Budget Process- Step 2

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After determining what type of customer you are (see previous post) you can begin to set some realistic expectations about what you might spend on a kitchen project.

Based on Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value report, an “average” major kitchen remodel project will cost around $58,000 depending on your area of the US.  I have checked these numbers for my local market and they are reasonable for the project as noted.  Surely, I have projects that run a few thousand dollars and some that are high six figures, but we have to start from some kind of base.

If you now return to a previous post you can determine what your project might cost you based on your own personal situation.  If your room is 40% larger you will likely add about 40% to the figures noted in the study.  Please note however the reverse is not likely to be true.  A project typically has a “base price” that is the same regardless of the size and then the proportions of scale kick in after that base is established.  If I have a $10,000 base for my company to start the first spec of work and a typical 200 square feet (SF) kitchen is $50,000 then the cost per SF is $250 plus the base (i.e. $50,000 for the SF and $10,000 totaling $60,000). This translates to a finished price of about $300/SF.  Thus a 300 SF kitchen will run about $85,000, about $283/SF but a 100 SF area (not a real likely scenario but for illustrative purposes) would be $35,000, about $350/SF.  Keep this in mind as you use any “average” estimating processes.

All these calculations are based on some very basic “average” assumptions.  Cabinetry alone can double or triple from the average if your taste and wishes are sophisticated, unique, or highly experienced.  The same is true for appliances, countertops, flooring, and finishes.  A typical project might have cabinetry and countertops running about 25%, appliances and fixtures about 25%, labor and other finishes about 25% and the final 25% in contractor fee (see previous post).

The ultimate issue is for one to determine what services they realistically need and get prices accordingly.  It is unfair to both the professional and the consumer to force the pricing into a category below what the expectations may be.  You may have experienced this yourself on a previous project.  If this is your first outing, be forewarned.  Most will not accept this on the face but will have to experience the outfall firsthand to put value in this advice.  The truth is we all expect people and companies to do the right thing, regardless of the price.  I can tell you from experience it just does not work that way in any reasonably consistent fashion.  Oh, we may well succeed a time or two, but it is truly a game of “Russian Roulette” with an additional bullet being added to the chamber each time.  I will provide more on this in a future posting.


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