How Much Does a Basic Kitchen Remodel Cost in 2022?

By thewriteDuffy •  Updated: 06/07/24 •  5 min read

When we remodeled our kitchen just five years ago, we cut just about every corner possible to save money. Though the kitchen truly is the heart of our home, it was just one room in a home we were essentially gutting.

With all our cost-cutting and doing all of the work and installations ourselves, we managed to pull off a basic kitchen renovation for about $15,000. This cost included DIY cabinet refinishing, completely new counters and a new sink, new appliances (including converting our oven to natural gas), and a new hardwood floor. We had to buy or refinish everything in this kitchen, even the microwave!

Since then, we’ve watched prices climb quickly through the pandemic and they continue to rise as inflation seems to go through the roof. Today, we’re seeing prices of materials 10 – 50% higher than just last year, and with the rising costs of gasoline globally, that inflation will only rise higher.

That same renovation we did five years ago would easily cost us several thousand more even with the same cost-cutting and DIY labor.

If you’re trying to estimate the costs of your kitchen remodel, I have some good rules of thumb for pricing out a kitchen renovation project that you may find helpful, but first, let’s discuss what is meant by a “basic remodel cost” and if that’s what you need or if you require something more.

What’s Included in a “Basic Kitchen Upgrade”

Every contractor and homeowner will have a slightly different definition of what a “basic kitchen upgrade” entails, but in general, it can be agreed that what’s meant is a first level of improvement to an existing kitchen that functions well but needs a facelift.

This would mean leaving the layout and cabinet structure as-is, but freshening up the finishes and perhaps replacing the appliances.

But that’s where the agreement about the term really ends and where decisions and conversations need to happen. Depending on what needs to be done, a basic upgrade can include work and replacements that cost thousands, just as our “basic kitchen remodel” did five years ago, or some cosmetic changes that like fixtures and faucets that will cost just a few hundred dollars.

Don’t be fooled into thinking a big and elaborate is better. Often some basic upgrades can yield a higher return on investment than a complete kitchen makeover, especially if you’re selling soon.

Let’s look at a rough overall cost to see what a full but basic upgrade will likely cost today, based on what my husband and I are seeing his clients pay.

Basic Kitchen Remodel Cost in 2022

So, How Much Does a Basic Kitchen Remodel Cost in 2022? A bare-bones, but full kitchen renovation (without new appliances like we had to purchase, but with labor, which we didn’t pay) would probably cost you around $10,000 – $15,000 five years ago, but today you probably couldn’t do much for less than $20,000 to $25,000. This cost may come down if prices drop with the pandemic now becoming endemic, but I think it’s unlikely at this point. 

Of course, the final cost will really depend on scope, taste, and your location, and as we all know right now, costs are climbing due to inflation at the moment (even something as basic as electrical 14/2 wire has doubled in the past year). With that said, a budget of about $20,000 to $25,000 should get you a very basic kitchen remodel or build that includes refinishing everything.

Cost Breakdown of a Full Kitchen Remodel / Build

Of course, big number estimates are only helpful as a starting point for a budget. Cost breakdowns are also helpful to figure out how much you will have available for each part of a kitchen renovation, and then go shopping to see if you can find something you like.

Here’s a solid breakdown of what you can expect to spend in each area, as a percentage of your unique budget, if you want a full, top-to-bottom, renovation of your kitchen:

Always Have a Contingency Budget for Your Builds and Renovations

I always recommend also setting aside a separate, contingency budget of about 10% of your full budget cost, because you will need it. Most folks don’t like to set aside this contingency budget, but many times something will happen like rotten subfloors, oil-based paint on the walls, finding aluminum wiring, etc., etc., etc. 

If nothing happens and you don’t need a contingency budget, great, but if something happens and you don’t have extra set aside, something will have to be cut or downgraded and it will be a disappointment.

This means if you’re planning on spending $25,000, having an extra $2,500 available somewhere for emergencies or unexpected issues is going to serve you well.

thewriteDuffy

At home, April is a mom, wife, and DIY darling. Among other home projects, she helped her husband Dan renovate their 1986 bungalow and is currently designing and decorating the 2023 custom home they are building themselves. Professionally, April is a writer, author, and online marketer with 15 years of experience writing for newspapers and magazines, building online authority websites, and publishing books.