Kitchen remodeling costs run the gamut, but having a thoroughly planned budget will help save you from immeasurable financial stress throughout the process. However, due to a variety of issues, it’s not unusual for remodeling costs to exceed the original planned budget. Consider the Top Reasons Kitchen Remodels Go Over Budget and avoid these common cost-related pitfalls.
Upgrading products and finishes
Custom cabinetry, countertops, and appliances are the most common culprits of materials that lead to blown budgets. Fully-custom cabinetry provides endless options but they are labor intensive, and therefore the most expensive type of cabinetry. If you are considering custom cabinetry, be sure to thoroughly research the experience of your cabinetmaker, as quality can vary widely from one to the next. If you desire enough flexibility to be able to tailor the cabinets to your wants and specifications without the high price tag of completely custom cabinets, semi-custom cabinets may be the right fit for you.
Countertops can also use up a lot of your budget. Granite and quartz remain two of the most popular kitchen countertop materials. If you have matters of money in mind, you will probably save more dollars if you opt for entry-level granite. Granite styles under $55 per square foot installed are easier to come by, but it’s difficult to find quartz under $55 per square foot installed. However, it’s important to note that those granite costs don’t take edge profiles and cutouts (like your sink) into consideration. Plus, if you factor in the cost and labor of sealing granite year after year, you may find quartz to be the best option in the long run. When you are creating your kitchen budget, don’t just set aside a certain amount for countertops and decide the material later. Know whether you will opt for granite, quartz, or maybe even marble, as this will largely determine what percentage of your budget is allocated to countertops.
Finally, appliances are a commonly upgraded item in kitchen remodels. HGTV suggests, “Be practical and look for energy-efficient appliances with warranties—arguably, you’ll use appliances more than other features in your kitchen. But be sure to maintain a balance between what you spend on appliances and cabinets. If you choose appliances first without considering cabinets/hardware, countertops or other features, you can box yourself into a floor plan and end up without enough money to spend on other features.”
Unrealistic expectations of cost
One of the most important steps you can take to properly prepare for your kitchen remodel is to create a budget that realistically reflects the cost of materials and labor. Major kitchen remodels, which at a minimum include replacing all kitchen cabinetry and appliances within the existing home footprint, run on average at $29,400 for a smaller kitchen (200 square feet or less) and $42,400 for a larger kitchen (more than 200 square feet). Don’t be fooled by the wow-worthy remodels you see on TV that are completed in record time and on a shoestring budget. These low-cost record-setting remodels set up unrealistic expectations for homeowners preparing to embark on their own real-world renovation.
The old saying “hindsight is 20/20” is never more true than when it comes to home renovation. No matter how carefully a remodel has been planned, leave a little financial wiggle room for the unexpected. Keep an extra 10-20% of your budget set aside as an emergency backup. Lurking behind the walls and beneath the floors are ticking time bombs, hidden and sometimes costly issues that need to be dealt with. Whether your contractor discovers structural problems or a plumbing leak, costs can mount quickly and these aren’t issues that can be ignored.
Changing your mind
Your contractor can’t progress with your project without certain information from the homeowner, such as material choices, and specific details such as colors and styles. It can be overwhelming to have to make all these decisions on a deadline. However, the contractor has to keep the project moving and relies on the homeowner’s cooperation to do so. A big no-no is changing your mind after the contractor has ordered your materials, as doing this can result in additional costs and major delays. If you are determined to change your mind on material selection, be aware of how this will affect your budget before a change order is issued.
One of the best ways to determine what your kitchen remodeling budget should be is to meet with a kitchen designer who can assess your needs and has the experience and product knowledge to help you create a realistic remodeling budget that you can stick to. Request a Design Consultation with one of our expert designers today!