How to Avoid Going Over Budget with Your Kitchen Remodeling
Remodeling any part of your house is a risky game, but one space that seems particularly prone to all sorts of contingencies —and outright budgetary disasters— is the kitchen. There are plenty of apps out there that promise to help you calculate a number, but no kitchen remodeling cost estimator is completely accurate.
There’s no simple equation that will tell you what the exact cost of a renovation is going to be, and if you don’t account for certain issues beforehand, it’s quite easy to go over budget. Luckily, there are also several steps you can take to make sure that it won’t happen to you; maybe you won’t stay 100% on your initial estimate, but you will stay as close to it as possible.
Get the right contractor for the job
Nothing spells “over budget” for your renovation project like hiring the first contractor you talk to, despite how great their promises sound. As with any other big job that must be done around the house, you should get at least three different quotes from contractors, of which you shouldn’t only compare their prices, but their professionalism and breakdown of their quote. If you feel like they’re lowballing you too much, that might be because they’ll sacrifice the quality of the work or their materials to meet a deadline, which could cause you to pay for repairs in the future.
Have a firm grasp on what materials you want (and what they cost)
Everyone has a dream kitchen of their own, made from the finest materials, equipped with top-of-the-line appliances and custom cabinets. No one dreams about the cost of these luxuries, though. It’s good to have a clear idea of what kind of kitchen you’re building, but it’s even better to know what materials and how much of them you’ll need, how much they cost, and how much of it you can afford. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself compromising too much in the middle of the project and end up with a half-baked Frankenstein kitchen.
Say “No” to Amateur Hour
Yes, it would be a lot cheaper to renovate your kitchen if you did everything yourself. Cheaper, that is, if you were a professional builder, carpenter, plumber, etc. Now, we’re not trying to put anyone down over here (if you really are a pro, more power to you!), but you should remember that DIY work is free, but mistakes are not. A good contractor is not going to hire a single laborer to do the whole thing, but a series of workers, which could include engineers and architects, coordinate your construction permits, manage schedules, and much more. There’s no shame in letting the pros handle things sometimes.
Have a Contingency Plan and Budget
Even the most “foolproof” of plans is bound to hit a bump or two down the road, and each of them comes with a price tag. There’s too many to mention all of them, but it could be that your plumbing is no longer up to code and has to be re-done, or maybe your cabinets have mold growing under them. No matter how much you budgeted for your kitchen renovation, always pad your final number a further 15 to 20% to avoid going over budget if your project does hit these obstacles. If you’re not properly prepared for it, you might even have to take some drastic measures, like downgrading the quality of your materials to make up for the unforeseen cost.
Avoid changing your mind
If you already have a clear plan, picked your favorite materials, padded your budget for contingencies, and even selected what kind of finishes you want, then the last thing you should do is change your mind on any of that when the project is already underway. Your contractor is ideally working on a very strict plan and schedule to make your kitchen happen like you want it to, and even a minor change in plans can bump your costs 10%. It might not sound like much now, but when your budget is $70,000 you realize that another $7,000 can hurt your finances pretty badly.