Have you been holding off on remodeling any part of your house, especially the kitchen? If you decided recently that cannot wait any longer, you’re not alone. According to the National Kitchen and Bath Association’s most recent remodeling market report, kitchen renovations through the first quarter of 2012 rose 50 percent over the previous quarter.
And if you think the estimates you’ve received to have your remodeling done are higher than you expected, you’re not imagining it. The same report noted that average spending for the projects is above $30,000, an increase of 6 percent. And because analysts and dealers expect no letup in price, perhaps now is the time to configure, and then adhere to, a budget.
Here are some tips on how to do so.
Plan Your Remodel Project
Plan carefully because nothing destroys a budget faster than poor planning, which usually results in changes to the project once work starts. Research indicates that homeowners cite late changes as budget wreckers more than any other reason. The average cost for poor planning? Approximately $1500. To avoid this, especially for a major remodeling project, experts recommend doing research, meeting with professionals, comparing prices, and visiting store showrooms in person.
Go with Mid-range Quality Finishes
Decking a kitchen out with top-of-the-line appliances can run more than $20,000, yet they don’t always deliver top-of-the-line performance. Prudent shopping and shrewd research can land you an entire suite of kitchen products – range, microwave, dishwasher, and refrigerator – for under $4,000. And, believe it or not, those high-end products may not be as innovative, either. For example, there are some induction ranges for $2,500 or less that have better temperature control than a huge 36-inch range at double the price.
Avoid Custom Cabinets
Custom-made cabinets can be more than half of your total cost. Going with stock units can save you over 30 percent, and they’re nearly as stylish. In fact, if the cabinets you already have are still sturdy and in good shape, just refinish them. A fresh coat of paint or veneer to the doors or face frames and ends will look nearly as good – and at a much lower price.
Don’t Splurge on Surfaces
Here is where you can really save. Most of the contact you make in a kitchen is with appliances and cabinets. So, go with laminate on your counters instead of stone. First of all, stone is so much more expensive. Second, laminate works well with heat and stains.
As for floors, choose an alternative to wood, such as vinyl. You get a lot of value, style, and surprising durability for the price.
Do It Yourself
Okay, maybe not all of it. But whatever you can do yourself, you should do, which alone will save you a few thousand dollars. Why not focus on the start and finish of the project? Rip out the cabinets yourself. Handle the painting or finishing. Don’t do any of the electical or plumbing, however, unless you’re already a pro.
And, though we’re outlining how to save money, don’t skimp on hiring quality labor. If you go cheap, you might get what you pay for, which will cost you even more – possibly much more – in the long run.