7 Tips for Determining a Kitchen Remodeling Project Budget
If you’ve put together a wish list the next step is to determine how much it will cost to remodel your kitchen.
- Cost is determined by the scope of your project. A minor kitchen update where you are painting existing cabinets, installing new countertops and flooring can cost under $10,000. A major remodel where you are upgrading appliances and installing new cabinets, countertops, flooring and making structural changes can cost anywhere from $50,000 to well over $100,000. Cost may also be influenced by where you live. Remodeling Magazine annually publishes a report on “Cost Versus Value.” For our region (the Middle Atlantic States) the average cost of a minor kitchen remodel of a 200 square foot kitchen is $22,130 while the cost of a major remodeling project is $59,905. An upscale remodel averages $115,608.
- Establish your priorities when planning your project. What do you want to change the most? What can you keep? What can be replaced at a later time? Knowing what is important to you can help you save money over the course of the project. If granite countertops are not important to you, then you can save money by installing granite-look laminate counters. Countertops can be upgraded at a later time.
- Consider your home’s value. Is resale value important to you? Are you planning to live in your home for a very long time? A common principle you may have read about remodeling a kitchen is that the cost should be no more than 15 percent of the current value of your home if resale value is important to you. If you are anticipating selling your home in the next few years, spending up to 15 percent of the value on a remodeling project can be a lot. However, if you plan to live in the home for 10 years it may make sense to spend more to renovate the space to meet your long term needs.
- Identify the “big ticket” items for your project and shop around. Cabinets are generally the most costly item in a kitchen remodel and can be as much as 20 to 30 percent of the budget. Appliances and counter surfaces are also expensive line items. Knowing the cost of these items will give you a ballpark estimate of what you can expect to pay for your project. Labor and installation can be double the costs that you spend for material. Check out home shows and talk with retailers and contractors. Visit showrooms and compare products and prices. We are a design/build firm and we shop with our clients to guide them in the process of selecting products for their project.
- Talk to friends. Talk to friends who have recently remodeled their kitchens and review reference magazines on remodeling to get a realistic idea about what it will cost you. Research on your part will help you prepare a realistic budget. A design/build contractor can prepare a budget for you.
- Work with a design/build professional. A kitchen remodel is a significant investment and it pays to consult with a professional kitchen designer who is certified by the National Kitchen and Bath Association. However, a kitchen designer alone may not provide the best cost information or adequately address structural and mechanical issues. You wouldn’t want a designer to build or a builder to design. Working with a design/build firm combines both services into one. A professional designer who works with your contractor will be best suited to determine logistics, suggest materials and products, and create a functional design that incorporates your personal style and budget.
- Plan your budget to address unexpected circumstances that may occur once the project is underway. Your contractor may encounter unforeseen issues once the project begins such as having to reconfigure plumbing or electrical circuiting, re-framing wall supports, adding duct work, or other problems. As a design/build firm we generally are able to get this cost down to 2 to 5 percent because we address most problems in the planning stage. Be sure you have enough in your budget to deal with the unexpected.
Which of these tips do you find most helpful? What tips would you recommend to homeowners?