12 Tips for a Wow-Worthy Budget Kitchen Renovation

Kitchen Remodeling

Cost to Remodel a Kitchen

The first step of setting a budget for a kitchen remodel is to determine the amount of work that you want done. Do you want to remove walls? Does the current layout work or does it need to be changed? Are the cabinets in good condition? Does the floor need to be replaced?

If you answer “yes” to a lot of these questions, the cost of the kitchen renovation typically increases. In addition to the amount of changes, the choice of materials also plays a part in increasing the budget. Marble countertops cost significantly more than most laminate countertops. Hardwood floors typically cost more than a porcelain tile.

The next step is to make a list of changes that you want to be made and fit within the budget. Contact a contractor for a quote, or multiple quotes for different task lists (i.e. for a full remodel versus a backsplash and countertops). Research your choices for contractors carefully; use this list of questions to choose the right contractor for the kitchen renovation. If the quote is above the budget, you can decide to carry out the project in phases or cut back the list of tasks for a newer, updated look.

Budget-Friendly Kitchen Renovation Ideas

  • Keep the same kitchen layout. (The cost of moving plumbing and natural gas lines can add significant cost to the project.)
  • Ask about creating an opening in a wall instead of removing a wall; creating an opening is typically cheaper than removing a wall that is vital for supporting the roof or another floor.
  • Consider refacing cabinets instead of replacing them. If the cabinets are in good condition, this can be a great and budget-friendly way to update the look of the kitchen.
  • Shop for lower-cost tile and countertops. Often, a kitchen can be updated with a lower-cost alternative.
  • Consider choosing a light fixture other than recessed lighting. Recessed lighting tends to cost more because of the installation.
  • For items that can be displayed, select open shelving. Open shelves are typically cheaper than cabinetry.
  • If the floor is wood, find out whether the floors can be sanded down and refinished for a new, updated look. The cost of refinishing is often less expensive than new flooring.
  • Ask a contractor for suggestions. An experienced contractor can make suggestions that can help trim the budget without compromising the overall look.

Kitchen Renovation Budget Tips

  • Set a budget before starting the project; a “blank check” approach can add up quickly, especially if unexpected expenses come up during the project (i.e. replacing rotten sub-floor boards or plumbing, making an electrical upgrade).
  • Track expenses as they come in or request an updated kitchen remodeling cost spreadsheet from the contractor.
  • Always set aside a part of the budget for unexpected costs. This is an important way to keep from going over budget.
  • Don’t order certain items for kitchen renovation right away; if costs need to be scaled back, switching to a lower-cost alternative is a good way to save money.
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