Seven ways to save your money (and sanity) during a kitchen remodel

Seven ways to save your money (and sanity) during a kitchen remodel

As home values continue to climb out of the depths they reached in the immediate aftermath of the housing market crash and as the economy continues to improve generally, more and more Americans are starting to feel comfortable with the idea of investing in home improvements. Already in 2016 consumer spending on residential remodeling is up 4% and that number is expected to rise. Since many of remodeling projects focus on the kitchen, now is a good time for a reminder about how to stretch your budget and keep your sanity as you remodel the kitchen.

Make a budget first

As a general rule, plan to spend about ten percent of your home’s value on a kitchen remodel. But that number can fluctuate widely based on the materials you choose. Sit down with your contractor and plan out the project thoroughly and come up with a realistic budget, then set aside some extra money as a contingency. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is going into a kitchen remodel with an open-ended budget.

Thoroughly vet your contractor(s)

Get recommendations for contractors and vet each one thoroughly before you make a decision. Use the resources available online as well to read customer reviews and get a sense for how good a job the contractor will do.

Don’t go trendy

Choose a design that isn’t overly trendy. The average kitchen is remodeled every 15 years so you don’t want to go with a look that will seem outdated 2-3 years down the road. Opt for timeless designs that will really last.

Don’t over-improve

Just because there’s room in your budget doesn’t mean you should go with the most expensive appliances and materials. If you over-improve, you risk driving up the value of your home higher than people are willing to pay for a home in your neighborhood and you won’t recoup very much of the cost of the remodel.

Keep your current footprint

If you’re on a tight budget, avoid any major changes to the layout of the kitchen by keeping the sink, island, and cabinets exactly where they are, you can save a lot of money. You can still update the countertops and resurface the cabinets to get a new look without a new layout.

Stick to the plan

Before the work begins you’ll have a detailed plan for the remodel, resist the temptation to make changes to that plan while the project is underway. Making changes mid-project is a surefire way to drive up costs.

Have a plan for dining during the renovation

Many homeowners forget to account for the cost of eating out during a kitchen remodel. The average kitchen renovation takes five to six weeks and eating out the duration of the remodel can really cost a lot. You may want to make other plans such as a temporary kitchen space in another room.

Source: The Fiscal Times




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