How expensive can kitchens get?

Having a great looking and highly functional kitchen is one of the best thing anyone can wish for. When you’re young and residing at your parent’s house, or renting a smaller, lower-end, apartment, having a small and/or unattractive kitchen is a real bummer – if you’re the type of person who enjoys cooking and having people over.

Even if you’re not the hospitable type of person or have not real use for a kitchen, you should be remembering that anything is only as strong as its weakest link. If you’re looking to build an impressive dream house kind of thing you won’t get there without a top-of-the-art kitchen with new appliances.

After we have established the fact a great looking kitchen packed with superb appliances is pretty much a must, we have to look at the price tag. Even multi-millionaires like grammy award winner Ed Sheeran has voiced his opinion about kitchens being very expensive. How really expensive can they get and is it a one-off payment to be made?

First thing to do when trying to estimate the costs of building or remodelling a kitchen is break it down to components. Based on Improvenet these are the costs and prices for each component:

  • Flooring – $2,299 average cost (or $741 to repair flooring)
  • Countertops – $2,719 average cost
  • Cabinets – $6,324 for refacing, $4,305 for installation, and $2,456 for refinishing
  • Drainage – $3,215 on average
  • Home automation system – $2,077
  • Sink – $395 on average
  • Faucet installation – $235

These costs are nothing short of enormous, and these are just the average costs for average quality components over the USA. If you look at certain stores you can find a much more expensive version of even the simplest items from the list above. For example look at these faucets costing up to $650 and you will soon realise that if you would like solid gold faucets like the Sultan of Brunei you will be needing to shell thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars per faucet.

The costs of an attractive kitchen does not stop there. What about the home appliances you will require for a functional kitchen? The minimum costs you will have to bear for a basic refrigerator, microwave, dishwasher and freestanding electric stove is almost $5,000. When a higher refrigerator may cost more than that by itself, the costs can go as high as mid tens of thousands of dollars.

Is buying an expensive kitchen just a one-off expense?

We have established the fact that even a relatively basic (new) kitchen can be expensive, and that a high-end kitchen with high end systems and appliances can cost more than a pretty penny, but the question is what kind of costs will you have to bear down the road.

Sadly, the answer is that the higher-end your kitchen is the more expensive it will become to maintain it. Based on Angie’s List the repair/maintenance costs on average (for an average quality item) are at least $100 per item per year. That is for electrical appliances, not including the costs that may be levied from you by home professionals if you have major issues with the kitchen’s infrastructure. A drainage problem that leaks into the cabinets or floor can cost many thousands to repair, for example.

The more higher end your kitchen systems and appliances are, the most expensive and complex your repairs will be. The quality of repair people you will have to hire will be higher than average, and their costs would be in accordance to that. Replacing even small bits and pieces in any high-end item will be considerably higher as well.

Is there a way to mitigate the risk?

If you are lucky enough to be residing in the USA, you do have a type of insurance that may serve you right. It is absolutely not apt for higher-end kitchens but it can work well with medium quality kitchens.

A home warranty is essentially a service agreement that covers certain home systems and appliances. Once they break, the company providing the service will send out professional repair persons to identify the problem, fix it (if possible) or replace the item (up to certain limitations).

This is far from a perfect solution. If we look at a top provider’s review we can state the following:

  • Clients are served on a per-state basis. If you are moving to a new home you will have overheads transferring the warranty or cancelling it mid-year.
  • Not all home appliances or kitchen appliances are covered. There are several plans offered for different purposes with different levels of coverage but none of them is all-inclusive for every single house component.
  • The costs of a warranty are about $500 annually. Additionally to that you pay $60 deductible per service. The saving isn’t likely to be huge in the long run.
  • There are mixed reviews of this service and others like it. Some say it’s a good value for money, and some say that when push comes to shove, the company isn’t behaving in the expected manner.

Needless to say, if you have an expensive house with ultra expensive items it is much better that you would not try to cut corners and find such holistic solutions. We would actually recommend that you’ll be in contact with specialized contractors in your area who possess the knowledge and tools to deal with more expensive or complex home systems and appliances.