Kitchen Remodel – How much is this going to cost?

By Gina Richard, owner of the Corner Cabinet

Kitchen Remodel Cost

The single most common question we get when first talking with a prospective client is “how much is this going to cost?” After twenty-five years in the industry, we at the Corner Cabinet have a clear understanding of how to explain the answer to this complicated question.
The simplest explanation is that your design dictates your price. Every element of your project, from the cabinet brand to the door style to the very accessories you choose, makes it completely unique and unlike any other project. Because of this, it’s impossible to accurately estimate the total cost of any project without breaking down the components of this formula first.
In your initial meeting, your Designer will guide you through the pieces of the formula and discuss the various options available to you. While there are so many things to consider, we aim to make the process as straightforward as possible. So, let’s dive into some of those considerations now!

Brand and Quality

The Corner Cabinet has eight cabinet lines for our clients to choose from. Each line differs in features, offerings, quality, and price—with some overlap. The first step in this process is to identify which cabinet line to begin your design in. Understanding your goals, budget, needs, and your design style will help your Designer to recommend the cabinetry lines that will be best suited for your project.
Some of the questions you can expect your Designer to touch upon while evaluating the overall scope of your project may be:
· Is price your number one focus?
· Is quality more important to you, less important to you, or equally as important to you?
· How long do you expect to live in this home?
· How is this space used and by how many people?


The construction of your cabinet refers specifically to the cabinet box only—not your face frame, doors, and drawers. In New England, we are often led to believe that an all-plywood cabinet box is the very best choice. However, deciding on the construction of your cabinet is not as simple as that.
Plywood is a strong and reliable choice that is less susceptible to water damage, but it is an expensive option. Its ability to hold up against water damage is limited, and typically won’t offer any true protection against extensive damage. Particle board, on the other hand, often conjures up images of inexpensive, flat-pack furniture from college dorm days. We work with cabinet companies that use top grade particle board either called furniture board or medium density fiber (MDF) board. This product is much less expensive than all-plywood construction and should be considered when budget is a factor.
When considering the construction of your cabinet, you can expect there to be a 15% – 20% difference in the price point of these two different options. Some lines also offer a hybrid construction option, the sides of the cabinets will be plywood and the bottom, back, and shelves remain particle board. The decision will ultimately depend on what is most important to you and how you want to allocate your budget.


While the construction is about the structure of the cabinet box, the material you choose is what the face frame, cabinet doors, and drawer fronts are made from. Each cabinet line carries different material options that will help to inform the overall style of your project.
Choices vary from wood options that take stain, from Hickory to Alder to Walnut, to name a few. There are also paint grade materials like Maple, non-specific Hardwood, or MDF. Additionally, there are many technologically advanced engineered materials that are eco-friendly, mimic paint or wood grain, and are much more durable than their counterparts. At the time of writing this article, the Corner Cabinet has more than 30 different materials available to choose from.
The wide selection of materials, including cherry, maple, oak and advanced engineered product, also comes with a variety of price points to consider. Your Designer can help you stay on budget by guiding you through the different wood types and exciting, new engineered products to discover which may work best for your project.

Door Style

Choosing the right door style for your project is all about the look and feel of your space. From timeless styles like shaker doors to more contemporary looks like slab doors, each of our cabinet lines carries a wide variety of door styles.
Our clients are often surprised to learn that there is a price range for door styles within each of our cabinetry lines. There are several components that go into the door construction that help determine where each style falls on the price spectrum, including the outside edge, the rail and frame size, the inside edge and detail, the center panel, and the cut of the frame. Because of this, the door style you select can significantly impact the price of your project.
While browsing our showroom, choose the door you love and ask your Designer to recommend another door style in that same cabinet line that is more budget-friendly. Your Designer will then be able to price up both door styles, allowing you to compare the overall cost versus the ideal style to help you make the decision about what is important to you in your design.


In addition to the cabinet line, construction, material, and door style, you’ll also need to consider the finish on your cabinet doors and drawers. The finish is the stain or paint color that completes the overall style of your design.
While considering your options, it’s helpful to remember that paint is an upgrade from stain, and any specialty finishes (like low sheen, brushstrokes, or highlighting) are an upgrade over paint. You can expect to pay anywhere from 10% – 15% per upgrade.
Paint is by far the best-selling finish, but if it is outside of your budget, consider a two-tone project: I recommend you choose stain for your base cabinets and paint for your wall cabinets. Another option would be to look at some of the engineered finishes our lines offer that mimic paint. You’ll be surprised how hard it is to tell the difference if it’s on the right door style. As a bonus, both stain and engineered finishes are typically much more durable than paint and they will wear much better over time, especially on your base cabinets that receive more wear and tear.


The final component of the price calculation formula is the design. This accounts for the individual cabinets selected, modifications made to those cabinets, the organizational items included inside them, as well as the moldings and accessories to adorn them.
As you evaluate different options, having your Designer change from one door style, finish, or material to another within a specific cabinet line is a fairly simple ask. More design time is required, however, if you decide to switch from one cabinet line to another cabinet line. This is because modifications and standard options vary from one line to another. Each time a new cabinet line is considered, your Designer will need to carefully create a brand new design with updates and modifications based on what’s available in the new brand you select. Specific cabinets may also be unavailable because they can vary from line to line, so your Designer may need to work with you to recommend similar alternatives to the original design.
Once the design portion of the process is completed by your Designer, they then review the design and price it using the CAD design program in combination with the manufacturer’s pricing catalog. In some cases there is an additional step of needing to use the manufacturer’s pricing tool if they do not offer a pricing catalogs. At the Corner Cabinet, only one of our eight line is unable to be priced directly in our design software.

Expert Advice

While it may sound like there is a lot of choices ahead of you, the volume of options actually allows you to pick and choose where you want to focus your budget in your design and your Designer is an expert at negotiating these choices with clients to make the process as simple as possible. So, while we aren’t able to provide you with an immediate cost of your project, you will hold the power throughout the process to decide to step down to a less expensive door style or opt for stain versus paint, if you’d prefer to include a particular must-have item you covet, upgrade to all-plywood construction, or just save money. The choice is yours.
There are virtually endless combinations that allow you to make price-conscious choices. Your Designer is an expert in guiding you through all there is to offer and will help get you an answer to the question of “how much is this going to cost?”.
To summarize, when wondering “how much is this going to cost?”, let your Designer guide you through the process to answer that question. Understand that the first quote they create is just a first attempt. If you find the price is too high or the design is lacking in some way you pictured, then have an open dialog with your designer to discuss your options. Ask questions and allow them time to work on revisions for you. There are so many components that can be adjusted and updated until it evolves into your perfect design.