Step 1: Scope It Out
Determining the scope of your kitchen remodeling project is the best place to start when forming a budget. At the low end of the budget range, a cosmetic facelift -- painting or refinishing existing cabinets, installing new laminate countertops and vinyl flooring, changing out an appliance or two, and replacing a faucet and hardware -- could be done for as little as a few thousand dollars.
At the high end of the budget range, a complete redesign -- including top-of-the-line appliances, cabinetry, and surfaces, as well as changes to walls, plumbing, wiring, and ductwork -- could cost $50,000-$100,000.
Step 2: Shop Around
Once you know the extent of your project, get an idea of the actual budget by visiting showrooms, home improvement centers, and Web sites and pricing individual elements. Focus your research on the big-ticket categories: cabinets, appliances, surfaces, and plumbing fixtures. Total costs for those categories give you a ballpark materials budget. But that's not the total cost of the project. When you factor in design, labor, and installation costs, you could end up spending twice what you paid for materials.