Budget Basics: NYC High-End Kitchen Renovation Costs

Renovating can be a lot of work – Sweeten makes it easier to nail down scope and find the best design and construction experts for your project. Budget basics are hereread on down for luxe options and costs for a high-end kitchen renovation!


$20,000 is a good starting point for a basic kitchen renovation in NYC. The move toward a high-end kitchen begins when you are looking to re-work or expand the layout of the existing kitchen.

You can go sky-high on luxury appliances but the real value of a high-end kitchen comes in the softer costs of precise design and infrastructure upgrades and the investment of custom millwork and craftsmanship.

custom cabinetry kitchen remodel

Custom Millwork

Cabinets are generally the most cost- and labor- intensive physical aspect of a luxe kitchen renovation. Homeowners looking for high-end finishes tend to go in one of two directions: they opt for minimalist sleek cabinetry with concealed hardware, or they turn to decorative cabinetry with highly custom visual details. Either way, the starting point for basic custom cabinetry is $1,000 per linear foot.

Custom cabinet options that can raise the profile of a kitchen include wood veneers that provide a tailored look and incorporate unique materials, high gloss lacquer that offers a dramatic visual effect and is expensive because the application requires multiple layers and specialized handling, and solid-color (or “color core”) laminate cabinets that are color-finished all the way through so you don’t have any visible separation between interiors and surfaces.



Homeowners looking to maximize every inch of the kitchen can work with a variety of cabinet options that dramatically raise the functionality of the kitchen, at a cost. Drawers are hugely popular because they allow for more immediate access to storage than traditional cupboards. Because drawers require more specialized labor to create “boxes within boxes” and to install mechanics and hardware that line up and glide perfectly, kitchen drawers can be five times as expensive as conventional cupboards.

Creative storage solutions like a lazy susan feature, pull-out cabinets and organizers, and self-closing drawer and door hardware involve hardware and labor that can add a few hundred dollars or several thousand dollars to your budget, depending on the durability and customization needed.

Custom cabinets are not just for homes with lots of square footage; NYC homeowners with limited kitchen depth may also find themselves deciding to go custom on cabinetry. Cabinets with less depth accommodate tighter spaces and more depth accommodate specific tableware storage. These choices inherently require custom cabinet work because pre-fabricated cabinet options come in limited and fixed depth measurements. Read more about the difference between custom and pre-fabricated cabinets here.

ann sacks porcelain backsplash

Details, Details

Beyond the design, layout, appliances, and cabinetry, a luxe kitchen renovation is likely to incorporate careful details that add to the visual appeal of the space or conceal elements that you might rather keep hidden. You might opt to continue custom cabinetry work with panels to conceal appliances. The “wow” factor is big here but so is the cost: conceal panels need to be made by the millworker and installed after the appliances go in, so you may be paying for multiple sets of hands to work with and around these features. You might also opt for hidden cabinet push and pull hardware that eliminates any external hardware. Cabinets with seamless surfaces are super striking and simple to clean, but require expert construction to function without visible pulls.

Conventional kitchen lighting can trip up homeowners who have invested heavily in the space. If you chose transparent cabinet doors, you might opt to incorporate interior cabinet lighting or a combination of overhead and under-cabinet lighting. Consider spending more on LED lighting for under-cabinet lights; they are more expensive than halogen lights but do not heat up as much and will save you from the accidental heat when flipping hidden switches on and off.

open shelving kitchen renovation

Sweeten handpicks the best general contractors to match each project’s location, budget, scope, and style. Follow the blog for renovation ideas and inspiration and when you’re ready to renovate, start your renovation on Sweeten.