How Much Does a Small Kitchen Remodel Cost?
From cabinets to countertops, there are many expenses that come with remodeling a small kitchen. The national average small kitchen remodel cost is $12,750, falling within a typical range of $10,500 to $15,000.
- The typical cost range for a small kitchen remodel is $10,500 to $15,000, and the national average cost is $12,750.
- The main factors that affect a small kitchen remodel cost are the size of the kitchen, the scope of the project, the cost of labor and permits, and the features and appliances chosen.
- A small kitchen remodel may be needed if the kitchen has an outdated design, an inconvenient layout, insufficient storage, broken cabinets, cracked floors or countertops, or water damage.
- A DIY kitchen remodel is possible if the homeowner is handy enough and the project is basic. However, in many cases it’s better to leave the remodel in the hands of a contractor—especially if the project includes electrical or plumbing work.
The kitchen is often considered the heart of the home. But it may be time for an upgrade if the space feels outdated, cramped, or simply dysfunctional. Homeowners are often hesitant to take on a kitchen remodel; updating the space can be overwhelming to plan and disruptive once in progress.
Costs are also a common concern—according to Angi, the average small kitchen remodel costs $12,750. Homeowners can expect to pay anywhere from $10,500 to $15,000 when updating the space, depending on the kitchen’s size, materials and fixtures, labor costs, and design fees or permits.
This guide will help homeowners understand the factors that contribute to small kitchen remodel costs, learn how to minimize expenses, and understand the signs to look for when deciding whether or not to update the space.
Factors in Calculating Small Kitchen Remodel Cost
Small kitchen remodels have a wide range of costs because there are multiple factors that come into play. A kitchen’s size, project scope, and materials used are just some of the components that a homeowner will want to consider when estimating renovation costs.
The national average small kitchen remodel cost can also vary depending on location, making it important for homeowners to research local averages. Understanding the following factors can help homeowners plan and budget accordingly for a small kitchen remodel project.
Size is the first factor a homeowner should consider when determining how much to remodel a kitchen. Remodeling a kitchen costs about $150 per square foot on average. A renovation job for a modest kitchen measuring between 70 and 100 square feet has a price range of $10,500 to $15,000.
Generally speaking, larger kitchens will cost more to remodel than smaller spaces since they require more materials and labor. But homeowners will want to keep in mind that complicated layouts or upscale designs can lead a smaller kitchen remodel to cost more than a simple upgrade for a larger space.
The scope of a kitchen renovation project is crucial in estimating the overall cost. If the focus is purely on making aesthetic improvements, the scope is likely to be smaller. A minor remodel typically includes refinishing cabinets, updating hardware, painting walls, and installing new countertops. The average minor kitchen renovation cost starts at $7,000 but can climb as high as $20,000 if a homeowner choose high-end appliances and materials for their kitchen remodel.
As expected, a remodeling project with a larger scope will likely cost more. Structural changes to the space or additional custom features like an island tend to quickly raise renovation costs. Homeowners can expect to pay as much as $50,000 or more for a large-scope remodel, even for small kitchens.
Labor and Permits
Homeowners can spend nearly a fifth of their renovation budget on labor. Labor for an average kitchen remodel costs between $1,900 and $2,700. Specialized installations such as new electrical wiring and plumbing will likely require separate contractors and increase labor costs.
Permits are generally required for a kitchen redesign, costing between $500 and $1,500. Additional structural work or upgrades to plumbing and electrical systems may result in higher permit fees. It’s important for homeowners to factor in these costs when budgeting for a kitchen makeover to avoid a budget-busting surprise.
Countertop costs are an important consideration in a small kitchen remodel. Homeowners can pay anywhere from $1,050 to $7,000 for a countertop alone, depending on the chosen materials. Installation costs will also be a consideration for homeowners when budgeting; this costs from $15 to $70 per square foot.
Stainless steel, granite, and marble countertops tend to be more expensive, while budget-friendly materials include laminate, wood, and Corian. Understanding the differences between popular types of materials is important. For instance, granite is durable and heat-resistant but requires periodic sealing, whereas laminate is less expensive but can chip and scratch more easily. When considering a cheap kitchen remodel, homeowners may want to opt for a less expensive material, like laminate or Corian.
Sink and Faucet
Signs that signal it’s time to upgrade a kitchen sink or faucet include leaks, rust, and stains that are difficult to remove. Upgrading one or both features can improve a kitchen’s functionality and give the entire space a more modern and stylish look. A new sink and faucet can also increase a home’s value.
The average cost to install a new kitchen sink is between $200 and $650, and faucet installation costs between $160 and $360. However, it’s important for homeowners to keep in mind that it will cost between $500 and $1,500 to move the location of a kitchen sink, as this type of project requires a plumber.
Homeowners can sometimes overlook the cost of installing a backsplash when planning a small kitchen remodel, but even simple designs can significantly impact a renovation budget.
The cost to redo a kitchen backsplash can depend on a variety of factors. The size of the area is likely to be the most influential factor, with larger spaces costing more than smaller ones. Material type and the complexity of the installation can also influence pricing.
Small kitchen backsplash installations typically cost $600 to $1,300 or $15 to $40 per square foot. Budget-friendly options include ceramic and porcelain tiles. Homeowners who prefer glass or stainless steel will want to be prepared for a higher cost.
Cabinetry and Hardware
Cabinetry and hardware are essential components to consider when it comes to remodeling a small kitchen. Often, the cost of cabinets alone can account for up to 50 percent of total renovation costs.
On average, kitchen cabinets cost between $1,900 and $9,400 for a small kitchen, which equates to roughly $100 to $1,200 per linear foot. The final cost depends on the size, depth, and type of material used. Most small kitchens require around 15 linear feet of cabinetry.
Homeowners can reduce the cost of their kitchen cabinet remodel by selecting materials such as laminate or thermofoil (pressure-bonded medium-density fiberboard) instead of pricier wood. Hardware is another aspect of cabinetry that can add to the cost. Materials such as brass and copper are more expensive than brushed nickel or chrome.
Nearly any kitchen remodel can benefit from updated appliances. Modern appliances look great and can make a kitchen easier to work in.
New appliance costs can vary widely. Homeowners on a budget will want to focus on securing the most crucial appliances first and purchasing those that are more convenient than necessary after they see how expenses are adding up. Appliances in a kitchen remodel can cost anywhere from $50 to $2,000, depending on their quality, brand, and features.
To save on appliance installation, homeowners can consider buying appliances during major sales events and ask their contractors if they offer any discounts on appliance packages for the purchase of more than one appliance. The following table shows the average cost ranges for the most common appliances.
|Coffee maker||$50 to $300|
|Dishwasher||$500 to $1,500|
|Microwave||$150 to $400|
|Oven||$500 to $2,000|
|Range||$800 to $2,000|
|Refrigerator||$1,000 to $2,000|
Homeowners have several options when it comes to choosing a flooring type for their small kitchen remodel. Flooring installation costs vary by material, with the most popular options including the following:
- Concrete is durable, affordable, and customizable but requires professional installation.
- Hardwood is beautiful and adds value but is susceptible to water damage.
- Laminate is affordable, durable, and easy to install but has limited design options.
- Tile is durable and moisture-resistant, and it comes in a wide variety of designs and patterns.
- Vinyl and linoleum are both affordable, durable, and easy to install.
For a small kitchen remodel, flooring costs between $1,000 and $1,250, depending on the type of material chosen. For example, the cost of laminate flooring tends to be lower, while hardwood, ceramic, stone, and porcelain tile flooring prices can be higher.
Proper kitchen lighting is crucial for enhancing the space’s functionality and making it more welcoming and comfortable. The cost of lighting for an affordable kitchen remodel typically ranges from $400 to $2,100, depending on the number of lights being upgraded and the style of light chosen.
However, relocating light fixtures can significantly increase expenses, requiring hiring a skilled and qualified electrician. Rewiring and relocating light fixtures can cost between $200 and $1,000. Adding additional lighting, such as under-cabinet lights or pendant lights, can also add to the cost. To save money on lighting expenses, homeowners will want to consider energy-efficient options that can help reduce their utility bills.
Painting and Drywall
Painting is a quick and relatively inexpensive way to brighten and modernize a space. Typically, painting kitchen cabinets and drawers costs anywhere from $400 to $1,300. Painting kitchen walls costs $2 to $6 per square foot, or $140 to $600 on average. Homeowners can save money by painting their kitchens themselves, but they must purchase paint for about $25 per gallon.
Installing drywall is another important part of the renovation process besides painting. The average cost of installing drywall in a small kitchen is between $105 and $300, with a cost breakdown of $1.50 to $3 per square foot. It typically costs more to install moisture-resistant drywall panels than generic, thin drywall panels.
Additional Costs and Considerations
To ensure that homeowners accurately estimate the cost of a small kitchen renovation, they’ll want to consider expenditures beyond the basic remodeling, including the following possible scenarios.
Many homeowners find designing a kitchen overwhelming, especially if they don’t have a clear vision of what they want. Hiring a designer can help a homeowner plan an inspiring kitchen that defies its small size.
An experienced kitchen designer may charge an hourly rate of $50 to $250, a flat fee, or a percentage of the overall cost. A consultation with a big-box store representative costs anywhere between $100 and $800.
An independent kitchen design specialist may be able to provide homeowners with more comprehensive design services. Full-service design services, including 3D renderings, material selection, and coordination with contractors, are available from these specialists, but they typically come with a higher price tag, with rates ranging between $1,500 and $2,500.
Plumbing and Electrical
Plumbing and electrical upgrades are often necessary for a small kitchen remodel. Whether upgrades are made for safety or functionality, costs for both can quickly add up.
The cost of repiping a kitchen can range from $3 to $10 per linear foot, while installing a sink or faucet can cost from $160 to $650. Homeowners may also have to pay permit fees ranging from $500 to $1,500, depending on the plumbing work completed.
During a small kitchen remodel, electricians might install additional outlets, update the wiring, or replace lighting fixtures. Electricians charge between $50 and $120 per hour.
Demolition is a necessary part of remodeling a kitchen. A demolition job can be short and sweet or involve removing everything in a kitchen, including the walls, cabinets, countertops, and sometimes even ceilings.
As a general rule, homeowners can expect to pay between $4 and $17 per square foot for demolition services. This price includes the work itself, cleanup, and disposal of materials.
Demolition can be dangerous and time-consuming. Even if a homeowner wants to save money on demolition by doing it themselves, it’s a job best left to the pros. A professional remodeling kitchen contractor can ensure that all demolition work is done efficiently and safely.
Cleanup and Disposal
Renovations can make quite a mess, especially when walls are being torn down and old cabinets are being removed. When homeowners are remodeling a small kitchen, the cost of cleaning and disposing of the debris will need to be considered.
A homeowner may be tempted to handle the cleanup and disposal themselves, but this isn’t recommended. Professional cleanup and disposal are often the more efficient option. Letting a professional handle cleanup is also the best way to ensure that all the waste from a renovation is handled safely and with minimum environmental impact.
Cleaning and disposing of waste during a small kitchen remodel typically cost between $130 and $370. The cost is a small price to pay for the peace of mind that comes from knowing a renovation cleanup has been properly handled. It’s worth noting that a lot of remodeling kitchen contractors also include cleanup and disposal services in their packages.
Do I Need a Small Kitchen Remodel?
Determining whether a small kitchen is in need of a remodel is different for every scenario. Homeowners questioning the value of an update will want to consider the following signs that it may be time to start planning and budgeting.
Outdated Kitchen Design
An outdated kitchen design is a sign that a small kitchen remodel is necessary. Older kitchens tend to have old or worn-out cabinets, outdated countertops, and mismatched appliances. Outdated kitchens aren’t usually able to accommodate modern appliances and technology, making cooking and preparing food more difficult.
Additionally, older kitchens can be aesthetically unappealing. Outdated features can also significantly lower a home’s value. Beyond its less attractive features, an outdated kitchen signals to potential buyers that inadequate storage may be an issue that leads to clutter and disorganization.
Overall, an outdated kitchen design can be a major source of frustration for homeowners who enjoy cooking and entertaining, signaling a high need for a remodel.
An inconvenient layout is another sign that a small kitchen is in need of a remodel. A poorly designed kitchen can make cooking, cleaning, and entertaining difficult. In a small kitchen, an inconvenient layout can be an even bigger issue than in a larger kitchen, since every square inch matters.
Homeowners living with an inconveniently designed kitchen likely have one or more of the following:
- appliances that hit each other when opened at the same time
- a lack of counter space
- poorly placed or difficult-to-reach cabinets
- limited storage space
- a cramped, closed-off feel
- poor traffic flow
Remodeling the layout of a small kitchen for aesthetics and improved function can create a more open and inviting space.
Insufficient storage in a small kitchen can be a significant problem for homeowners. They may have difficulty accessing items, resulting in clutter and lost counter space. This can cause frustration and stress, making it harder to enjoy cooking and spending time in the kitchen. A kitchen with little storage can also negatively impact a home’s resale value.
A small kitchen remodel can increase storage and help alleviate these issues. Homeowners may consider installing additional cabinets, shelves, or a pantry to maximize available storage space in a small kitchen without making structural changes to the room’s layout. Other suggestions include the following:
- adding a kitchen island with built-in storage, such as cabinets or shelves
- using hooks or magnetic strips to store utensils and tools
- mounting racks to the inside of cabinet doors or using stackable containers to save space
Broken cabinets can be a common nuisance in older kitchens. Wear and tear on cabinets can be caused by water damage, warping, or simple aging. Homeowners who find themselves struggling with broken cabinets in a small kitchen may feel frustrated with the decreased functionality of the space, especially if it’s difficult to store or access items.
Replacing cabinetry can seem like an intimidating project, so homeowners tend to put off the start date. But with the right approach, it can be a stress-free experience. Homeowners can consider custom cabinets that match their unique preferences and style or semi-custom options that may better fit their budget.
Cracked Floor or Countertops
Cracks in the floor or countertops can be another sign that it’s time to invest in a small kitchen remodel. Cracks can be caused by a variety of factors, including age, wear and tear, and improper installation. Unfortunately, they can lead to bigger problems, like water damage or mold growth. They can also make a kitchen feel outdated.
Some homeowners may try to ignore a cracked floor by covering the issue with a rug or disguising a countertop crack with a cover. But it’s important to address cracks as soon as possible. While replacing a kitchen’s flooring or countertops can be a disruptive project, the end result can increase the value of a home and ensure the space is safe and functional for daily use.
Water damage in a kitchen can be dangerous and is not something to be ignored. Different causes of water damage in a kitchen include the following:
- leaking pipes
- faulty or aging appliances, including dishwashers or refrigerators
- poorly sealed countertops or sinks
- clogged or damaged gutters that allow water to seep into a home
Water damage can lead to mold growth and associated health issues like respiratory problems, headaches, and allergies if not addressed. Water damage can also weaken the structure of a kitchen and, in severe cases, cause floors or ceilings to collapse.
Putting off water damage repairs can lead to more expensive work down the line. Homeowners will want to address water damage as soon as possible and consider a small kitchen remodel to prevent additional damage and health issues.
Small Kitchen Remodel: DIY vs. Hiring a Professional
Choosing whether to DIY or hire a professional for a small kitchen remodel can be challenging. DIY projects can save homeowners money but require significant time, skill, and effort. Hiring a professional can be costly, but it can also ensure quality work and a faster project completion time.
DIY kitchen remodels can be a great option for those on a budget. Homeowners can save money by doing the demolition and cleanup themselves and by purchasing and installing materials and appliances. However, having the necessary skills and tools is important before starting a DIY project. Mistakes can be costly, and fixing them can end up costing more than paying a professional from the start.
A professional can also provide expert advice on design, materials, and layout and can also handle the necessary permits and inspections. However, hiring a professional can be expensive, and labor costs can quickly exceed a modest budget.
When deciding whether to DIY or hire a professional for a kitchen remodel, a homeowner will want to ask themselves the following questions.
- Do I have enough experience with all the different elements of a kitchen remodel?
- Can I purchase or rent the necessary tools and equipment if I don’t already own them?
- Am I comfortable with a DIY project’s potential risks and challenges?
- What is my budget, including labor and materials?
- What is the ideal timeline for the remodel?
- Am I prepared to handle any unexpected issues or complications that may arise during the project?
- Do I have the ability to secure any necessary permits or inspections?
- Will a DIY project increase the value of my home as much as a professionally done remodel would?
The answers to these questions can help a homeowner decide if they’re prepared for a DIY remodel or if hiring a professional for the project is best. A professional should always handle certain kitchen makeover aspects, such as structural changes, plumbing, and electrical work.
How to Save Money on Small Kitchen Remodel Cost
Kitchen remodels can be expensive, but there are techniques to save money without compromising project quality. The following are some ideas for saving money on a small kitchen remodel.
- Keep the original layout. Keeping the layout intact will save money on electrical, plumbing, and gas relocation costs.
- Refinish or paint cabinets. Instead of replacing cabinets, refinish or paint them for a fresh look.
- Add open shelving. Open shelving is less expensive than cabinets and can provide a stylish and functional option for storage.
- Consider laminate countertops. Laminate countertops are a cost-effective alternative to pricier materials like granite or quartz.
- Choose affordable flooring. Luxury flooring options like hardwood and tile can be expensive. Consider more budget-friendly options like vinyl or laminate.
- Update lighting. Changing light fixtures can greatly impact the kitchen’s overall look and feel without breaking the bank.
- DIY when possible. DIY tasks like painting, installing hardware, and laying flooring can save money on labor costs.
Questions to Ask About a Small Kitchen Remodel
When it comes to kitchen upgrades, it’s crucial that homeowners ask potential contractors about their experience, process, and craftsmanship. What follows are some questions a homeowner will want to consider when looking for the best countertop installers, the best cabinet painters, the best flooring companies, the best tile floor installers, or other professionals for a small kitchen remodel.
- How many years of experience do you have in remodeling kitchens?
- Can you provide references from previous clients?
- Are you licensed, bonded, and insured?
- Based on the design, what’s the estimated timeline for the remodel?
- How much should a 10×10 kitchen remodel cost?
- What is your payment schedule?
- Do you offer warranties or guarantees on your materials or services?
- How will you protect my home during the remodeling process?
- Who will be supervising the remodel?
- What happens if there are unexpected issues or delays?
- Do you have experience working with the materials I have chosen?
- Can you provide a detailed breakdown of the project cost?
- How do you handle change orders or additional work requests?
- Will you obtain all necessary permits for the project?
- Do you have experience with similar kitchen layouts and designs?
- How will you communicate with me throughout the project?
- What is your cleanup process once the project is completed?
- Will you provide a written contract outlining all aspects of the project?
- Are you willing to work within my budget and make suggestions for cost-saving options?
Remodeling a small, outdated kitchen can turn it into a functional and beautiful space. For homeowners looking to improve the value and quality of their homes, a small kitchen remodel is a good investment. The following section addresses some common questions about the cost and process involved.
Q. Should I hire a professional for my small kitchen remodel or do it myself?
While some cosmetic upgrades like new cabinet hardware, wallpaper, and light fixtures can be done by seasoned DIYers, remodeling tasks involving plumbing, wiring, and installing gas lines require a licensed professional. Doing a kitchen makeover without the proper tools or training can result in damaged walls, uneven countertops, misaligned drawers, and a range of other complications that are usually avoidable by hiring a professional.
Q. Can I remodel a small kitchen for $5,000?
Yes, it’s possible to remodel a small kitchen for $5,000. Homeowners with a limited budget can focus on low-cost updates like repainting cabinets, replacing cabinet hardware, and installing new light fixtures. When it comes to larger projects, like new countertops or flooring, homeowners can choose more affordable materials. While $5,000 may not allow for a complete kitchen remodel, it can result in significant improvements.
Q. What are the advantages of small kitchen remodels?
Small kitchen remodels can offer several advantages compared to large kitchens. To start, smaller spaces are often more cost-effective. They also require less maintenance. Small kitchens can also be designed to maximize functionality and create a more inviting space for cooking and entertaining. Finally, smaller kitchens can have a smaller environmental footprint, needing less energy and fewer resources.
Q. What colors make a small kitchen look larger?
Generally speaking, lighter paint colors can help a small kitchen look larger because they are more reflective, whereas darker colors are less reflective and can make a space feel more closed off. Homeowners will want to consider whites, creams, and other neutral colors for their small kitchen walls and cabinets. Stylish rugs, curtains, and artwork can be added to the space for a pop of color.
Q. What is a realistic budget for a kitchen remodel?
Kitchen remodel cost depends on what is being done. For example, adding new appliances, countertops, and a fresh coat of paint can be done for $7,000 to $20,000. However, major kitchen remodeling that involves structural changes or extensive plumbing and electrical work will likely require a budget between $17,500 and $50,000 or more, even for smaller kitchens. Installing custom cabinetry or adding an island to the space can also increase a kitchen remodel budget.
Q. How long does a small kitchen remodel take?
Small kitchen redesigns can take anywhere from 3 to 9 weeks to complete. There are several factors that can influence the schedule, including the kitchen’s size and the speed with which the contractors can work without sacrificing job quality. Working with a contractor with a good track record of completing projects according to a timeline can benefit homeowners who want to enjoy their remodeled kitchen as soon as possible.
Sources: Angi, This Old House, LawnStarter, USA Cabinet Store