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7 Steps to Budgeting for Your Kitchen Remodel

Tilghman Builders Team
By Tilghman Builders Team - February 2, 2021

Before starting  any home renovation project, it's important to set a clear budget. This is especially true for kitchen remodels. Sticking to your budget isn't always an easy task. Road bumps happen. Plumbing issues, outdated electrical fittings, and all the  expensive upgrades you saw on Pinterest increase costs. So how do you stay on track? 

7 Tips to Stay on Budget During your Kitchen Renovation


1. Decide on a budget and stick to it. 

To calculate  an accurate budget for your kitchen remodel, you first need to know  how much these projects typically cost. If you're keeping your existing footprint, not taking out any walls or adding onto your home, you can expect to spend between $35,000 and $90,000, depending on the fixtures and finishes you choose.

But what if you decide to go the route of a complete renovation? If you’re looking to knock down some walls, relocate plumbing, and so on, the price tag will be higher. For a full kitchen renovation project, typical costs add up to about $75,000 to $125,000.

Decide on a budget and stick to it

If you're not sure whether to keep your existing footprint or go for a total kitchen renovation, there are important factors to consider in addition to  cost. First, think about how long you're planning to keep your home. If you're planning on putting your house on the market relatively soon, maintaining the existing footprint may be the way to go. Not only will the project cost less, you will still get to enjoy the updated kitchen before you sell, and buyers will love the fresh look. 

Another factor to think about is your neighborhood and your home's resale value. Some neighborhoods are extravagant, and others are more modest. If you live in an upscale neighborhood, you may want to consider a full kitchen renovation and completely reimagine the space into  a chef's dream.

2. Prioritize your kitchen remodel wishlist. 

Establishing a wishlist of features,(appliances, countertops, flooring, etc.) for your kitchen remodel is an important step before getting started with your renovation project. It helps set expectations with your contractor and gives you a running list of items you can prioritize. After all, everything on your wishlist may add up to more than you were expecting. 

That's why we suggest prioritizing your wishlist. What are your ‘must haves’; the things you absolutely cannot live without? Are there items you could save for another time? Just because your initial kitchen remodel project doesn't include those things, that doesn't mean you can't have a phase two down the road when you have the budget for it. 

3. Set aside a rainy-day fund for any project surprises. 

Set aside a rainy day fund

With renovation projects, you never know when an unexpected surprise or added cost may come up. Water damage behind a wall, termites, electrical short-outs and so on, can occur with little to no warning. Should you need it, , having a cushion of funds can help cover the costs and won't impact the initial budget. After all, you can't give up those quartz countertops or the custom cabinets you've been dreaming of for years, right? A rainy-day fund can be your saving grace.

4. Know your financing options.

Not everyone can set aside $35,000 to $125,000 to pay for a kitchen remodel all at once. Luckily, there are other options. Because they are tax deductible, home equity loans, for example, are a popular choice for homeowners. Maybe a home equity loan isn't the way you want to go. Some other financing options include:

  • Personal loans
  • Refinancing
  • Borrowing from your retirement fund

If you do decide to take out a loan, make sure to check the interest rate and compare it with other financial institutions, so you get the best rate possible and don't have to spend more than you have to. 

5. Decide whether or not you're going to stay in the house during the renovation.

Will you live at home during the renovation?

When planning for your kitchen remodel project, you'll need to make a big decision - to stay or not to stay? Some families choose to stay in a hotel, apartment, or with friends and family while their kitchen is in flux. 

If you choose to work with another home builder, we understand. But, if you do work with us at Tilghman Builders, our clients' comfort is important to us. If you have to move out of your house due to construction, we'll pay for your hotel stay, for up to three nights. If you decide to stay and can't use your kitchen during the renovation, dinner is on us once a week! 

6. Always keep track of your budget. 

Whether you monitor your budget on a spreadsheet, with an online program an app, or on a pad of paper, make sure you keep track of every cost and transaction. Your contractor should be doing the same thing, but it doesn't hurt to have two sets of eyes monitoring the same numbers to ensure you stay on budget. 

7. Try to avoid temptations. 

As we mentioned before, there are a lot of temptations and a ton of places to find inspiration, out there., Pinterest isn't the only temptation, there are interior design magazines in the checkout lines at the grocery store, and entire tv networks dedicated to all things “home renovation”, etc. To stay on budget, try your best to avoid making pricey changes to the project plan.If there's something you absolutely have to have in your updated kitchen, be sure to consult with your contractor. They may be able to make adjustments or help you decide what features you will need to give up, to make room in the budget. 

Avoid Temptation

With these seven tips, you're ready to set your kitchen remodel budget and stick to it. From prioritization and monitoring to financing options, the key is to plan ahead and work with a reputable home builder who can help you stay on track.

Ready to get started on your kitchen remodel project? 

We'd love to help! Contact us today to learn how we can help you achieve your dream kitchen in Bucks County, PA or Montgomery County, PA. And if you're looking for more budgeting tips, grab your copy of our free Budgeting for Your Remodel guide.

This blog was originally published on July 31, 2019 and updated on February 2, 2021 for accuracy.

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