Kitchen renovation in Canada is often cited as the most expensive out of all the home renovation projects.
The kitchen, even if it’s a small area, can consist of many different elements from floors, cabinets, and especially, many different appliances. This is also why kitchen remodeling is not only expensive, but often unpredictable. If you are not careful, the kitchen renovation expenses can bloat significantly from your planned budget.
According to the 2019 Home Renovations Poll by CIBC, almost half of Canadians plan a home renovation project in 2019, but 39% of those who recently completed their renovations went over budget.
So it’s important to understand how much the kitchen renovation should cost, so you can plan ahead and prioritize your spending.
What’s The Average Kitchen Renovation Cost in Canada?
Back in 2017, a blog post by HomeStars discussed how the average kitchen renovation cost went up from $17,900 in 2015 to $25,593 in 2017. Homeguide.com, on the other hand, suggested that the average cost of kitchen remodel is $16,500, or $150 per square foot, but a mid-range, major remodel will cost about $29,000-$64,000 (US dollar).
However, for a complete kitchen overhaul, the average cost can go up to around $50,000 if we consider all the different elements in a kitchen from appliances (usually the most expensive improvement), cabinets, counter-tops, flooring, and installation costs. All of those can add up very quickly.
Obviously the number will ultimately depend on how extensive the work is and several factors we will discuss below.
What Factors Can Influence Renovation Costs?
When planning your kitchen renovation expenses, here are some of the important factors:
- Size: the bigger the kitchen area is, the more expensive the cost. This will also include whether you plan to renovate the whole kitchen or partially.
- Age of the existing kitchen: the older the kitchen, generally more things must be fixed/replaced from plumbing, hinges, cabinet doors, etc.
- Complexity: different kitchen layouts and designs might require more complex plumbing or electrical system, and might also require more cabinets and appliances.
- Quality: hardwood floors will obviously cost more than vinyl floors, and high-end appliances can be very expensive.
- Time: if you want a faster renovation project, for example if you want to sell the house quickly, it can be more expensive due to the labour costs.
- Labour: hiring a contractor will obviously cost more than doing everything DIY-style. Also, reputable contractors will cost more than your local handymen. This will affect timeframe and labour quality.
Also, specific for kitchen renovation, there are several important kitchen elements to consider:
The size of the space, as well as the material choices will be the most important factors in determining flooring costs.
It’s important to consider the fact that different floor materials can have very significant price differences. Hardwood and high-end tiles are the popular premium choices, and hardwood floors can cost around $8-$10 per square foot.
Laminate and vinyl flooring can cost around half of hardwood’s, and they look quite similar to wood flooring while being more durable.
Due to the wide variety of options, choosing the right kitchen cabinets according to your needs and budget can be difficult.
Generally, you have three main options: stock cabinets (what they show in store), semi-custom cabinets, and fully-custom cabinets.
There is a wide variety of selections for stock cabinets both in offline retailers like IKEA or Home Depot and online. You can find affordable ones that will cost as low as $50 per foot, and really good ones that can be extremely expensive.
Semi-custom cabinets usually start from around $100 per foot, depending on your customization. Fully-custom cabinets are obviously the most expensive options, and you can expect around $500 per foot and above.
In general, you should expect your cabinets to account for 7% of your total kitchen renovation budget. So, if your budget is $30,000, expect to spend $2,100 on cabinets.
Another kitchen element that often adds significantly to the overall re-modelling costs is counter-tops.
A brand new counter-top can cost as high as $200 per square foot or more, and you should expect to spend around $80 per square foot at the very minimum—including fabrication and installation. This will obviously depend on material choices.
Natural stone counter-tops like marble or granite are the popular choice, but also very expensive and can cost up to $300 per square foot. If you want to reduce costs, you can opt for cheaper materials like laminate or glass, that you can get for ‘only’ $20 per sq ft.
In general, your counter-tops costs will depend on factors like the size, number of cuts (a whole slab is more expensive, and material choice.
Plumbing and Electrical Wiring
Adding more plumbing and electrical wiring, for example, when you change the layout of the kitchen significantly, can add a lot to the overall costs.
Depending on complexity and how much wiring you need to add, electrical-related cost is usually around $2,500 to $5,000, while plumbing cost, on average, can cost you around $3,000-$6,000.
So, unless it’s absolutely necessary, avoid changing the kitchen layout to eliminate the need for additional plumbing and wiring.
Kitchen Renovation ROI
If you plan to sell the house after the kitchen remodeling, the good news is that kitchen remodeling is among the renovation projects with the highest ROI.
You can expect the kitchen’s resale value to reach 75% to 100% of your remodeling costs, while other renovation projects, like adding a finished basement, only has 50% to 75% expected ROI. Meaning, if you spend $50,000 on your kitchen remodeling, you can expect to recoup at least $37,500 if you sell the house right after.
Kitchen renovation is indeed one of the most expensive home renovation projects in Canada, but can provide the most significant improvement to your house’s overall quality. Kitchen remodelling also provides us with the highest potential ROI, along with bathroom improvements.
So, kitchen renovation is an excellent long-term investment with great resale value. However, proper planning and choosing the right option are still very important so you can make the most of your budget and get the best possible kitchen according to your needs.