Kitchen Remodel: What’s it Cost?

The facts and figures that go along with updating the cook’s space

Design Studio West

Traditionally, the kitchen is the most popular room in the home to renovate. It’s known as the heart of the home, the place where people gather and the spot where you work to nourish your family so a lot of thought—and dollars—go into making it a functional and beautiful space.

All the research out there says that you should come up with your budget first, but where do you even begin? There are so many items to consider—countertops, backsplashes, fixtures, hardware, lighting and more.

Feeling overwhelmed? Here’s advice from Lee Austin, partner and remodeling operations manager at Design Studio West, a more than three-decades-old design and remodeling company here in San Diego with a new showroom on Morena Boulevard.

Lee says, “Often the first question we get asked is, ‘How much does the design and remodeling process really cost?’”

His answer? “That depends.”

There are so many design and materials options that a customer’s goals and selections ultimately dictate the cost of the project, he explains.

“For the purposes of this conversation, let’s say the homeowners are looking for a complete kitchen transformation in the 2,500-square-foot residence that they intend to stay in for several years,” Lee says. Assuming that the footprint, appliances and fixtures will be located in the same general locations, he says there are four main categories to consider when coming up with a budget.

Cabinetry This is one area that Lee cautions against cutting costs. “Get cabinetry for the long term,” he says. “Appliances and backsplashes can be changed out with relative ease; cabinets can’t.” Custom cabinets with the latest features in organization and functionality in innovative finishes run $25-$50,000, Lee relates.

Appliances, plumbing and electrical fixtures Just to put it into perspective: A new refrigerator can cost anywhere between $3,000 to more than $13,000. Plan to spend $15-$45,000 total here.

Countertops, backsplashes, flooring, glass, etc. This broad category encompasses a lot. Countertops alone range from $7-$12,000 and occupy only a fraction of this budget. Lee says you should expect to pay $15-$35,000 on these items.

Construction and installation These fees are not necessarily the first priority for homeowners who are about to embark on a remodel, but the cost of the permits, space modifications, demolition and installations add up to $20-$40,000.

“As with anything, more costs more,” Lee explains. “And the return means increased functionality, beauty and long-term durability.”

So what do his clients typically pay for a kitchen remodel? “Design Studio West completes kitchen transformations ranging from $60,000 for smaller spaces to $200,000 plus.”

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Design Studio West

For more information, visit the Design Studio West showroom in their new location at 4250 Morena Blvd., Suite C, 858-454-9133,   

Categories: design inspiration, Home Design