Estimate The Cost Of Your Kitchen Countertops With These Simple Tips

Replacing countertops is one of the most expensive projects a homeowner can take on inside a kitchen, capable of eating up 10 to 30% of your total remodeling budget if you renovate the entire room. Such an investment requires careful planning, and calculating construction costs beforehand is a great way to prepare yourself for the commitment. If you want a personal estimate of installing new countertops in your home, figure out how much countertop space your kitchen offers and multiply it by the cost of materials you'll need to finish the job.

While installations involving more expensive countertop materials should almost certainly be left to the pros, jobs involving cheaper materials, like laminate, can become DIY projects if you have a helping hand. However, determining the length and depth of your counters on your own can still be beneficial if you opt to hire a countertop fabricator instead. Your calculation of your countertops' dimensions might not be as precise as a professional's, but finding these measurements ahead of time and familiarizing yourself with contractors' methods of pricing may help you choose the right technician more soundly.

Although many contractors offer free quotes to potential customers, it doesn't hurt to do a bit of math yourself to determine if the contractors in your area are offering fair deals. And best of all, you don't have to be a skilled mathematician to do it. Continue reading for more on estimating the cost of new countertops for your kitchen.

Measure the dimensions of your countertops

To begin the countertop installation process, you'll have to figure out how much material you'll need to complete the job. One of the most effective ways to do this is to create a rough sketch of your existing countertops with dimensions and the placement of key appliances in your kitchen, like the sink, cooktop, and refrigerator, if applicable. Grab a tape measure, a pencil or pen, a calculator, some sheets of graph paper, and a friend or family member who can help make sure your measurements are precise.

Use your tape measure to find the length of your counters, measuring from wall to wall rather than edge to edge for the most precision. You may need to measure your countertops' length in multiple spots around your kitchen, as some layouts create more counter space than others. Next, calculate depth by measuring from the wall to where the counter stops, accounting for any space taken up by the backsplash. Disregarding backsplash can result in an inaccurate measurement, leading you to purchase slabs that are too short for your kitchen. 

The average countertop depth measures 25.5 inches, so use this as a reference when measuring your own. After you've recorded all the dimensions and finished labeling your sketch, multiply the length and depth of each countertop slab separately before dividing each total by 144. This converts all of the measurements from inches to square feet.

Calculate the cost of materials and labor

Before tallying prices, you need to choose a countertop style. Once you've narrowed down the type of countertops you want to install, look up price estimates for your selected material online. These estimations will likely appear as ranges rather than specific amounts since countertop prices vary depending on various factors, including the thickness of the slabs and the overall quality of the product. 

Next, find your recorded dimensions and multiply the area of each countertop slab, converted into square feet, by the price per square foot of your chosen material. If you haven't fully committed to a style yet, try drafting estimates for all possible contenders and weighing the pros and cons of each to help you decide.

Predicting labor costs may be a bit more difficult since location, industry reputation, and experience levels may all play a role in contractors' pricing. However, expect labor costs from professionals to range from $20 to $50 per square foot. These costs may also vary depending on the complexity of the project. Taking on the project yourself would eliminate these additional costs, but any money initially saved from the decision might have to be spent on acquiring extra equipment you don't already have. It's advised only to consider installing countertops alone if you have prior carpentry experience or experience in a similar trade.