Your renovation budget
Kitchen and bathroom renovations typically begin with homeowners walking down the aisles of their local home improvement store preparing for their kitchen or bathroom remodeling project. A homeowner might feel like children in a candy store with this process. But there’s often a big difference – the homeowners usually don’t have someone else to foot the bill.
If you’re thinking about doing your kitchen or bathroom remodeling project, sooner or later the question of expense will arise. How much does it cost to complete the kitchen or bathroom remodeling project you envision may depend on your ability to manage expenses to meet your budget. The following tips may prove helpful when planning your remodeling project.
Interview Remodeling Contractors
The rule of thumb when hiring a remodeling contractor to work on your home is to get at least three estimates for the project from reliable remodelers. Meet with each professional and discuss your ideas for your kitchen or bathroom remodeling project. If possible, have a list of what you’re hoping to accomplish during the renovation and what features are important to you and your family. Let each of the remodelers know whether you’re just looking for a cosmetic facelift for the room or an extensive project. Costs range according to the amount of work involved in the project with room expansions or additions normally topping the list.
Compare Apples to Apples
The estimates you receive from each remodeler should be for the same scope of work using similar materials over approximately the same time period. Otherwise you are not comparing apples to apples and cannot conduct a good evaluation.
Look for material substitutions or a portion of the job being overlooked if one project estimate is significantly lower than the others. It doesn’t do much good to choose a contractor because their price was $1,000 lower than the others only to discover during the job that they didn’t include your $2,000 hand-painted ceramic tile. However, if the low bid looks like it has everything covered, you may have just saved $1,000 on your kitchen or bathroom remodeling project.
Look for Savings
Enlist the assistance of the remodeling contractor you selected in finding additional savings on the job. Perhaps a different kitchen cabinet layout would eliminate the need to move plumbing and gas lines, which can be fairly expensive. Or, if you plan on maintaining the same cabinet footprint, kitchen cabinet refacing would likely be less expensive than purchasing new cabinets. Your bathroom remodeler might be able to get better discounts on a different brand of plumbing fixtures or shower enclosure than the manufacturer you had initially selected. And the quality might even be nicer. There are many areas of a kitchen and bathroom renovations where a slight change can make a big difference in the final cost of the remodeling project.
Stick to your Budget
Spending a lot of time during the planning stage of your kitchen and bathroom renovations to trim costs doesn’t mean much if you start making changes and additions during the course of the project. It is very easy to fall into the trap of thinking so much money has been saved that you can now add a few items that wouldn’t fit into your original budget. Before you know it, your remodeling project has exceeded the amount where you were before beginning to cut expenses. Sticking to a budget during a kitchen or bathroom remodeling project is like staying on a diet – the first ice cream sundae doesn’t make much of a difference, but after five sundaes, you’ve gained a pound.
Consider Renovation Stages
While doing an entire kitchen or bathroom remodeling project at one time may be the most convenient method and cause the least disruption to your family’s daily life, it may not be the best option for your budget. It is often possible to break a kitchen or bathroom remodeling project into stages that are a little easier to afford during these challenging economic times. For example, new lighting fixtures, kitchen flooring, plumbing fixtures, or even painting may be able to be put off for a few months or longer once new kitchen cabinets and countertops have been installed and the room is back to being functional. An expensive frameless shower enclosure can often be delayed by simply installing a $20 curtain rod. Ask your kitchen and bathroom renovations expert what portions of your project might be put off without causing a major problem.
Even the timing of your job may be able to save you a few dollars. For example, many kitchen and bathroom remodeling contractors might be willing to reduce their price by a few dollars to work inside a warm home during the cold winter months.
And be sure to research kitchen remodeling costs and their return on investment as you plan your kitchen and bathroom renovations.