What is the most expensive part of a Kitchen Remodel in San Jose?

The remodeling and renovation process can be complex, time-consuming, and, of course, costly. If you are thinking about a kitchen remodel in San Jose, you might wonder what might drain your credit cards. According to the survey by the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA), cabinetry is the most expensive part of kitchen remodeling. It takes an average cost of $6550, taking up 28% of the total budget. Next to it are labor and installation, with an average price of $4130 (18%); appliances, with an average cost of $3390 (15%); and countertops, with an average cost of $2450 (11%) [1].

The cost of cabinetry can vary widely depending on your specific requirements. It can be quite an investment, especially in larger kitchens or if it is with a top-notch material. Fancy hardwoods and unique finishes can significantly add value to your home despite the cost.

How can I determine the costliest aspect of my kitchen remodel?

The cost of expenses varies depending on the requirements needed for remodeling. The quoted price covers all necessary components in kitchen renovations – such as cabinets, appliances, countertops, floors, lights, and labor. You must consider several factors to identify the costliest aspect of your kitchen remodeling. These factors are [2]

  1. The size of the project
  2. The quality of the materials
  3. Labor cost 
  4. Location

After understanding these key areas, you can then see what part of the remodeling will take up much cost. From there, you can start planning the project details and the expenses you can do. It is also worth it to have a consultation with a professional contractor. They can help you assess your needs and give you a detailed breakdown of expenses related to the project. 

What factors contribute to the high cost of cabinetry in a kitchen remodel?

A recent survey discovered that cabinetry is the kitchen element that takes much cost in remodeling. There are various reasons why cabinetry is costly. One of the primary factors that brings up the price is the use of high-quality materials. For example, solid wood like oak, hickory, or birch is expensive. Similarly, the construction techniques used in creating durable and long-lasting cabinetry, like dovetail joints and high-quality finishes, also contribute to the overall cost. 

Custom-design cabinetry needs the skills of designers and specialized craftsmen. Quality design and craftsmanship are also expensive. So, if you aim for top-notch craftsmanship and durability, be prepared to pay more.

Are there any cost-effective alternatives for the most expensive part of a kitchen renovation?

We know that cabinetry takes much of a cost in kitchen remodeling. FAC Remodeling has some wallet-friendly recommendations for homes in San Jose. If you are looking for some cost-effective alternatives, here are a few options to consider: 

  • Ready-to-Assemble (RTA) Cabinets

RTA cabinets gained popularity due to their affordability and ease of installation. It is easy to assemble and helps you save money by avoiding the cost of labor.

  • Refacing Existing Cabinets

Refacing might be cost-effective if your current cabinets are still structurally sound. Only the cabinet doors and drawers are replaced in refacing, while the cabinet boxes are left intact. There is a wide range of styles and materials to give your kitchen a fresh look without the expense of entirely replacing cabinets.

  • Open Shelving

Instead of traditional closed cabinets, open shelving is suitable for a minimalist style. It is also a budget-friendly alternative for your kitchen. Open shelving adds a modern and airy feel to your kitchen. You can easily find stylish and budget-friendly shelves in the market, like floating shelves or wooden planks with metal brackets.

  • Second-Hand Cabinets

Thrift stores yield practical and affordable cabinet options. Various options for purchasing premium cabinet surfaces include kitchen showrooms, construction surplus stores, and online deals. Second-hand cabinets necessitate persistence and malleability, yet they provide a means of garnering hefty savings and an accomplished appearance in your newly modernized kitchen.

Kitchen renovations can affordably feature sturdy and stylish cabinetry without high cost. Practicality doesn’t have to come at a hefty price; several alternatives exist for a practical kitchen. RTA cabinets, refacing, open shelving, and second-hand cabinets are among the options. Conduct thorough research, assess price options, and seek professional counsel to achieve a cost-effective kitchen remodeling.

What are the most costly repairs in kitchen remodel?

Several factors can impact the cost of repairs. In San Jose, cabinetry is typically the most expensive to repair. Installing new custom cabinets or replacing existing ones can be costly. Furthermore, the materials, size, and design can significantly affect the cost. Additionally, the overall cost of repairing countertops depends on the materials, the kitchen size, and the design. Repairs or replacement of appliances also come at a high price, especially with high-end and energy-efficient brands. Plumbing and electrical work also impact the repair cost, requiring a professional’s skills.

Remember that the cost of kitchen remodels varies significantly on the size of the kitchen, the design complexity, the quality of the materials, and the contractor you hire. Seeking professional advice and comparing different options can help you find the best balance between quality and cost for your kitchen.

Why are custom kitchens expensive?

Custom kitchens are expensive for various reasons. Firstly, the kitchen requires a significant amount of custom cabinetry compared to other house parts. Kitchens often have unique dimensions and layouts that require custom-made cabinets that are initially costly. Secondly, the kitchen needs specialized refrigerators, ovens, and cooktops. The electrical works of these appliances and plumbing for the sinks, faucets, and dishwashers also require high labor costs [3].  

Is the kitchen the most expensive room in the house? 

Each room in a house has its own set of variables and parts for potential expenses. And yes, the kitchen can certainly be the most expensive room in the house, especially when considering the cost of cabinetry, appliances, countertops, plumbing, electrical, flooring, and labor. However, homeowners still have the power to maneuver their expenses and pick alternatives to make their dream kitchen come true.

Should I prioritize spending on the most expensive component or distribute my budget evenly across the renovation?

Balancing between quality and affordability is critical when planning your renovation budget. It’s generally wise to distribute your budget across all aspects of the renovation to ensure that every part of your project gets attention.

You can start by considering your overall goals and priorities for the renovation. Then, identify the areas that require attention or those that will have an impact on both functionality and style. These could include essential enhancements, plumbing, electrical work, or fixtures. Save a portion of your budget towards these components so they receive the attention they need.

Regarding kitchen remodeling in San Jose, cabinetry is the most expensive component of the kitchen. The quality of materials, complexity of design, and expert craftsmanship are the reasons for the high price. Moreover, other kitchen components such as appliances, countertops, and floorings can also add to the remodel cost. As a  wise homeowner, you should carefully analyze your goals and priorities to build a kitchen that satisfies your style and fits your budget.

The kitchen is the heart of the home, but it doesn’t have to drain your bank accounts. You can send a message to FAC Remodeling Services and have a consultation with our professionals to help you create a detailed plan for your dazzling and functional dream kitchen that fits your budget. 


Staff, N. (2017). Kitchen Cabinets Open Up New Possibilities. NKBA.


SafetyCulture. (2022, November 23). Renovation: giving the property a fresh new look | SafetyCulture.


HUD.gov / U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). (n.d.). HUD.gov / U.S. Department of Housing And Urban Development (HUD).


Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies. (2023, August 17). Joint Center for Housing Studies.