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Establishing a Budget

Establishing Your Kitchen Remodeling Budget

Renovating a kitchen will almost certainly be the largest investment you make in your home. Calculating a budget that matches your needs and expectations will go a long way towards insuring your personal and financial satisfaction.

cost-vs-value-trendsRemodeling magazine’s 2014 Cost vs. Value survey suggests that a major kitchen renovation in Harrisburg or Lancaster PA ranged from $50,000 for a midrange project to $110,000 for an upscale project. With such a wide variance, how do you determine what your overall budget can and should be?

For those who want to focus on dollars first and kitchen features second, there are two basic questions that will help set an overall budget.

• How long do you plan to live in the home?
• If you cut back on your remodeling budget, how might you use the money?

If you are not planning to stay in the home at least five years, the remodeling budget should lean towards the lower end of the range. It’s simply harder to recover a remodeling investment in a shorter period of time. And of course, the shorter your time in the home, the less time you’ll have to enjoy the space with friends and family.

Another consideration is how the money might be used if you chose to steal ten or twenty thousand from the renovation budget. Would the $10,000 saved by downgrading your expectations be enjoyed more traveling to Europe or perhaps sitting in your retirement account?

Here’s My Budget and This is What I Want

Once an overall budget has been established, our suggestion is to visit with a designer. To worry about how much you will spend on cabinetry or appliances at this stage is putting the cart before the horse. A skilled kitchen designer can take any reasonable budget and optimize it against your list of needs and wants. This is where the experience and expertise of a Certified Kitchen Designer (CKD) really makes a difference.

That being said, reality TV has led us to believe that all of our wishes can be met, no matter the budget and often in 30 minutes! And truthfully, anyone looking to remodel their kitchen wants to get at least an inkling of how much they can spend on a new range or marble countertop.

Kitchen Budget Calculators and Worksheets

To scratch the “what if?” itch, below you will find a selection of worksheets that will allow you to model a number of budget scenarios. To get you started, here are the 2014 NKBA average expenditures by category.

calculator
Mother Hubbard’s Kitchen Remodeling Excel Spreadsheet
DocStoc Kitchen Budget Worksheet

It’s fun to run the numbers, but important to remember that the quality of decisions you and your designer make will ultimately insure that each dollar you invest is spent effectively and efficiently.  And I know I sound like a broken record, but remember to invest in cabinetry first!  Appliances, countertops and fixtures can all be replaced easily when the budget allows.  Cabinetry, once installed, is there for a long, long time.

By John Petrie

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