We’ve all heard the kitchen renovation horror stories – friends and family who decided to renovate their kitchen and are full of warnings about going over budget, or taking far longer than they originally planned. But it doesn’t have to be that way and in our experience, more often than not everything works out on time and on budget.

Have you been pouring over issues of House & Home for months and scrolling through thousands of images on Pinterest as you consider finally taking the leap and renovating your kitchen? Here are a few things to keep in mind that will help to keep you set a realistic budget and stay on track…

Put a pin in it

They say a picture is worth a thousand words and with sites like Pinterest and Houzz there is endless inspiration at our fingertips. Create a board or start a file where you can keep images of what you’d like in your kitchen – everything from appliances, cabinets, fixtures, lighting, countertops – or even just the ‘look and feel’ you’re going for.

This will be an incredible asset when you start working with a designer or contractor and can save countless hours when trying to describe what you’re picturing – instead, you can just show them!

Kitchen Layout

A big factor in the cost and scope of a renovation rests on the layout – it will save you quite a bit if you work around your existing appliances and don’t have to do any rewiring. Knowing the measurements of the space you’re working with and any fixed points that will need to remain the same will inform the design ideas you’re looking at and the choices you’ll make.

That said, you may feel that if you’re going to renovate, you should do whatever it takes to create the space you’re envisioning, regardless of walls and support beams. This is where the help of a designer is critical, as well as for those many seemingly innocuous details that can truly turn a plain old kitchen into a seamless part of your lifestyle that actually makes life easier and more enjoyable. Really – a kitchen can be ‘all that’!

Renovation Research

Kitchen Renovation Research is always a good idea, and it’s even more important when it comes to renovating. According to a recent survey of 120,000 households who undertook kitchen renovations, about 40% of those who exceeded their budgets said finding out that products or services were more expensive than anticipated was the primary reason. All of the images you’ve collected have price tags attached – looking into what some of those items actually cost can give you a clearer idea of what will be realistic given the budget you’ve established.

Start by visiting one of the many showrooms around town – look at flooring, cabinets, fixtures, ceramic and marble – do some rough calculations to get an idea of what various options cost. It’s possible to reproduce that gorgeous kitchen in the glossy magazine, but if you’re trying to do it for $30,000 rather than $60,000, it will help to know from the outset what to expect and where to find best option available at your price point.

Kitchen Renovation Budget

Once you’ve done your research and have a rough idea of what you’re heading into, you can set your budget. Of course, there’s always the reverse planning process, where you start with the amount you’re willing to spend and then decide on your options within that range – either way, you’re making informed decisions rather than heading into the renovation with a picture in your mind that doesn’t match the amount in your bank account.

This is also where you can decide where you want to save vs. splurge – is it more important to have that quartz countertop or custom cabinets? What are the ‘deal-breakers’ where you aren’t willing to go for the less expensive options? And if you really want to give yourself a little peace of mind, build in a contingency for unexpected circumstances such as structural issues or scope creep (i.e. changing your mind on a few things after construction has started). If your total budget is $30,000, set aside 10% or $3000 as contingency and work with $27,000 while planning, chances are you’ll be glad you did.

Do you have questions you’d like answers to before you decide to renovate? Are you interested in having someone visit your house to talk about options? Call or email us for a complimentary design consultation – we’d be happy to answer your questions and spend some time talking with you about the possibilities and what your dream kitchen looks like!