DIY or Contractor

By Sean Walsh

Kitchen Remodel DIY or Hire a Contractor

Do I Need a Contractor and How Much Will it Cost?

Kitchen remodels can be very expensive, costing $10,000 or more. So if you are considering a kitchen remodel, one of the first questions you will ask is “Do I need a contractor?” The answer to this question depends on your budget and how much time you want to spend working on it yourself.

Hiring a kitchen remodeling professional should provide more assurance that everything will go smoothly and get finished in a timely manner without any unnecessary headaches along the way-something many homeowners who try tackling their own kitchens often experience!

What Does a Contractor Do?

A kitchen remodel contractor will be able to work with you and provide a clear vision of what your dream kitchen looks like. They will be able to guide you through every step and answer any questions that arise during the process, including how much materials cost and how to remedy potential problems.

The contractor you hire will typically provide blueprints, and if you want, help design the layout of your kitchen (if you don’t have a designer), and purchase a lot of the materials. The majority of the work will be done by a contractor unless you want to do some of it yourself.

A contractor will be able to work with you and understand what your budget is. They are skilled at understanding exactly how much materials cost so they can help set a realistic budget for the kitchen remodel that works within your means.

Why Hire a Contractor?

Having a professional do all of the labor, planning, and clean-up work means that things should go more quickly without any missteps or unexpected problems along the way-which often happen when homeowners try tackling their own kitchens! Here are few benefits of hiring a contractor:

Makes sure everything goes smoothly and that everyone is staying on task. A good contractor always makes sure that all plumbing works well, there aren’t any water spills or other potential hazards (such as exposed wiring), and they clean up as they go.

You don’t have to worry about the financial burden of not knowing where to start. The contractor you hire will guide you through everything from choosing colors and materials to making sure your kitchen is left up to code and not missing a thing.

They can help make your kitchen look like it was built by an expert, which is important when it comes to resale value. Your contractor should take care to make sure that everything they do is done properly-the finishing touches are important!

How Much Will it Cost?

The amount of time and labor that goes into your project will determine how much it costs. Typically, contractors offer free quotes or proposals so you can get an idea if their rates are in line with what you’re looking to spend before hiring them.

How is Cost Determined?

Most contractors will typically charge per project at 10-20 % of the overall project cost. This fee is calculated from materials, subtractor labor and the total price of the job from start to finish. Contractors will give you an estimate based on the project’s markup and package their fee into the services included.

Contractors base the project markup on:

  • Overhead
  • Subcontractors/labor
  • Insurance and liability
  • Taxes
  • Contractor salary


Most contractors will not charge based on hourly rate but if you do find one,
it is typically in the ballpark of $30 to $50 per square foot. Be cautious when choosing a contractor based on hourly rate as some will drag their feet on a project in order to increase their overall pay! More common than an hourly rate would be contractors that charge per day. In this case, most contractors would charge $300-$500 a day.

When you do make the decision to hire a contractor, choose three different bids and decide which on is best for you. Don’t go with the lowest bid just because it’s less money. This is a huge decision for you and your home and you want to make sure you are choosing the right professional contractor.

Size of Project:

The cost of your kitchen remodel will depend on the size and scope, so you’ll want to discuss this with potential contractors first. If you have a tight budget you may feel a contractor is out of the question, but contractors can work within many budgets and project sizes. For instance, if you have a plan to do a small remodel for about $10,000, a contractor would only be an extra $1000-$2000. Depending on your kitchen plans and needs, a contractor may be a small extra price with huge benefits.

Price quotes from contractors should include all materials, so there’s no need to worry about hidden costs when hiring them. Getting detailed bids will eliminate the risk of receiving any surprise bills after the project has already been completed and paid for.

When you do make the decision to hire a contractor, choose three different bids and decide which one is best for you. Don’t go with the lowest bid just because it’s less money. This is a huge decision for you and your home and you want to make sure you are choosing the right combination of price and services.

How to Find a Reliable Contractor? (and what to ask)

-Do not hire a contractor you don’t know anything about. Ask for references and go with your gut instinct on whether or not the person is trustworthy. Check out online reviews as well as customer satisfaction scores.

-Look for contractors that have experience with remodels. You want someone experienced so you don’t end up doing all of the work yourself or having to start from scratch with a new contractor halfway through your project!

-Check if they offer free quotes and proposals first before hiring them, this way you can get an idea about their rates without any obligations on either side

Interviewing Contractors:

When interviewing contractors, there are several questions you’ll want to ask in order to make sure everything goes smoothly. These include what is included (materials vs labor) as well as how long it will take. Sit down and talk each point over carefully with your potential contractor until you’re both happy.

-Approach your contractor with a clear idea of the space you have to work with, and what exactly you want done: this will help them provide an accurate estimate about how much it’ll cost for materials needed and their labor charge. It’s also important that they know if there are any obstacles in the way like plumbing or electrical wiring so they can plan accordingly as well as protect themselves from liability risks.

-Lastly, trust your instincts when hiring a kitchen remodel contractor. If it doesn’t feel like they are right for the job then don’t be afraid to move on and find someone else!