How much does it cost to remodel a kitchen in NYC?

Today’s remodeling question comes from Vincenzo in Manhattan’s Upper East Side:

Vincenzo: How much can I typically expect to spend on a kitchen renovation?

A: $20,000-$30,000 is a solid starting point for the cost of a basic kitchen renovation in New York City. Plenty depends on how high-end and customized you desire to go, but there are some simple rules of thumb to keep in mind when estimating your prices.

Begin by dividing your spending into two categories–the price of materials and the cost of the genuine work.


These are the prices you can control a bit more and adjust determined by your budget and taste. Remember that if you’re doing a higher-ending renovation, the additional value is just as much in the infrastructure and precise, custom design as it is in the quality (and price!) of the appliances themselves. Here are the enormous expenses:

Appliances: For the cooker, refrigerator, and dishwasher, expect to spend anywhere from $400 to $3,000 on each. Sinks tend to run between $100 and $2,500, and faucet fixtures between $40 and $1,200.
Backsplash: You can spend anywhere from $3 per square foot for cheaper options like metro or cent backsplash tile, and up to $35 per square foot (or more) for higher-end options like stone or marble finish.


This is where things get a little more complex. No matter your taste and style, the pipes, electric, and cabinetry work that go into even the most fundamental kitchen renovations necessitate some less-observable steps that are costly but important. Your coop or condominium building’s requirements and the present state of your kitchen will even factor into the price of the design and prep work. Contemplate your renovation as having three distinct phases, each with its own accompanying costs:

Design: This is the planning period, where you, your contractor and your architect (if you’re working with one) decide on layout, plumbing, cabinetry and counter specs, lighting, and appliances, and you make a final call on your stuff for backsplash, flooring, sink, and hardware. Your building likely also requires your contractor to take a specific amount of insurance coverage; as a rule, the more extreme the requirements, the pricier the contractor.
Homework: A substantial quantity of work will be necessary to be sure your kitchen is ready for all its new upgrades. First and foremost, you’ll need to strip the walls and flooring to level the floor and frame the walls before starting a cupboard, tile, and counter installment. This procedure can generally average $4,000, though if your place is brand new or your sub-floor is concrete, it will probably cost a bit less. Your contractor may find that pipes and electric systems behind the walls are old or subpar; upgrades here run $2,000 to $3,500, for plumbing, on top of city licenses (believe $2,000 for plumbing and $900 for electrical).
Installation: Appliances in many cases are installed as part of the purchase price or with an added delivery and setup fee. As for the remainder of the job involved in your new cabinets, countertop, backsplash, and floors, you’ll negotiate directly with your contractor to determine the team needed to manage your kitchen’s size and the amount of custom work required.
Bottom line? You may have neighbors who DIY’ed their way to new cupboards for less, but the typical starting point for a total kitchen renovation in NYC is $20,000, all in. Less than that and you may be looking at handyman-quality work, setting yourself up for cost overruns, or dealing with unlicensed and uninsured teams.