Over the years, home remodeling projects have developed a reputation for being unpredictably expensive.
However, with the right home improvement advice, your kitchen renovation can be completed on time and within budget. Use the following tips to help plan and navigate your kitchen update.
Determine How Much Can You Afford to Spend
Have you and your other half been daydreaming about double ovens, long countertops, and bumping out that small corner wall just a tad? Before you past drooling over magazine pictures and Pinterest boards, take a moment to consider how much you can afford to spend.
This number doesn’t have to be your budget. In fact, you may want to spend less. And that’s totally okay. But knowing what you can afford can help you avoid planning a major home improvement project that’s just not possible to complete.
Determine Your Needs
Take a look at your existing kitchen. Go ahead and stand in it for a while. Look at the aesthetics. Consider the layout. How are the appliances functioning? Do you have enough storage? Ask yourself, what are your needs for this kitchen update?
One of the best ways to determine your needs is to outline how you primarily use your kitchen. Large dinner parties often benefit from long open countertops where food prep and plates of appetizers can easily be arranged. If you’re frequently cooking with more than one person, it’s often a good idea to consider where each person’s prep zone will be.
Feel like you don’t have enough space for all your pots, pans, and pantry items? Storage may be your main concern. Incorporating extra cabinet space and creative functionality features might be a priority for you.
Talk to a Professional
When it comes to budget-friendly home improvement projects, some folks like to go the DIY route. And if you have the time and expertise to plan and execute a major kitchen remodel – more power to you.
However, it’s not uncommon for DIY projects to end up cost the homeowner way more in the long run. This is especially true if you’re making improvements to the plumbing or electrical work, like often happens during a kitchen remodel.
Not only will working with a professional ensure your project is done safely and correctly, an experienced designer can help you know where and how to cut costs.
Work with a Company That Offers Fixed-Bid Projects
As the name would suggest, fixed-bid projects mean the price in the bid is what you’re going to pay. Unless you request any major changes to your kitchen remodel, there are no surprises with the bill. Which means, you’ll know from the outset that the project will stay within your budget!
Another aspect of this is to make sure you work with a contractor who provides a detailed, signed contract. The old school handshake deals aren’t going to cut it! You want to get your agreement in writing.
Don’t Make Last-Second Changes
Suddenly decided you want to flip-flop the location of the sink and the stove? Once a project is underway, nearly all changes to the design will increase the cost and extend the timeline.
Why? Because making changes means not only re-working the actual blueprint of the new layout, it also can mean removing work that’s already been completed and buying additional materials. If you really think you want to change something, talk with your designer about how that change will impact your project.
Another perk of working with an experienced designer is she can help you pick out matching appliances and fixtures. One of the most common reasons homeowners want to make changes in the middle of a project is they don’t like how something looks. A designer can help you avoid this hiccup.
Don’t Let the Showroom Dazzle You
Like department stores, showrooms are designed to attract you to specific items. Often, these items are the more expensive choice. Resist the urge. When all is said and done, spending an extra $5 per square inch on the fancy countertops might not be money you appreciate spending, but it will likely be money you notice from your bank account!
Consider if any of Your Appliances Can Stay?
Appliances tend to be one of the more expensive items to update in your kitchen. The good news is, remodeling doesn’t automatically mean replacing every single one of them. If your dishwasher or refrigerator is relatively new, keeping it can be a great way to save some money.
Learn more about how and when to keep your appliances during a kitchen remodel.
Remember, Small Things Can Add Up
Looking at a $12 door pull and thinking that little doodad is the cheapest of all your remodeling expensive. Think again. If door pulls are $12 and you need 30, that’s a $360 line item.
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