Wondering what a new kitchen will cost? Making White kitchens design remains a hot home improvement project, but one that leaves many people confused about all the costs.
Don’t let your neighbor’s talk of a $40,000 kitchen scare you into staying on the sidelines. There are ways to narrow down the remodeling costs before and during your talks with a contractor. There also are ways to keep your budget in line.
Breaking Down Home Improvement Costs
Home improvement costs typically fall into three parts. Each one can account for 25 to 35 percent of the total bill.
• Mechanical – these are all the boring but necessary items, such as electrical, plumbing, heating and air conditioning. If you are removing walls, patching ceilings or replacing the floors, those remodeling costs fall in this category. Ask your contractor about the condition of the major structural items, as major changes will increase your remodeling costs. New duct work for your heating and cooling might cost $1,500. Repairing a plaster ceiling might cost $600.
• Labor – the people who pull it all together. These remodeling costs will fluctuate by the availability of labor in your area and the workers’ skill levels. If you’re doing a basic kitchen remodeling, you might find workers for $20 to $40 per hour for some trades. More complicated jobs that involve major structural changes will cost more. Make sure the contractor is paying different wages for different tasks, however. You don’t want to pay $60 per hour for a job that requires little skill, such as tearing out your old cabinets. When hiring an electrician, you likely will pay at least that rate.
• Products and materials – these are all the fun items – the granite counter top, cabinets, appliances, faucets and fancy tile. This portion of the remodeling bill often shifts as you narrow down the mechanical and labor costs. You might buy a smaller refrigerator ($700 instead of $1,500) or scale back on the cabinets ($4,000 instead of $6,500) to pay for the $3,000 in new overhead wiring for canned lighting, for example.
Kitchen Remodeling Expenses
As you plan your kitchen remodeling, ask the contractor to highlight the major expenses and note which ones you have some control over. If you need new wiring and it will cost $8,000, then you may have to spend less on wall tile or eliminate the warming drawers.
The adage “it all adds up” is true with any kitchen remodeling. By understanding where all the costs lie, you’ll be on your way to controlling the costs and avoiding sticker shock in the end.