Remodeling Your Kitchen the Smart Way

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Peter Duke, the designer in the now-defunct A&E reality TV show “Zombie House Flipping,” is portrayed as someone who won’t sacrifice design for the economy. When it comes to renovating kitchens, he’s particularly drawn into expensive items, such as granite or quartz countertops. What are the other factors you need to consider? Do costs vary if you’re living in Salt Lake City or Boston?

When it comes to kitchen renovation, a careful plan goes a long way.

Planning Your Renovation

Planning is, of course, your initial step. Part of the planning process is creating a priority list. If you’re doing the kitchen renovation as part of the overall home renovation, you need to know where you intend to allocate your budget.

Is replacing the best way to go? Or would spruce-up by adding inexpensive items be enough?

You will also find out that getting a reliable kitchen remodeling estimate from a contractor, so that you can work on a budget would be difficult. This is because there are factors that might not be at play when they first make the estimate, such as the season or the price of materials going up.

You can overcome this through a well-thought-out plan — when do you want to do the project, what kind of materials to use, which cabinets you want to replace, or which walls you want to knock-down.

nice luxurious looking kitchen

Budgeting

You can choose to be like Peter Duke — or not. There’s no limit to how much you can spend or an establish difference in cost if your house is located on the east coast or on the west coast. A contractor in Utah estimates that the combined labor and materials cost for an average kitchen is around $14,000. In Boston, multiple room renovation can be on a budget of $3,600 to upwards of $100,000.

The national average to remodel a kitchen is around $22,000. This means that you probably could finish a decent project if you have a budget of, say, $10,000 to $ 15,000.

How you split your budget is where the art part comes in. Depending on what you need and how cheap or extravagant you want to go, will dictate how you will roll the dice on your budget.

You can allocate almost 30% of your budget on cabinets and about 17% on appliances. If you want to go high-tech on your kitchen equipment, you need to increase that slice of the pie and reduce the other.

Flooring, plumbing, lighting, and electrical could be between 5% to 10% of your budget.

Saving Money

In addition to understanding the budgeting process, there are also ways for you to save on cost. You can DIY some of the work if you’re confident enough with your skills. Cleaning or removing stains on a wall is still labor that you would otherwise pay a contractor for.

Smart planning also means smart buying. If you begin your project early, including the planning stage, you will have time to look for bargains. Likewise, you may want to consider upcycling and finding old materials like bar stools, and by adding a coat of paint, you can give it a new look.

Achieving your perfect kitchen project does not have to be expensive. You just need to be smart about it.