Budgeting for a Kitchen Remodel

Expect a major kitchen remodel to cost anywhere from $75,000 to $150,000. When you’re dealing with that kind of dollar figure, the less left to chance the better. Proper planning for a kitchen remodel starts with your budget; everything else you do will naturally stem from this. ArDan Construction doesn’t just have tips for budgeting (more on those below), but also the experience that’s helped Phoenix homeowners and property managers keep costs reasonable without cutting corners. Here are some things worth considering as you plan your budget and your project.

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Your first consideration is why you’re remodeling, and who you’re doing it for. If you’re staying in your home, plan your design and choose your materials to best fit your lifestyle. If you’re renovating to sell, however, it pays to keep costs a bit lower. That’s because a kitchen remodel can preserve home value, but won’t necessarily increase it.

Determine What You Can Afford

Don’t forget “hidden” costs, like eating out during the remodel. You can always keep a coffee maker in the living room or guest bedroom, or a small fridge for essential foods or medications that need to be kept cold, but you won’t be cooking for some time.

Plan a Cushion

It’s important to leave a cushion of about 20% of your total to hedge against changes and cost overruns. Water damage, termites, rot, or something as simple as changing your mind about the fixtures you choose can all add time and expense. Also, it’s easy to overlook construction needs that will be caused by the remodel(for example, flooring replacement after changing the kitchen footprint.) Plan for these things, and if you come in under budget, that’s great you’ll have money left over! You just don’t want to come up short.

Know Where the Money is Coming From

Just as important as what you’ll spend is the source of the money. Some people have significant savings they’ve tried away explicitly for a remodel. Others may decide to borrow against a retirement account or to take a home equity loan. Each of these approaches has its advantages and drawbacks. Your contractor can help you identify some of these, but it’s also a good idea to talk to your CPA or financial advisor.

Figure Out Your Priorities

Not every project involves gutting the entire kitchen and rebuilding from scratch. You may have replaced your kitchen appliances in the last few years and could be perfectly happy with them; similarly, if you’ve had recent plumbing or electrical work done, the scale of your project could be limited to things like counters and custom cabinets. Others may be looking at a growing family or changing priorities and deciding to either expand or downsize accordingly. Knowing what you need, what you want, and the things you can do without will make some of the decisions that follow easier.

Gather Your Information

Now that you’ve got your rough budget and your priorities, put it all together. A spreadsheet works well because you’ll be able to keep things organized, ordered, and accurately added up. But even a list and numbers scrawled on a legal pad is better than nothing, since gathering everything in one place helps you identify things you may have overlooked and ensure that your accounting is accurate.

Talk to Your Remodeling Contractor

Now that you’ve done all of the above, it’s a good idea to talk to a remodeling contractor. Your initial kitchen remodeling consultation with ArDan isn’t just a cost estimate. We’ll be going over your list and your numbers, identifying items you’ve missed, and helping you to identify areas where your numbers could use revision. We may identify issues that could add to your final cost, but we can often offset these with different material and fixture choices and other advice that helps you control costs. In any event, neither you nor we want any surprises later, so it’s worth taking the time to do this.

If you decide to enlist our services, we’ll provide a written estimate, draw up a contract, roll up our sleeves, and get to work! But if you need our help in the meantime, we encourage you to reach out.