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  • Gita Jacobson

What it Really Costs to Remodel Your Kitchen in the Bay Area

Updated: Jul 11, 2018


A kitchen is the hub of a home. It’s where food is made, family and friends gather, and life happens. And with today's open floor plan layouts the kitchen is front and center. So it’s no wonder that my most requested project is a kitchen remodel.


There are different levels of quality when it comes to kitchen remodels and the items you select to use. When I work on kitchens I stick to a professional grade level of materials. The outcome is more in line with the overall value of the homes here and most buyers expect this level of finish.


On average here’s how a kitchen remodel breaks down in price:


Cabinets $20k - 25k

Semi-custom cabinets for a medium-sized kitchen. If you upgrade to custom cabinets you will be paying about twice this cost depending on what cabinet style you select.


Appliances $15k+

I always start off clients with the Thermador appliance package. It's the best-priced professional grade package and they offer a nice One-Two-Free Package that throws in free products. For a higher end look (and price tag) I use Sub-Zero and Wolf.


Theramdor Appliance Package:

French Door Refrigerator $8,400

Gas Range $5,700

Dishwasher (free with 1-2-3 deal)

Hood (free with 1-2-3 deal)

GE Microwave with trim kit $500


Plumbing Fixtures $3k

Designer brands such as Hansgrohe, Grohe, Brizo. Read about plumbing fixtures in my previous post.

Faucet $500-800

Pot filler $400-600

Sink $1k

Air switch $120

Garbage disposal $270

Soap Dispenser $100


Tile $3k

Showroom quality tile including backsplash and accent tile behind stove. This figure does not include tiling the floor in a kitchen or any other room.


Counter tops $4k

Medium sized kitchens usually require 2 slabs. Each slab roughly costs around $2,000 - Marble or Quartz. There are of course some more expensive options.


Lighting $1k

This would include any pendants or sconces for the kitchen area from a lighting showroom or well known brand such as Restoration Hardware.


Flooring $7-15k+

The issue you run into with a “kitchen remodel” is that you end up touching most of the common areas of the house, if not the entire house while you do the work. One major contributor to the budget is flooring. In order to rearrange your kitchen layout, open up a wall into an adjacent room or simply bring the flooring up to a more modern look, you end up needing to replace flooring throughout your entire home. On average hardwood floor runs about $5-12/sq. ft. With a 2,000 square foot home (minus bathrooms and tiled areas) you will be paying around $7-10k for wood flooring. This price can easily be more if you have more square footage or you select a wood that is more than $5 square foot.


Architect/Engineer/Designer $10-25k+

Most cities require that you to pull a permit for any upgrades you make to plumbing and electrical, as well as any modifications you make by moving or removing walls. Your contractor will also require a set of drawings to do the work. If your kitchen remodel is part of a whole house remodel then the fees would be higher to reflect that scope of work.


Labor & Materials $80-120k+

This is the labor and construction materials that the contractor will charge. For this example I have not added the cost of any window changes/upgrades and other items that home owners tend to do during their "kitchen" remodels (New front door, fireplace upgrades, new sliding doors, new lighting in other common areas, new carpet or runners, etc..)


Average Total: $143k - $206k+


So what’s the best way to save money on a kitchen remodel? Typically it is very difficult to get contractor labor pricing reduced unless you reduce scope of work or reduce the quality of your contractor. So you’re left with one choice: downgrade your material selections. Here are a few options:

  • Use a budget-friendly, good-quality appliance brand such as Bosch

  • Shop online for tile from places such as tilebar.com

  • Shop online for plumbing fixtures through online retailers such as build.com (just make sure you understand exactly what you are buying and that it is Californian compliant)

  • Shop online for flooring (just make sure to order samples and understand the tradeoffs you are making as flooring is not easy to replace down the line)


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