How’s your kitchen? Is it cramped, poorly configured, or out of date? The 2017 U.S. Houzz Kitchen Trends Study indicates the kitchen is the most popular room in the home to renovate, with homeowners prioritizing backsplashes, countertops and sinks. The study further revealed that the majority (30 percent) of those who had completed a kitchen renovation spent between $25,001 and $50,000. A total of 9 percent of homeowners spent over $100,000 while only 4 percent spent less than $5,000. Needless to say, while kitchen renovations can go a long way toward increasing the value of your home, the process can be quite costly.
Projecting Your Renovation Budget
A kitchen renovation budget can run the gamut; considerations include: the size of your kitchen, the quality of the materials you choose, and the overall complexity of the job. According to the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA), the following breaks down a total kitchen renovation investment:
- Ceilings and walls: 5%
- Countertops: 10%
- Design costs: 4%
- Flooring: 7%
- Hardware and cabinetry: 29%
- Installation fees: 17%
- Lighting: 5%
- Plumbing and faucets: 4%
- Ventilation and appliances: 14%
- Windows and doors: 4%
- Other: 1%
What Will it Cost You?
Educating yourself on the cost of a significant or small remodel should always be your first move. Sites like homeadvisor.com, houzz.com/remodeling-costs, and remodelingcalculator.org are great places to educate yourself on the cost of home projects. Check out home renovation stores like Home Depot and Lowes, inspect your options, and consult the staff.
Be sure you also factor in how renovating your kitchen will affect the resale value of your home. For example, if you intend to sell your house soon, opting for very unique personal tastes wouldn’t be a good idea. A design that will appeal to a broad spectrum of future buyers may be more appropriate.
Saving Your Dollars
One way to cut renovation costs is to prioritize. For instance, the NKBA estimate above indicates that cabinetry takes up 29 percent of the average kitchen renovation budget. If you’re not that determined to get a particular style of cabinetry, opting for stock kitchen cabinets instead of custom cabinets can save you anywhere between $400 to $1000 per linear foot. Laminate flooring and engineered hardwoods can also present attractive cost-savings over hardwood flooring.
Also remember that you may not need to replace everything. NKBA ranks installation fees as the second highest figure (17 percent) associated with average kitchen renovation costs. A great example to save literally half of your budget would be refinishing your cupboards instead of replacing them.
Finally, doing some of the installations or replacements yourself could save you a significant amount; there are great resources on how to tackle your DIY project. Consider “YouTube University” for one, as well as Better Homes and Gardens, The Family Handyman, House & Home, Kitchen Remodel Videos and DIYEverything.
How to Find and Hire a Contractor
If you need a contractor for your kitchen renovation, then a little effort will be required to find a professional that meets your needs.
While referrals from family and friends is still the preferred method for many, conducting simple Internet searches and checking on the business rating of each contractor can be extremely eye-opening. Yelp, AngiesList and Google all offer star ratings and customer reviews that could prove quite insightful. The more recent the feedback is, the more relevant to your assessment.
Customer reviews will give you valuable insights into areas to address when you meet a contractor, but any reputable professional should also have a website with a portfolio. Examine their website to ensure they provide the exact type of services you require. Once you narrow down your options to two or three contractors, schedule an appointment for a consultation at your home. Provide each candidate with similar information and be as detailed as possible.
Once you have consulted with each contractor, ask all to submit bids; always request a breakdown of their costs, so you can glean where you could potentially save. In addition, ask each contractor to offer a projected start and finish date, particularly if your renovation is a time-sensitive job. Evaluate each proposal based on the company’s experience and competence in completing similar projects and once you’re satisfied, sign the contract.
Choosing Your Layout and Appliances
It’s no secret that the kitchen is the heart of every home. As a result, consider the functionality of the space you want to remodel. If possible, leave main systems like plumbing, electric, gas and heating, intact, as any changes to these will significantly add to your budget. You should also have a good idea of the appliances you want to include in your new kitchen, as it will affect cost and layout significantly.
Not all kitchen renovations are the same. Some kitchens require numerous upgrades for greater functionality, while others only require renovations to conform to current trends or personal taste. One thing that remains fairly consistent is the notion that the kitchen is the nucleus of a home, the central hub where quality hours are spent. That’s why so many people look to update their kitchens and create the inviting space of their dreams.
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