While there are many different reasons to renovate your kitchen, the factors that affect costs tend to be the same. These include things like the finishes you choose, whether cabinets are included in the renovation, and the square footage of the space. When it comes down to it, the whole process and cost can be daunting, but with the right information, it doesn’t have to be.
With this handy guide and cost breakdown of kitchen renovations in Vancouver, you can get the right price for your budget. While there is typically an average cost, you can add more elements or save some changes for later to tailor that final price range.
Budget tips and breakdown
Under-budgeting invites just as much risk as not budgeting at all. Asking yourself a few simple questions can help you begin.
To start, are you renovating to sell or to update for yourself? If the renovation is personal, a good range is to spend upwards of 25% of your house’s cost, according to the Appraisal Institute of Canada. Over the years that you stay and enjoy the space, it’ll add major value and boost future resale. If you plan to sell, then narrow down the cost to 10% to 15% of your home’s value. Keep in mind that those numbers are a general rule of thumb and may be affected by where you live.
The cost of kitchen renovations in Vancouver, on average, cost $50,000. High-end renovations can easily go up to $70,000 if not over $100,00 for large and luxury kitchens. For that reason, use those percentages as a rough guideline, but tailor them to your home’s value and your budget.
Also, factor in your neighbourhood and what the renovation standards are in your area. A high-end location with million-dollar or multi-million dollar homes will have a higher price range standard when renovating the kitchen. Talk to a professional or real estate agent for advice, especially if you plan to sell.
Kitchen renovation cost breakdown
According to the National Kitchen & Bath Association, kitchen renovations in North America can be further broken down as follows:
Cabinets and hardware: 29% ($8,704)
*Installation: 17% ($5,102)
Appliances and ventilation: 14% ($4,201)
Countertops: 10% ($3,001)
*Installation includes things like appliances, cabinets, countertops, sinks, flooring, or backsplash.
These percentages cover the bulk of a kitchen renovation. At the same time, lower are associated with floors (7%), walls and ceilings (5%), doors and windows (4%), and faucets and plumbing (4%).
Another great rule of thumb is to add on a contingency plan in case of emergencies or unexpected repairs. In general, an additional 5% to 10% of the budget should cover most costs. In Vancouver, home prices are higher than in other Canadian cities. So, a 10% budget for a $1 million home is around $100,000. You can find more information from Canadian Renovations.
Factors that will affect the overall cost
No matter the home or kitchen, some common factors will affect the overall cost of kitchen renovations in Vancouver. Breaking down a major renovation into different stages can help ease the stress of a single major overhaul. It also helps further breakdown the cost, so you can plan how much or little to do at once. In Vancouver, the average cost of a kitchen renovation can still easily go up with luxury additions. Affordable Vancouver renovations are possible, as long as you are prepared for the involved steps.
Size of the room
This both relates to the current size of the kitchen and whether you have plans to change the layout. A renovation in a larger kitchen will require more labour and materials to renovate. Smaller kitchens will similarly require less labour and materials, but can still ring up a decent price tag depending on the scale of the renovation.
Based on Canadian contractor estimates:
Small kitchen average cost (<70 square feet): $6,500 – $26,000
Medium kitchen average cost (100-150 square feet): $19,500 – $52,000
Large kitchen average cost (200+ square feet): $40,000 – $78,000
The scale of work
Before settling on a full or partial renovation, stop to think about what your kitchen needs. Full renovations include major work like tearing out old cabinets, gutting the kitchen, and maybe expanding the space. A significant kitchen renovation is basically a top-to-bottom overhaul for a completely new kitchen.
Kitchen renovations in Vancouver will vary depending on where in the region you live in. Detached homes can be changed as much or as little as you want. Condo kitchens are likely restricted, as you can’t start knocking down walls and changing layouts.
Partial renovations are the least expensive option and focus on specific changes. These include things like new appliances and more efficient cabinets or just new flooring and countertops. Only the parts of the kitchen that need changing are renovated. If your budget doesn’t allow for a full renovation, then partial renovations are just as visually- and cost-effective.
Materials and fixtures
Once the planning and layout plans are settled, the final part of a renovation budget depends on deciding on the actual materials. As mentioned before, cabinets and countertops can both easily tip a budget depending on the material. Custom cabinets are a luxury and worthwhile addition, but they also come with a much higher price tag.
While marble countertops are popularly considered in kitchens, granite or quartz can cost less and are just as suitable. Unless a high-end material is worth the cost, you can still get the luxury look without the luxury cost. Marble in Vancouver kitchens, is still highly popular and can be installed in unique ways. Consider marble backsplash instead to still get that elegant and luxury addition to your kitchen.
Fixtures and faucets are worth the extra cost to ensure a quality, function, and something that will last. While it’s tempting to cut costs on cheaper alternatives, it won’t pay off long term. Quality fixtures will last for years, so invest now so you don’t have to purchase them again in the future.
Who should you hire for the renovation?
Hiring a professional to take care of your kitchen renovation is highly recommended. Despite the temptation to DIY all or part of the work, a professional has the skills and experience you need. They’ll ensure every penny put into the renovation serves to boost your home’s value and makes it a worthwhile, long-term investment. If your renovation is to sell, buyers will definitely notice and value a professional’s work over DIY work. Professional services have a higher return on investment. Plus, you’ll save yourself a lot of stress and time.
What that in mind, who exactly should you hire to help with kitchen renovations in Vancouver? Is a handyman enough, or do you need a certified general contractor for the job? What about a designer or architect? Depending on the scope of your renovation, different hired help can be necessary or just an extra benefit. With Vancouver’s active house market and increased labour costs, it’s generally worth paying for an expert. That way, you ensure your home’s quality and guarantee it is a market contender.
Contractors specialize in a field of work and have certification and training to qualify their experience. General contractors may specialize in multiple fields of work, like various renovation projects and home improvement. A contractor will also be in charge of a small team, called subcontractors, that they bring on and supervise for the job.
A key benefit of a general contractor is that they act as the project manager for the entire renovation. In that, they manage the team, oversee the work, and take care of handling and applying for any necessary permits. They’ll also be your point of contact during the process. Open communication and transparency can reduce stress during significant projects.
A contractor can do similar handyman services like installation services or helping with small remodels. Since a contractor has more qualified skills and experiences, the final work is of better quality. You will also sign a contract with a contractor, so you get insurance coverage and guarantees for the job. With a contractor, you get their expertise in design ideas, construction, work, management, and more. All in all, it makes hiring an experienced general contractor worth the investment.
General contractor prices vary. Their service fees include handling permits, hiring trade workers, supervising those workers and working with the homeowner.
Average charge: Canadian general contractors estimate the average charge for their services is 10 to 20% of your total project cost
The final cost of a kitchen renovation in Vancouver will largely vary with market prices and renovation project costs. Million-dollar Vancouver homes for example will be priced much higher with a 10% project fee. Keep in mind that the value of a hired expert in a competitive housing market can be very worthwhile.
Hiring a handyman can save costs, but it comes down to the project in question. Most handymen are hired for jobs or projects that homeowners don’t have the time to handle themselves. For example, small projects like paint touch up or drywall repair, or bigger ones like renovations.
In the case of kitchen renovations in Vancouver, the scale of work involved may not be suited to a handyman. Before hiring a handyman, find out what their skill sets are and how much the work will cost. Some handyman companies can handle large renovations, while others are better suited for home upgrades and repairs on a project-to-project basis.
Handymen either charge by hour by charge a flat fee depending on the project. Things like installing a new sink or faucet may be a set price, compared to doing minor repairs, which could be hourly. It’ll also depend on if the handyman you hire is an independent worker or if they are part of a company. Professional, more specific services like plumbing or electrical may also cost more for a handyman with those specific skills.
These costs are based on Canadian handyman service estimates:
Set job prices
Small job average (1-2 hours): $100 – $200
Medium job average (2-4 hours): $200 – $401
Large job average (4+ hours – days): $401+
Keep in mind that these figures are general averages across Canada. Within specific cities, these figures can change, depending on the handyman or company. Vancouver handyman companies, for example, may charge $125 per hour.
Architect or designer
Architects and kitchen designers generally work in the same way by planning and designing your kitchen. The difference is how they go about that work and what renovation plans you have in mind.
For layout changes, like moving walls or changing floor plans, work with an architect. They will know which wall is load-bearing, what layout is the best for the space from a structural standpoint. An architect deals with the physical structure of the home and turns those ideas into blueprint drawings. Generally, an architect will work with a contractor to create the plans and then have the contractor implement those designs.
Vancouver architect services typically cover the early designs right up to the construction phases. If you plan to work with an architect and designer, the architect comes first. Most renovation companies will also include these services and include the cost in an estimate. If you hire a separate architect, some Vancouver companies may require that you bring in the drawings beforehand.
Interior designers that specialize in kitchens
A kitchen designer helps with the space’s visual aesthetics including layout and design. They’ll also help choose countertops, backsplash, flooring, new paint colours, light fixtures, and more. An interior designer’s goal is to reflect your style while improving the overall function. Visual flow and physical flow in a kitchen are both just as important, making hiring both professionals a beneficial choice.
A general contractor with years of experience can likely help with some design advice and suggestions. They won’t have the same specific training as a designer but can suggest complementary materials. Still, if blending your personal style with a fully-functional kitchen is your goal, hire a kitchen designer or a contractor with an in-house design team.
Kitchen renovation companies often include design services, which will be included in any services and cost estimates. Working with the same designer in the company can help make it easier to keep renovation plans and designs on track.
Whoever you decide to hire, make sure they are fully qualified. Years of experience and positive reviews are a good way to get an idea of their skills and work quality. Make sure to get multiple estimates as well before settling on just one company. Once you have a match, have everything put on paper, from estimates to actual plans. That will help with accountability and prevent any miscommunication.
Architect fees depend on how involved they are in the renovation project and process. They may charge an hourly fee or a percentage of the project if overseeing the entire thing. As such, budgeting carefully for an architect is important. Your general contractor will let you know if an architect needs to be brought on the team.
Most architects charge either an hourly rate or a set percentage from the total project. As such costs can vary depending, so get a few estimates before you choose. In residential projects, architects may have a price range between $130 to $200 per hour. Keep in mind as well that no all kitchen renovations will need an architect. Only if you are taking out walls or drastically changing the layout will one be needed.
Kitchen interior designer cost
Kitchen interior designers likewise may charge a percentage of the project or a flat fee if it’s a one-time consultation. Most designers are hired to help with the entire project, but sometimes a single consultation session can be enough for kitchen renovations in Vancouver. In-house design fees for a set percentage are typically around 4% of the total renovation cost, but that will depend on the renovation company. Many interior designers can also help with creating drawings for the project.
There are ways to get the look of an updated kitchen without blowing your budget or spending extra. The great thing about a kitchen is that every part of it has an option to save money without sacrificing appearances. For a kitchen renovation in Vancouver, don’t feel the need to gut the entire space. A lot of materials are likely reusable and can save costs and stay on budget.
Cabinets, for example, if they are in good condition, don’t have to be replaced entirely. Replacing should be done if they are beyond repair or if you are extending the kitchen and tearing out the old cabinets.
Instead, consider cabinet refacing or cabinet refinishing to achieve that fresh new look. Cabinet refacing is when you keep the original cabinet boxes but replace all the doors, drawer fronts and hardware with new. A matching veneer is installed on all exposed panels and faces to complete the look. Cabinet refinishing is painting or staining the cabinet doors, drawer fronts and exposed panels. Either option is a fraction of the cost of a full cabinet replacement.
Unless you are picking a high-end countertop to suit your home chef needs, don’t feel you have to follow current trends. Countertops have a nearly endless range of options, styles, and prices to match. Marble and natural stone are popular choices but have high-end costs. Instead, quartz, butcher block wood, or even recycled glass countertops are just as stunning for kitchen renovations in Vancouver. For the most affordable, consider a laminate countertop that mimics the look of wood or natural stone. Your general contractor can show you all your countertop options.
Fixtures and faucets
As far as small but mighty goes, kitchen fixtures and faucets play a big visual role. Just adding a touch of colours like brass faucets on the sinks and colour cabinet handles adds a lot of quality. Pulldown faucets with gooseneck spouts look both elegant and are also practical. You can easily clean dishes or the sink or fill pots. With faucets, focus your spending on a quality pick that will last for years. They might seem like a small part of the project, but for the amount you’ll use a kitchen faucet, make sure to invest in quality.
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