electrical: $200 to $1,000
  • Gas lines: $250 to $800

Final Touches (no pun intended)

The finishing touches and other miscellaneous expenses involved in your kitchen remodeling will eat between 5% and 10% of your budget. Unfortunately, many fail to plan for their project’s last stages, so plan a little extra for your remodel.

You should factor in the cost of hinges, doors, doorknobs, lighting fixtures, curtains, blinds, rods, paint, and any final styling expenses. If you are remodeling to have more space and an inviting kitchen, your costs will be different from a project aimed at designing a luxurious and technologically advanced kitchen.

As long as you sit down and plan your project well, you shouldn’t have any unexpected money problems as you build your dream kitchen.

Your expected cost will depend on what you plan to do. You can pay anything between $200 and $2,000, or even more.

Final Thoughts

The expected costs discussed in this article should give you an idea of what you should prepare for in regards to your kitchen remodeling project. Some unique and specific factors might influence how things go for you, so consider your particular situation.