Avoid Sticker Shock With Your Kitchen or Bath Renovation

The Kitchen Master | October 11, 2016

The primary factors influencing a budget for a kitchen or bath renovation are:

  • Size of the space
  • Choices that you make
  • Scope of the project

Our experience in designing thousands of projects finds that the most common reason why projects go over budget is that our clients select finishes and products that are at the upper end of the price scale. Our experience is confirmed by a recent Houzz survey of 120,000 projects which found nearly 50% of budget busting was caused by selecting more upscale products and finishes.

Houzz also found that 40% of projects went over budget because homeowners had unrealistic expectations of what products and services cost. The following ideas can help you develop realistic expectations and budgets.

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Cabinet costs vary in price and quality from value-oriented to top-of-the-line with a price tag to match. Stock cabinets start at about $50 per linear foot compared to custom cabinets that can cost in excess of $2,000 per linear foot.

To help you establish realistic budget expectations, we will explain the difference between custom cabinets, semi-custom and stock brands. Special features in cabinets such as wine racks, knife drawers and other storage solutions contribute to cost creep. There are usually trade offs when establishing a budget. Depending on your needs and preferences, we can present options and help you to determine which special features you will use and enjoy the most.
Countertops at the low-end start at $10 to $24 per square foot for plastic laminate. Quartz and granite countertops can range from $60 to more than $150 per square foot.

Appliances are another component that can contribute to breaking or making a budget. Refrigerators can range in price from $1,000 to more than $12,000 depending on make, manufacturer and features. The same price range exists with almost every appliance in your kitchen. We will work with you to identify the appliances that represent the best combination of value and performance for your project.

The unknown is another common contributor to unexpected renovation costs. You never know what’s behind a wall, above a ceiling or underneath a floor until demolition begins. We’ve seen everything from termite and water damage to classic examples of poor construction. Because we don’t have X-ray vision, we advise our clients to have a 10% to 20% contingency for the unexpected depending on how extensive the rough construction is.

Code compliance is another factor that could adversely affect your budget. If your home is more than 20 years old, chances are the wiring; appliance connections, plumbing or ventilation may not meet today’s building code requirements. Even though your home may have been code compliant when you moved in, new construction must meet current code requirements. That could require rewiring, repiping or improvements to ventilation that increase expenses and could slow down completion time.

Finally, once you make your decision, stick to your guns. Don’t start demolition until all of the products and finishes you need are specified and your have established an order schedule. When you change your mind, you slow the project’s completion and increase your cost. Mind changing is the reason why 33% of kitchen renovation budgets go over budget.

The Houzz survey found that only 3% of homeowners who renovated their kitchens had projects come in under budget. We know how to increase that percentage and count you in that number. We welcome the opportunity to help you establish a budget that is realistic to meet your needs and avoid most unexpected surprises.

At The Kitchen Master we do everything it can to include every item, all the construction time and even include allowances for unseen work, in the project estimates we give our customers. We want you to know as closely as possible what the real cost of our new room will be. To learn more about our design and construction process, call to speak to one of our certified designers.

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