According to Remodeling Magazine, kitchen renovations provide the highest return on your investment. Not surprisingly, the kitchen is the heart of the home – it’s where we eat, chat, prepare meals as a family. It’s not surprising that the current design trend includes a large kitchen island to create a focal point and wonderful gathering spot. To get the most out of your renovation dollars, setting a budget is essential.
Planning is key! The first step is setting goals for the renovation and then realizing what’s actually feasible. The direct financial impact must be the top priority.
Some things to consider include:
- How long you anticipate living in the home
- Your current savings dedicated toward the project
- Ability to finance any unexpected events
- Your ability to borrow and the corresponding interest rate
- A realistic repayment plan
Create a wish list of upgrades and compare that to the amount of time and money you can actually afford. Keep in mind the main functions of a kitchen: meal preparation, storage, cooking, and the ease with which it can be cleaned.
Once your financial prospects become a reality, the next step involves understanding what you can do or what should be left to professionals. It’s amazing the amount of money that can be saved through DIY workmanship but be realistic, don’t go outside of your skill-set. Time can be as valuable as money, and you won’t save either if you take on a project that is beyond your skillset.
Popular DIY projects include:
- changing knobs and light fixtures
- refinishing cabinets
- simple tile and paint jobs
- repairing leaky faucets, gaskets or burnt out coils.
Typically, a good DIY project has accessible how-to instructions. Finding replacement appliance parts for repair jobs can save a bundle compared to a new purchase. Projects that involve gas or other fluids and fumes, or elaborate craftsmanship and plumbing, are best left to the licensed professionals.
Once you know what you can do yourself, be sure to break it all down. Start with the main areas of the kitchen remodel and list the estimated cost, the ideal cost, and what is affordable. Be sure to factor in materials and labour. Additionally, sustainability and energy efficiency are important issues to consider, as their impact may shape the budget itself. There are often incentives and multiple benefits that come with buying green.
Examples of project areas and points to consider:
- Oven/stove (gas or electric)
- Range Vent
- Energy efficiency
- Vinyl (typically cheapest)
Cabinetry / Counter Tops / Kitchen Island
- Garbage Disposal
- Refrigerator with ice-maker
Walls and ceiling
- Window Treatments
- Outlet Covers
*(repair, repurchase, install yourself)
The list goes on. Try to focus on creating a balance of quality and cost. There’s no point in spending money on faulty materials or starting a project you can’t afford. Understanding your own needs and intentions for use are also incredibly important factors to consider. But after a bit of budgeting, elbow grease, and a keen eye for deals, the first meal in a new kitchen will be a delicious reward.