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A Breakdown of Kitchen Renovation Costs

When people start contemplating a kitchen renovation, the biggest question they typically have is “how much will it cost”.

Kitchen renovation costs will vary, based on geography, materials, and precisely how much work needs to be done to achieve the desired result. However, there are some averages that can be looked at to help you get a feel for what you may need to spend.

Expert Insights on Kitchen Renovation Costs

In 2017, had the privilege of attending a talk given by internationally renowned interior design guru Samantha Sannella and a panel of industry experts at the GTA Home and Reno show in Mississauga. During this round-table, Ms. Sannella outlined some typical costs associated with a moderate kitchen renovation in The GTA. Here’s a look at how she broke down the cost of a moderate kitchen reno.

Item Cost Percent of Budget
Cabinets $25,000 42%
Appliances $13,200 22%
Countertops $6,000 10%
Infrastructure $4,200 7%
Demolition/Construction $3,000 5%
Lighting $2,400 4%
Flooring $2,400 4%
Backsplash $1,800 3%
Sink/Faucet $1,200 2%
Hardware $600 1%
  Total = $59,800  

* These costs are an averaged estimation and will certainly vary based upon your home’s specific renovation needs.

Expert opinion across the GTA places the average, moderate kitchen renovation at around $60,000, making it one of the more expensive single room renovation for homeowners to take on. However, as most homeowners know, a kitchen renovation is among the reno projects that can help with the resale value of your home. Just make sure that you plan to sell within a couple of years of the reno.

Cost Adjustments

The biggest expenses listed here are cabinets, countertops and appliances, making up almost ¾ of the cost of a moderate kitchen renovation. Fortunately, these are also areas where homeowners can make some cost-cutting decisions.

Having a basic outline of kitchen renovation costs should make it easier for homeowners to set a budget and manage the amount they anticipate spending. The key here is to prioritize the items in order of their importance to you and your family.

Do you want granite countertops or will a well-made laminate work just as well? Do you need that apron front farmhouse sink, or will a standard under mount suffice?  Does your kitchen simply need a facelift, or are you considering some structural changes?

Here’s another look at the three big budgets items associated with a kitchen renovation and some tips on how to chip away at the costs.

How to Save Money on Kitchen Cabinets

kitchen renovation costs


Kitchen cabinets are the most expensive items in a typical kitchen renovation. So, if you can save money here, it’s really going to make a big impact on your overall budget.

Three ways to save on kitchen cabinets:

  • Reuse existing cabinets
  • Have your cabinets refaced rather than replaced
  • Opt for ready-to-assemble cabinets rather than custom, preassembled

How to save on kitchen appliances

kitchen renovation costs

Source: GE

Not only will replacing old appliances improve the look of your kitchen, but it’s also going to improve your home’s overall energy efficiency.

The good news is that there are several ways to save on kitchen appliances. Here are a few:

  • Buy an appliance package rather than individual appliances – Most major home improvement retailers have this option
  • Keep an eye out for seasonal sales
  • Shop the scratch and dent section – many of these appliances are in perfect working order, and once they’re installed the scratched areas are often hidden from view.

How to save on kitchen countertops

kitchen renovation costs

Source: Home DIT

The countertops are one area in the kitchen where you really don’t want to cut too many corners. Not only do they play a high impact role in your kitchen’s overall look, but they also serve a practical purpose. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to find ways to save.

  • Shop around for granite remnants to cover smaller surfaces – such as a small island addition
  • Opt for butcher block countertops (or other alternatives) rather than granite
  • Mix it up – if you absolutely cannot live without having granite in your kitchen, but would really like to save some money, try using a lower priced material on the main countertops and a granite remnant on the island.

Note: If you’re hoping that choosing quartz over granite will made a big dent in your budget, think again. In most cases you will find them to be similarly priced.

Plan your kitchen renovation budget strategically. Take a look at the items that mean the most to you and those that are less important. Then, budget accordingly. If those granite countertops really are your number one priority, then you might want to work with your existing cabinets or opt for a design that mixes in lower priced open shelving in order to shift some money over to funding your countertops.

There are a lot of ways that you can play with your budget to make it suit your needs. However, just be careful where you cut corners. That last thing you want is for some too-good-to-be-true savings to come back and bite you a few years, or even months after your renovation has been completed.

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