Kitchen Remodeling: How much SHOULD it cost?

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The first two questions we usually get from new clients looking at kitchen remodeling is “How much is this going to cost” and sometimes “How much should this cost?”  At Teknika Design Group we start with the second question.  Why, because that is what determines if you will 1. Get money back for all your hard work and 2. Enjoy your new kitchen.

So how do you figure that out?  There are three facts and 1 intangible to look at.

The first guidance we give is what we hear from real estate experts,  kitchen remodeling should be between 10 and 20% of the value of the home.    The old adage is that you do not want the most expensive home in your neighborhood for resale, but neither do you want potential buyers to be scared away by a huge remodeling project.

The second fact to look at when making your budget decisions is how much others in your area spend.  The Remodeling 2013 Cost vs. Value Report at can help us with that information.  This report that comes out yearly and has 35 possible remodeling options divided up between midrange and upscale projects.

For kitchens there are midrange Major and Minor Kitchen remodels as well as upscale major kitchen remodels.  The definitions are all based on a 200 square foot kitchen with 30 linear feet of cabinetry and countertops.  Here are the specifics:

Midrange Minor:   reface the cabinets, replace Formica countertops, low end appliances, hardware, sink and faucet.

Midrange Major:  semi-custom cabinets, laminate countertops, double stainless steel sink with single lever facet, midrange energy efficient appliances and new vinyl flooring.

Upscale Major:  custom cabinets with interior storage accessories, stone countertops, glass backsplash, high end appliances, under mount sink, high end faucet and filtration system, under cabinet lighting and new solid wood flooring.

So what are the average cost and resale values in the Philadelphia area?

                                             Cost                       Resale Value                     Cost Recouped

Midrange minor               $20,894                  $14,067                               67.3%

Midrange Major               $60,558                  $39,880                               65.9%

Upscale Major                  $116,836               $66,094                               56.6%


Another obvious question is how does kitchen remodeling compare with other renovations you can do on your home?  The highest cost recoup for the Philadelphia area was garage door replacement at 76.7%, then siding replacement (fiber/cement) at 74.6%.  The average was in the high 50%, low 60% range for cost recouped.  This means that kitchen midrange renovations are a good value.  However, if you want to go for the upscale major remodel you had better be sure you are in the 15% range of your home’s current value.

The final fact is how long you plan to remain in your home.  If you plan to stay in your house 5 years an upscale major remodel will cost you $10,148.40 per year.  If you plan to stay in your house another 20 years it will only cost you $2,537.10 per year.

The final factor, an intangible one that needs to be answered is what you need to enjoy your kitchen to the max.  Do you absolutely have to have the Subzero refrigerator with the Viking stove, the Miele dishwasher and custom cabinets.  If you are planning to stay in your home for 15 years it might be worth the cost.  Think how many times in those 15 years you will walk in the kitchen and go WOW.  So remember calculate the 3 facts of kitchen remodeling costs but spend time on the intangible factor as well.

Any questions let us know.  You can reach us by calling 215.922.4414 or by emailing me at .   If you want to see our portfolio of work, go to

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