October 24, 2018

Sawhill FAQ Series: How Much Does a Kitchen Remodel Cost?

Sawhill Custom Kitchen and Design

Here at Sawhill, every project is unique.  Offering design/build/remodel services tailored to the specific needs of our clients and acute attention to customer service, we provide a concierge-level approach to home design and remodeling.

While our projects may be unique, there are some common questions that we hear and answer frequently.  Our new Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) series aims to share our expertise and information with homeowners, illuminating the details that help future clients, like you, make better-informed decisions.

We’re kicking off the series with one of the most popular questions…


How Much Does a Kitchen Remodel Cost?

Ah, the magic question that most everyone wants to know.  We wish we could tell you the answer is simple, but it isn’t.  With so many factors that go into a kitchen remodel, the overall cost can vary significantly. Are you replacing cabinets? Flooring? Moving appliances?

While we can’t give you a definite answer, what we can do is provide you with information about average investments, factors that affect the overall cost and our approach here at Sawhill.  Let’s begin with the average investment.

Kitchen Remodel Average Cost Vs Value in the Twin Cities Area

Remodeling Magazine compiles an annual Cost Vs. Value Report that compares average cost for 29 popular remodeling projects and the value those projects retain at resale in 99 U.S. markets.  The report breaks down a kitchen remodel into three categories: a minor midrange remodel, a major midrange remodel and and a major upscale remodel.  All are based on a 200 sq. ft. kitchen space with the main difference between the minor and major being the replacement of cabinetry (versus just door fronts) and the difference between the midrange and upscale major remodel being in the quality of materials.  According to the 2018 report, below are the average prices and percent of cost recouped at the time of resale for kitchen remodel projects in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Difference Makers

Did you note the not-insignificant difference between the average costs?  Wondering what exactly accounts for the difference in price?  Two main factors impact the overall cost of a remodel: scope and product.

Scope applies to structural changes.  Do you want to remove walls? Move the sink? Add windows? Replace flooring and appliances?  This is pretty basic to understand.  The more you are changing, the higher the price of your remodel. Scope is a large factor in the difference between the minor midrange and the major midrange average cost in the Cost vs. Value report.

The other factor, product choice, actually affects your overall cost the most.  It’s also a factor that tends to sneak up on homeowners. Browsing on Houzz or Pinterest, homeowners find designs and features they love without understanding how they impact the cost.  Product accounts for the difference you see between the major midrange and major upscale average cost in the report.   We’ve compiled some of the most cost-influential factors below to help homeowners collect inspiration with an enlightened eye:

  • Cabinet construction, customization, wood and finish choice can vary the cost of a project by 50%.
    • Also, the number of cabinets in the new design will impact cost. A galley kitchen typically has fewer cabinets than an L-Shaped kitchen with a center island.


  • Countertop selection: Choosing a standard granite versus something more unique like quartzite, a rare natural stone or an exotic wood will impact the cost.
    • Also, how many square feet of countertops are there? Galley kitchen designs typically require less square feet of countertop than an L-shaped designs with an island.


  • Appliances: Do you want fully integrated appliances like Sub-Zero and GE Monogram or more basic free-standing appliances? A 30” cooking surface or 48”? A single oven or double oven?


  • Above are the major factors but other choices that influence the cost include vinyl floor vs. ceramic tile? Tile backsplash? Upgrading your lighting choice? Undermount sink vs. drop in sink vs. “farm” sink?


Finally, the overall labor costs will be affected by both the scope and the products you select. All of these pieces fit together to account for the difference in cost you see in the Cost Vs. Value report.


The Sawhill Approach

Here at Sawhill Custom Kitchens & Design in Minneapolis, we’ve been in business for over 40 years.  Our focus on kitchen and bath design means we truly understand how to create one of a kind spaces that not only look beautiful but function beautifully as well.  It also means we’re intimately familiar with the factors that influence the overall cost of a kitchen remodel.  For clients working with our design team, we offer a 3-column budget analysis that estimates a low, medium, and high range of pricing based on project scope and preliminary selections.  No surprises, no horror stories – just an elevated level of service designed to deliver beautiful results and happy clients.


Remodeling Resources

Sawhill offers several complimentary resources to help you prepare for your remodeling journey.

Stop by our kitchen showroom at International Market Square to pick up a copy of the NKBA’s (National Kitchen and Bath Association) Design Survey Form.  It is a wonderful resource for organizing your ideas, product preferences and more helping to ensure you consider all factors involved in your kitchen remodel.


Also, download our complimentary Guide to Remodeling.  Created as a resource to homeowners in the beginning stages of their kitchen or bathroom remodeling journey, our guide provides a helpful overview from the initial step of your first consultation to the final phase of construction.  It is perfect for anyone wondering how the remodeling process works and also provides some great ‘insider’ tips on the right questions to ask, how to collect your ideas and more.

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