What does it costs to renovate a Kitchen in 2023

Elise Trimbee

February 10, 2023

Design Choices Matter!

Great spaces start with great designs and working with an interior designer certainly offers great value! A skilled designer will help to maximize functionality while thoughtfully balancing your unique taste with modern trends. Design fees can vary based on the level of involvement the team has with your project and you do pay for pedigree! You can expect to spend between $5,000 and $20,000 dollars for this service. This may seem like a large expense, but a good design team will bring with them a cache of great suppliers and possibly access to discounts on materials that you won’t find at home depot! Flat rate design fees are also becoming more common as consumers look to make the most of their renovation budgets.


Changing the layout of your kitchen entirely will add significant cost pressures to your project. If you are looking to take down walls and make room for that giant 8 foot island you’ve been dreaming about, you will likely require an engineered set of drawings and a skilled construction crew to execute the plans. Expect a good engineer (if they even answer the phone) to charge between $2,500 for a simple report and $10,000 for a full set of stamped drawings depending on the scope of work. You may also need to apply for a permit. The fees vary by municipality, but expect to spend anywhere from $350-$1,500. All that being said, a simple “re and re” (remove and replace) as we call it in the business will save you many thousands of dollars on engineers, permits and skilled trades.

Material Selection

Materials and Labour in any renovation will be your two big ticket items. Materials, like everything are being driven up by inflation, as is the cost to ship them. You should decide what level of cabinetry best suits you. Below you will see examples of projects featuring custom, semi custom and budget friendly cabinetry. Pre-fabricated cabinetry can range from $70-$200 per linear foot and upwards of $550-$1500 per linear foot for custom. With custom cabinetry you can expect high end fit and finish, intricate millwork and access to an array of colours, materials and interior organizers, where as with the more budget friendly options you can expect there to be more filler pieces and a limited selection of colours and finishes. However, there are some great manufacturers of budget friendly cabinetry out there if you shop around! Now, assuming you don’t recycle your old builder grade laminate counter tops, you’re going to want to select some stone for your new kitchen! Your typical selections such as Granite, Quartz and Marble will typically cost from $50-$200, $50-150 and $75-$250 per square foot respectively. Popular elements such as waterfall sides will affect the overall price as will the grade, availably and edge profile of the stone. Your flooring selection will also be a big cost driver for your project and the sky’s the limit. Be conscious of what type of material you select and make sure it is well suited to a high traffic area. Tile and engineered hardwood are always popular, however luxury vinyl plank is becoming increasingly popular due to its commercial grade durability. 

Materials represent approximately 30% of your overall cost



Examples of budget friendly, semi custom and custom cabinetry from left to right. Photos courtesy of Elise Trimbee, STILE Contracting + Design.


Changing your layout likely means rerouting plumbing, electrical and HVAC systems. These trades don’t come cheap and for good reason. You don’t want to hire just anyone when there’s risk of flood or fire! Hire only fully licensed and insured contractors! Good plumbers and electricians will typically charge in the neighbourhood of $100/hr and an experienced general contractor (who carries proper liability and WSIB insurance) is also likely to command anywhere from $75-$125/hr.

Hidden Costs

Don’t let your expectations exceed your budget and be sure to save money for the finishes! The not so little things like cabinet pulls, trendy lighting and faucets may catch you by surprise at the end of your project. This is where working with an interior designer really pays off. These costs will have been accounted for in your quote. Homeowners who attempt to manage their own renovation may wind up being disappointed in the end that they didn’t budget appropriately for those eye catching finishes. Lighting, faucets and cabinetry pulls can easily add an additional $3,000-$5,000 to your project cost. Throw in that fancy herringbone tile for your backsplash and get ready to finish the project on your credit card!

Sample Budget

Our sample budget assumes a few things, such as the size of the room and amount of cabinetry we will base it on 10 ln/ft of cabinetry and an 8 foot centre island. The hight and low end numbers provide a range depending on the scope of work as discussed in the article. For the framing example the high end would likely represent a reinforced steel beam supporting a second floor or roof. This sample budget is meant to be an educational resource and we have provided both a high end and a low end range. Estimated costs don’t include HST or applicable management fees.