If you’re planning a kitchen update for your suburban Chicago home, you might be wondering if 2017 is your year. A survey undertaken by Houzz, the popular online design site, tracked cost trends for remodel projects. More than 120,000 Houzzers responded voluntarily, including 70,000 who completed a project in 2015. The results were enlightening, but maybe not so surprising.

Cost Factors for Kitchen Remodeling

The Houzz survey pointed to some interesting facts:

  • Remodel dollars spent in 2015 differed based on whether the owners had recently purchased the home or were planning to sell the property in the following year. New owners were much more likely to spend significant dollars on renovation, not only for kitchens but for projects throughout the home.
  • The figures were reported as a range, for major and minor remodels, and for kitchens under and over 200 square feet. Major renovations for large kitchens averaged over $50,000; for smaller kitchens, the average was reported to be $26,400. For minor redos, the corresponding figures were $17,800 and $9,400,
  • The dollar amount of remodels in 2015 increased 12% over the cost of 2014 remodels, and the share of major remodels increased 15% for the same years. A major renovation is described as one which included at least the replacement of all cabinets and appliances; reported figures show that major overhauls cost about three times as much as minor updates.
  • Homeowners aged 55 and older spent more on renovation than any other age group, and kitchen remodels were the number one project, both for remodeling and home additions.

What to Know About Budgeting for a Kitchen Remodel

You may have been told that one of the first things you should think about as you plan to update or refresh your kitchen is the budget. However, Houzz respondents apparently didn’t all take that advice to heart. Nearly a third said they began their projects without setting a budget. Of those who started a project with a budget, however, 36% stayed on budget, 31% exceeded their budget figure, and only 3% finished under budget. Those who spent more gave two primary reasons for shelling out extra cash: They gave in to a desire to choose upscale materials and appliances, or they added to the scope of the project before it was completed. Interestingly enough, the homeowners who jumped in without setting a budget actually spent, on average, about $8,000 less than the others.

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Planning for a Kitchen Renovation

The best starting point is to do some initial soul-searching. Consider the way you and your family use the kitchen. Is it more a snack center than a hub for preparing large family meals? Do you enjoy cooking and entertaining, or is yours more a “make your own breakfast” and back yard barbecue type of family? Is the kitchen a gathering place, or a room that is used as little as possible?

Answers to those questions may well determine whether you need only some new paint and perhaps a new microwave or a total redo. If you’re in the market for new cabinets, countertops, flooring and appliances, you will no doubt want to have at least a basic idea of how much it’s going to cost. The best way is to browse online design sites like Houzz to get an idea of what’s available and what’s involved.

Another smart move is to schedule an appointment with a certified kitchen consultant at The Kitchen Master and visit our Naperville showroom for design ideas and help in setting your budget. We’ll be happy to show you how we have helped modernize thousands of other Chicagoland kitchens over the last 40 years.

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