Ask Nicely: How much should I expect to spend on a quality new kitchen?

Dear Evelyn,

My husband and I have owned our home for just over five years. The home was built in the 80’s and there is not a lot of cabinet storage or counter space. I’ve been researching remodeling prices online and they seem to be all over the place. Some prices are very high and others seem unrealistically low for what we have in mind. How much should I expect to spend on a quality new kitchen? What are the main variables that affect pricing?


The kitchen is the heart of your home. It’s the room where some of the most important things take place; dining, entertaining, family meetings and gatherings. It’s no wonder that it is the most commonly renovated and upgraded area of the home, and what brings the highest return on investment! Unlike other rooms, however, the kitchen has so many different pieces, parts and requirements ranging from electricity, plumbing and gas to cabinetry, flooring and appliances.

When it comes to your kitchen, the overall design, the quality of the materials and expertise in installation means the difference between a quality, high-end centerpiece to your home and a low-end, poorly functioning room that will have to be replaced again in a few years from wear and tear.

The two extremes I mentioned speak to where you will see the largest variations when it comes to the price of a remodel.
It is also important to take into consideration the current value of your home as compared with other homes in your neighborhood so that you do not over-build or under-build. Investing 8% – 12% of the value of your home is a good rule of thumb to follow when estimating the cost of your new kitchen.

If details matter to you (down to how a cabinet opens and closes and visual flow of the space), you’ll want to work with an expert firm specializing in high quality design, materials and installation. Depending on size, you can expect to invest $40k – $70k+ for a designer kitchen.

If you are planning to move in a year or two or are more interested in a basic and simple update, such as just replacing countertops and installing lower end appliances, depending on size, a $10K – $20K budget would be appropriate.

Evelyn Nicely
Nicely Done Kitchens & Baths