One of the biggest cost drivers for a kitchen remodel are structural issues. Changing the footprint of your kitchen in any way will bump up your budget. Moving the kitchen or building an addition involves major construction as well as new electrical, plumbing and flooring. Opening up to another room could require structural work and unforeseen costs if load-bearing walls are involved. Even relocating the sink or range would mean moving the plumbing or gas lines.
Every remodeling project is unique, and costs vary depending on the homeowner's budget, tastes, and priorities. In general, however, materials account for 80 percent of the budget, while labor costs represent 20 percent. According to the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA), the largest expense in a kitchen remodel is cabinetry, which can account for up to 50 percent of the budget. After labor, appliances are the next biggest expense, eating up about 15 percent of the budget. Countertops are about 10 percent, and flooring makes up 7 percent. The smallest expenses, at about 5 percent each, are lighting, plumbing fixtures, doors and windows, and walls and ceilings. Understanding that there are no standard costs for a remodel -- every home is unique because of its age, layout and construction type -- will help you be more realistic about the potential costs of your project.