Profit Margins: What Contractors Should Earn from Kitchen Remodels

Not sure what profit margin is fair for a kitchen remodel? Discover industry standards and tips for maximizing your earnings.

Kitchen remodeling is a lucrative business for contractors, but determining the right profit margin for each project can be a challenge. This article will provide contractors with valuable insights into profit margins in kitchen remodeling, including industry standards and factors influencing profit margins. We will also discuss how to calculate your profit margin and strategies for maximizing your earnings. By understanding these key elements, contractors can make informed decisions to ensure their success in the industry.

What is a Profit Margin?

Before we dive into the specifics of profit margins in kitchen remodeling, let's first understand what a profit margin actually is. Simply put, a profit margin is the percentage of revenue that remains as profit after deducting all costs associated with a project. 

In the context of kitchen remodeling, it represents the amount of money a contractor makes on each project.

Industry Standards for Profit Margins

When it comes to determining the appropriate profit margin for kitchen remodeling projects, industry standards can serve as a helpful benchmark. While profit margins can vary depending on various factors, such as location and competition, a commonly accepted range falls between 10% and 20%. However, it's important to note that this range may not be universally applicable and can differ from one contractor to another.

Factors Influencing Profit Margins

Several factors can influence the profit margins in kitchen remodeling projects. Understanding these factors is crucial for contractors looking to maximize their earnings. Some key factors to consider are:

      • Competition: The level of competition in your area can greatly impact profit margins. If there are many contractors offering similar services, you may need to adjust your profit margin accordingly to remain competitive.
      • Labor and Material Costs: Labor and material costs play a significant role in determining profit margins. Fluctuations in prices can directly impact how much profit you can retain from a project. It is essential to stay up-to-date with market trends and adjust your pricing accordingly.
      • Project Complexity: The complexity of the project can influence profit margins. More complex projects may require additional time, resources, and expertise. Contractors should factor in these considerations when determining their profit margin.

How to Calculate Your Profit Margin

To calculate your profit margin accurately, you need to have a clear understanding of your project costs and revenue. Here's a simple formula to help you calculate your profit margin:

Profit Margin = (Net Profit / Total Revenue) x 100

Net profit refers to the amount of money you retain after deducting all costs associated with the project, including labor, materials, and overhead expenses. Total revenue represents the total amount of money you earn from the project.

Signs of Unfair Markup Prices

When a homeowner suspects their contractor of using unfair markups during a kitchen remodel, it can lead to a range of negative feelings. Distrust and frustration are common, stemming from a lack of transparency and consistent pricing. 

This situation often results in anxiety about financial overreach, disappointment in the contractor's conduct, and regret over the selection process. Feelings of helplessness and anger might also emerge, alongside worries about the project's quality and completion. Be sure you can justify your costs and fair market profit margins. If you're lucky enough to be so busy that you throw out what I used to call a “courtesy bid”, be careful. Word might spread that you're gouging and you won’t get chances to bid on projects when you're not busy. 

Here are some potential red flags from a homeowner's perspective that contractors should be aware of when quoting a job. These signs may imply you are charging too much:

      • Lack of Transparency: A reputable contractor should provide a detailed breakdown of costs. If they're reluctant to show you where the money is going, that's a red flag.
      • Significantly Higher Quotes: If their quote is significantly higher than other contractors for similar work, it might indicate unfair markups. Always get multiple quotes for comparison.
      • Pressure to Make Quick Decisions: High-pressure sales tactics, like urging you to sign a contract quickly to lock in a 'special price,' can be a sign of price manipulation.
      • Charging for Quotes or Estimates: Most reputable contractors offer free quotes or estimates. If you're being charged for these, it could be a way to add extra costs.
      • Vague Contract Terms: A contract that lacks detail about the scope of work, materials, and timeline can hide additional markups.
      • Significant Upfront Payment Requests: While some upfront payment is normal, be cautious if a contractor asks for a large percentage of the total cost upfront.
      • Inconsistencies in Pricing: If the contractor's pricing fluctuates significantly without a clear reason (like changes in material costs or project scope), it could indicate unfair pricing practices.
      • High Costs for Materials: Do some research on the materials being used. If the contractor's prices for these materials are much higher than market rates, they might be marking up prices unfairly.
      • References and Reviews: Check their past work and speak to previous clients. If there are consistent complaints about overpricing, it's a warning sign.
      • Lack of a Physical Address or Credentials: Contractors who operate without a physical business location or proper licensing and insurance might be less reliable and more likely to charge unfair prices.

Strategies for Maximizing Profit Margins

Now that you understand the factors influencing profit margins and how to calculate them, let's explore some strategies to help you maximize your earnings in kitchen remodeling:

      • Effective Cost Management: Implement efficient cost management practices to minimize expenses without compromising the quality of the project. Carefully analyze your costs and explore opportunities to negotiate better deals with suppliers and subcontractors.
      • Accurate Estimations: Accurate project estimations are essential to ensure that your profit margin remains intact. Thoroughly assess the scope of work, use reliable cost databases, and consider any potential risks or unforeseen circumstances that may arise during the project.
      • Value Engineering: Explore value engineering options to optimize the project's design and construction methods. By finding innovative solutions that reduce costs without sacrificing quality, you can increase your profit margins.
      • Upselling and Cross-Selling: Identify opportunities to upsell and cross-sell additional services or products to your clients. This approach can increase your revenue without significantly affecting your expenses, thereby boosting your profit margins.
      • Customer Relationship Management: Building strong relationships with your clients can lead to repeat business and referrals, ultimately enhancing your profitability. Providing excellent customer service, maintaining communication throughout the project, and delivering high-quality results are key to fostering positive client relationships.


Profit margins are a vital aspect of running a successful kitchen remodeling contracting business. By understanding industry standards, factors influencing profit margins, and adopting effective strategies, contractors can make informed decisions to maximize their earnings. It is crucial to regularly assess and adjust profit margins based on market conditions, competition, and project requirements. By implementing these insights and strategies, contractors can thrive in the kitchen remodeling industry.

Additional Resources

For further reading and guidance on profit margins in kitchen remodeling, we recommend the following resources:

      1. "Profit First for Contractors" by Shawn Van Dyke
      2. The National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) website:
      3. The Remodelers Advantage website:

Transform Your Sales Process

Similar posts

Get notified on new marketing insights

Be the first to know about new B2B SaaS Marketing insights to build or refine your marketing function with the tools and knowledge of today’s industry.