So, you’ve decided to remodel your kitchen. Congratulations! Now comes the fun part: budgeting for it. Not-so-shockingly, most homeowners prefer the exercise of planning their dream kitchen over actually planning how they’re going to pay for it. But it’s a necessary step, because the alternative is a project that ends up costing more than your entire home is worth! Okay, this is extremely unlikely, but budgeting is important. Here are some pro tips on how to tackle this task.
Tips On Budgeting For A Kitchen Remodel
Decide what you can spend
Setting a budget for your kitchen remodel and staying within it sounds simple in theory, but the reality can be altogether different. A couple of factors determine if you can drop the $80,000 that an average upscale kitchen remodel cost. The first is, quite obviously, how much you can afford to spend. Take a hard look at your finances to get the lowdown on this number. Second, ask yourself one crucial question: how long do you envision living in the house? If you’re planning on selling within five years, then this project should be regarded as an improvement on a real estate investment. In this case, spend just what you think you’ll get in return when you sell the house. If you plan on sticking around long-term, go with a remodel that will benefit your preferences and lifestyle most.
Break down the costs
Labor comprises anywhere from 20 to 35 percent of your costs. Cabinets will also eat up a good chunk of your costs.
Here’s a sample breakdown of an average kitchen remodel budget:
35 percent: cabinets
20 percent: labor
20 percent: appliances
10 percent windows
5 percent: fixtures
3 percent: fittings
7 percent: other
Plan for emergencies
As you may have heard in the past, when it comes to a remodeling project, things occasionally “pop up.” “This is especially true if you live in an older home. It’s a wise idea to earmark 15 to 20 percent of your budget to handle the unexpected (although, if you’re planning for this, exactly how this falls under “unexpected” is murky!). There’s any number of unwelcome surprises lurking hiding under your floor and in your walls. For example, you could peek inside your wall and find a mess of out-of-date wiring. Or, how about a rotting floor under your dishwasher courtesy of a previously-undetected leak? Leave some cushion in your budget to cover these pitfalls. If you experience none of these, thank the renovation gods.
Set your priorities
What’s the most important aspect of your renovation? A new layout? Custom cabinets? Take a minute to set your priorities so if your remodel takes a few budgetary detours, you can ensure you get what you want done. However, consider the big picture when eyeing details like crown molding and that designer faucet that caught your eye. How essential are they to the appearance and functionality of your kitchen? Sure, these are nice details, but they add up. There are usually alternatives that are more cost-effective, or you may be able to eliminate them altogether. Many homeowners commonly mix things up by choosing a couple of things to splurge on and others that are budget-friendly. Compromise isn’t the most fun part of planning a remodel, but it’s better to face potential issues head-on rather than allow the budget to careen out of control.
Do some of the small work to lower your costs.
Don’t believe the hype! You can save some dollars by doing some of the work yourself. Demolition, such as taking out the old flooring and cabinets – is easy to do, and can even be fun. Bribe your friends with pizza and drinks to help. Have a party and swing some sledgehammers!
Understand how you use your kitchen
When remodeling a kitchen, you really need to understand how you live, how you cook, and how you like to organize things. Don’t allow yourself to be seduced by the glitzy remodel on one of the home improvement shows. Consider how to maximize the functionality of your kitchen. If you’re fed up with having to put your toaster on top of the microwave after you’re done with it, for example, an appliance garage can be just the thing to increase the accessibility of your gadgets and gizmos. If you focus on what works for you, it should be reflected in your final budget. A budget that balances what you want and what you need is the ideal.
Keep in mind these are just guidelines. The beauty of owning your own home is that you can approach a remodel any way you see fit. However, a little budgeting discipline can go a long way toward ensuring your project doesn’t become an out-of-control beast, financially or otherwise. Ovation Design-Build is committed to making your remodeling dreams a reality. Contact us today to find out how.