Permitting & Remodeling Your Home Kitchen
Likely the most common remodeling project that homeowners complete is a kitchen remodel. There are many reasons why you might want to remodel your kitchen, the primary of which is that upgrading the appearance and layout of your kitchen can substantially increase the value of your home. You can also perform a kitchen remodel if you want to improve the area’s functionality. If your current kitchen design offers limited counter space for meal prep, remodeling the kitchen would allow you to expand counter space for better functionality.
A homeowner might also choose to remodel their kitchen to increase their water and energy savings, to better match their personal style, or to more effectively meet their family’s needs. If performed correctly, as much as 90 percent of the kitchen remodeling costs could be added to the value of your home, which would pay dividends once your home is placed on the market.
Despite the seeming simplicity of a kitchen, this area of your home has many different components that can be remodeled. For one, you could consider creating an open floor plan that improves the entire layout of your kitchen and makes the area more accessible. Kitchen cabinets and countertops are two additional aspects of your kitchen that could be upgraded significantly with the right changes. Some of the kitchen appliances that are typically upgraded during a remodel include ovens, refrigerators, microwaves, and coffee makers. On average, you can expect the kitchen remodeling process to take anywhere from 3-5 months depending on the extent of the project.
Do You Need A Permit for Remodeling Your Kitchen?
The first question you should ask yourself when considering a kitchen remodel is if a permit is needed for the project. Building permits are necessary for many construction projects to ensure that the finished project meets local building codes and regulations. If you don’t obtain a permit for larger construction projects, the city can’t be certain that the work was completed properly and to specification. It’s possible that the area where the project occurred would be unsafe, which is why permits are oftentimes needed.
If your remodeling project is relatively small and straightforward, you may not require a permit, which would allow you to keep project costs down. If you’re replacing cabinetry or refinishing the cabinets, permits aren’t necessary. However, a building permit must be obtained if the intended project will require adding or moving walls, plumbing systems, mechanical systems, or electrical systems to accommodate the proposed changes. If the entire layout of the kitchen is being changed to accommodate an open floor plan, you will need to apply for a permit.
If you’re unsure about the need for a permit, it’s highly recommended that you check with your contractor. In most situations, the contractor you hire should obtain the permit for you. If the project is being done in Los Angeles, your contractor will apply for a permit at the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety. The application process can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to finish. To ensure that the application is approved, your contractor must include all building plans and drawings pertaining to the remodeling project. When the application is finally approved, you can get started on your home remodeling project without worrying about permit penalties or other issues.
Types of Kitchen Remodeling
Kitchen remodeling projects can range from small to large in size depending on your reason for the remodel as well as your budget. From cabinets and countertops to electrical and plumbing systems, you can remodel many different facets of your kitchen. For a sizable kitchen remodel, you can expect to pay anywhere from $30,000-$100,000 to complete the project.
The cabinets are likely the first thing you see when you enter your kitchen. While your cabinets may not detract from your home’s interior design, it’s possible that they don’t add anything to the design either, which could lower the value of your home. Well-designed kitchen cabinets can substantially improve the kitchen appearance, make your kitchen more functional, and provide additional storage space for food.
If you decide to change out your cabinets, the two options available to you include custom cabinets and semi-custom cabinets. Keep in mind that semi-custom cabinets are commonly referred to as ready-to-assemble cabinets. Semi-custom cabinets are commonly made overseas and are designed to be assembled in your kitchen. While you can customize the shape and size of these cabinets, you don’t have much say over the materials that are used.
As for custom cabinets, these are commonly made with premium wood and are designed from scratch for your home. If you have ideas for what your kitchen cabinets will look like and what materials they’ll be made from, you have complete control over how the cabinets are designed.
The main reason that homeowners typically choose semi-custom cabinets is that they are more affordable than their custom counterparts. Semi-custom cabinets will cost you anywhere from $12,000-$18,000. On the other hand, fully custom cabinets can cost you around $18,000-$25,000. The benefit of choosing custom cabinets is that they are built with superior craftsmanship and should last for a long time without needing to be replaced.
Countertops and Tile Backsplash
Your kitchen countertops and tile backsplash can be upgraded significantly if you want a more aesthetically appealing kitchen. Some of the more premium countertop materials available to you include marble, granite slab, ceramic tile, and slate. Consider quartz countertops if you want a material that’s durable and maintenance-free.
As for the backsplash, it’s important that you choose a material that goes well with the countertops. Consider using an accent color for the backsplash that matches well with your countertops. If you want to replace your countertops and backsplash, you can expect to pay around $8,000-$15,000. These costs include installation expenses.
While there is a wide range of different flooring types that you can select for your kitchen, the three primary materials available to you include tile, laminate, and hardwood. Even though these materials look significantly different from one another, they have similar prices. If you’re changing the flooring in your kitchen, the costs could be anywhere from $3,500-$6,500. The type of flooring you choose can dictate how long it takes for the flooring to be fully installed.
For ceramic tile, it can take around 2-3 days for the old flooring to be ripped out and replaced with the tile. Wood flooring takes around 3-4 days to install. While tile is the most common material for kitchen floors, hardwood is a favorite among homeowners who want a more premium and upscale appearance for their flooring. If maintenance is your main concern, consider replacing the old flooring with porcelain tile, which is entirely maintenance-free.
When you’re remodeling your kitchen, some of the appliances that you might want to replace or upgrade include your refrigerator, oven, microwave, and stove. You could also take this opportunity to install some premium appliances, which include everything from a juicer to a built-in coffee maker. If you want to upgrade the standard appliances, the cost of replacing everything at once can be around $10,000-$20,000. When costs are a concern for you, consider popular appliance brands like Samsung and GE.
For upscale brands, Gaggenau, Wolf and Dacor, and Thermador are considered to be the most reputable. If you’re replacing your current appliances with premium ones, your costs could increase to $35,000-$40,000. Make sure that you design your kitchen before selecting appliances. You can then take your designs to your appliance store of choice to have a more informed discussion of the styles, sizes, and options that best match your designs.
Electrical and Plumbing
Once your old kitchen has been demolished, the electrical and plumbing systems will require attention. Make sure that you hire a licensed plumber and electrician to inspect these systems and make any necessary changes or replacements. Only licensed and insured plumbers and electricians can determine if the current systems are up to code and can be kept.
If replacements are necessary, you can replace the plumbing and lighting systems in your kitchen for $3,000-$4,000. If the floor plan is being changed completely, costs can increase to $10,000 or higher. It’s recommended that you don’t remodel the plumbing or electrical systems in your home since the costs can be very high.
Every kitchen needs a range of different fixtures to perfect the appearance and functionality of the area. The standard kitchen fixtures include cabinet knobs, sinks, faucets, and pendant lights. You should consider replacing the fixtures in your kitchen to ensure that the new ones match your new design. Make sure that you choose reputable and reliable brands, which can save you money in the long run. If you buy the cheapest fixtures available, leaks and electrical problems become much more likely, which can cost you thousands of dollars to repair. New fixtures can cost upwards of $2,500.
Many prospective homeowners find the kitchen to be the most important area of the home when considering all of their options. If you want to improve the value of your home and get more out of your kitchen, these remodels are fun projects that you can tailor to fit your exact budget, personality, and specifications.
Jason Somers, President & Founder of Crest Real Estate
With over 15 years of professional experience in the Los Angeles luxury real estate market, Jason Somers has the background, judgement and track record to provide an unparalleled level of real estate services. His widespread knowledge helps clients identify and acquire income producing properties and value-ad development opportunities.
Learn more about Jason Somers or contact us.