How to Keep Your Renovation From Exceeding Your Budget
Despite the unlimited access to online renovation information, it’s not easy to accurately budget for a new kitchen or bath. For example, if you visited the Houzz.com website to search for farmhouse sinks, your search would deliver more than 77,000 results, with prices ranging from $150 to more than $5,000. How could anyone know which farmhouse sink would be the perfect fit among 77,000+ options? Budgeting is made even more difficult by home improvement television. HGTV, DYI and other networks do not produce documentaries. They are in the entertainment business. As such, many times, the budgets quoted for kitchen, bath and home renovation projects do not include the cost of labor, which can account for more than 50% of the budget, depending on the nature and scope of the project. Home improvement television is an excellent source of inspiration, but an unreliable and inaccurate resource for budgeting and scheduling.
Most homeowners in the Upper Valley renovate their kitchens and bathrooms when they have become outdated, when they want them to function differently, when existing fixtures are either damaged, broken or don’t work effectively and when they have the financial means to do so. The decision to renovate does not occur on the spur of the moment. Almost all of the homeowners in the Upper Valley that we help to create their dream kitchens and baths, spend months performing independent research and making sure they have the financial means to get what they want.
The first step in keeping a project on budget is to develop a budget that is realistic during the planning phase of a project. Here are the keys to developing a realistic budget:
- Work with professionals who know what they are doing and pick their brains to uncover what will work best for you and your home. Experienced showroom professionals know manufacturer track records for order fulfillment, customization capabilities, customer service and warranty backing.
- Determine what is most important to you in your new kitchen or bath. Prioritization becomes easier when you consider who will use the space, how often and for what purposes. We have several clients in the Upper Valley who love to cook and entertain and want their kitchen not only to be a showplace but also to have the same functionality as a commercial kitchen.
- Make sure that a professional measures the space. The dimensions of the room enable experienced designers to recommend specific areas for appliances, countertops, sinks, fixtures, windows, etc. that work in concert with one another. You don’t want cabinet doors hitting countertops or anything else. You don’t want your island to impede the opening of a dishwasher. Accurate measurement of your space also helps showroom professionals recommend storage solutions that make your new kitchen function as well, if not better, as it looks.
- Develop a comprehensive, tight plan and stick to it. Changing your plans, design and products after construction begins usually causes budgets to blow up.
Determine if you need to reconfigure the space or can use your existing or part of your existing infrastructure as is. Having to move and reconfigure plumbing, electrical, ductwork, ventilation and structural support will dramatically affect a budget. A note of caution: Depending on the age of your home and the scope of your project, some unexpected changes may be required to ensure that your new kitchen or bath meets the requirements of your local building code.
Ask your showroom professional for cost-saving ideas. Tile manufacturers now produce slabs that look and feel like stone and floor coverings that resemble hardwood.
Avoid the temptation to be pennywise and dollar foolish. As tempting as it might be to want to reuse your faucet or sinks, don’t. Older fixtures are environmentally inefficient compared to today’s offerings and won’t provide nearly the same functionality, look or feel. Plus, keeping existing components defeats the purpose of renovating your new kitchen.
What is a realistic budget for your new kitchen or bath? We can help you develop one! Call us at 603-448-9700 or visit our showroom at 105 Hanover Street, Lebanon, NH.