Tuesday, September 25, 2012

What do Granite Counters Cost? How Can You Price What a New Kitchen Will Cost You?

As a follow-up to my article, "What to Look For In Kitchen Cabinets", I thought you might like to know what it cost to put in granite counter tops.

I am basing these estimates and tips on a 10 foot kitchen with upper and lower cabinets with an under mount sink which is a popular size for this area with the average unit sizes available.

Granite can vary a great deal depending on what you pick but a 10 foot standard width counter with breaks for a sink can costs

As for the workmanship, again the cost can vary and it depends on how you want it installed.

It generally depends:

  • Stone slab thickness
  • Edge treatments:  Half Bullnose edge, Round over edge, Bevel Edge, etc.
  • Whether a backsplash is involved/needed to be considered for installation and seams
  • Whether you want an under mount sink
A mid range granite costs about $40 square foot before edge selection, cuts and installation costs and taxes.  You can get granite for less but they tend to be less available, remnant pieces or less popular colors.  Of course, it can be much more expensive for rare, exotic granite or granite that is very popular at the moment.  

So if you have a kitchen with a counter that is 10 feet by 2 feet and another section of 4 feet by 2 feet, with a rounded edge and tax, it will come to about $2,500.  

How much would it cost in total to put in the kitchen in our example?  Let's complete the estimate:

The tile work for the back splash for standard subway tile will be around $1,000.  I based this on my experience working with vendors on repair jobs in preparing property for sale. This is basically what they charge in Hoboken for a standard back splash. 

So in our example from last week, the cabinets for semi-customizable cabinets for a 10 foot by 2 by 4 x 2 kitchen will cost around $12,000.  The backsplash would be around $1,000 and the Granite counter would be around $2,500.  

To use as example let's say you put in Frigidaire's first level stainless steel appliances:

Stove  (30 inch, 4 burner) $485 + tax and delivery
Fridge (18 cubic feet) $566 + tax and delivery
Microwave (1.7 cubic feet) $269 + tax and delivery
Dishwasher - (Frigidaire Gallery 24 inch built in) - $485 + tax and delivery



Sales tax in NJ is 7%.  You may be able to avoid this if you order online but then you will pay delivery charges. 1805x1.07=1931.75  Let's call it $2,000 before any installation charges.  

A popular under-mount stainless steel sink from Lowes is the Vigo single basin 19" wide by 9.85" deep basin sink for $385 + tax.   Which comes to a total of $412. 

A stainless steel single handle faucet in stainless is about $250.  Moen has one for $238 before tax and shipping. 

In Hoboken as in most towns, you have to get work permits for anything involving plumbing or electric.  If you are just replacing cabinets or wall coverings you may not need permits.  I understand it's a function of how much work is being done.  Check with the city on the rules for permits.  Also, be aware that there is a lag between when permits are "pulled" and when the city responds.  When you speak to contractors, they may tell you they can have it done quickly but in my experience, that almost never takes into account waiting for permits.  Permit costs are a function of how much work it is for the city to inspect and monitor your project.  

Keep in mind that if you are putting in a permanent microwave that requires a new outlet, you will need a permit.  The same for a dishwasher or any lighting.  

So the total cost of our 10 feet by 2 feet by 4 feet by 2 feet L shaped kitchen with semi-customized cabinets, mid-range granite, standard subway tile backsplash and a full suite of mid-range stainless steel appliances is....

$12,000 cabinets + installation (how much?  ~$80/hour.)
   2,500 granite counters
   1,000 backsplash
   2,000 appliances
      400 sink
      250 faucet
 $18,150 + permits + any lighting

So the total costs for a 10 x 2, 4 x 2 foot L shaped mid-range finished kitchen is about $20,000 all in. 

I, generally, would not recommend putting in a new kitchen (or bath) to sell a place.  Often prospective buyers would prefer to put in their own kitchen with to their own tastes.  You really have to weigh the time, effort and costs of putting in an improvement like this for a sale.  The costs above do not include carrying costs of carrying your property while this work is being done.  How much are your mortgage, home owners association dues, property tax expenses?

Also, keep mind, unless your existing kitchen was truly old (40, 50 years old ie completely beyond its useful life), you don't typically get a dollar for dollar price improvement out of putting in a new kitchen (or bath) just before selling.  It will help prospects see beyond some flaws and it should help your apartment sell faster.  A kitchen renovation will improve the price, just don't expect a one to one improvement.  

This article is really written for the buyer who is considering buying a place with an old kitchen and they want to know what it might cost them to upgrade it should he/she buy. 

Provided by Donna Antonucci
Prudential Castle Point Realty