5 Helpful Tips on Budgeting Your Kitchen Remodel

Is your kitchen starting to look dated? Are you tired of your linoleum countertops that are well-loved with stains and scratches? Are you looking for ways to increase your home’s value before you put it on the market in a couple of years? Or maybe it’s just time to finally create the kitchen of your dreams. When it’s time to remodel, it’s important to realize that expenses can quickly get out of hand. Here are five helpful tips on budgeting your kitchen remodel to help you get the kitchen you can’t stop thinking about.

1. Decide How Much You Want to Spend and How You Will Pay for It

The average kitchen remodel costs around $24,000. If you’re looking for an upscale remodel, need to spend even more. This is why budgeting is so important. When you start to make your budget you will first need to determine how much you can afford to spend. You’ll also want to consider how long you plan on staying in your home. If you plan to sell your home within the next five years, you should look at your remodel as an improvement on your investment. This means you should not spend more than what you think you will get back when you sell the house. You should also consider the kind of kitchens in comparable homes in your market. You don’t want to over-improve your kitchen and not be able to get your money back when you sell your home.

 

An important part of budgeting is knowing exactly how you will pay for the project. It is common for homeowners to take out home equity loans given that they are tax-deductible or to refinance. If you decide to pay for your remodel with a loan, you will want to factor in your interest and loan origination fees into your kitchen remodel budget.

2. Determine Your Priorities and Must-Haves Ahead of Time

Your kitchen remodel should be about improving the functionality of the space and making it your own. When you make your budget decide what is most important to you and make it a priority. There are three main categories that your priorities will fall into: countertops, cabinetry, and appliances.

Countertops

Countertops can easily be one of the biggest expenses in a kitchen remodel. There are numerous materials to choose from at all different price points. Natural stone countertop options like granite of marble tend to be costlier but can be far more durable, heat resistant, and higher quality than man-made materials on the market. Natural stone countertop options also tend to last much longer and can increase the value of your home. If you are only looking for a budget remodel, the countertop material may be less important and you can get away with choosing a laminate countertop that resembles natural stone at a fraction of the cost.

Cabinets

You may decide that your current cabinetry simply isn’t working anymore, and decide to make it the central focus of your kitchen remodel. If your cabinetry is less important, you always have the option of re-facing the cabinets and changing the hardware. This will give your cabinets a fresh new look at a fraction of the cost.

Appliances

Make sure you budget appropriately for the appliances you want to install in your kitchen. If you are happy with your existing appliances and they are still functioning well, you may not even have to budget for appliances at all. On the other hand, you may want to change the style of your refrigerator, replace your existing stove with a commercial range, etc. Decide what is most important and add it into the budget before your remodel even gets started.

3. Keep 20% of Your Budget for the Unexpected

No matter how hard you try to stick to your budget, there will always be unexpected expenses. This is especially true in older homes. You never quite know what you will find when you start to rip up a kitchen that has been well-loved for 10+ years. You may find faulty electrical wiring, rotten portions of the floor, plumbing leaks, and so forth. By leaving 20% of your budget aside, you will have the wiggle room needed to take care of these problems as they pop up.

4. Factor in the Expense of Eating Out and Other Accommodations

When you remodel your kitchen you need to think of a few steps ahead. Where and what will you eat? You need to include the cost of eating out while your kitchen is out of service into your remodeling budget. You may also want to consider whether you want to continue living in your home while the remodeling is being done or whether you will stay in other accommodations. Temporarily staying with family or friends can help reduce the additional expenses of eating out and outside accommodations. However, if you don’t want to crash with family and friends, you may consider getting a short term rental with a kitchenette, which again can save on the cost of eating out during the remodel. Whichever option you choose; you will need to account for it in your budget.

5. Resist the Extras

Once a kitchen remodel gets underway, it can be so tempting to start adding on all the extras. The thought that you are already knee-deep in renovations and it would be easy to just do it now starts to creep in and if you act on it you will quickly surpass your budget. It’s important to remember that you have spent the time to carefully come up with your initial kitchen remodel budget and that the little extras that you would like to add as you go along won’t affect the functioning of the kitchen. It’s also important to remember that many of the little extras can be added in at a later time. When it gets hard to resist, go back to your initial budget and revisit your numbers. Those numbers are more important than crown molding, cabinet lighting, or whatever little extra is begging to be added.

BONUS: Check Your Budget Often

When you’re in the midst of a kitchen remodel, it can be easy to get carried away with spending. You need to check your budget often to make sure you stay on track. It can be helpful to use a spreadsheet to keep an itemized list of everything you spend. This can help prevent any surprise issues with the budget. Keeping a spreadsheet can also help you see where you are spending and can help identify areas where to cut back if needed.

Research and Preparation is the Name of the Game

A kitchen remodel requires careful planning given that it can quickly get expensive. One of the most important parts of planning your kitchen remodel is to do your research. Understand your different options regarding materials and their costs. Determine what your priorities are and what you need for your space to be functional for your family. Doing your homework ahead of time can save you both time and money as you’ll be more confident in your decisions and can avoid those pesky fees that come with changing your mind at the last minute.

Posted in: Money Management, Money Saving Tips