4 Kitchens, 4 Budgets – and What You Get For It

by RestonNow.com Sponsor May 5, 2017 at 12:50 pm 9 Comments

One of the top questions most of my clients ask on our first meeting–drum roll, I know you will be surprised!–is, “How much this is going to cost?” or, “Can you tell me how tall a tree will be full-grown? Well, it depends!

So it is with remodeling projects and kitchens in particular. There is no set standard for size or options for kitchens. Even in a condo building you will most likely to see at least six different versions of layouts, and that is just from the initial built. There are too many options, components and sometimes unknowns that make every kitchen unique.

One of the items that you will need to take under consideration is location. It most likely makes no financial sense to install builder-grade cabinets and appliances in a high-end neighborhood, or vice-versa. You will not get a return on your investment if you place all Sub Zero and Wolf appliances in a $300,000 townhouse.

You will also need to consider if you are planning to remove walls, any major changes to the layout and such that will affect your cost.

Let’s look at these four kitchen projects, starting from the lower and going to the high end.

#1 The Face Lift

In this Alexandria project, the homeowner wanted to update the kitchen but not change the cabinets. We did change the cabinets for the island since it was too small and she wanted to add a wine cooler and a spot for the trash. We kept the appliances, the cabinets got painted, and we added new flooring, counter tops, hardware and lighting. A facelift can stretch your budget if your cabinets are in good condition and you love your layout.  Such a project will run $15,000 to $20,000 based on the size of the kitchen.

#2 The Basic Pull-and-Replace

This was a Falls Church project. The customers had just bought the townhouse, which has a great layout, lots of room and hardwood floors, but an outdated kitchen. There were not major structural changes other than cutting down the bar wall to add counter height. Other than that, we updated the kitchen with new cabinets, counter tops, appliances and a back-splash. We used entry-level cabinets, basic appliances and mid-range granite. A project such as this, with a relatively mid-sized kitchen, will run about $20,000 to $30,000.


#3 Mid-Range – Let’s Change It Up!

In this Arlington condo, everything needed to go! 1981, say goodbye! The closed layout and outdated cabinets and appliances had to go. In this project, we used upgraded cabinets with plenty of bells and whistles. As you can see, there was a considerable amount of construction involved to create the open space and work around the obstacles of condo construction. We also used an upgraded appliance package and Quartz counter tops. A project along this range will be $30,000 to $50,000.


#4 The Luxury Deal

This beautiful home in Fairfax was upgraded at some point in the past 10 years. The colors may have not been the best, but the layout didn’t work for our homeowner, who wanted a big, open space that was light and inviting. In this project, extensive construction was involved to remove walls and update the layout of this kitchen. We used custom cabinets, taking advantage of the height with crown molding detail, a furniture-style finish on the island, high-end appliances and Quartz counter tops. A farmhouse-style sink and faucet finished off the look.  A project such as this will run $100,000 and up based on the size of the kitchen and added details such as fixtures, lighting and hardware.

So, can you re-do a large kitchen on a small budget? The answer is yes. Whatever your budget, there is something that can be done to fit your kitchen to your lifestyle.




  • Arielle in NoVA

    That’s a huge jump between $30-50k and $100k+. What about in between?

  • Guest

    Prices for work shown seem a little on the high side. Especially for the Face Lift and Pull and Replace examples. My own townhouse kitchen renovation was your ” pull and replace” kind of job and came to just under $18,000 including new cabinets, appliances and tiled flooring. Homeowners should carefully shop around and compare several detailed ( repeat, detailed) estimates before choosing a kitchen contractor. Good luck!

    • Anna AKG

      Thank you for you comment! Yes, there are plenty of things to consider such as the size of the kitchen and materials used when pricing, and of course the quality of the contractor.

  • Jenny Gibbers

    I would say a lot depends on the angle of the pic, if you change the angle and now you see a door instead of a window or vs verca then space will ex|con}tract. So some of these comparison views are apples/orange, too much contrast to objectively compare

    Also, just my thought, the neo contemporary frigid look leaves me cold, regardless of what it cost. I know a lot of those euro designs are like that, post modern and all, but very stoic and flat. Personally, white kitchen classic lines with stone and wood butcher blocks look great. You could even get some of those antiques shipped from the Provence at a lower cost then what a normal cabinet would cost you.

    • Anna AKG

      Thank for the comment. We try to take the photos from the same angles, but since in most cases we chnage the layouts, it make no sense. You are welcome to click on the photos or visit Houzz for additional photos https://www.houzz.com/pro/akg2016/__public

      • Jenny Gibbers

        Nice, and thank you.

        • Anna AKG

          Thank you!


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