The kitchen is often the heart of a home. It’s where you cook, eat and entertain. It may even be a place for your family to bond. And because it’s such an important space, you probably want it to look and feel a particular way. A remodel can help you customise your kitchen to meet your needs.
Depending on the scope of your project, a remodel can be time-consuming and expensive. But if your current kitchen isn’t meeting your needs, an overhaul may be worth it.
How much does it cost to remodel a kitchen in Canada?
|Type of remodel||Typical cost|
|Minor||$13,000 to $19,000.|
|Mid-range||$20,000 to $39,000.|
Homestars, a network of home improvement professionals, recommends budgeting 5% to 15% of your home’s value for a kitchen remodel. Many experts also recommend setting aside an additional 20% of your remodel budget to help cover any unexpected expenses that may come up once the project starts, such as structural or electrical issues.
Factors that affect the cost of remodeling a kitchen
The cost of a kitchen remodel in Canada can vary quite a bit based on factors like the size of your kitchen, the materials you choose and any potential changes to the layout.
Scope of project and size of kitchen
The size of your kitchen is one of the biggest factors in the cost of your project. Remodeling a small kitchen will almost certainly cost less than remodeling a big one.
You also need to think about the scope of the project. Are you completely gutting the kitchen, or are you just changing one element, like putting in a bigger window? Ripping out cabinets, flooring or fixtures and installing new ones — especially if you’re changing the floor plan of the room — can get costly fast.
Your kitchen has many different parts, from appliances to cabinetry. Completely remodeling the room will cost more than doing a renovation and upgrading a few components. To budget properly, you should consider each individual element you’re planning to change. These elements can include:
- Cabinets. One of the biggest expenses you’ll come across during a kitchen remodel is your cabinets, which can cost on average $130-$650 per cabinet. If you’re getting custom cabinetry, plan on spending more.
- Countertops. From granite to quartz, you can choose from many kitchen countertops in a variety of colours. Generally, natural products will cost more than anything that’s engineered. Countertops typically cost about $3,000 on average.
- Backsplashes. Adding or replacing a backsplash is an inexpensive renovation that delivers a different look on a tight budget. The materials you choose will affect your cost, but you’ll want to budget $1,000 to $5,000 for this project.
- Faucets and plumbing. If you’re changing your countertops, you may also want a bigger sink or a more functional faucet. Upgraded plumbing fixtures costs about $1,200 on average.
- Lighting. Being able to see what you’re doing while cooking and washing dishes is important. Replacing your chandelier or installing recessed lights may cost about $1,500 on average, but it could cost more if your project requires complex electrical work.
- Flooring. A kitchen floor needs to stand up to a lot of wear and tear, as well as moisture. Flooring costs vary widely based on the materials you choose, from hardwood to tile to laminate. On average, though, replacing a kitchen floor costs $2,100.
- Paint. Regardless of the scope of your kitchen remodel, you’ll likely need to lay down a new coat of paint. Depending on the brand, colour and sheen you choose, you’ll probably spend anywhere from $15 to $100 for a gallon of paint.
Level of finish
Every product in your kitchen has a different level of finish. Some common ones include:
- Simple or builder grade finishes. If you’re looking to keep your costs down, simple or builder grade items are the way to go. Bear in mind, however, these products may wear down quicker and require replacement or repair sooner than higher quality products.
- Energy-efficient finishes. Even though energy-efficient appliances may cost you more than basic ones, you may save money in the long run due to potentially lower utility bills and available rebates.
- Luxury or custom finishes. You should expect to pay top dollar whenever you opt for luxury or bespoke products, such as custom-built cabinets.
Whether you’re replacing appliances
Depending on the scope of your kitchen remodel, you may opt to get new appliances. The cost of these items can vary widely, but replacing the big four — the fridge, stove, microwave and dishwasher — could cost thousands of dollars.
If you need to stay under budget and your appliances are still in working order, it can make more sense to hold on to them. If they’re not holding up, however, weigh the cost of repair versus total replacement. A repair specialist may be able to fix a squeaky dryer for a fraction of the cost of a new one.
Many minor kitchen renovations don’t require a building permit, but you’ll likely need one if your remodel involves:
- Adding, moving or removing a wall.
- Adding or enlarging a window.
- Adding or enlarging a door.
- Moving gas, electrical or plumbing lines.
The rules about building permits vary based on your province and municipality, so it’s important to check with your contractor and city before getting started. The cost of a permit depends on the type of work you’re performing and sometimes, the square footage of the project. In most cases, your contractor will help you secure the permit.
Other kitchen remodeling costs to consider
You can start to create a budget for your kitchen remodel by looking at the prices of the specific products you want or need. But you also need to remember these important costs:
Designer or architect
Before starting your remodel, you may need to hire a designer or architect. A designer is ideal if your project doesn’t require any structural changes and you need an expert to help you create the look you want in your space. Designers may charge a flat fee or, more commonly, a percentage of your project cost. Architects are needed for bigger projects, as they may need to draft drawings to help you secure your building permits. They typically charge by the hour.
To complete the job, you’ll likely need to hire a variety of different professionals, including a:
- General contractor. A general contractor manages the kitchen remodel project, bringing in other tradespeople as needed. They may charge an hourly rate or a percentage of the project cost.
- Plumber. Complex plumbing beyond simple fixture replacements will require a plumber, and your general contractor will typically bring in a trusted professional. Plumbers usually charge by the hour.
- Electrician. Similarly, complicated electrical work requires a certified electrician. Your general contractor should be able to recommend an electrician who will typically charge by the hour.
If the project goes according to plan, you may be able to keep labour costs close to what was predicted. However, any avid viewer of remodeling and renovation TV shows can tell you that surprises often pop up mid-remodel, especially in older homes. For example, if your general contractor opens up the walls and finds old or complex wiring that needs to be replaced, you’ll need to spend extra time and money on electrical updates.
Disposing of materials and old appliances
As part of your kitchen remodel, your contractor may need to rip out old flooring or cabinets and dispose of them safely. The cost of disposal is typically included in your quote, but it’s worth confirming.
If you’re getting new appliances delivered, the retailer may pick up and dispose of your old ones as part of their services. Otherwise, you may need to pay your contractor to remove them.
Where you live will have a significant impact on the cost of a kitchen remodel. Homeowners in major cities such as Toronto and Vancouver, for example, will likely pay more than homeowners in smaller cities. That’s because major cities have more demand, so contractors can charge more. Downtown residents in major cities may also need to pay for parking for contractors if free parking isn’t available.
That said, rural homeowners could face higher costs because contractors may charge a travel premium.
Benefits of remodeling a kitchen
Remodeling a kitchen can be costly and stressful, but there are clear benefits that can make it worthwhile:
More functional space
The main reason people choose to remodel their kitchen is to make it more functional and modern. Upgrading allows you to choose brand-new materials and appliances, improving a room that you use every day and potentially encouraging you to cook and entertain more.
Depending on the age of your home, your kitchen may not be energy efficient. Upgrading to energy-efficient appliances, windows and lighting could potentially reduce your monthly utility bills. In addition, you may qualify for green rebates from the municipal, provincial and federal governments.
Increased home value
A new kitchen could increase your property value. So, if you want to sell your home, you might be able to list it for a higher price. You might also attract buyers who are willing to pay more if it means avoiding an expensive kitchen update in the near future.
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