The True Cost of Kitchen Remodeling

The first thing people want to get their arms around with any remodeling project is “what is this going to cost?” For better or worse, you need to understand the cost in order to start to budget for what it is you really want.


I often talk to people who are just starting to get information and unless they have a friend or relative willing to share the numbers, they are often surprised when they hear the news. In the over 20 years I have owned a remodeling company, I have even had a couple of clients end the initial meeting abruptly because they couldn’t believe what I was saying. These nice folks even offered me some advice to seek therapy- because I was clearly not of sound mind! Not to worry, 2 out of the 3 times this happened, I received a call back to start some design work on the project because I was honest from the beginning.


I am going to give you the rough breakdown and help shed some light on the cost, just keep in mind that we are talking local numbers in blue chip communities and the only way to get to the exact cost of your Kitchen Renovation is to prepare a budget based on your home and selections.


Every year Remodeling Magazine publishes a cost vs. value report. The most disappointing thing as a remodeler is that the figures come from a survey of realtors… and I have argued more than once with the editorial staff that hearing what something cost is not as accurate as knowing what something cost; so take this report with a couple of grains of salt. Namely the average cost of a major kitchen remodel in eastern Massachusetts is just north of $55k according to the magazine and that number is understated by adding the average cost of a kitchen in Framingham with the average cost of a kitchen in Back Bay. Also, it is based on what people say their project cost, and many people are not always ready to divulge that if they feel they have “indulged”.


The table below shows why there can be a large swing in pricing, between $55k and $180k. Of course these are representative of average ranges, and there are kitchen remodels that surely exceed $180k if you are so inclined. This table indicates that there are things you do not have control of (or really should address while the walls are open), such as the age or dis-repair of the existing conditions, and things you have all the control of such as the $3,000 refrigerator or the $15,000 refrigerator. Also of note, more expensive appliances often require additional installation time and expertise. A 48 inch built-in refrigerator takes about 6 hours to install and requires two staff because of the weight, while a slide-in refrigerator takes about a half hour to install. The last caveat of the chart is this: Our budget spreadsheet has about 120 lines in it to ensure we consider every detail and the chart used below only has 9 lines. If you want a predictable outcome and the kitchen of your dreams without a nightmare construction phase, you will be glad to have a thorough budget together before you embark on your next home renovation.  If you live in the area, and are planning a kitchen remodel, please feel free to contact us! Happy Remodeling!


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