In Buying & Finance

7 Steps To An Accurate Kitchen Remodel Budget

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One of the most popular home renovations is to fix up the kitchen in the house. After all, every realtor will tell you that kitchens and bathrooms sell a home.

It’s always the kitchen photographed in the magazines too. Needless to say, we have a fascination with kitchens. After choosing an interior design style, you need to set a kitchen remodel budget or else your remodel will go quickly off the rails.

The average kitchen remodel costs around $22,000 according to CliqStudios after all. But you can make your remodel as expensive or inexpensive as you like.

Set Your Overall Kitchen Remodel Budget

Kitchen Remodel Budget

When you set your kitchen remodel budget, you should plan on spending roughly 6-10% of your home’s value on you remodel. Any less and you may not be making much of a difference. Any more and you may be over-remodeling and adding features that you won’t see a return on.

You should leave room in your kitchen remodel budget for about 20% overage or unexpected costs. I promise that when you open up the walls, you will find things that you weren’t expecting that need to be fixed. If you don’t plan for the unexpected, you may have to go overbudget or sacrifice something you really wanted.

Have A Payment Plan In Place

Before you even begin a remodel, how are you going to pay for it? Maybe you’re planning on using credit cards. If so, I suggest you at least apply for one with good rewards so you can recover some of that spending. If you are planning on doing a loan from a bank, you’ll want to have that ready to go before you get too far down into the remodel planning.

Figure Out Your Living Situation

You should know what your living situation is going to be like. Since you won’t have a fully functioning kitchen for multiple months, you’ll need to have a plan for your meals. You could set up a secondary kitchen in another area like the garage. Or you could plan on eating out, which you’ll want to budget for as a separate line item.

Figure out if you’re going to live in the house while the kitchen is being renovated. If you stay there, you can save money. But this may not be possible if you have a large, young, or rowdy family. If you can’t stay in the house, you’ll need to budget for living expenses.

Know Your Limits


In the grand scheme of a kitchen remodel budget, you need to know up front what you’re willing to splurge on in the moment and what you won’t be flexible on. You may be more willing to buy a nice backsplash tile and save money on the range. Make a list at the beginning of the items that you’re okay spending money on and what you aren’t. If you plan it beforehand, you’re more likely to stick to it.

Break Down Your Costs

In general, kitchen remodels should break down in roughly the same percentages so that you can get the remodel correct. Just for instance, if your lighting costs 30% of your budget, you’re probably spending too much on lighting. Follow the percentages below roughly as a guide for your budget.

Reduce Your Labor

You can save some money on the remodel by doing some of the work yourself. You can’t do too much damage by doing some of the demolition yourself and it’s kind of fun, if exhausting. If you’re handy in any way, don’t be afraid to do the work. Want to try drywall? Give it a shot! Just don’t screw up your timeline and set other parts of your project back. If the drywall needs to be done by a certain day for instance, you need to come through or let your contractor do it.

Research Your Materials

The more research you can do before you write your kitchen remodel budget, the better. If you know, for example, that painted cabinets are less expensive than walnut cabinets, that may change your budget. You may select a different finish for your hardware if one has better warranty or a different price. The more you know about the materials and prices, the more accurate your budget will be.