Every once in a while, people take a step back and take a long, hard look at their homes. When the kitchen is the room getting the scrutiny, you know renovations are going to be on the agenda. If you’re one of the many homeowners who are ready to give your kitchen a snazzy makeover, your first item on your to-do list is going to be figuring out your budget.

The kitchen is one of the most important rooms on a property. If you’re going to make it over, you should make sure it counts. That’s where a new set of questions kick in:

  • What should my budget be?
  • How do I use my budget to get the best value?
  • What exciting changes will fit in my remodeling budget?

When you’re trying to determine your budget for a kitchen remodel, these are the key questions to keep in mind for establishing how much you can and should spend to transform your culinary space. Fortunately, these questions also have answers.

Follow the Value, and Make It Count

There is a traditional remodeling rule that you should spend no more than 15 percent of your home’s value on a renovation project. This includes your kitchen. So, if your home is worth $200,000 you shouldn’t spend more than $30,000 on a kitchen remodel. That’s just one example; adjust according to the estimated market value of your property. This will help you avoid over-renovating for your neighbourhood.

You should also be aware that there is a minimum as well. Spending less than 5% of your home’s value will mean your reno is actually dragging down the value of your home.

If you do the math and find even spending 5% is a stretch for you, don’t worry. Just save for a few years, and then you’ll be able to get a renovation that means something.

Using Your Budget Wisely

Once you’ve determined your overall budget (and before you get carried away with shopping!) it’s a smart move to figure out where the money should go.

Total Overhaul or A Little Makeover?

Establishing a remodeling budget should incorporate your motivation for the renovation. In short, are you planning to revamp the kitchen to make the property more appealing to another buyer? If your hope is to simply break even on a home sale, you may want to keep the renovation on the light side, and leave out the personal style statements.

One way to do this is to think about refinishing instead of replacing. Is the floor worn down and dull but still salvageable hardwood? Consider having it sanded down and restained. Is the cabinetry holding together well, but out of style? Leave the interior structure intact and change the facing. Could the walls use a bit of pizzazz? Maybe a tiled backsplash would give it a bit of shine.

Each of these options is a lot less expensive than a complete overhaul, but can look just as stunning. Keep in mind that all of this assumes that the layout of your kitchen is sensible and there are no usability flaws with your current kitchen.

Of course, if you have the budget to create a fairytale kitchen, go right ahead. Beautiful kitchens are big selling points for buyers, and if you’re selling you can expect to recoup 75% – 100% of the value.

Aim for Change, But Design For Your Needs

It’s easy to get locked into a style routine because it’s comfortable and predictable. Progress has rarely been made, however, without letting go of something — and that concept applies to your future kitchen remodel. If you’re renovating, make sure you make some fresh new changes in terms of colour and style. Having a look that’s up to date will appeal to buyers.

On the other hand, what appears glamorous may not always be practical. For people looking to stick around their homes for a while after a kitchen remodel, spending money on an attribute that is more than you need is pouring money down the drain. A good example of this would be a investing in a gas stove when most of your meals are heated in the microwave. For the die-hard cooking enthusiast who wants what a gas stove can do, spending the money on having the gas line laid and the stove itself would be worth it.

Even if you have the resources to buy something, consider if you really need it. Being honest with yourself will help you stay within your budget for your remodelling project.

Respect Your Elders…Property-Wise

If your home has been around for a while, you need to respect its age. An older property might be gorgeous, but it is bound to have ‘old bones’. This almost demands that updates will be needed at some point, requiring specific renovations that keep the kitchen up-to-date.

Many people choose to keep kitchen décor within the frame of the original era of the home, allowing the prevalent design to stay intact by adding authentic period elements. It is possible to find vintage or vintage-style appliances that match the character of your home. While this is an admirable concept, these additions may not always be energy efficient, or have some of the wonderful new features of the latest smart appliances.

If you’re caught in this dilemma, there is a way out. The answer is to use great design to reconcile the old and the new. You can have up to date appliances, but have other features that are more in tune with the period of your home. With the help of a talented kitchen designer, you can reconcile old style with new appliances, and still uphold retro pastiche with flair.

Work With a Professional and Qualified Kitchen Renovator

You know your budget and needs better than anyone. Use that knowledge as a guiding tool to determine what you can and can’t afford. Then, share those fiscal boundaries with a kitchen designer to come up with an astounding new look for your kitchen that works.

The end result will be a kitchen that you can live with, whether you’re selling your home or enjoying it yourself for years to come.

Looking for expert advice? A consultation with one of our friendly kitchen designers will help steer you in the right direction.

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