Counter tops, flooring, appliances, plumbing, electrical, cabinets and budget advice!

The 5% to 15% rule is widely held as the gold standard in helping homeowners estimate and budget the correct amount for kitchen remodels. This rule means the entire remodel should cost no less than 5% of the current value of the home and no more than 15%.  Spending less than 5% may result in a lesser home value, while a homeowner is unlikely to recoup an investment of more than 15% on a resale.

Some other tips to follow when budgeting and estimating for a kitchen remodel include:

  • Consult with your contractor about how costs will be separated among projects. Keep in mind that labour will take up 20% to 35% of the budget.
  • 20% of your budget should be set aside for unexpected costs.
  • Prioritize what you want done during the remodel in case the funds run out.
  • Figure out how you are going to pay for the remodel. There are various options for financing, including loans and out-of-pocket cash.
  • Decide where you are going to live during the remodel. If you live at home, it’s going to be noisy and messy. If you are going to stay in a hotel, factor that additional cost into your budget.
Counter Tops

Percent of budget: 10%

Kitchen counter tops are one of the most important pieces in your kitchen. They play a very significant role in overall feel and functionality. Cost is most determined by size and quality of materials chosen. Whether you are covering kitchen islands or your lower cabinets, this should not be overlooked.

The options can of course be overwhelming. There is stone, tile, concrete, marble, butcher block, stainless steel, recycled glass, Formica, Corian, the list goes on and on. If you are on a tighter budget, there are moderately priced materials such as laminate and Formica. If you want the best materials available, higher priced granite, quartz, or Corian are great options. Other higher priced counter top solutions include stainless steel and butcher block.

When determining the best material, your decision should be based on what’s going to look and function best for you. Corian and Granite can be much more durable, but are generally more expensive. Formica and concrete are often cheaper, but also don’t add as much value to your home. Tile looks beautiful, but requires a lot of maintenance. If you plan to sell the home at some point, remember the integral role counter tops play in the look and usability of a kitchen for a prospective buyer.


Percent of budget: 2-5% (depending on material)

When it comes to renovating a kitchen floor, materials, square footage and cost of installation are the biggest factors.

Generally, your longer lasting materials are tile, stone, slate and hardwood flooring. However, damage from stains, heat, grease and moisture can be very expensive to repair with these materials.

If your goal is to refinish the floor as inexpensively as possible, solid floor options are vinyl or linoleum.


Percent of budget: 14%

Make sure to do your homework before investing in kitchen appliances as they are a significant portion of the cost of the kitchen renovation.

Appliances have a large effect on the perceived value of your home / kitchen. More expensive kitchen appliances are a larger up front cost, but often last longer and are more dependable than the less expensive options. Energy ratings, brand names and warranties are considerations to keep in mind as well. An appliance that costs slightly more may have better energy ratings and be well worth the added expense in electricity and water bill savings.

Although investing in a stove, dishwasher, microwave and refrigerator can be a large expense for a renovation, upgrading everything else in your kitchen while leaving the old appliances can actually decrease the perceived value of your home. The usual rule is to buy the best appliances you can afford. If you can’t afford new appliances, maybe consider delaying the project until you can afford them.


Percent of budget: 4-5%

One of the easiest ways to keep your kitchen renovation cost lower is to keep the plumbing fixtures and lines in the same location. By simply replacing your existing appliances, counter tops and cabinetry with updated styles without modifying the floor plan or layout, you will save a great deal in labour costs.


Percent of budget: 5%

Don’t do your kitchen electrical wiring incrementally. Waiting until a wall is covered to do some more electrical work will drive up the cost and complexity of a renovation. If you want to add an extra power outlet or light in your kitchen, do it when your room is opened up for the kitchen remodel. Also, consider whether your electrical system is powerful enough to run the appliances you have chosen. New appliances often have higher power requirements or require different sources of power so make sure you have our electrician guide you before you plug everything in or start covering the walls.


Percent of budget: 30%

Cabinets make a strong first impression when you walk into a kitchen. Dated cabinets can detract from the look and feel of the kitchen.

If you want to replace your cabinets, determine whether you want standard or custom cabinets. Custom cabinets offer the flexibility to determine a cabinet that fits your kitchen’s space and your personal taste. Custom work, however, is also much more expensive. Standard cabinets are more affordable, but limits you with the options of size, fit and depth. Depending on the kitchen you have to work with, standard cabinets can look like they aren’t purpose built and can detract from the overall look and feel of the kitchen. If standard cabinets are the right fit for you, feel free to compromise and save by installing pull-outs, blind corners, shelves and lazy susans.

Regardless of which cabinet type you choose, be sure to choose the right material as well. Less expensive options for cabinets are composites, laminates or even metal. The most popular choice is wood, natural or painted as they are built to be durable, long lasting and are offered in a variety of types and prices.

If fully replacing your cabinets is out of the question, refacing or resurfacing can be an affordable option. If you leave your cabinets unchanged and simply resurface the existing cabinetry, you will drive down labour and material cost as you will not need demolition or installation of full cabinetry.


There are many factors that can contribute to the cost of your kitchen renovation. The most common factors include: materials, labour, location, and unforeseen problems. Choosing different materials can greatly affect the price of a renovation, not just for the cost of the materials, but installation costs as well. Some expensive materials require special installation, at a higher cost.

The kitchen remodel, in order of expense is as follows:

  1. Cabinetry
  2. Labour
  3. Appliances
  4. Counter Tops
  5. Flooring
  6. Lighting, Plumbing, Doors, Windows, Walls and Ceilings (5% or less)

A simple and affordable solution would be stock cabinetry, laminate counter tops and vinyl flooring. A more expensive solution would be custom cabinetry, quartz counter tops, hardwood or tile flooring. Our experts at Parkside Interiors are happy to help you make these important decisions.

Looking To Renovate Your Kitchen? Trust the Professionals.

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