Home Improvement

How much a kitchen remodel costs and how to finance it

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When it comes to major home remodeling projects, few cost as much as a kitchen renovation. Not only do kitchens come with costly components like kitchen cabinets and countertops, but there’s also an array of expensive appliances to potentially replace.

Kitchen remodel costs are often so substantial that consumers save money for years to pay for their project — or simply borrow the money they need from the start and commit to years of monthly payments.

How much does a kitchen remodel cost?

Borrowing money for a kitchen renovation is a necessity for many homeowners given the average kitchen remodel cost. For example, HomeAdvisor’s 2021 study finds that the average kitchen remodel costs $25,582, or $150 per square foot. It also reports that the typical cost of a kitchen remodel is anywhere from $13,364 to $37,803.

Even a minor kitchen remodel could cost $10,000, which shows how much of a financial commitment this type of project is. Plus, a kitchen renovation could easily leave you unable to cook at home for weeks at a time, and that can mean higher food bills for dining out until the project is complete.

With the average spend around $26,000, here’s a breakdown of the estimated cost for the different parts of a kitchen remodel based on kitchen size.

Feature Small remodel Midrange remodel Major remodel
Appliance $100–$200 per appliance $200–$400 per appliance $400–$600+ per appliance
Cabinets $100–$200 per cabinet $200–$300 per cabinet $300–$500 per cabinet
Countertops $200–$500 $400–$1,000 $1,000–$2,500
Faucet $125–$200 per faucet $200–$300 per faucet $300–$550+ per faucet
Flooring $600–$1,000 $1,000–$1,500 $1,500–$3,000
Sink $100–$250 $250–$400 $400–$600
Backsplash $150–$400 $400–$800 $800–$1,200
Painting/wallpaper $100–$200 $200–$400 $400–$600

 

Biggest expenses in a kitchen remodel


Some kitchen remodeling costs are minor, but others can cost thousands of dollars.

Cabinetry and hardware

Per HomeAdvisor’s 2021 study, installing cabinets and hardware makes up the lion’s share of expenses at 29 percent. The average cost of cabinetry and hardware hovers around $6,670, and depends on the actual stock, and refacing and refinishing costs.

Installation

Installing all the appliances and elements of your renovated kitchen such as the cabinetry, countertops, sinks, faucets and flooring make up 19 percent of the cost of the average kitchen remodel. The average price tag to install is $3,910.

Appliances and ventilation

Depending on the number and type of appliances and ventilation upgrades you plan on doing during your kitchen remodel, you could be looking at spending anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000 on custom built-in appliances, or $200 to $1,000, economy freestanding units. The average cost for appliances and ventilation is $3,220 and makes up 14 percent of the entire cost of your kitchen remodel.

Countertops

The cost of countertops typically takes up 10 percent of a kitchen remodel and is generally the 4th largest expense. The average cost is $2,300. On the low end, paper composite countertops can be anywhere from $2,500 to $6,000. High-range countertops include marble countertops, which can cost up to $9,650.

How to finance a kitchen remodel

If you don’t have enough saved in the bank, you may consider a financing option.

Personal loan for home improvement

Personal loans let you borrow a lump sum with a fixed interest rate and a fixed repayment period. You’ll have a fixed monthly payment as a result, which makes personal loans easy to plan and budget for.

Personal loans are also unsecured. This means you don’t have to use your home as collateral and put your home at risk of foreclosure if you fall behind

Keep in mind, however, that some personal loan companies let you borrow only up to $35,000 or $40,000, which means you may need to consider another option if your borrowing needs are greater. Also note that while personal loans can offer fixed interest rates as low as three percent, the best rates and terms tend to go to borrowers with good or excellent credit.

Takeaway: A personal loan may work best for your needs if you don’t want to borrow against your home’s value or don’t have sufficient value. It could also be a strong fit if you have good or excellent credit and the ability to qualify for the best rates and terms. Of course, if the lender offers loan limits that meet your kitchen remodel budget, and if you want a fixed interest rate, fixed monthly payment and a repayment date that won’t change.

Home equity loan

A home equity loan also comes with a fixed interest rate, a fixed repayment timeline and a fixed monthly payment. However, unlike a personal loan, which is unsecured, you’re required to borrow against the value of your home. You’ll receive a lump sum to spend on your kitchen remodeling project. To qualify, you’ll need a strong credit score, low debt-to-income ratio and at least 15 percent equity in your home.

Takeaway: A home equity loan could be a good idea if you want to borrow for a larger amount than what a personal loan could offer, you have some equity in your home and if you feel comfortable with a secured loan and would need to offer collateral.

Home equity line of credit (HELOC)

Similar to a credit card, a home equity line of credit is a revolving line of credit with a set limit. And like a home equity loan, you’re using the equity on your home as collateral to secure this line of financing. However, HELOCs usually come with variable rates, so your monthly payments could change.

Takeaway: If you’re not sure exactly how much you need for your kitchen remodel, this could be a good choice for you. HELOCs come with closing fees, so read the fine print to figure out what these are beforehand.

Tips on saving money on a kitchen remodel

There are plenty of ways to make a kitchen remodel more affordable. Here are a few tips that can help you save money during your next remodel:

  • Choose stock models: Purchasing stock models instead of customizing your appliances can save thousands of dollars.
  • DIY: Try DIY-ing your renovations as much as you can. If you are going the DIY route, on say, repairing the cabinets yourself, learn how to do it properly, suggests Will Lau, a realtor based in Southern California and founder of Will & Way Homes. “If you don’t, it won’t look as good, and it will bring down the value since future buyers will now have to factor in costs to fix it themselves,” says Lau.
  • Upgrade the less expensive option: Opting to upgrade things like hardware instead of replacing the entire cabinet can make the total remodel more affordable.
  • Keep existing piping and plumbing: Not moving or changing any of the existing piping, plumbing, gas or electric allows you to focus on the aesthetics of your new kitchen.

How to know if you should remodel your kitchen

You may not be sure if remodeling your kitchen is the right thing to do, especially if you need to finance the project. Consider the following to help you decide:

  • Funds: Do you have enough funds in your account for kitchen remodel? Would you have to dip into your rainy day fund? If so, Lau recommends waiting until you’ve saved a bit more before doing any sort of renovation.
  • Value of remodeling: According to the National Realtor Associations (NAR) Home Remodeling Impact Survey, a complete kitchen remodel and kitchen upgrade were the top two most appealing projects to buyers. According to the survey, 52 percent of the investment you put into remodeling your kitchen would be recouped.
  • Living plans: If you just bought your home and plan on living there for at least seven years, Lau recommends remodeling before you move in. “That way you can get all done and not have to figure out the logistical nightmare of doing a renovation while living on the property,” says Lau. “Even if you go on vacation and try to get it done then, you’ll have to factor in having someone supervise the job in order to answer any questions or to make sure everything is on track.”
  • Selling: If you renovate early on, and the job is done correctly and well, you’ll not only retain the value spent, but you’ll also get a boost in ROI, explains Lau. “Most buyers want to purchase a home that is move-in ready and remodeled,” he says. If you’re thinking about selling and neighboring homes in your community have updated kitchens, you might want to consider remodeling. “The kitchen and master bedroom and bathrooms are the most desired spaces for most buyers on the market,” says Lau.

Next steps

If you’re ready to roll up your sleeves and embark on a kitchen remodel, here’s what you’ll need to do:

  • Do your homework: Research materials and contractors in your area. You’ll want to know the costs and parts of each step of your kitchen model project. As there’s a wide swath of choices, you might feel overwhelmed. Break it down by smaller steps. Besides the costs of materials and installation, other costs include ordering meals out while your kitchen is being worked on, and the cost of moving food, appliances and kitchen tools out of your cupboards.
  • Get an estimate: Get several estimates from local contractors to get a better idea of how much you will need to spend on the renovation.
  • Look into financing: If you’ve decided to finance your kitchen model project, get pre-approved for loans and gather the information and financial documents you need to apply. Then, review the loan amounts, rates and terms offered.

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Written by
Jackie Lam
Contributing writer
Jackie Lam is a contributing writer for Bankrate. Jackie writes about auto loans.
Edited by
Loans Editor