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Kitchen price estimate vs. true costs: The ugly reality.

Are you looking for a kitchen price estimate? You might be already using a kitchen cost calculator or even started requesting estimates from multiple kitchen dealers or contractors. We understand the importance and the desire to figure out how much your kitchen will cost. Yet, you might wonder how accurate those estimates are and you should! It's important to know that the estimates you receive may not reflect the true costs. In fact, there are many factors that can impact the accuracy of a kitchen price estimate. Often resulting in original estimates doubling in costs.

In this blog post, we'll explore the truth about kitchen cost estimates. Further, you will learn how to avoid vague cost estimates and get your dream kitchen.

Black kitchen with island and highlights in wood.
Credit: Noblilia

Table of content:


The problem with kitchen price estimates

Kitchen interior design projects are exciting, but they can also be quite daunting. One of the biggest concerns for homeowners is how much the new kitchen or renovation will cost. Thus, the desire to collect various budget estimates is comprehensible. Yet, the problems with obtaining kitchen estimates in early planning phases are:

  • vague cost estimates which do not withstand reality and are very likely to rise in the process.

  • make price comparisons difficult, due to the lack of detailed estimations.

5 typical issues with collecting a kitchen price estimate

We summarized the 5 Reasons that lead to this phenomenon here:

1. Collecting cost estimates in early planning phases

Obtaining estimates early in the process may result in estimates that don't reflect actual costs. At this stage, you may not have a clear understanding of your needs. This will result in changes along the way affecting your kitchen costs.

2. Commitment in early design stages

Contractors and retailers often provide you with one free budget estimate. Yet, you may not be able to articulate all your needs and wishes at this point. Yet, to enter further planning stages you must commit to working with the company.

3. Change orders increase costs throughout detail planning

Once committed you will start planning your kitchen in more depth. You may request changes in materials or layout the more you understand your needs and wishes. Any change requested may result in higher costs.

4. Incomplete kitchen budget estimates

Other frustrations are incomplete budget estimates provided by inexperienced professionals. Some budget estimates may not include other components such as appliances or installation. Hidden fees or charges may be present that are not included in the initial estimate as well. They will add up quickly if not accounted for.

5. Understanding the scope of work and construction-related obstacles

Especially in a kitchen remodel project, it is difficult to estimate costs. Sometimes the scope of work is unclear at this point due to the lack of understanding of the scale of your project. Further, there is always the risk of uncovering hidden obstacles that need attention. Those may increase the total cost of your project.

All those issues make it clear: You must be vigilant when collecting estimates.


The importance of detailed estimates

Are you now left wondering how to estimate the cost of your kitchen? Well, the only way for you to receive more accurate cost estimates is through the level of detail you provide. The more specific your needs and wishes are, the closer the cost estimation will be to true costs. If you want to ensure receiving accurate estimates you will need to get specific. Every variable that is not detailed and discussed makes you prone to changes. This will ultimately result in higher costs.

Contractors standing in a kitchen room under construction for a new kitchen.
Kitchen remodel projects are complex


Your way toward an accurate kitchen price estimate

Your contractor or retailer will need some information to provide a detailed estimate. Here are some key pieces of information to provide:

1. Your kitchen budget:

Be upfront about your financial constraints. This way your kitchen professional can provide a solution that fits your budget.

2. Your goals:

Explain what you want to achieve with your kitchen project. What are your goals? For example, creating more space, increasing resale value, or updating the look of the room.

3. Your timeline:

When do you want to move into your new kitchen? Make sure to communicate your timeline.

4. Any specific requirements:

If you have any specific requirements or preferences. Be clear about the kitchen style you want to create. Further, specify materials for materials, cabinet types, and specific design elements. Be sure to communicate those to the contractor or retailer. Remember, any change you make once you receive your budget estimate will impact the costs. Thus, plan and specify all components of your kitchen before requesting estimates.

An independent kitchen designer can support and guide you through the process. They will help you to detail and specify all your kitchen components and create a layout. You can use those details to communicate a clear idea to your kitchen retailer or contractor.


Couple received multiple kitchen price estimates and compares the offers.
Compare kitchen cost estimates

Key components of a detailed price estimate

A detailed kitchen price estimate is a good way for you to calculate your costs. Yet, you can also use them to compare the different estimates. Make sure your kitchen estimate includes following details:

Labor costs:

The estimate should provide a breakdown of the labor costs. Those include installation, plumbing, electrical work, and any other labor-related expenses.

Material costs:

The estimate should include a detailed list of all materials needed for the project. Such include cabinets, countertops, flooring, fixtures, appliances, and any other materials used.

Other expenses:

Make sure that other expenses associated with the project are listed. Those include permits, taxes, disposal fees, design fees, or similar.


The estimate should provide a timeline for the project. You should find start and completion dates.

Payment terms:

The estimate should state the payment terms and schedule. This includes the payment due dates and any payment options available.

Learn more about the different kitchen components and cost centers to consider when designing or remodeling a kitchen. The article Kitchen remodel costs will address all cost centers.


Professional help for accurate kitchen price estimates

Investing in an independent kitchen designer can be a wise decision for many reasons. You can benefit from years of experience designing and remodeling kitchens. They will guide you through the whole process from conception to completion. Further, you will be able to avoid costly mistakes and stay within your budget. Collaborate on designing a functional kitchen that reflects your personal style. Be able to plan your kitchen without the constraints of a specific kitchen retailer or kitchen brand. You will keep all your options open while detailing your needs. This way you will receive a more accurate kitchen price estimate.

Interested in a trusted partner? Look no further than, Kitchen Design NYC. No matter if you have a local project or out of state. Online Kitchen Design Services allow us to work all over the US. We are happy to help you create the kitchen of your dreams, no matter how big or small your project may be.


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