Kitchens are expensive. Whether building one from scratch or upgrading an outdated space, a customized kitchen can easily set you back a few thousand dollars.
Whether you’re considering a new build or a remodel, you probably have big dreams for your new kitchen. Planning every aspect of a new kitchen before you get started can help keep costs from swelling out of control. The last thing you want is to run out of funds midway through a project.
Fortunately, while there are plenty of opportunities to splurge on a kitchen, there are also lots of ways to save. The goal is to find balance with a well-thought-out budget.
Not sure how to proceed? Holland’s can help with these eight tips to manage your kitchen remodel budget hassle-free.
1. Decide Your Budget
For starters, you must set a spending limit for your kitchen. An average kitchen remodel (with new countertops and cabinets) can cost around $25,000 or $150 per square foot. Of course, this varies based on several factors, including:
- Size of the kitchen
- Labor costs
- Materials chosen
- Scope of the project
Given the budget involved, researching various options and doing your homework is critical. Start by measuring the kitchen to know exactly how much material is needed. Next, browse online resources, magazines, and showrooms for an idea of your desired style and the associated costs. The more information you can gather, the better.
You’ll also want to determine the non-negotiable elements of the remodel, and what you can do without in case it doesn’t fit your price range. For example, custom kitchen cabinets are a must-have for storage reasons. But if that new high-tech refrigerator doesn’t fit your current budget, you may want to hold off on it a while longer.
2. Never Cross Your Limits
Once you have a range, the next step is to stick to it. This is tougher than it seems. Many homeowners feel tempted to include extras mid-project, which is a huge no-no. In fact, that is the quickest way to blow a budget.
If you catch yourself dreaming about unplanned add-ons at any point, stop. Look at the number you decided on in the beginning. Like a mantra, repeat it to yourself. You can always circle back to more features in the future.
3. Set Funds Aside for the Unexpected
Let’s face it, no one can predict everything. With any project, there’s always the potential of costly surprises due to mold, asbestos, leaky pipes, or outdated plumbing. Older homes may also need electrical upgrades to support new appliances.
Ideally, you should leave some wiggle room in your budget to cover these unexpected problems. This way, they’ll be easier to deal with when the time arrives.
4. Create a Payment Plan
Besides scoping out a remodel budget, you must determine how you will pay for it. Home equity loans, personal loans, and refinancing are great options. Of these, home equity loans tend to be preferred since they are tax-deductible.
We recommend against drawing money from an investment account. That money is meant for your future. Consider borrowing money at a low-interest rate instead.
While applying for a loan, remember to factor in interest and loan origination fees. Also, be sure to find out when you’ll get the money in hand, so you can pay deposits and purchase materials accordingly.
5. Break Down the Prices
Organizing your base budget can help you adequately cover all aspects of your renovation. If this is your first kitchen remodel, you may be unsure about how much of your budget to allot for certain items. While there’s no one-size-fits-all solution, see general guidelines below for how kitchen remodel costs usually break out.
- Cabinets: 20-40%
- Countertops: 10-30%
- Flooring/drywall/paint: 10-20%
- Electrical work: 10%
- Plumbing and appliances: 5-10%
- HVAC work: less than 5%
- Labor charges: 20%
6. Always Compare Costs
Your remodeling contractor’s pricing model will directly impact the final cost of the renovation. So, you need to ensure their bid matches what you’re willing to pay.
Do they charge a flat fee on top of material and labor costs? Is your remodeler going to give you a single price for the project? Different contractors work differently, so it’s best to clear things up before signing a contract.
You don’t have to jump at the first contractor you come across on Google. Feel free to shop around and compare quotes before you decide. Also, discuss budgetary concerns well in advance. This minimizes the chances of ugly misunderstandings down the line.
7. Don’t DIY Major Remodeling Tasks
If you’re thinking to take the DIY route to cut your budget, think again. Because a kitchen remodel requires a lot of time and skilled labor, it may not be the easiest project to undertake.
Sure, you can do some of the small work yourself. For example, tasks like taking out old cabinets, changing outlets, and painting walls are simple, fun, and easy-to-do. But this doesn’t mean you should handle significant remodeling tasks yourself, especially if you don’t have enough hands-on experience. We’re talking installations and electrical wire changes, to name a few things.
One mistake and your entire project can go up in flames, causing you to spend even more in remediation. That’s why it’s best to leave the hard work to the professionals.
8. Work Only with Experienced Professionals
Teaming up with trusted contractors who understand and respect your vision will go a long way in keeping your remodeling budget on track. What’s more, you may also gain access to wholesale or bulk discounts on certain supplies, which means further savings.
To understand a contractor’s market reputation, check out their online reviews, testimonials, and previous work examples. You can also reach out to past clients to discover more about their work ethic. The goal is to learn as much as possible before bringing them on board.
Make Holland’s Your Kitchen Remodel Choice
As the homeowner, you’re in the driver’s seat. It’s ultimately up to you to keep things within budget for your kitchen remodeling project. Using the tips mentioned in this post can help you achieve your dream kitchen without breaking the bank. It’s tricky, but certainly doable.
A kitchen makeover is incomplete without new storage systems. At Holland’s Custom Cabinets, we use precision detailing, expert craftsmanship, and premium materials to design standalone kitchen cabinets for any aesthetic. Don’t hesitate to call 619.443.6081 or contact us for more information.