When planning your kitchen remodel, or any home remodeling project, you will need to match your redesign plan to your budget. This means refining your wish list to coordinate with your budget, however large or small. This process often means multiple reviews and revisions to arrive at a plan and a budget which meet your needs. And while challenging, you can get the kitchen you want at a price you can afford.
It Begins with a Dream
Every remodeling project begins with a dream of the homeowner. Next, comes the selection of the professionals needed to get the project started. Some homeowners begin with an architect, others with a kitchen designer. Whomever you choose for your project planning, the first stage begins with your dream. To help the professional you’ve chosen to see your vision, and get an idea of the materials and styles you prefer, collect images of kitchens and features which demonstrate your personal kitchen style.
Having these early conversations will help throughout your project, though the initial design may need to be revised to match your budget. Your designer or builder will begin with a rendering of your current kitchen, followed by initial drawings. These initial drawings will be provided to contractors for pricing – not bids. These prices are essentially estimates, which don’t factor in finishes, materials, etc. you may want included in your kitchen remodel, but give you a good idea of the project costs.
As you get these initial price comparisons, you’ll want to ensure you are getting some measure of standardization. This can be done through allowances, which are industry specific cost projections on items like fixtures, lighting, plumbing, etc. Essentially, your designer or architect will provide costs like $10,000 for cabinetry, $5,000 for appliances, $10 per square foot for flooring, so your contractor cost projections will display actual costs for labor, overhead, managing the project, and other contractor specific costs. Your designer or architect will then review the price comparison, explaining to you the details and ensuring you get some measure of standardization which can be easily compared.
Here Come the Budget Revision
At first glance, these cost estimates may seem ready to shatter your kitchen dreams. Never fear, your designer or architect can help you find areas in which you can scale back and still get the kitchen you want. It may mean a change in cabinets, as in do they really need to go all the way to the ceiling, or will not going all the way still give you the look you want and the storage you need. This process, value engineering, helps you find the alternative that match your budget without sacrificing on function or style.
Even if you have an unlimited budget, you may find yourself asking if all the features you initially asked for are worth the overall cost. Whether you have a tight budget or a flexible one, you may want to assess your top priorities and make decisions which work best for you and your family. During this stage, you also have the opportunity to select your kitchen project contractor from among those how provided cost estimates. Always ask if the contractor you are considering is willing to do price comparisons for your budgets sake as the project goes forward.
Once you have your answers, keep in mind you still have to choose specific materials and products for your new kitchen, meaning you’ll go through several phases of review and revise until you reach a fully developed plan. Your chosen team should be willing to work with you to design the ideal plan for your budget and your dream kitchen.