• Kristy Berckmoes

Let’s Talk About the Money…

I love the idea of remodeling and I love Houzz. Pinterest is a large void where I can lose literally hours of my day when I start dreaming of what I can do to my home and my kitchen. And then, Mr. Reality walks in and steps all over my visions of grandeur. Believe it or not, it’s not my husband, it’s the dirty word, money.

Even if you are the handiest person ever, when it comes to remodeling your kitchen, there are a few elements you need to concentrate on; cabinets, appliances, flooring, countertops, and backsplash. Each of these elements will take a chunk of your budget. In addition, you need to consider if your layout needs revised or if your space needs expanded. (Quietly say, “Ca-ching.”)

To be realistic, you need to set a top end budget on what you are comfortable spending and then let your contractor and designer tell you what can be purchased for that amount. Even then, until you have determined what you want done and the bids are in, you won’t really have a solid number.

Here are some thoughts to consider when laying out the budget.

· Prices per square foot vary around the country, but generally, in Montana, construction costs on a home run around $150 per square foot (removing walls, taking out old flooring and cabinets, demolition, rebuilding, and any other construction items). Yes, you can do the demo yourself but the $150 is a good starting point.

· Cabinets range in price depending on the size, design, and finish and will probably be the largest part of your budget after construction costs. Cabinets come in various grades, so you can spend some money here, or a lot of money here… the least for do-it-yourself cabinets (you put them together); more for stock cabinets (prebuilt by the manufacturer); or most for custom cabinets (made especially for your space).

· Cabinet designers really earn their keep and are likely worth their weight in gold at the end of the day. A cabinet designer will measure the available space, determine the cabinet sizes needed, and draw up a proposed layout showing how many cabinets and what configuration will fit in your space. You can decide on extras like built in storage features, a corner lazy susan or pull out shelves, etc. Be prepared to rearrange the drawing a few times until it looks just right and keep an open mind. You may really love those fancy cabinets, until you find out they are shipped in from a tropical island having been built from rare wood!

· Olive green appliances are really outdated, no matter how you spin it to your friends. Therefore, you will likely need to upgrade your appliances to fit your new remodel. Shop early and often, investigating what the appliances you have your eye on cost at various stores and decide on the models that best suit your needs. You may be able to save something that could allow for an additional piece elsewhere.

· Countertops, in their many forms, are also part of the budget. See what works and what does not for your budget and your taste by doing your homework ahead of time. Don’t forget backsplash and flooring too.

While it sounds pretty daunting, it is better to be prepared for the price tag than surprised. Kitchen and cabinet design specialists are great, and really do save you money in the long run. That’s it…time to get planning. Rome wasn’t built in a day, you know.

 

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