Cabinets come in thousands of configurations and colors and construction options. As a rule of thumb, an “in-stock” cabinet (meaning it literally is on the shelf) will be the least expensive. A “stock” cabinet (meaning it needs to be ordered, but very few, if any, modifications) is the next most expensive. A “semi-custom” cabinet (meaning it has to be ordered and offers quite a few modifications) is the next up on the price range. Finally, a “custom” cabinet (meaning that cabinet is built to your exact specifications) is the highest priced category. There are reasons to get each, depending on your investment level and design goal.

Counter Tops

Generally, countertops come in two main categories: Laminate and Everything Else (including solid surface, engineered stone, natural stone, and other materials). Laminate will be the most cost effective option and with some of the patterns now available, can be a great solution. The ‘everything else’ category pricing will be dependent on the actual material, the color, where it originates, and how delicate it is. As a rule of thumb, the more movement in the stone, the more expensive it is.


Appliances vary widely in availability and pricing. It is super helpful to know how you cook and what specialty features are needed. The entire appliance  package does not need to come from all one brand. It may make sense to splurge on  the one appliance you use the most. Typically, the more refined your cooking needs and design goals, the more expensive the appliance package. The color also affects the pricing: white is the least, while specialty finishes like floating glass are more expensive.

Plumbing Fixtures

Plumbing items always cost more than you think. A lot of pieces and parts go into assembling and pricing a toilet, for example, than one would realize. Generally, chrome metal finishes with white fixtures is the least expensive option. All other finishes go up in price from there. Yes, there is a difference between a store bought fixture and one ordered from a plumbing wholesale company in quality and warranty.


Lighting is a great way to improve the look of your room without spending a lot. Overall, a lighting package is about 10-15% of the overall budget. So, if you are spending $20,000, then lighting would be about $2,000. Splurging on a dining fixture or cool pendant light will drive the cost up.


Carpet, tile, luxury vinyl plank, linoleum, vinyl composition tile, sheet vinyl, laminate floating floor, natural wood, oh my! The choices! As a general rule, carpet and sheet vinyl are the least expensive options. With the strides in technology for both categories, there are some great options. Linoleum, VCT, LVT, and laminate are all going to be more. How much? Depends on color, texture, size, and thickness of material. Real wood floors tend to be the highest investment, depending on the material and the whether the floor is pre-finished or finished on site.


Whether glass, ceramic, porcelain, natural stone, or wood, tile is a place to add some texture and color to a room. Larger format tile (larger than 16” sq) is a good option to cover a lot of surface with a reasonable investment. Fun accents, such as glass liners, mosaics of stone and metal, and crackle glass are a great option to break up the tile. As a rule of thumb, allow at least 10 – 15% of your overall budget for tile.

Cabinet Hardware

Hardware is like the jewelry for your room. So, you can go basic and get knobs and pulls for as little as $1 per pieces, or you can completely splurge and get hand cast solid pewter and crystal hardware, that can be as much as $175 per piece. Sometimes, depending on the cabinet, you may not need hardware, but most people prefer to have something decorative on their cabinets. Allowing about $5-$7 per piece would be a good start.


Paint: a perfect way to change the feel of a room almost immediately. If you know how to paint, you can save money on labor. Allow at least $40-$60 per gallon for good quality paint and don’t forget to prime the walls if there is a previous color. Primer is super reasonably priced and worth the investment. Labor depends on how many colors, how high the ceilings are, and where the accent colors will be. Allow at least $3,000 – $10,000 for labor, depending on these factors.


Disclaimer and Labor allowance: Each area of the country will have its own unique variables that affect material costs and labor. This budget calculator is meant to be a  guideline only and not a reflection of total, finished costs for your specific project.  Labor to complete the project is over and above these costs. Labor starts typically equal to material pricing, but flattens out after a certain point. For instance, if you have a $20,000 materials budget, you typically can count on $20,000 in labor. On the other hand, if you are spending $80,000 for materials, depending on the scope of labor, the labor investment might only be $60,000. Again, different markets will affect labor rates. Make sure your contractor gives you a fixed price estimate, not an allowance estimate, because allowances can be contracted to fit your budget, not what is realistic in the marketplace. More questions? Feel free to schedule a Get Acquainted session today!