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Top 5 Components of Your Kitchen Remodel Budget

November 15th, 2018 | 2 min read

By Michael Flory

Kitchen with black mosaic backsplash and brown cabinets

Kitchen remodel projects can range from a few changes to a complete renovation or addition project. As a result, the costs will vary widely and are also dependent upon the specific choices you make about things like countertops — granite or not; cabinets — custom made or off-the shelf; and everything else you want in your new kitchen.

But no matter the project breadth and depth, it’s always good business to set a realistic budget to guide you and your contractor through each phase and ensure the end product is truly your dream kitchen. According to HGTV, “The average cost of an upscale kitchen remodel is more than $80,000,” so creating a budget will help you achieve your beautiful kitchen and stay within your financial goals.

One of the first things to understand is that there are a lot of aspects involved in a remodel and each costs money. This is something but if you are committed to having professionals remodel your kitchen, consider the four main categories of costs associated with a remodeling project.

1) Design

This is your new kitchen on paper (or a computer screen) created by a professional designer according to your exact specifications. Angie’s List quotes this cost at 8 to 10 percent of the total remodeling cost. An experienced, full-service contractor will work with you to create a  professional design that will be included in the overall project cost.

2) Materials

Man-made materials, including everything from drywall to appliances, will generally account for “about 65-70 percent of the costs” of a kitchen remodel, according to HomeAdvisor. Of course, this could change considerably depending upon the choices you make for each new aspect of the project.

A quality professional contractor is prepared to help you through the materials selection process; everything from faucets to flooring and backsplash tile to cabinet door styles. They will also, provide advice about quality, costs and alternatives.

3) Labor

Again the cost of labor is going to depend upon what level of professionals (i.e., licensed, certified, etc.) are required and for how long. A qualified contractor will manage labor on your remodeling project and already knows the best subcontractors to work with thanks to years of experience and strong relationships.

4) Permits

Most kitchen remodels will require one or more building permits from the local municipality.  Costs associated with building permits are often based on the overall cost of the project so you will need a final cost from your contractor to obtain these permits.

If you work with a professional contractor, you won’t have to worry about permits as they will be built into your final cost and obtained by the contractor who knows how to avoid problems that can slow your remodel. Here are the current (2018) fee structures for local building permits in Lansing and East Lansing.

5) Cleanup

Construction and remodeling are inherently dusty and dirty and may require considerable demolition. Making sure all of the demolished materials are appropriately disposed of and your kitchen and adjacent affected areas are cleaned during and after your remodel is key to a job well done.

Experienced contractors know this is an important aspect of every remodel and have developed processes to ensure ongoing dust reduction and cleanup, as well as demolition disposal. Be sure a job cleanup process is included in your final construction plan before you sign off.


Understanding how much things cost as well as the many steps and requirements involved will help you create a budget that’s realistic and that you and your remodeler can use to complete your dream kitchen.

To learn all of the steps in a kitchen remodel, read our all inclusive article, "Your Dream Kitchen Remodel," or click on the image below to get our complete remodeling toolkit, including worksheets and an ebook.


 kitchen remodel


Michael Flory

Michael brings over 2 decades of building and remodeling experience to his position as the Owner and Visionary of Custom Built. Michael’s passion to make an impact on the home building industry has led him to serve for over ten years at the local and state Home Builders Association, culminating as President of the HBA of Michigan in 2020.