Everything you need to know about kitchen remodels
A kitchen remodel can completely transform your home. The kitchen is the heart of your home; it's where days start and finish, where everyone in your home gathers (even if it's on the run) and where lots of memories are made. Your kitchen is also one of the few spaces in your home that needs to be functional for every family member. Finding a balance while figuring out how you will remodel your kitchen - between the styles and preferences you love, functionality, and budget can be a difficult task.
We're here to walk you through kitchen remodels so you don't have to go at it alone. From budgeting your kitchen remodel to choices on everything from cabinets to flooring, there are a lot of decisions to make!
Are you ready to start your kitchen remodel? This guide will help you evaluate your goals, preferences, different options, and help you find the best service providers for the job.
Budget & Investment
The first question most homeowners have before starting the kitchen remodel process is; "How much is a kitchen remodel?". The cost of your kitchen remodel will vary greatly depending on the type of upgrade you are planning on - basic updates, mid-range upgrades, and total renovation/high-end upgrades.
The average kitchen remodels range from $12,000 to $34,000 at an average of $23,000. The average ROI is around 80% for a kitchen remodel.
Kitchen Remodel - Basic/Low-Cost Upgrades
Leave the cabinet boxes in place and replace or paint the front of your cabinets. You'll also want to replace all of the hardware. Scroll down to learn all about your cabinet choices!
- Replace cooktop/oven range and refrigerator with new energy-efficient models.
- Replace laminate countertops; install midpriced sink and faucet.
- Repaint trim, and walls.
- Consider extra one extra feature or two that will make your kitchen more functional - this could be something like an above-the-stovetop faucet or pull-out spice racks.
- Semi-custom wood cabinets.
- Added or upgraded kitchen island.
- Replace laminate countertops with granite, marble, or stone.
- Double-tub stainless-steel sink with new automatic faucet.
- Energy-efficient range, ventilation system, built-in microwave, dishwasher, garbage disposal, and custom lighting.
- Add new flooring.
- Finish with painted walls, trim, and ceiling.
Mid-range cost: Starts around $21,000
- Looking to begin a mid-range kitchen remodel? Get started today.
- Major Kitchen Remodel - Full Kitchen Remodel Upgrades
- Custom cabinets with built-in sliding shelves.
- Stone countertops.
- Glass tile backsplash.
- High-tech refrigerator, commercial grade cooktop and vent hood, wall oven, and built-in microwave unit.
- High-end sink with designer faucets and built-in water filtration system.
- Custom lighting that includes under-cabinet lighting systems.
- New flooring.
- Added natural light with new windows.
- Paint trim, walls, and ceiling.
- Consider adding an outdoor deck off of your kitchen for added outdoor space.
Major-kitchen remodel cost: $80,000+
Keep in mind that all kitchen remodels are different; there is no one-size-fits-all or one-budget-fits-all. It's best to start a conversation with two-three service providers and give them an idea of what your budget and timeline are. The service providers on Zaarly will be able to walk you through the best options for your price point and what can be done to makeover your kitchen.
Your Kitchen Remodel Options
Cabinet Refacing vs. Cabinet Replacing
Cabinet refacing means that you will keep the cabinet boxes (the inner part of the cabinet) and change out the cabinet doors and hardware, this can also mean that you will use existing cabinet doors and refinish or repaint them.
Cabinet replacing means that you will be replacing the entire cabinet box, door, and hardware.
Countertops have come a long way! You can Countertops come in a variety of materials and colors, including laminate tops, solid-surfacing, granite, concrete, and quartz. Countertops are the most distinctive elements of your kitchen, so it's essential that you take your time to decide on what material and look to go with - you will more than likely have them for the duration of owning your home!
✅ Lots of options for colors and patterns
✅ Easy to clean (no special cleaner needed!)
✅ Resistant to staining
☓ Can scratch and dent easily
☓ You can't put hot pots/pans on it
☓ Fades faster than other materials
✅ Durable and long-lasting
✅ Cheaper than granite, concrete, and quartz
✅ Easy maintenance (easy to clean and scratches can be buffed out)
☓ Prone to scratches and burn marks
☓ Only available in matte finishes
Granite Countertops for Your Kitchen Remodel
✅ Resistant to heat* and scratches
✅ Most popular countertop choice
✅ Lots of variety to choose from
*heat resistant does not mean heatproof - it's never a good idea to put hot pots and pans on your countertop.
☓ Higher price
☓ Corners can break and chip
☓ Granite countertops need to be re-sealed every year to eighteen months
✅ Custom to any shape you want
✅ Easy to customize with color, embedded material (like titles) and texture
☓ Need to be sealed every year
☓ Most expensive option for kitchen countertops
✅ Little maintenance
✅ Does not need sealing
✅ Easy to clean/stain resistant
☓ Direct sunlight can fade quartz countertops over time
☓ Hot pans/pots should never be placed directly on the quartz
With more options than ever, sinks come in all shapes, sizes, and options. From single bowl to oval, rectangle and super-elongated. If you are looking for a higher ROI, you'll want to go with a double-bowl set up for your sink.
You'll want to ask your service provider about the different installation types of your sink.
These sit on top of the countertop. *You have to go with this option if you choose laminate countertops.
These go underneath the counter, leaving the edge of the sink exposed.
These are a deep sink that extends downwards to where you might ordinarily see a fake drawer.
These match the countertops for a seamless appearance.
The most popular option and will usually increase your ROI slightly.
Faucets have all kinds of bells and whistles to choose from. Here are a few of your choices:
- Pull down sprayers
- Separate spray hoses
- Touch-operated faucets
- Above-stove faucets
This 4" - 6" high space along the back of your countertops and sometimes above your stove have endless possibilities. This is where you can customize your kitchen to look just like the ones you've pinned on Pinterest!
This is the area that goes from the back of your countertops to the bottom of your cabinets. Like backsplashes, you've got lots of options for customization!
- Stained or painted wood
- Stainless steel
- Tile (the most common)
To choose the best lighting, we suggest figuring out what natural light your kitchen has first and then working with your service provider to figure out what lighting options will be best for your kitchen.
Most kitchens use what is called LED pancake lights that are on dimmer switches to provide custom lighting.
You'll also want to consider lights over your sink, kitchen island and eating area/breakfast nook.
Lastly, you'll want to discuss any decorative lighting in your kitchen. Decorative lighting might include under-cabinet lighting, in-cabinet lighting, or highlight lighting above cabinets.
There are four major kitchen remodel layouts to consider.
1. Walk-Through Kitchen
Best for - smaller kitchens. These kitchens have two walls opposite one another with two parallel countertops and a space to walk in between them.
Best for - figuring out what to do with your corner spaces and for medium sized kitchens.L-shape kitchens generally have countertops on two adjoining walls that form an L.
Best for - larger kitchens and when you want to add an island as a third-wall.
Best for - large kitchens with lots of workspaces and for busy families. Larger islands not only add counter space, but they can also be an eating area, have built-in appliances, and even include a surface stove-top or sink.
Style and Design for Your Kitchen Remodel
If you haven't started a Pinterest board, pinning all of your favorite kitchen designs, we suggest doing that even before contacting a service provider on Zaarly.
When it comes to style, there are three significant designs to consider.
These rustic-style kitchens have a mix of dark and light wood, with accents that include vintage accessories, apron sinks, and lantern-light accessory lamps.
If futuristic is your style - consider going with dark cabinets and bright countertops made from marble, granite or concrete. You'll also want to go with stainless steel surfaces and appliances.
Traditional kitchens tend to have painted cabinets with tile backsplash and hardwood floors. Typically you'll see granite countertops and stainless steel appliances. Traditional kitchens are best if you want the most ROI and a kitchen style that will stand the test of time, stylistically.
Ready to Remodel Your Kitchen?
The most important thing when you are starting your kitchen remodel is to figure out how you will be using the space. If you are a home chef with a large family; your design preferences are going to look a lot different than if you are a single person in a condo.
When starting a conversation with a service provider, be sure to provide the following:
✅ How big of a remodel are you aiming for? A complete kitchen remodel (gutted and all?), a small-kitchen upgrade? Or are you not sure yet and want to get an opinion from a pro?
✅ Budget - it's best to stay on the same page when it comes to your budget expectations for your kitchen remodel. Ask your service provider to always keep you up-to-date on any changes.
✅ Timeline - do you need a new kitchen this month? By the holidays? Service providers book up fast when it comes to kitchen remodels, be sure to give them your ideal timeline so they can tell you if that will work for them.
✅ Schedule a one-on-one meeting for an estimate. Your service provider will want to meet with you at least once to get a good idea of what you are looking for, and they will also be able to point out anything that might cause delays or budget increases.
We can't wait to see your remodeled kitchen pics on Instagram! Be sure to tag us and give us a play-by-play from start to finish!