Kitchen and Bathroom Renovations – Budget Guidelines and Prep Work

If you’ve recently started dreaming of a kitchen or bathroom renovation, you have probably already walked up and down the aisles of your local home improvement store looking for some inspiration. As you were perusing, you probably started to get excited about all the possibilities at hand. Like a kid in a candy store, your excitement grew as you discovered all the updates and finishes you hadn’t even thought about yet. Shortly after that, you probably woke up from your daydream and realized you aren’t a kid anymore and your mom or dad isn’t waiting at the register to pay for your bags of candy (new kitchen or bathroom).

If you’re thinking about remodeling your kitchen or bathroom, the question of cost will come up sooner or later. The cost of completing the kitchen or bathroom remodeling project you want may be determined by your ability to manage expenses in order to stay within your budget. When planning your remodeling project, consider the following suggestions.


Shop Contractors

When hiring a remodeling contractor to work on your home, it is best to get at least three estimates from reputable remodelers. Meet with each professional to discuss your kitchen or bathroom remodeling ideas. Make a list of what you want to accomplish during the renovation and what features are important to you and your family. Let each remodeler know whether you want a cosmetic facelift for the room or an extensive project. Costs vary depending on the amount of work involved in the project, so room additions or expansions typically top the list.

Apple to Apples

Once you have your three contractors and start comparing their estimates, make sure they are all estimating the same scope of work and using similar types of materials. This ensures that you are comparing apples to apples across all the contractors. Also, make sure to pay attention to the timeframe that each contractor is estimating your project will take because although not necessarily monetary, it a huge factor to consider.

When comparing, if one of the estimates is significantly lower than the others, look for material substitutions or a portion of the job being overlooked. It’s pointless to hire a contractor because their bid was $1,000 lower than the others, only to find out later that they didn’t include your $2,000 hand-painted ceramic tile. However, if the low bid appears to cover everything, you could have just saved $1,000 on your kitchen or bathroom remodeling project.

Every Dollar Counts

Take advantage of the product knowledge of the remodeling contractor you’ve chosen to find additional savings on the job. A different kitchen cabinet layout might eliminate the need to relocate plumbing and gas lines, which can be costly. Alternatively, if you intend to keep the same cabinet footprint, kitchen cabinet refacing will be less expensive than purchasing new cabinets. Your bathroom remodeler may be able to get better deals on a different brand of plumbing fixtures or shower enclosure than the one you originally chose; and the quality could even be better. There are many areas of a kitchen and bathroom renovation where a minor change can significantly reduce the overall cost of the remodeling project.

Stick to the Plan

Spending a lot of time cutting costs during the planning stage of your kitchen and bathroom renovations won’t mean much if you start making changes and additions along the way. It is easy to fall into the trap of believing that because you have saved so much money, you can now add a few items here and there that would not have fit into your original budget. Before you know it, your remodeling project is costing more than what you were spending before you started cutting corners. Following a budget during a kitchen or bathroom remodeling project is kind of like following a diet – the first ice cream sundae doesn’t make much of a difference, but after five, you’ve gained a pound.

Step by Step

Although completing an entire kitchen or bathroom remodeling project at once may be the most convenient and cause the least disruption to your family’s daily life, it may not be the most cost-effective option. During these difficult economic times, it is often possible to divide a kitchen or bathroom remodeling project into stages to make it more affordable. For example, once new kitchen cabinets and countertops have been installed and the room is functional again, new lighting fixtures, flooring, plumbing fixtures, or even painting may be able to be postponed for a few months or longer. A costly frameless shower enclosure can also be postponed by simply installing a $20 curtain rod. Consult your kitchen and bathroom remodeler during the estimate stage which portions of the project can be put off to a later date without causing any major issues.

Considering all these pieces to your bathroom or kitchen remodel will make the whole process of creating and sticking to a budget easier. Your local Kitchen Solvers is happy to help you think through all these things during your free consultation appointment as well. Reach out today to start making your kitchen or bathroom dreams a reality.