Before you budget, you must decide what you want to remodel. Some homeowners don’t have the budget or time to completely remodel the entire kitchen. As such, you have to pick and choose your additions. Remember, the smallest details can sometimes make the biggest difference. Refacing your kitchen cabinets or replacing your kitchen hardware can oftentimes have as big an effect as large kitchen renovation projects.
While most people do not realize this, dishwashers are much more energy efficient than washing dishes by hand. Individuals use too much water and soap when washing their dishes by hand. Dishwashers have been proven to save about 5,000 gallons of water each year and up to $40 on utility bills. This equates to a savings of over $400 during the average life of a dishwasher. Because this easily falls within the average price range of purchasing a dishwasher, it is possible to break even on a dishwasher at the end of its life cycle.
Case in point: Photographer and designer Erin Kestenbaum transformed her kitchen as part of this fall’s One Room Challenge and thoughtfully included enhanced storage space. Kestenbaum’s creative solutions included vertical tray storage above the fridge, a narrow drawer for oils and spices by the range, and a coffee bar built into a full-height cabinet. "I love designing upfront ways to hide the clutter and appliances that, without a home, will inevitably end up on your countertop occupying space," she says.
Sadly, most home remodeling projects do not return 100% of your investment. In fact, according to Remodeling’s 2017 Cost Vs. Value report, only one project will return a positive investment (attic insulation). Nonetheless, that doesn’t mean you should skip all remodeling projects. After all, if you plan to live in your house for another 10 years, you will enjoy those long overdue upgrades. You’ll get a higher sale price down the line and a higher quality of life living with a remodeled kitchen.
Part of determining that price of your kitchen remodel is the extent of your makeover. Your biggest cost investment for a kitchen remodel will usually be cabinets, which typically eat up 25 percent of your budget. Going budget-friendly on your kitchen cabinets at Ikea or a big box retail shop can save a huge amount of money. On-trend hardware in brass, for instance, stands up better to wear and tear and can give cheaper cabinets a more custom, expensive look. By the same token, splurging on a quality faucet but not necessarily buying a super expensive sink can also make a big difference in your overall remodel budget. You can also add custom doors to standard cabinet boxes to give a more custom look. And instead of spending money on custom features like pot or recycling organizers inside your cabinets, consider using customizable organizers purchased at retail stores to keep your cabinets neat at a lower cost.
After our initial consultation we got to go to the Kitchen Mart showroom and actually see what our finished kitchen will look like. That was the kicker for me – I’m a very visual person. Just seeing something written, or even sketched, makes it hard for me to visualize the finished product. I got to see what my kitchen is going to look like, and I fell in love instantly.
"Brass offers a classic and timeless look while still feeling bold and contemporary," says Amy Biller Switzer, marketing manager at Emtek and Schaub. "We will see that continue into 2020." The finish blends nicely with most kitchen design styles, but we especially love the look of brass hardware against dark, moody cabinetry or a polished brass faucet that acts as a shiny focal point in a neutral kitchen.
Homeowners use kitchens in different ways. For those of you who eat out a lot, don’t have children or prefer to go to other housewarming parties may not have use for an open layout or large kitchen island. In essence, if you don’t use the kitchen that often, it may make more sense to invest your money elsewhere in the home (that is, unless you’re selling soon).
Once you have an idea of your kitchen remodel budget, play around with a loan calculator to figure out your next move. Determine how much your monthly payment may be considering your credit score, how much you borrow and how long you are willing to pay your loan. Also consider how your new monthly payment will affect your monthly cash flow and personal finances overall.