Kitchen remodel costs are a hot topic these days. In 2021, the average cost for a kitchen remodel in the United States was around $14,864. Now, while nutritionists and dietitians might debate the merits of three-square meals a day, there’s no denying that kitchens have become the focal point, especially during this pandemic era when many of us are working from home and snacking more than ever.


But let’s talk business here; achieving your dream kitchen does come at a cost. Between 2020 and 2021, the cost of giving your kitchen a facelift shot up roughly 20%. Of course, the price varies depending on your choices and whether you’re giving your kitchen a little makeover or going all out. If you’re thinking about doing it yourself, you might save some bucks, but it will consume more time.


Hold onto your chef’s hats because we’re diving into the numbers.

Average kitchen remodel cost

So, that $14,864 figure? That’s your average cost. But wait, there’s more!


  • Major remodels The average cost soars to $51,379 if you’re going all-in.
  • Minor remodels: On the other hand, if you’re more into a light touch, you’re looking at an average of $7,595.


That’s a whopping 576% difference, folks! But here’s the thing, spending on a kitchen remodel is only some money down the drain. You’ll likely see some of that investment come back to you when it’s time to sell your home.


In fact, according to Remodeling magazine’s Cost vs. Value 2021 tool, homeowners can expect to recoup an average of:


  • 72% on a midrange minor kitchen remodel
  • 57% on a midrange major kitchen remodel
  • 54% on an upscale major kitchen remodel


Now, let’s break down what major and minor remodels typically entail. According to Home Depot:



  • Semi-custom cabinetry
  • A fancy 3-by-5-foot island
  • Brand-new countertops
  • A deep sink with a fancy faucet
  • Swanky new appliances
  • Custom lighting
  • Fresh flooring
  • A fresh coat of paint on the walls


  • Cabinet refacing or new cabinets
  • Energy-efficient appliances
  • New countertops
  • A kitchen sink with a new faucet
  • Fresh flooring
  • A fresh coat of paint on the walls


Now, let’s talk dollars and cents. The remodeling cost has increased in the past year, possibly because of the pandemic-induced DIY craze. Between 2020 and 2021, the price of a kitchen remodel saw an estimated 20% increase, according to CRD Design Build.

Professional vs. DIY

If hiring a professional, be ready to shell out an average of $20,215. But if you’re the hands-on type, a DIY kitchen remodeling project can cost you an average of $8,316.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • Central professional kitchen remodel: $66,608
  • Minor professional kitchen remodel: $10,558


That professional price tag might seem steep, but remember, they’ve got bills to pay, too. According to the National Association of Home Builders, the gross profit margin for professionals is around 30%. Still, they’re left with only about 5% in net profit after overhead and expenses.


Conversely, DIYers can expect to spend around $8,316 on average. But here’s the catch:

  • Major DIY kitchen remodel: $31,103
  • Minor DIY kitchen remodel: $4,029


Before you decide to don your DIY cape or hire a pro, ask yourself a few questions:

  • How much will I need to spend on tools if I go DIY?
  • How much time will it take to learn the skills I need?
  • Can I tackle the scope of my desired remodel?
  • Can I work alongside a professional for the more challenging parts?


In the end, DIY kitchen remodeling might sound tempting. When factoring in their expertise, professionals offer value, saving time, reducing stress, and being tough to debate. Hiring professionals may be the way to go for a successful kitchen remodel. Done correctly, and you’ll have the kitchen of your dreams with a sense of tranquility.

Cost breakdown by feature

Now, let’s dissect the costs a bit more. Cabinetry typically takes the most giant bite out of your budget, accounting for 29% of a professional remodeling and an average of 37% of a DIY remodeling project. Here’s the nitty-gritty:


Professional Remodel:

  • Cabinetry: 29% ($5,862)
  • Installation and labor: 17% ($3,437)
  • Appliances: 14% ($2,830)
  • Countertops and backsplashes: 10% ($2,021)
  • Flooring: 7% ($1,415)
  • Lighting: 5% ($1,011)
  • Walls and ceilings: 5% ($1,011)
  • Doors and windows: 4% ($809)
  • Plumbing: 4% ($809)
  • Design: 4% ($809)
  • Other: 1% ($202)


DIY Remodel:

  • Cabinetry: 37% ($3,053)
  • Appliances: 18% ($1,474)
  • Countertops and backsplashes: 13% ($1,053)
  • Flooring: 9% ($737)
  • Lighting: 6% ($526)
  • Walls and ceilings: 6% ($526)
  • Doors and windows: 5% ($421)
  • Plumbing: 5% ($421)
  • Other: 1% ($105)


Remember, these figures don’t include installation and labor costs because, with DIY, that’s paid in sweat equity and learning curves.

Trends in Kitchen Features

Certain kitchen features are gaining popularity. For example, working pantries and more natural light are all the rage. According to the American Institute of Architects, here are some of the fastest-growing kitchen features:


  • Butler’s pantry/working pantries/prep pantries: 45% increase in interest
  • Increased natural lighting: 41% increase
  • Upper-end appliances: 36% increase
  • Under-counter appliances: 36% increase
  • Induction cooking tops: 30% increase
  • Wine refrigerator/storage: 30% increase
  • Concealed and disguised lighting: 27% increase
  • Built-in appliances: 24% increase
  • Drinking water filtration: 24% increase
  • Duplicate appliances: 24% increase
  • Mix countertop materials: 23% increase
  • Hands-free/sensor faucets: 22% increase
  • Device charging/computer work area: 22% increase
  • Coffee bars: 22% increase
  • Antimicrobial surfaces/coatings: 21% increase

Financing Your Kitchen Renovation

How do you fund your kitchen facelift? The Department of Housing and Urban Development in the U.S. discovered that nearly 74.4% of homeowners are tapping into their savings. But there are other options, too:


  1. Home equity loan: Has a fixed interest rate, but you’re borrowing against your home equity.
  2. Homeowners insurance settlement: Your insurance company might cover part of it directly, but it might only be part of the bill.
  3. Home refinance: This could give you access to cash based on your home equity, but you need enough equity to do it.
  4. Credit card: Those 0% APR introductory offers can be tempting, but watch out for interest if you still need to pay off the balance.


Oh, and about 6.2% of folks used “other” methods.


But here’s the kicker. A June 2020 survey by LendingTree found that two-thirds of personal loan borrowers combined them with other funding sources for their home remodel projects. And speaking of home improvements, kitchen remodels are topping the list for those using personal loans.


So, are kitchen remodels worth it, especially when borrowing money? You may not recoup every penny but remember that homeowners generally get back around 72% of the costs from a professionally done midrange minor kitchen remodel when they decide to sell their home. Plus, there’s the sheer joy of cooking in a shiny new kitchen – that’s priceless.

Saving Money During a Kitchen Remodel

Let’s be honest; kitchen renovations can chew through your budget faster than you can say “chop-chop.” So, here are some innovative ways to save some green during your remodel:

  • Refresh cabinets: Instead of throwing out the old ones, give them a facelift with paint, refacing, and new hardware. Total cabinet replacements can be a wallet buster.
  • Refurbish appliances: Don’t toss appliances at the first sign of trouble. Many places have restrictions on appliance disposal, so consider professional repairs or try your hand at DIY appliance revival.
  • Embrace DIY: Get your hands dirty. You’d be amazed at how much money you can save by tackling some projects yourself. Paint, tile, outlets, lights, and baseboards can be DIY-friendly.
  • Stick to the same layout: Major layout changes can be budget busters. Keeping the same structure but giving everything a fresh look can help you avoid pricey plumbing and electrical work.

Kitchen Remodel FAQs

Let’s address some common questions:

How much will Americans spend on kitchen remodels in 2021?

Americans are expected to drop nearly $37 billion on kitchen remodels this year. Investing in a better kitchen makes sense, with more of us staying home.


How do I stay on budget?

Plan meticulously. Know the costs upfront and add a little extra for surprises.

How much can homeowners recoup when they sell? Expect to recoup around 72% for a midrange minor kitchen remodel, 57% for a middle-range major remodel, and 54% for a high-end major remodel.


Can I stay home during a kitchen remodel?

It depends on the scope and your tolerance for inconvenience. Sometimes, it’s easier to crash with friends or plan a getaway during the messier parts. Still, it’s possible to stick around too.

Is a kitchen remodel worth it?

Financially, you might not break even, but the joy of cooking in your dream kitchen can be priceless. If you love to cook or your current kitchen isn’t cutting it, the investment can pay off in more ways than one.