Some people referred to the kitchen as the “heart of the home,” which I believe is an apt description. Due to the popularity of open kitchens, most families spend a significant amount of time in their kitchens and adjacent spaces. We are in the kitchen cooking and planning, eating meals, snacking, chatting, doing work or homework, sipping coffee on the island, and more.
As the heart of the home, it is not a surprise that many homeowners view the kitchen as the room they would most like to renovate and update.
Remodeling a kitchen is typically a straightforward endeavor if you’ve researched and planned, set your scope and budget, and picked a competent contractor that shares your vision for the end result. Learn more about the various aspects of a kitchen, including the typical costs of a kitchen remodel, the most crucial materials, and more.
Here at GreatBuildz, a free service that connects homeowners in Los Angeles, Orange County, Ventura or San Diego with reliable general contractors, we speak to homeowners every day about planning their desired kitchen remodel and budgeting for kitchen remodel costs – here are some ideas & tips to get you started.
How Much Does a Kitchen Remodel Cost in Orange County?
Kitchen remodeling costs in Orange County vary between $30,000 – $100,000k+. This range is wide, but the majority of kitchen renovations fall between $40,000 and $70,000. Cabinets, countertops, appliances, and labor will account for the vast majority of your kitchen remodeling expenses. There are only a few factors that affect the total cost of a kitchen remodel: the size of the kitchen, the need to restructure the kitchen or make structural changes, the materials (plus appliances), and the scope of the project.
If you want to renovate your kitchen by replacing the cabinets, countertops, and appliances in the exact same place as the old kitchen, this will be the simplest and most cost-effective alternative. It is very clear and evident to the contractor how much material is required and where it will be installed.
On the other hand, redesigning a kitchen will increase the expense of remodeling because utilities such as water, electricity, gas, and ventilation may need to be moved to accommodate the new layout. Similarly, removing and/or building walls as part of the kitchen renovation will incur additional costs.
Costs for rearranging a kitchen vary based on factors such as the necessity to remove load-bearing walls and the complexity of relocating utilities.
If you intend to alter your kitchen’s layout, you will need to create a new plan. You can either engage a designer, have the contractor prepare it, or complete the design process yourself. If you are not using a professional designer, keep in mind the following fundamental principles:
- Design the kitchen in a square/rectangular design as opposed to an unusual layout such as an L-shape or T-shape;
- Ensure a smooth flow between the refrigerator, sink, and stove (sometimes referred to as the kitchen ‘triangle’).
- Ensure aisles are at least 36 inches wide
- Include sufficient counter space
- Do not place the refrigerator directly next to the oven/range (hot vs cold).
Kitchen Design Tips
The kitchen is typically a high-traffic room; therefore, it is essential to have ample space for cleaning and general use. You should also consider efficiency when preparing and serving meals, as well as when cleaning up afterward; you should not have to sprint across the entire kitchen many times while performing a task.
Check out this video from one of our contractor’s kitchen remodeling projects, in which he describes the best kitchen layout using the ‘triangle’ concept.
You don’t want the island to be too close or too distant from the appliances and fixtures. Plan for sufficient space to allow for easy movement about the island while allowing for rapid access to key locations.
Many designers like to determine the location of the kitchen sink first and then go from there. Since the sink area is where we spend a great deal of time, its optimal placement is typically beneath a window or as part of an island.
Stoves should almost always be positioned on an exterior wall in order to correctly install the ventilation system without incurring excessive costs.
Vertical storage, such as open shelves and overhead racks, is a terrific way to add convenience and dimension to the kitchen while creating extra space. It is easy to miss the utility of vertical storage alternatives because we focus more on building cabinets and drawers.
How Much Do Kitchen Cabinets Cost?
Pre-fabricated kitchen cabinets cost $150 – $300 per lineal foot.
Custom kitchen cabinets in Los Angeles cost $250-$400 per lineal foot.
Typically, homeowners have two cabinet options. Standard-sized prefabricated cabinets are the least expensive alternative (think IKEA or Home Depot, etc). Costs for kitchen renovations are likely to begin at $150 per installed linear foot. (Determined by summing the lengths of the base and wall cabinets)
Homeowners who want a kitchen remodel with an upscale appearance and layout will likely choose custom kitchen cabinets. These are made in any desired design and size for your kitchen and typically begin at $250 per installed linear foot.
Several factors should be discussed with your contractor to guarantee you achieve the intended outcome: Do you desire upper cabinets that extend to the ceiling? If this is the case, keep in mind that most ceilings are not completely level, so discuss with the contractor in advance the best way to address this issue. Choose whether you want the upper corner cabinet to be at a 45-degree or 90-degree angle. Inform the contractor if you require particular cabinet features, such as garbage drawers, pull-out shelves, or soft-close doors and drawers.
How Much Do Kitchen Countertops Cost?
Kitchen countertops cost from $50 to $150 per square foot.
Similar to cabinets, countertops are available as either prefabricated or custom full-size slabs. Prefabricated counters are less expensive but limited in style and size options. Custom slabs are available in a broader choice of styles and designs and can be cut to any size. The term “fabrication” refers to the process of cutting and molding these slabs into specific sizes, which is part of the reason why these are substantially more expensive than “prefabricated” slabs.
To begin selecting your material, you should visit a countertop merchant or slab yard. Be sure to enquire about the pros and disadvantages of materials such as granite, quartz, marble, and others that pique your interest from the salesperson’s knowledge of countertop material selections.
When acquiring many slabs, examine each to confirm that they are of the same color shade and quality. You’d be amazed how much the same slab material can differ between shipments, and you don’t want countertops that don’t match.
Also, consult your contractor about countertop production and installation details. Indicate if you desire a rounded or squared edge. Discuss where the joints or “seams” of the countertop will be and if you want them to be diagonal or straight. Inquire about how the countertop parts will be cut and joined.
Unique, luxurious kitchen countertops can range in price from $40 to $50 per square foot to $100 to $150 per square foot. In most circumstances, the cost of counters for a complete kitchen redesign in Orange County will range between $5,000 and $20,000 dollars.
Although the kitchen island consists primarily of the cabinets and counters discussed above, there are a few elements you should address with your builder to guarantee you receive the end product you want. Let the contractor know where electrical outlets should be positioned; on the side or back of the cabinets, or even on the countertop. Don’t forget to choose the color of these outlets and covers!
Also, to be discussed is where you intend to put the lights above the island. There is no standard formula for the spacing of lights over an island, thus you may be dissatisfied with the location/spacing of the contractor’s installation if you do not specify the exact placement. Simply indicate on a floor plan or the ceiling where you want them hung.
Lastly, while drafting the kitchen renovation plan, be sure to address the island’s utility in terms of its length and depth to suit the desired number of seats/stools at the island (bar stools, etc.)
What Is The Cost Of Kitchen Appliances?
Depending on your preferences, kitchen appliances might run from $2500 to $50,000.
Notify the contractor if you intend to save and reinstall any existing kitchen appliances so that they are treated with care during the renovation. Inform them of the appliance’s storage location. Before the demolition, attach a large sign that reads “DO NOT THROW AWAY – MOVE TO GARAGE” to any appliance you wish to save, in English and any other language the contractor speaks.
It is crucial to select any new appliances well in advance of construction so that you can share with your contractor this information. They will need to plan cabinet and countertop proportions based on the style and dimensions of the selected appliances.
In addition, carefully verify your layout with your contractor to ensure that there will be no major gaps between cabinets and appliances in the final product and that appliance placement will not prevent other cabinets from opening fully and vice versa.
Depending on your tastes and budget, appliances can represent a small or substantial amount of the entire cost of your renovation. Kitchen remodel expenses can easily exceed $50,000 due to the exorbitant cost of high-end appliances. The range of appliance prices ranges from moderately priced, totaling $2,500, to exorbitantly costly, costing well over $100,000.
Specific Elements To Consider For Your Project
Kitchen Backsplash Tips
Your choices for a backsplash are many. The easiest and most cost-effective solution is to install a 6″ tall piece of countertop material, which is included in the price of the countertop. Other materials for backsplash tile include marble, quartz, glass, metal, porcelain, ceramic, and so forth.
Because there are so many alternatives, the most challenging aspect is selecting a material that complements the cabinet and countertop colors. Obviously, these materials vary greatly in price, but the amount of tile required for a backsplash is rather minimal, so this should not account for a significant chunk of your kitchen renovation budget.
As with other aspects of the kitchen renovation, there are a few essentials to discuss with your contractor. Do you want the tile put horizontally, vertically, or in a combination of both? Next, specify where you want the tile to begin and stop horizontally and vertically on the walls. This necessitates either labeling the spot on a plan or marking the precise location on the walls.
Consider whether you want a tile backsplash around any windows and/or above the range hood.
Lastly, you must specify the color of grout you intend to use. This often-overlooked component can substantially alter the appearance of the final result.
Kitchen Cabinet Pulls and Knobs
Because there is no ‘standard’ placement for cabinet knobs, you will need to specify to your contractor where you want them fitted on your cabinet doors and drawers. Label the position directly on one door and drawer with a pencil so that they can use it as a guide. Also, specify whether you want cabinet pulls fitted horizontally or vertically.
Lastly, if your cabinets are special, such as having extra-long drawers, specify whether you want one or two knobs/pulls.
Kitchen Cabinet Hints
If you’re installing a walk-in pantry, let the contractor know which way you want the door to swing and where the light switch should be.
When upgrading a walk-in pantry, one of the most important decisions you must make is whether to maintain the pantry’s current size or expand it into an adjacent area, but this will require space from other areas. You must also select the size, color, and number of shelves for the pantry, as well as the design of the door and doorknob or handle.
A well-constructed and organized walk-in pantry can bring significant monetary and practical value to your kitchen.
You’ll need to choose the size and design of your sink early on in the process, since this will determine the width of the cabinet needed beneath the sink. Indicate to the contractor which side of the sink should house the garbage disposal and how many holes you want for the faucet, dishwasher air gap, soap dispenser, etc. at the back of the sink.
There are numerous alternatives for the material of your new sink, including composite, enamel, and other metals. Stainless steel sinks are the most popular because they are inexpensive, easy to clean, and complement most countertops and cabinetry. Stainless steel sinks are also resistant and durable, so you can expect them to endure a considerable amount of time.
Appliances and Lighting For The Kitchen
Specify to your contractor where you want your wall outlets, light switches, and recessed lighting to be installed. Determine whether a light is required over the sink and whether it will hang from the ceiling or the wall. Finally, advise the contractor of any other areas with illumination.
When deciding where to place outlets, bear in mind that significant appliances require dedicated circuits; therefore, you should be certain of their placement before beginning electrical work.
Consider where small appliances will be utilized the most and add outlets above the countertop in those areas. Don’t forget to install a waste disposal outlet beneath the sink!
Kitchen Flooring Tips
If you are installing flooring as part of a kitchen renovation, you must first choose the material. It’s important to choose a durable material that complements your kitchen’s appliances, countertops, and cabinets, as well as one that can withstand heavy foot traffic and frequent spills.
Sheet vinyl, porcelain tile, hardwood, and linoleum are all durable, reasonably low-maintenance, and extremely adaptable options for your kitchen’s new flooring.
Next, indicate to your kitchen contractor the direction in which you want the flooring to be put. Discuss if flooring should be laid beneath the cabinets. And remember, if you’re using tile, the color of the grout will also determine the aesthetic of the space.
Quartz or Marble Countertops?
There are numerous countertop options to pick from. Many people choose quartz countertops over marble because it is more resilient. Quartz is resistant to high temperatures and scratches and stains. You can combine quartz and marble by installing quartz on the perimeter counters and a contrasting or harmonizing natural stone on the island.
Additionally, do not neglect your ceiling. This often-overlooked element of the kitchen can be easily improved by painting it a different color or adding beams/wood planks.
Who Do You Hire For a Kitchen Remodel?
The next step is to meet with a few reputable kitchen contractors in Orange County once you’ve completed your research on kitchen remodeling design and have an understanding of the costs and your budget. There are several techniques to locate local contractors, and some are superior to others.
It is not a good idea to randomly search for contractors online or rummage through junk mail for contractor flyers.
Local Kitchen Remodeling Contractors
In Orange County alone, there are over 5,000 licensed general contractors, so selecting one “at random” is too dangerous. Ideally, you would receive a contractor suggestion from a personal acquaintance. If a friend or family member just redesigned their kitchen and they were pleased with their contractor, they would be a perfect candidate.
How To Pick The Finest Local Kitchen Remodeling Company
If you are unable to obtain a personal reference, consider contacting a free service (such as GreatBuildz) that will connect you with contractors that meet your demands and budget. Check out my contractor screening blog for a thorough approach to locating and vetting excellent contractors.
Once you’ve met with a few contractors and received their proposals for the cost of kitchen remodeling, be sure to carefully examine the bids. It can be tempting to accept the lowest bid, but doing so can easily lead to problems in the future. There is a strong probability that this kitchen remodeling contractor gave you an attractive bid in order to get your business, with the purpose of charging you for additional work later on.
Occasionally, though, the lowest-priced contractor may also be the finest option. The only way to know for sure is to carefully evaluate each contractor and compare their kitchen renovation cost estimates.
Get Ready To Live Without your Kitchen…
Before beginning a kitchen renovation, you must be prepared to live without a kitchen for the next month or two. Where will your existing groceries be stored? Where will you move your refrigerator? What alternatives are there to the kitchen sink? Many individuals will want to budget for takeout meals. Others install a miniature kitchen in their garage.
Paper plates and plastic cutlery will be useful given the difficulty of washing dishes. Expect some inconvenience, but ideally the end result of a gorgeous new kitchen will more than make up for it.
Related: Your Renovation Won’t Be Perfect
When it comes to planning and coordinating a kitchen remodel for your home, you shouldn’t have to go it alone – GreatBuildz can help simplify your remodel experience.
GreatBuildz is a free service that connects homeowners in Los Angeles, Orange County, Ventura or San Diego with reliable, thoroughly screened general contractors and provides project support from start to finish. Call now (818.317.3567) to chat with a real person about your next remodel project or visit our website for more information: www.GreatBuildz.com