Budgeting For a Kitchen Remodel
In a home, the kitchen is one of the biggest selling points. It is one of the main determining factors used when buying a house. The kitchen’s condition can make or break the sale of a home as one of the most utilized rooms in the home. This is especially true for those with large families and those who like to entertain. There is no denying the fact that the kitchen is a room in the home like no other. It is a place where people like to congregate. Its warmth provides people with a sense of security, while the smells that waft from within bring comfort to their souls.
It is no wonder people often remodel their kitchens before any other room in the house. The kitchen is also one that many people touch up and remodel when they are ready to sell their homes and move on. No matter what the reason is for remodeling your kitchen, it is important to take in some considerations. It is important to make a conscious effort to determine and stick to a budget. If not, it is easy to over-spend and end up having to pay dearly for unexpected costs.
Consider Your Total Budget
Before you do anything else, determine your total budget. Decide how much you want to spend when all is said and done. Keep in mind that an average upscale kitchen remodel can cost over $75,000. Three questions to ask yourself when determine a total budget include:
1. How much can you afford to spend on your kitchen remodel? Make sure you are not digging yourself in a hole that you cannot recover from easily.
2. How much longer are you planning on staying in your home? If you are planning on staying less than five years, then a more economical remodel may be the best way to go. If you are planning on staying for longer than five years, you may want to upgrade to a kitchen you and your family can comfortably enjoy.
3. What are the comparison homes’ kitchens like in your neighborhood? Do they have top-of-the-line hardware and appliances, or are they more middle-of-the-road?
More difficult than determining a total budget is sticking to it over the course of the remodel. Often times, homeowners find themselves going over budget, causing them frustration and heartache. Therefore, it is important to determine a bottom line that you can live with.
Consider Where the Money Will Come From
Once a total budget is identified, it is vital for you to determine where the money will come from before starting any kind of remodel work in your kitchen. Securing the financial sources before work begins prevents you from facing unpaid bills in the future.
Perhaps you have already been saving up cash and have quite a bit to spend as a result. Or, you are intending to take out a small home equity loan to cover your expenses. Maybe, you are spending your hard-earned money straight up because your annual salary can support such a remodel.
Regardless of where the money is coming from for your kitchen remodel, you need to make sure you are clear on its origin. Knowing exactly how you are going to secure your finances will save headaches down the road.
Consider How The Costs Will Break Down
Once you have decided on the cost of your kitchen remodel and where you’re going to secure your funding, you will have to think through how the costs might break down. Knowing where the money will go will allow you to determine what level of remodel you can afford.
For an average kitchen remodel, the money is broken down into the following expenses:
Labor – 20%
New Countertops – 35%
New Appliances – 20%
Fixtures – 5%
Fittings – 3%
Other – 17% (such as refinish cabinets) This “Other: category can also be set aside to cover unexpected costs, which always pop up in any remodel project.
Make a List of Priorities
Different people tend to be passionate about different things in the kitchen. Some have been dying to replace their linoleum floors. Others have been saving up for granite countertops.
What part of your kitchen deserves the highest priority? You will need to prioritize the things you want before beginning the remodel. What are you simply going to reuse and clean up compared to what you are going to demolish and bring in new?
Making a prioritized list will allow you to be logical when flexibility is called for down the road. If unexpected costs pop up along the way, you may have to adjust the priority list. Having the list to begin with can help prevent chaos and frustration later on.
Conduct Thorough Research
Take some time, before starting your kitchen remodel, to conduct in-depth research of the various costs. Sometimes, homeowners can save some money if they put in some of the work themselves. For instance, homeowners can save some labor costs by conducting their own demolition – they can tear out their own floor or remove their own cabinets.
It is important for you to research not only the costs of the materials, but take the time to find reputable contractors to complete the work. Ask around in your neighborhood and find someone you can trust. Contractors tend to have a bad reputation for cheating their customers out of time and money. Thoroughly researching your options is vital in this process.
Something to take into consideration while researching the costs of different kitchen items is the fact that a remodel could potentially put the space out of commission. Will you be eating out? If so, you may want to consider food as part of the budget. Maybe your parents live nearby and you have been granted permission to use their kitchen while yours is undergoing a remodel.
Kitchen remodels can be frustrating, but the end product, when done well, can be immensely rewarding. A newly remodel kitchen can bring endless joy to you and your family.