With the average kitchen rehab calculated around $21,000 for most homes, it could be daunting to think about taking on that kind of project. If you’re rehabbing on a budget, you might think you won’t be able to have the kitchen of your dreams.
Thankfully, you can cut some of the costs of kitchen reno by preparing and even do some work on your own.
Whether you’re thinking of selling your home or just want the ideal kitchen scenario, kitchen renovations can add serious value to your home. Replacing cheaper appliances with quality amenities could add value while saving money.
Look for refurbished, discounted, or giveaways on Craigslist that you could bring back to life with a little TLC.
If you’re wondering where to begin with a budget kitchen reno project, follow these 8 steps to make sure you get everything you want without breaking the bank.
1. Make a Projected Budget
No matter how much you plan to spend on your kitchen reno, you should know how much everything costs beforehand. Make a list of what you’ll be replacing and what can be salvaged.
In order to get an idea of how much your budget will stretch for a full rehab, you should calculate about 25% of your spending on labor. This will change if you can do the work yourself.
Another 25% will be spent on cabinets. The next 25% should be reserved for appliances.
Your final 25% will be split, depending on the intensity of your project, on windows, fixtures, fittings, and any other extras you might not be able to anticipate yet.
2. Expect The Unexpected
Before you start shopping around for materials and deciding on colors, make sure you have enough cushion in your budget to manage any hiccups. The recommended amount is to have 20% of your projected budget ready to cover any problems.
If you find yourself breaking into your wall, you might find some wiring that needs to be updated. You might also accidentally bust a pipe while replacing your sink.
Underneath your kitchen floor could be some old, mildewy boards that are rotting your house from the inside out. Floorboards beneath dishwashers and sinks are particularly susceptible to problems.
While it might seem like a burst of your kitchen reno budget, it’s actually a money saver if you can deal with problems while you’re renovating rather than later. The costs of retiling or replacing appliances later could be astronomical.
3. Decide on Your Priorities
If you’re struggling with a budget, you might have to eliminate your wants and stick to your must-haves.
As mentioned before, there are alternatives to getting all new appliances. Well made appliances can be found at restaurant closings, estate sales, through friends, or even at your local transfer station. Used appliances can help you put money in other places.
Perhaps giving up on the tiling of your dreams will allow you to get the countertop you’ve always wanted. Or perhaps you could save the countertop until next year.
Figure out whether you need looks or function to prevail in each case. If you don’t cook a lot and spend more time hosting, looks can be a better choice than durability.
4. Payment Options
Because kitchen remodeling can add value to your home, home equity loans are a common financing option. It also happens that home equity loans have historically been tax deductible and can offer a financial bump at the end of the year.
Taking out a loan or home refinancing are other options that work for a lot of people. Even if you have the money right now, borrowing might not be a bad idea.
Investing money into something that gives you a high return can make the idea of credit work out for you. If the interest rate is low enough, you could be making a great financial decision.
After you figure out funding, be sure you have access to funds when you need them. You won’t be able to take out materials on credit, so those will have to be paid up front. You can make a payment plan with your contractor, but they will also want a deposit up front.
5. Figure Out Your Living Situation
Depending on the size of your home and the complexity of your remodeling project, you might not want to stay at your place during the kitchen reno. If you work evening hours or need to sleep in during the weekend, it could be stressful to be around.
Since staying at home could do damage to your sanity, you might consider renting a room at a hotel for a few days or however long it will take. This could be another expenditure that you need to budget for.
An alternative might be staying with family or friends but make sure you won’t be imposing on anyone. Get a clear timeline from your contractor that you can forward to your friend. Have contractors communicate via text or email so that you can be open and not seem like you’re hanging out indefinitely.
6. Factor In Those Extras
If you’re not going to be able to use your kitchen, you’ll be eating a lot of your meals in restaurants or ordering a lot of take-out. This expense can add up quickly if you cook most of your meals at home.
A torn up kitchen could have hidden costs and you should leave some room in your budget for that.
7. It’s Spreadsheet Time
Create a spreadsheet with your budget and costs as they change. Track receipts and changes as they happen. You should have an idea of when you’re reaching a budgetary danger zone.
Cost overruns can cause the plug to get pulled on a project and have it stall out at the last minute, leaving you with a half-finished kitchen for a long time. Getting in front of overspending allows you to manage this kind of issue.
8. DIY is an Option
If you take care of some of the smaller parts of the project ahead of time, you can really cut back on costs of your renovation. If you’re good enough, you might be able to shave off a whole 25% of your budget.
Some people save big by putting together some of their own cabinet solutions.
Spend Smart to Money on Kitchen Reno
Some smart spending tactics will ensure that you don’t overspend on your kitchen reno. If you’re crafty and have experience with any kind of construction or interior building, you might be able to manage some things yourself.
If you’re ready to take on your renovation project, contact us for more tips on what kinds of materials can save you money.