Budget Busters: what you should avoid in your kitchen renovation
August 16, 2019
Budget Busters to Avoid in Your Kitchen Reno
Along with your Pinterest board of dream layouts and corner-folded magazines with perfect color schemes, a kitchen renovation plan often also comes with another essential element – a budget.
Regardless of the dollar amount you’re working with, it’s easy to stray off course.
Before you draw up the blueprints and bust out the sledgehammer, we’ve put together some of the most common ways kitchen renovation goes over budget to help you get your dream kitchen without breaking the bank.
Budget buster #1 – The upgrades
From custom cabinetry to countertops – everyone wants the best. And there’s some cool stuff out there.
But keep in mind that specialty items usually cost more.
A central component of all kitchens is the cabinetry. It has to function for your household and look great while doing it. Whether from a big-box store, semi-custom or entirely custom-made, there’s a wide price range for unique cabinetry work.
We often hear, “it’s what’s on the inside that matters” and with cabinets, it couldn’t be truer.
Do you use your blender and coffeemaker every day but don’t want them taking up precious counter space? Why not plan for shelves that slide in and out and are hidden behind cabinet doors?
From wine fridges to spice drawers and everything in between, the sky – and the budget – is the limit in what’s possible to make your kitchen as distinct as possible.
Appliances and kitchen countertops are both big-ticket items, too. Do your research and find out what you get for the various cost ranges so that you can determine if the price, quality, and long-term value are worth the expense for your family.
Money-saving tip: Prioritize based on your needs
The key is to gather the prices of everything you’d like to include and then prioritize based on what you’ll use the most or what’s most needed in your existing kitchen.
If you haven’t replaced your kitchen countertops in 20 years, you may want to consider investing in a long-lasting surface. But if your stove is on the fritz, direct your funds there.
Ask your architect, designer or contractor to help you sort out options as early as possible. If you’re working as your own general contractor, gather quotes and compare prices of different suppliers and specialists to make sure you’re getting the biggest bang for your buck.
Budget buster #2 – The sneaky stuff
Even with impeccable planning and inspections, you may run into unexpected expenses with a renovation.
From an unforeseen water leak that ruins subflooring or required code upgrades to install that state-of-the-art stove you picked out for your home built in the 1940s, surprise problems are often costly ones – especially if you’re already in the middle of your project.
Money-saving tip: Build in a buffer
Many project managers and designers recommend reserving 20 percent of your overall budget to account for any changes or unplanned expenses during your renovation. That way, you’ll be dipping into the cash you’ve already stashed away when new costs crop up.
Budget buster #3 – The indecision
Renos is a big deal! If you’re tearing down walls and changing your layout or even just updating a few elements, the bills will start piling up if you make last-minute changes.
While you should be happy with the final product, changing a paint color once you see it alongside your flooring or deciding you do really need that pantry once construction has started will only add more to your kitchen’s final price tag.
And then there’s mission creep. Your kitchen looks amazing – so, maybe you should add that new trim in the living room too. And you should probably add those French doors to the patio as well.
Money-saving tip: Think it over
Taking the time to really consider what you want and what you can afford is worth every cent.
Map out the changes and get as many samples as you can before you commit to making sure every element is what you really want.
And once you have a plan, stick to it! If you can’t afford all of the upgrades on your list or you run into an unplanned cost, take the time to revise and scale back – even if it’s just for now. Consider phasing your renovation, if you can, to spread out the cost and still get everything you want.
Sticking to a budget may seem hard, but using these tips, it’s one of the best ways to make sure you can get everything on your kitchen renovation list.