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Budgeting for Renovating a Kitchen

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When it comes to changing the look and feel of your home, there are few renovations that have the impact of a kitchen remodel.  With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that kitchen renovations also tend to be the most expensive.  Still, a new kitchen can really revitalize your home, so follow these tips for budgeting for a kitchen renovation so you can get the most from your project.

Make a Plan

The most elegant kitchen renovations will average around $70-90,000 for a remodel – we’re talking top end stuff here.  These upscale projects include top-of-the line countertops, appliances, tile, flooring, and lighting.  If you’re still in shock by that price tag, take a step back.  Many kitchen projects come in at significantly less than that, and a quality remodel might only cost $20,000 or less.  Ultimately, you need to ask yourself exactly what you want to achieve and how much you can afford to spend.  Then, set a budget and stick to it.

Break Down your Costs

The biggest cost associated with a kitchen renovation are cabinets – expect cabinets to eat about a third of your costs.  Next, you’ll pay between a fifth and a quarter of your budget on labor, and about the same on appliances.  Windows, fixtures, fittings, lighting, and other costs will typically take up the rest of your budget.  Make sure you break down all your costs before you start your project.

Expect the Unexpected

Read these words very carefully – EVERY renovation project will have hidden costs.  Whether you’re renovating a bathroom, building a deck, or remodeling your kitchen, there will be unexpected costs and you need to budget for them.  Ideally, you want to factor about 20% of your kitchen renovation budget will go to unexpected costs like outdated wiring, rotten flooring, or even late stage changes to your plans.


Do you have your heart set on stainless steel appliances?  Or, would you really prefer those beautiful marble countertops?  Sometimes you can’t have everything you want in the budget you’ve set (and you’re sticking to that budget…right?).  This means you need to set your priorities so you know where you can cut costs and where you can’t.

Food Costs

So many homeowners fail to consider how they’re going to eat during their kitchen renovation, but the reality is if you plan to stay in your home during the renovation, you’re not going to have a kitchen to cook in.  This means you need to add in extra food costs to your budget because you’re likely to be eating out a lot more.  And since I’ve mentioned it, if you’re not going to live at home during the project, you’ll need to consider temporary housing costs as well.

There’s no way around it, kitchen renovations are expensive.  But, if you know what you can afford and you plan ahead, there’s no reason you can’t complete the project on budget.

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