Planning Your Kitchen Remodel- Part 2

There are a lot of elements that influence a kitchen remodel’s cost.  You may need to repair some problems that you’re currently facing or are unaware of in your home’s construction that affects your kitchen, like plumbing or electrical issues.  Moving the dishwasher, cooktop, or fridge will add costs to the project.  Adding space in your kitchen will add to costs, as well. Then there’s the selections you make for appliances, flooring, cabinets, countertops, backsplashes, venting, lighting and so forth.



Selecting Appliances

We suggest that you go to a local appliance dealer such as Arnold’s Appliances (Bellevue), Albert Lee (South Center), or even Home Depot or Lowe's if you are planning on low to midrange appliances.  Ideally, you want to see all the possibilities out there, so larger stores offer more brands and models.  Ask about warranties, extended warranties, and warranty exclusions on products you are considering.  Ask about delivery costs, price matching, packages, and services they offer.  Once you know what your cost for these items, you’ll have a better idea of the total cost of your remodel.

Three Types of Kitchen Upgrades

Let’s think about three kitchens, all remodels.  First we’ll look at a Cosmetic Kitchen Facelift which can cost between $25-49,000.  Then we’ll consider a Mid Range Kitchen Remodel which can cost between $50-99,000.  Lastly, we’ll look at a Custom Kitchen Remodel, which can cost $100,000 and up.

Cosmetic Kitchen Facelift: Cost $25-49,000 done by a designer and construction workers typically includes:

  • Same basic footprint, or structure as the original kitchen.  By keeping the appliances and fixtures in the exact same locations, there’s no need to add costs to plumbing and electrical work.
  • Refinished flooring: new linoleum or vinyl flooring;
  • Basic appliances in stainless steel.  No built-in appliances, microwave drawers, warming drawers, or wine coolers.  Keep in mind the average life of these is 10 years, and their warranty will be generally about 1-3 years.
  • Refinished cabinetry.  If you have real wood cabinets, then an easy way to keep costs down is to refinish them, perhaps adding new doors, or perhaps adding a few new cabinets to fulfill your space requirements.  Of course, if your cabinets are damaged beyond repair then you’re better off spending the money for good quality cabinets.  Do not expect that you can just replace some of the worst- it will always be apparent.
  • Laminate countertops.  These have gotten much better in the last few years, both in terms of options for looks as well as edges on the countertops.
  • Ceramic tile backsplash.  Using inexpensive white ceramic tile works well for the clean contemporary as well as classic & traditional look you’re after.
  • Keep lighting simple, as it can be inexpensive if you shop carefully.  Lighting is important in a kitchen, as you need to see what you’re doing, but it can include ambient, task lighting, perhaps some wall lighting or accent lighting on the most beautiful feature in your kitchen.  If you currently have recessed lights, but they are dated, you can replace them with LED dimmable lights for about $50/light.
  • Stylish details that utilize the same color that repeats throughout the kitchen, or with shape or texture accents or glass front cabinet doors can incorporate a higher end look to this kitchen. 

Mid to Upper Range Kitchen Remodel: Cost $50-99,000 done by a designer and construction workers typically includes:

  • Locations of some of the appliances may change, as well as electrical, plumbing and such.
  • Flooring: Wood/engineered wood, or a porcelain tile floor.
  • Professional-style appliances, whether it’s a 42” cooktop to a built-in counter depth refrigerator to a convection oven.
  • One built-in small appliance such as a warming drawer, or a wine cooler.
  • Semi-custom cabinetry: Beaded, plain, or classic with a custom stain/glaze in custom sizes with accessories.  White painted Shaker have been the most popular in the past decade, so you might find them less expensive than others.
  • Stone or quartz countertops: The plus regarding these more expensive options is that they look and feel great for decades to come after their installation.  Granite, as well as other natural stone will require some maintenance.
  • Backsplash:  glass tile, porcelain, or stone with a special unique design created just for you.  Want to see something unique above your cooktop?  This is the best choice for you.
  • Semi-Custom Island: If you need extra storage space, extra countertop for a second cook, a place for kids to sit and do their homework, or a spot for you to sit and check your email or watch TV, this is your best choice.
  • Custom storage:  If you want a station for your coffee addiction, a wine storage area, or space for your pastry baking, this is the custom layout you really want.
  • Designer Hardware:  You can find the special and unique options for pulls and handles that will not only meet your practical needs, but speak to your interests and taste.

Here’s a sample Budget to get you started:


A Custom Kitchen Remodel Cost $100,000+ done by a designer and construction workers:

If custom cabinetry, built-in refrigeration and a La Cornue range are all must-haves, you're talking high style and the price tag that goes with it. This kitchen is for real cooks. It would be a shame to be surrounded by all this gorgeous stuff and not use it.

A total rework of the space. Just as with the mid- to upper-range kitchen, don't be surprised if everything, including the kitchen sink, gets moved, which means new plumbing, electrical, air ducts and so on. Often, you are gutting the space and starting from scratch.  Prior features and enhancements are included in this option.

  • A total rework of the space can be a part of the design, including moving plumbing, electrical, air ducts, and so forth. This might include taking walls down to include more space.  This kitchen is for serious cooks! 
  • Scraped popcorn ceilings could be a part of this option.
  • Flooring will be of excellent quality and be practical as well.
  • A cooktop and hood upon which a fabulous chef would love to cook, whether it’s Bertazzoni, Broan, or La Cornue. A built-in huge refrigeration counter depth unit that will not only keep your food fresh and delicious for longer. 
  • Custom cabinetry throughout.  Incredibly well-made cabinets in custom sizes and finishes.
  • Furniture embellishment options are available , whether it’s corbels, cabinet legs, cabinet feet, or crown molding.  They help to make the exterior of the cabinets look more like furniture and less like kitchen cabinets.
  • Countertops could include ultra-compact surface, high-end glass, stone, or combinations that give a uniquely you design.   It’s easy care- just seal it once a month or year, depending upon your selection.
  • A backsplash that features that beautiful cooktop by creating a picture frame of anything you want behind it, as well as climbing to the ceiling behind the top-of-the-line hood.
  • Dimmable LED lighting for under cabinets, recessed lighting around the perimeter of the kitchen and fabulous pendants or even a chandelier.
  • Consistency with the architectural integrity of the entire home, whether it’s a century or a year old. Authentic baseboard and casings can be matched to the rest of the house.  It will correlate with the remainder of the house’s character.
  • Materials and artistic touches will be the feature in your home, whether it’s a chandelier, a traditional rug made in your color scheme, or a bookshelf to house your favorite cookbooks.

Can you combine some of these options?  Of course you can.  In the sample Budget, we combined mid range appliances, lower range backsplash & hardware. Spending here and saving there is often the task of an interior designer.  Expect to spend 2-3 times as much on installation as you do on product.  Questions? Email:

In conclusion

Come back on Sunday, March 15 when we’ll discuss three types of improvements in your kitchen: new construction, renovation and remodel in greater detail.  Overwhelmed at the thought of budgeting for this?  Contact us through this website and we can set up a meeting.  It might be the best $350 you spend when planning your kitchen!  We always make time for our readers. 

                                   Happy Kitchen Remodeling!