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Strategies for Success

From conception to completion, these tips will help you develop
a budget, decide on components and finishes, and navigate the remodel with your sanity intact.

Waiting for the Dessert


The budget helps both you and your designer ensure your kitchen becomes what you want aesthetically, functionally and financially.  The good news is that, done correctly, a kitchen remodel can get 80-100% return on investment if you decide to sell.

Step 1: Use your home’s value to determine a reasonable budget. Most industry experts use the 5-15% rule which states that the entire kitchen project should cost no less than 5% and no more than 15% of the current value of your home. The national average is 8%. The basis of the rule is that if you spend less than 5%, there is a good chance you may be devaluing your home. If you spend more than 15%, there is a good chance you are overspending, and will not recoup your investment at a reasonable rate.  As you determine what percentage to spend, consider the prominence of your kitchen within your home (the more prominent it is, the more impact it has on the value of your home), how much time you and your family spend in the kitchen, and how much you can afford. Up to a point, the higher quality home you live in, the higher a potential buyer’s expectation will be regarding the condition of the kitchen and the bigger the impact it will play in the appeal of the home.

Step 2:  Determine how your budget should be allocated.  The National Kitchen and Bath Association determined that on average, homeowners using professional services allocated their kitchen budget as follows: Cabinetry 48%; Countertops 18%; Appliances 15%; Fixtures 6%; Lighting and Electrical 5%; Flooring 5%; Walls and Trim 3%.  These percentages change according to your priorities.  For instance, higher end appliances and more unique finishes increases those budget areas.  Re-using existing appliances and refinishing cabinets decreases those line items.

Step 3:  Account for additional considerations.  Demolition of walls or difficult-to-remove components may incur additional costs. Certain materials may require specialized installation.  The flooring or decor in adjacent areas may need to be considered.  Additional construction costs, unforeseen contingencies, and change of plans or materials also increase the budget.  On the other hand, there may be projects you can complete, such as painting, that would decrease costs.  

Step 4:  Include a contingency fund.  Even the best plans and professionals can't predict every potential cost.  Older homes, unexpected issues, and changes in your original desires cost money.  Set aside 5-10% of your budget for these unexpected contingencies.  


Now that you've established your budget, determine how you want your money to be spent.


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Once your kitchen remodel is complete, enjoy it!  Plan to create a gourmet meal, schedule a gathering of friends and family, toast with a special bottle of wine...whatever you decide, be proud.  You made your kitchen amazing!

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