Budgeting for your Dream Kitchen

If you’re among the many who live in a home with an outdated or worn out kitchen, it may be time for some changes. This could involve anything from cosmetic touch-ups to a full remodel. Those who have purchased fixer-uppers or bought homes with kitchens that are scarcely adequate will need to think about a kitchen remodel at some point in their tenure as a homeowner. Kitchen remodeling can be a tricky business, because there are many factors that go into a functional, practical and good-looking kitchen, and each home owner is different. Luckily, every kitchen is meant to be different and unique, and if a remodel is in your cards, then it is possible to customize your new kitchen to be exactly what you want it to be.

Budgeting is the most important task when tackling any remodeling project. Each piece of your remodel will cost different amounts, and having a plan before beginning the buying process is key to prevent overspending. Will you have a set amount of money that you choose to spend on this remodel? Or will you complete the remodel to your liking, and let the costs add up to deal with later? Determining your style of interior design is going to be key in figuring out which parts of your kitchen get updated. Consider making a list of what you really need to be focusing on, step-by-step, during the remodel process. 

The following list shows each of the most important aspects of the kitchen remodel – these are typically the areas you will want to focus on the most: 

  • Appliances: fridge, oven, microwave, dishwasher, etc.
  • Storage: cabinets, cupboards, drawers
  • Flooring
  • Countertops
  • Sinks, plumbing
  • Paint, coloring
  • Structures, walls
  • Windows
  • Lighting, electrical

For some, accessories such as cutlery, utensils, cookware, etc. may be included in the remodel, but many do not consider these items to be the “bones” of the space. They’re purely necessities  added to the kitchen after the true remodel is done, and add to the space. The items bulleted above are the bones of the kitchen while accessories are the items that provide service: fill the cabinets, help to operate the stove, etc.

Deciding on the size and scope of your remodel

Your remodel may focus on any number of changes within your kitchen. You may only need to change just one thing, and complete your remodel very quickly. Many home owners will also only choose to remodel slightly, and undergo 2-4 changes at a time such as adding a new cabinet to match your others because one is broken or old, or getting a sink replacement for added functionality. You may choose to change only a few things in your kitchen, but not commit to upgrading every item listed above. This might include replacing a couple of appliances, updating your backsplash, and installing new countertops, but nothing more. The many possibilities that surround kitchen remodels are why budgeting is so important, as with the proper understanding of what you can afford and what your home needs, you’ll be able to better plan for this remodel.

Choosing what’s important

Focusing on the proper changes to make to your kitchen will be important, as everyone has  different preferences that will reflect in their kitchen’s style. If you’re unsure about which parts of your kitchen to remodel, first think about if you truly need it done now, or if it can wait. Furthermore, what area of the kitchen most needs replacing or changing? Do you need to update the flooring when the countertops and cabinets are old? Buying a new dishwasher might not be the correct choice when your paint is old and chipping off the walls. Prioritizing these upgrades is key with any remodel, and understanding which of them is going to serve your functionality and style the most will help prevent getting overwhelmed with too many projects. 

Remodeling comes with extra costs

When planning a kitchen remodel, the obvious costs include the items that are being updated, according to the list above. Knowing what you can and cannot splurge on is certainly important. But what about intangibles, and other costs that come with these new items? If you are buying a new dishwasher or refrigerator, is there a cost to install it? Will you be putting your new cabinets in by yourself? When choosing to undergo any type of remodel, homeowners must ask themselves if they are willing to spend their time or their money in getting their new kitchen items installed professionally.

Updating instead of a full renovation

Instead of totally replacing a certain countertop, cabinet, or drawer, think about updating it instead! 

  • New hardware can completely revamp your cabinets and are definitely cheaper than a whole new kitchen.
  • Lighting has an impact on the overall design in your kitchen. Consider swapping out your current light fixtures for something newer and trendier. Metal and wood materials are a popular choice.
  • Sometimes changing out your backsplash adds a whole new dimension to your kitchen and can instantly create contrast through bold color choices or even a statement when using a particular pattern.
  • If you need to replace anything, opt for the countertops! If your countertops came with the house when you bought it, or if they just don’t fit your style anymore, consider replacing these first, as they have the ability to make the entire room look different.

Figuring out the next steps

Once you have decided what you’re going to upgrade and/or replace in your kitchen, the time comes to focus on the monetary aspect of your remodel. Budgeting is no easy task, and the first step is committing to a certain amount of money to work with for this project. This could go in one of two potential ways:

  • Choosing the proper additions/changes, purchasing them, then adding up the costs before financing them. 
  • Going into the project with a set amount of money, (ex. $15,000) and trying to adhere to this number by not spending more than this amount. Pricing out the items you wish to buy for your remodel before purchasing them will greatly assist you in staying within your budget limit.

Depending on the extent of your remodel, you may need to secure some extra funding to complete the project. Personal savings are a natural option if you’ve been planning for the remodel. Otherwise, a low interest credit card or looking into a home equity line of credit may be your best option for aquiring funds upfront and getting started on your remodel right away.  

While a kitchen remodel is no easy task, a proper plan and budget are all you need to really begin the process and get started. If a remodel works to its full potential, then your kitchen will  look absolutely stunning, and will serve you as intended. Working hard to build the funds for your project will enable you to go through with the remodel, but admittedly won’t happen overnight. This is why it is important to have a plan in place when you secure the funds, so that you don’t need to delay your remodel any longer. With the proper planning, time, funding, and determination, your dream kitchen can and will become a stunning reality!