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Last updated: June 7, 2021 • Home Improvement, Real Estate Agent

The Ultimate Kitchen Remodel

The kitchen is dubbed the heart of the house as it is the most important room in any home. Families usually gather together to enjoy meals in the kitchen, but even if it’s only used for cooking and has an adjacent dining room, it’s still an important part of your home. The importance it holds can be linked to our ancestry when, as it was the cooking area, it always provided warmth, a place to socialize, and a place to eat. All are elements detrimental to our survival as a species, which is why the kitchen remains, to this day, the most important room in the house.

Kitchen remodel ideas are plenty. You can find inspiration on social media sites like Pinterest, Facebook, and many others, but the kitchen remodel cost is directly impacted by our need for the room. The kitchen is what binds a home together and provides the means for connecting with your family through cooking, eating, or just simply socializing. The living room doesn’t hold a candle to the kitchen as there are several elements that, instead of promoting socializing, limit it, like the addictive TV.

When you think of your kitchen, the following probably come to mind: food, guests, entertainment, comfort, and warmth. It is where people feel most welcomed and have every reason to be drawn to it. Remodeling your own kitchen may come with a few challenges, an important one being your kitchen remodel cost. Through this article, we aim to help you conquer these challenges and draft a plan to not only find the best way to finance a kitchen remodel but also on what to consider when remodeling a kitchen.

Picture Your Ideal Kitchen

Female hands framing custom kitchen design

No matter if you buy a new house or are remodelling one, as any other project, you must first try to envision what you want your kitchen to look like when the remodel is finalized. You can think outside of the box by envisioning that your kitchen is empty and come up with a plan that won’t alter your kitchen’s structural components. The former would be the most cost-effective, but we’ll get to the budget in a little while. 

While some people may find this step exciting and easy to do, others might encounter a lack of inspiration. Nothing to worry about as there are more than enough materials to use for inspiration, both online and offline. Think of any website that focuses on remodeling – you might even find some inspiration here – or go offline and rediscover magazines. If you have more time on your hands, you could go directly to stores that have kitchen models displayed. Have a pen and notebook with you, and start scribbling down the things you like, colors, countertops, cabinet styles, unique features, and last but not least, the appliances that you want to incorporate into your dream kitchen.

Pro tip: Save pictures, cut up magazines, draw a model to get all of your ideas in one place. Then, if you decide to seek advice from a professional, you’ll have all your favorite models, styles, and inspirations ready to show.

Make a Budget

Kitchen remodel estimate cost of renovation

This is one of the most important steps. Here you must decide how much you’re willing to spend on your kitchen. We must mention that remodeling a kitchen can be the most expensive remodeling project in any home. The following information mustn’t deter you, but the average kitchen remodel cost nationally based on Remodeling Magazine is $66,000. Something to keep in mind, however, is that this applies to major kitchen remodeling projects. The region affects your project’s cost, so if you’re living in the Pacific region, the average kitchen remodel cost goes up to $73,000, while in the South Atlantic region, the average kitchen remodel cost goes down to $63,000. HomeAdvisor, however, estimates the average kitchen remodel cost somewhere between $13,000 and $35,000 while remodeling a small kitchen can be as cheap as $4,000.

In the end, it all depends on what you want to change, what can be refinished, refaced, or refurbished, and what needs to be replaced. Make a list of the “must-have” items and another list of things that you’d wish to have if the budget permits. Making two separate lists will help you prioritize the most important items, while those that you can go without will be bonus additions if unforeseen expenses are limited.

Pro tip: Once you have a baseline for your budget, add somewhere between 10 to 20% more for unforeseen expenses. Like this, you might not have to draw a line between what you need and what you want.

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Prioritize Functionality

Bar counter in the kitchen loft style

There are many different ways to remodel a kitchen, and the newest or oldest trends can inspire you to think outside the box. A classic model allows plenty of ways to update and maximize functionality without occupying too much space. Islands are still a significant trend in kitchen remodel, but eat-in kitchens are gaining momentum, as do breakfast nooks. The depth and size of the cabinets can also be modified as well as the types of drawers, both of these features having an impact on the amount of storage you’ll have.

We briefly mentioned above that some kitchen elements could be refinished, refaced, or refurbished. We were referring precisely to wooden elements. These might be the cabinets, the floors, shelves, and so on. If the item’s structure is strong and the wood is high-quality, there is no need to replace them. A fresh coat of paint, some knobs replaced, and some polishing can make them look brand new. Mix them up a bit, increase their functionality factor, and you might halve your kitchen remodel cost while also making them fit better in your home style.

Pro tip: An old bakery table is a much more affordable option for a kitchen island, and it’s also an excellent option for space-limited kitchens.

Aesthetics vs. Format

Gray luxury kitchen sink

Now to get into more details on exactly how you can limit your kitchen remodel cost. It’s important to know that the more you will change in your existing kitchen, the more your kitchen remodel cost will increase. For example, if you want to change your kitchen layout and demolish a wall to get that open-floor plan, that will quickly add to your cost. For a non-load-bearing wall, the cost is between $300 and $1,000, this being the least expensive variant. If the wall you want to tear down in order to open up your floor-plan is a load-bearing wall and you live in a single-story home, you can expect an additional expense between $1,200 and $3,000. However, if you live in a house with more than one level, the cost can increase between $3,000 and $10,000. Also, any changes you bring to the plumbing or electrical circuit will increase the overall cost of the kitchen remodel depending on exactly what you want.

On the plus side, if you keep your kitchen’s layout and you don’t alter the plumbing or electrical circuit, the cost will diminish. If you decide against replacing the cabinets and, instead, repaint them, the cost will diminish. 

Pro tip: Upgrading appliances are the most common reasons why people choose to remodel their kitchens, and if you manage to limit your expenses to that and a few finishing touches, you can make your kitchen look brand new on a budget.

Contract Help

Hand architect on computer tablet

Hiring someone with experience might not be considered cheap at first, but the overall budget might thank you later, especially regarding unforeseeable expenses that are less likely to come up when dealing with a professional. The amount of experience they have will end up saving you money while also making the most out of the available space. Interior designers can take over the whole project for you and respect your design, budget, and refurbishing desires. They can also use the outdated furniture and reincorporate it into the new design. Some kitchen designs revamp old wooden bar cabinets into accent items that will catch the eye of anyone who walks into your kitchen. Don’t be afraid to add a splash of color in your kitchen.

Another great reason to hire professional help is the risk of mistakes that someone with little to no experience can make. A contractor or kitchen designer will make sure that the correct measurements are done correctly from the start, that the right screws are used to install cabinets, and that everything is installed correctly in your kitchen. Following incorrect measurements can lead to disastrous mistakes, and the cost of fixing things will only stretch your budget more thinly.

Financing Options

Happy young couple reading and analyzing bill

If your kitchen remodeling budget is limited or doesn’t exist at all, there are financing options you could look into that can allow your vision to come true. From personal loans to home equity financing, a financial advisor can help you find the best option for your financial situation. As the kitchen is considered the heart of the house, remodeling it can be costly, as we already mentioned. It’s always better to know all your options before you start spending money. 

It is also important to note that you should have at least an approximation of your budget by the time you start thinking about financing options. Like that, you can get a better idea of what the interest rate will be for the amount of money you require to lend. The way through which you decide to finance your kitchen remodel can make one financing option more appropriate than another. Building up your creditworthiness, the value of your home equity, and your kitchen remodel plans can all influence the type of loan that best suits your situation.

Most homeowners take out personal loans for home improvement projects, which makes sense especially if your home equity is low. While using your savings is the cheapest option, credit cards work best for lower-cost projects as they might come with promotional interest-free periods of, usually, 18 months. If you want to get your money in one lump sum and your project is more likely to increase your home value, home equity loans are ideal and can be cheaper than a personal loan. If you expect the remodeling to increase the value of your home but aren’t sure what the total cost of the project will be, a home equity line of credit gives you the necessary flexibility.

Pro tip: When setting a budget for your kitchen remodeling project, a good rule of thumb is to calculate 17 to 20% of your home’s market value, and make that your budget.

Conclusion

Starting your kitchen remodeling project will most likely give your imagination permission to run wild. To a certain extent, this is a good thing, but always keep your budget in mind. Many people easily overspent when remodeling their kitchens simply because of all the new trends and styles that catch their eyes. Knowing how not to overextend your expenses is the key to a kitchen remodel that will increase the functionality level and, at the same time, make your kitchen that much more appealing to you and your guests. An added benefit to a kitchen remodel is the increased return value you’ll get on your home’s selling price if you ever decide to move out. 

If you don’t want to limit yourself to only remodeling your kitchen and this article inspired you to embark on a much bigger project, you can contact real estate agents near you and take on a whole house. House flipping is a large market, and many people find them to be financially appealing, not only for their purchase price, which is usually much lower than expected but also for their return on investment once they decide to sell.

Let us know in the comments below what your plans are for your kitchen, and if you have any other questions we can help you with. Like & Share this article with any friends or family that might be planning a kitchen remodel and need a few pointers.

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