Unless you’re an experienced kitchen remodel budget planner, you could easily miss the mark when planning for your kitchen upgrade. The most important thing to remember is to set realistic expectations so you can prepare a budget that’s easy to stick to. To do so, you’ll have to choose a contractor or firm experienced in completing modern kitchen remodels.
Before you begin, you’ll have to choose the type of contractor you want to hire. Labor-only contractors are generally less expensive upfront than a turnkey design and build firm. However, unless you want to handle literally everything but the build, the all-inclusive firm will be more affordable — and less stressful — in the end.
Once you make that decision, you’ll have a more reasonable ballpark idea of what your budget should look like. With that in mind, you can start looking for the appropriate contractor or firm. Spend plenty of time talking with each candidate before inviting anyone over to give you an estimate. You don’t want to waste money or time on an estimate from someone you know isn’t a good fit.
When you’ve whittled down your list to a few contractors or firms you’re interested in working with, it’s time to collect detailed project proposals from each candidate. These proposals shouldn’t just include a price quote — they should break down each step of your kitchen remodel process and the costs to match.
Don’t be afraid to share competing proposals with your candidates to see how they respond to differences in price, time, or process. The answers you get will give you a better feel for each person or firm. Plus, you’ll gain more insight into the project as a whole that will help you determine whether a higher quote is worth the price.
Sticking to Your Budget
If you don’t already know how to budget for a kitchen remodel in a way that maximizes every dollar you spend, then an all-inclusive firm is probably your best option. Experienced ones cost more upfront because their services include helping you save money on everything else. Here’s how:
They find affordable, high-quality materials and finishes.
You might be remodeling your kitchen on a budget, but that doesn’t mean all of your materials and finishes have to be budget-quality. A good firm can find designer-quality appliances and materials at much lower costs than you’ll find on any showroom floor. It can also help you find more affordable design alternatives, such as floating cabinets and quartz instead of marble, so you can stretch your budget without sacrificing the aesthetics of your new kitchen.
They hire only the experts you’ll need.
All-inclusive doesn’t mean that you’ll have to pay for every type of remodeling expert out there. On the contrary, a good design and build firm will select designers and architects on an as-needed basis. For example, architects can charge as much as $20,000 and are usually unnecessary for a kitchen remodel. Therefore, having the expertise of a trusted firm to make those decisions is the surest way to avoid overspending on contractors.
They fulfill co-op or condo board requirements.
No matter how well you budget, there will be some costs you can’t avoid. If you live in a building instead of a private home, then those costs will include any requirements imposed by the building’s board. Include these costs in your budget or have your design-build firm do the research and estimate how much they’ll increase it. You can also rest assured that the contractors working on your kitchen remodel will adhere to those requirements.
Knowing how to budget for a kitchen remodel means having the experience to know where costs can be cut without affecting quality and what unexpected challenges you will likely face. Draw on the expertise of a turnkey design and build firm to make sure that your budget is reasonable and that the project itself stays as close to that number as possible.