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August 14, 2019

Your Step-By-Step Guide to Setting a Kitchen Remodel Budget and Estimating the Cost

kitchen remodel budgetOne of the first key moves that you can make to determine what dream kitchen will actually be possible within your own home is to establish your kitchen remodel budget and then estimate the cost of the elements you’d like to include – and their total price.  Though you are probably getting started with a vague idea of how much you can afford to spend, making the decision as to how much you actually should spend– as opposed to what you could spend – involves some careful thought.

Designing your dream kitchen can be an exhilarating process as you imagine each of the elements that you’d love to include in this part of your home.  However, as with everything, dreams and reality don’t always completely align – at least not without the proper planning and organization.  Use the following steps to help you to make your initial financial choices and establish a smart kitchen remodel budget:

Step 1: Know the extent of your kitchen remodeling project

Find out how much of your kitchen will be renovated and why you are taking on the project.  For most homeowners, the whole purpose of remodeling a kitchen is to bring it back out of the dark ages so that it will have a more up-to-date, fresh, appealing, and functional style. 

You will likely be replacing areas that are damaged, outdated, impractical and/or are simply unattractive to you, but it could also mean gutting the entire space and starting from scratch.  Though the majority of homeowners remodel their kitchens to make them better for themselves, many also keep the real estate value in mind, as well, since 80 to 90 percent of a good kitchen remodeling project can be recouped if a sale is to follow. 

Step 2: Prioritize the various kitchen remodeling elements

Have a look at your kitchen and decide what must be changed and what you’d like to have changed.  Needs and wants should be listed in two different categories.  For example, if your countertops and floors are gouged and hideous, you may put their replacement into the “need” category.  That said, if you aren’t wild about your cabinetry, but it’s in perfectly good condition, you may add that to the “want” list. 

Once you have your lists made, you will later be able to use your kitchen remodel budget to determine how much of your “want” list will be achievable.  You may also find that there are ways to stretch your money to cover more of your “want” list, such as refinishing or replacing cabinet doors instead of putting in all new cabinetry.

Step 3: Set your kitchen remodel budget goals

Once you know the extent of the kitchen remodeling project you’d like, then you can start to find out how much money is available to you and how much you should expect to spend.  Consider how much money you have saved for the project, as well as additional sources of cash such as gift cards to home renovation stores that you have requested instead of gifts for birthdays and holidays, lines of credit, or even a home equity loan (for which the interest may be tax deductible). 

So how much does it cost to remodel a kitchen? Real estate agents will typically say that, depending on the extent and complexity of your project, you should expect to spend the following:

• For a complete kitchen renovation – if you will be redoing the entire room from the floor to the ceiling, the walls to the countertops, cabinetry, and appliances, then you should expect to spend between 10 and 20 percent of the value of your home.

• For a basic cosmetic facelift – if you will be making changes only to certain elements of the kitchen to alter the appearance without tearing everything up, you will likely spend closer to 2 percent of your home’s value.

Most projects will fall somewhere in between those two extremes, but this should help you to give you a general range to expect for the right remodeling project.

Step 4: Obtain kitchen remodeling estimates

Once you know what you want, obtain a minimum of 4 to 5 estimates from contractors in your area, so that you can start to find out how much materials and labor cost where you live.  You can also start to look around at various home renovation stores to create some cost comparisons for materials, to help to improve the accuracy of your numbers. 

Don’t forget that no matter how accurate your estimates, there will often be a difference of between 10 and 20 percent once the final totals are in, based on discounts that you can find, as well as expenses that you had not anticipated.  Never match your entire kitchen remodel budget with the estimate as you risk finding yourself short on cash.


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