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The Under $50,000 Kitchen

So…one day last year I’m driving home from the office. One of my daughters had questioned me about some kitchen changes she wanted to do in her home. As I’m driving, I’m thinking that our cabinetry is not in a price range that she can afford. And then…ZOOM…a new SUV passes me. My daughter drives the same one. When I get home, I Google her SUV and start searching for a price.  WOW, they start at $45,000 and quickly go up to the upper 60’s! Maybe she’s making more money than I thought. LOL. Anyway, what do cars have to do with kitchens?  Funny you should ask. Obviously we spend a lot of our time in both. But, just how much time do we spend? Again, I go to Google and type in “How much time does the average person spend in their car each day?” Lots of answers to digest. Looking through all of the data, I took the most conservative answer and came up with 1.1 hours per day (some were as high as 1.7 hours). Cool…next I google “How much time does the average person spend in the kitchen each day?” Lots of answers on this one, also. With all of the data, I took the most conservative answer and came up with 1.2 hours a day (some said 2.2 hours per day). This does not include eating time in the area. Considering time spent in the car and the kitchen, they are almost identical. Is there a parallel between the two?  I don’t know. If someone is willing to spend $50,000 on a vehicle (that they spend 1.1 hours per day in), would they be willing to spend $50,000 for a kitchen that they spend the same amount of time in? If the answer is no, then there is no parallel. But, if the answer is yes, I need to find a way to provide a complete kitchen in the $50,000 range! Coincidentally, our Bentwood Dealer in Kansas City has been asking for this exact scenario for the last three years. So…can I provide a high quality cabinet, with appliances, countertops, sink, faucet, and the labor to install all of these items for $50,000.00?  Before I can answer the question I need to find out how big the kitchen is in today’s average size home. Back to Google I go. In 1972, the average size home was 1600 SQ FT with 160 SQ FT dedicated to the kitchen, including a small eating area. Today’s home has grown to 2,400 SQ FT with 220 SQ FT dedicated to the kitchen, including a small eating area. I surfed through a few of the National Home Builders websites and came up with a common kitchen that fit the current space requirements. It’s an L-Shaped space with an island. I asked our staff to assemble all of the pricing for each component. Kevin has been working on a new product line, Harmoni, for over a year, so this is the cabinet line that we used in our pricing scenario. We included pricing on GE Monogram and GE Profile appliances, Cosentino/Silestone countertops and a Blanco sink and faucet. All of these brands are high quality products and fit well with the Harmoni cabinet line. We made a few assumptions on labor (because it changes by region), but we included pricing on the installation and hook-up of all the products listed above. To my surprise, our test kitchen produced amazing results. Based on door/wood/finish on the cabinets and the appliance/countertop package you select, you can purchase a well appointed Harmoni kitchen installed from $37,000.00 to $47,000.00. And…according to Kelly Blue Book the SUV depreciates by $30,000.00 in 5 years. The price of the home should increase in value during the same period of time. Hmm…let’s see if I can find my daughters phone number. — Randy

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