We get this question almost everyday. Unfortunately, the answer to this question is problematic. For example, imagine asking how much a car costs? We all understand that the price of “a car” varies significantly based on its make, model, year, size, performance, upgrade package, etc. The price of a car might be $10,000 (for a used model) and could potentially be over $300,000 (can you say “Rolls-Royce?”) The same is true for a kitchen.
What we can tell you is that the “average” kitchen remodel in Sonoma County is a major investment. As the kitchen has become one of the most important rooms in the house, you should be prepared to spend at least 20% of your home’s value on the remodel. The less changes to the layout and function of the kitchen, the less you will spend. The more you change (such as removing walls and moving plumbing locations), the more you will spend. And adding square footage to your home will cost you significantly more.
The #1 largest expense on a kitchen remodel will go to the labor. Let’s face it, we live in a beautiful and expensive area with practically no unemployment. Everyone who lives here must make enough money to live and survive in Sonoma County. This is economics 101 – The demand for construction is very high; the supply of qualified tradespeople is extremely low and the cost of doing business in this part of the world is expensive.
The #2 largest expense for a kitchen remodel is the cabinetry. It is the largest portion of the entire kitchen and therefore costs the most.
Remember the car analogy? It applies to cabinetry also. Flashy brand names aside, the equation is simple; cabinetry costs are directly related to the costs of the materials and skilled labor that go into them. Cabinets made with less expensive materials and cheaper labor are less expensive than cabinets made with more expensive materials by highly skilled labor. This is an area of construction where the old adage “you get what you pay for” is true. Cabinetry made with lower quality woods, finishes and hardware will cost less than cabinetry made with superior materials. No one expects to purchase a high end Mercedes for the price of a mid-range Ford sedan. The same logic should apply to your expectation of the cabinetry you are purchasing. The price will tell you a lot about the quality of your investment.
How can you tell if the quality of your cabinetry is “up to snuff?” A simple way to check the quality of your cabinetry is to check the length of the written warranty. Cabinetry that is built to last (i.e., made with superior materials) will always have a written life-time warranty. Less expensive cabinetry will come with a 5-10 year warranty or worse, no written warranty at all.
First, let’s clear up some common cabinetry misunderstandings. Where your cabinets are made is not what makes a cabinet “custom.” What makes a cabinet “custom” is dictated by “how” it is made. Every aspect of your cabinet (except for the hardware) should be completely made and finished “in-house.” In other words, the same entity should make the cabinet doors, drawer-fronts, cabinet boxes, moldings and cabinetry finish (stain or paint). This is extremely important to the homeowner because you want one-single entity warranting the quality of your cabinets.
Many local cabinet makers purchase their cabinet doors and drawer-fronts pre-made through a third-party vendor. Not only are they limited to the styles and materials offered by that particular vendor, but they are also not in control of the quality of the materials used to make those pieces. When the wood-stock for cabinet doors/drawer-fronts is sourced from a different vendor than the wood-stock for the cabinet boxes, this can lead to quality and consistency problems. A truly custom cabinet maker will source all the wood for your project from one vendor (and one batch -as batches can vary) and make every aspect of the cabinetry themselves.
It is also common for local cabinet makers to send their cabinets to a third-party “finisher” to stain and/or paint their cabinets. Again, outsourcing another aspect of the cabinetry can lead to quality control and liability issues. If the paint finish on a cabinet fails, who is responsible? The cabinet maker or the finisher? How many hoops will the homeowner have to jump through if a problem arises?
At Humanity Home & Cabinetry, we offer truly custom cabinetry for the discerning homeowner. These cabinets are made 100% in-house; doors, drawer-fronts, boxes and finish- all created by one single entity. This is why our vendors are able to provide risk-free written warranties on their cabinets. As a matter of fact, our custom lines will allow you and your designer to create your own individual door style and finish. If they do not possess the tools to make your custom door, they will make the tools required. Now that is a truly custom cabinet.
The average kitchen remodel takes approximately 8-12 weeks. The time frame will be less if you are not moving any key appliances or plumbing or significantly moving the layout of the kitchen. It will take longer if you are moving walls, significantly changing the layout and/or making changes that affect the exterior of the house (such as adding windows and doors).
Bathrooms are often trickier than homeowners realize. Even small bathrooms require precise attention to detail in order to ensure that all the materials and transitions from one area to the next are properly addressed. Proper water-proofing adds another layer to these projects. Of course the size and scope of the project also affects pricing. You should expect to spend approximately $30,000 on a simple bathroom remodel and over $50,000 for a larger or more complex project.
Being that a kitchen and bath remodel is a significant investment, hiring an experienced designer can actually save a homeowner money. There are several areas where a good designer can assist in keeping your project costs at bay. A designer can organize the project (labor, material orders, delivery schedules, etc.) to avoid costly delays and problems with materials. A good designer will have regular communications with contractors and homeowners to minimize expensive mistakes, misunderstandings and the dreaded change order. A good designer will also assist the homeowner in making sound purchases to maximize their investment. The real question should be: Can you afford not to hire a qualified designer?
No. However at Humanity Home & Cabinetry we strongly believe that all the products and materials that you put into your home should come with a written warranty. The average homeowner spends 2 – 3 times on their cabinetry purchase than they do on their appliances. Although most people would never purchase an appliance (or a vehicle) without a warranty, and rightfully so, they don’t apply that same rational to their cabinetry purchase.
At Humanity Home & Cabinetry, we believe it is our job to protect our clients and their investments. This is why all the cabinetry makers Humanity Home represent provide a written warranty for their cabinetry. Warranties vary from 5 years to lifetime, depending on the manufacturers.