Is your home looking a little out of date? Whether you’re looking to sell or just looking to feel like you’re living stylish, getting rid of that outdated decor can really make a huge difference.
One of the remodels you can undertake to make your home feel a lot newer all at once is a kitchen remodel. In the past decade, kitchen trends and styles have changed a lot, so even if your kitchen was only remodeled what feels like a few years ago, it could already be making your whole home feel dated. (After all, they say the kitchen is the heart of the home!)
A full kitchen remodel is a fast solution for that feeling – all you have to do is decide on a style.
You do have to be careful with remodeling projects – a couple of weeks ago, you might remember, we talked about adding to your home’s value, and the two ways that’s possible. Unfortunately, kitchen remodel’s don’t usually add to the home’s overall value – homeowners typically see about 60% ROI on the cost they put into the remodel.
However, a kitchen remodel can add that other, “secret sauce” type of value: Marketability. There is no real way to measure how an updated kitchen can add to the appeal of a home – but when you’re looking at homes you want to buy, pay attention to the ones you gravitate to. They’re probably also ones with recently updated styles, appliances, etc.
More people being drawn to your home means that you’re in a position to get more money than you would have for the cost of the house. Just because you won’t make all the money from the remodel back doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it: There’s a third factor to consider.
If you want to sell your house right away, a kitchen remodel probably isn’t the best move. It’s better not to lose money on something you’re just about to give away. But if you’re still planning on living in your house a while longer? That’s a different story.
According to the National Association of Realtors, in 2019, 90% of people who remodeled their kitchens said they felt happier, and wanted to be in their home more. That’s an overwhelming number of people whose lives were noticeably improved by something as simple as a kitchen remodel – and if money CAN buy happiness, well, there’s the other 40% of your investment right there!
There are also many things you can do to reduce the cost of a remodel. For example, on old, dated wood cabinets: Instead of replacing them, all you need to do to bring them into the 21st century is replace the handles with something matte black, and maybe paint them a white or other solid color that will match your style. Lighting fixtures are also a low-cost replacement that add a lot of new character to a room.
If you’re looking to stick to a very strict budget with your kitchen remodel, contractor Duane West of 3R Construction Management has some tips:
New Kitchen On A Budget
Since there is literally nowhere to go right now and all of our vacation plans have been canceled now is the perfect time to remodel your home. Below are 5 ways to save big on a kitchen remodel, don’t miss the bonus suggestion at the end…
1. Work With A Reputable Contractor
Did you know the average cost of using an inexperienced contractor is over $3,000 more than using an experience, licensed pro?
A recent study that followed kitchen remodels from start to finish discovered the “finished cost” (not the initial quoted cost) from the handyman averaged $3,138 more than the finished price of the kitchen remodeled by a seasoned licensed professional. Not to mention all the added costs of not showing up, missed deadlines, and a finished product that was best described as well, meh! ( it’s a real word… I looked it up)
2. Stick to Your Budget
It helps to think of a budget as a boundary, whether you plan to spend $8,000 or $200,000. If the boundary is clearly defined, then everyone knows to stay inside of it.
Setting your boundaries can be tricky! Here are a few tips that might help:
- Decide how much can you afford to put into this project.
- What resources do you have to work with? Money already saved, credit cards with reward points, or bank financing?
- How much will this remodel increase the value of your home?
- How much value do you put on enjoying the things you use every day?
- How much time will you save by finally having more space and an efficient workflow in the kitchen?
- How much value do you put on showing off the new kitchen? (hey, it’s a thing!)
Once you have balanced what this new kitchen is worth to you, with what you have to work with, you can set your budget as a “boundary” to stay within.
Share your budget with your contractor while they are bidding your job. A good contractor can tell you if your budget is adequate for the kitchen you are imagining and help you re-imagine, if needed, to get you what you want and stay within your budget. It helps a lot if you are both on the same page with your desires and your limitations.
Job creep is a real thing. (No, it’s not what you call the contractor when he gives you an invoice!) It is tempting get additional features and adjust as you go. A good contractor will make suggestions that they believe is going to benefit you. This usually adds cost to your job with the added value being a feature or upgrade you had not considered during the planning stage. You should PLAN on this happening and save 15-20% of the money available for this project to give you the ability to say “YES” if you want to, without going over your budget.
3. Take Advantage of Free Design Tools
Seeing is believing!
Sometimes you just need to see what things look like together to make up your mind. Spend a little extra time designing and considering not only how you use your kitchen now, but how that will change after the remodel.
Think about traffic flow and use patterns. How many ways can you add working space and improve the workflow to accommodate your entertainment lifestyle? Whether this new kitchen is only for you or every relative you know that’s coming for the holidays, careful planning now can make all the difference!
4. Plan Ahead to Buy Appliances on Sale
The best time to buy kitchen appliances is when stores need you more than you need the appliances!
Planning ahead means you can usually get more value for less money. It’s not uncommon to save $3,000-$5,000 by purchasing appliances on sale during Labor Day, or October through January, when manufacturers are introducing new models. Retailers need to move old inventory to make room and you can decide between the best deal or the latest features. They are not likely to store them for you, so talk with your contractor about the best time to have them delivered or make room in your garage until you are ready.
5. Schedule Your Project Wisely
When is the best time to start your project?
This is a question we get asked all the time. Of course, your lifestyle and schedule have a lot to do with the best time to remodel your kitchen. If you want to save a few dollars, I recommend you design your new kitchen and get your contract in place during August or September. Schedule the work during winter when rates are the lowest. Sometimes, you can save big bucks in the over-all project by taking advantage of the lower labor rates when construction slows down for the winter.
BONUS! Plan to Use Your Outdoor Kitchen
If you haven’t added an outdoor living area, you may want to start there.
A covered, heated kitchen with real metal (bug-free) cabinets and multiple options for cooking, will save you a lot of meals out while your new kitchen is under construction.
Since there is nowhere to go right now, you can still entertain, and you will have a comfortable place to have a meal with friends or coffee by yourself during construction.
If you start soon you could have them both built back to back, save time and money and be ready to start 2021 with a new look and attitude!