Your kitchen is easily the most important room in your home. Not only do you spend hours there every day, preparing food and considering your next snack, but guests gravitate to the kitchen during social events, whether it’s the holiday feast or a Friday night dinner party. Thus, it makes sense that you want your kitchen to be functional as well as beautiful — but just because you want to remodel your kitchen doesn’t mean you should.
Updated kitchens fetch some of the highest increases in home value for a reason: Kitchen remodels are expensive and difficult to complete well. If you want to avoid overspending on your new, perfect kitchen, you should follow these tips for planning your remodel appropriately.
Watch the Housing Market
Anyone who invested in a high-dollar kitchen in late 2007 likely wished they had lived with their outdated cooking space come 2008. The last thing you want to do is spend your life savings on a kitchen only to have house prices plummet and prevent you from ever recouping your investment.
That’s why you need to watch the housing market – and, more importantly, understand how the market is behaving – before you make any substantial renovations to your home. You can talk to a real estate agent to get a better grasp on what the market is doing. You should also pay attention to the types of homes that are selling in your area, and what they are selling for, to determine what potential buyers want in a kitchen and what you are likely to get for your efforts. Such information-gathering will help you determine the scope of your kitchen remodel and avoid wasteful overspending.
Wait Until Appliances Break Down
One way to save money on a kitchen remodel is to wait until your kitchen starts falling apart; not only will you have more time to accumulate the funds you’ll need to build the kitchen of your dreams, but you might also have assistance from your home warranty or home insurance. Home warranties typically cover large kitchen appliances, like your fridge, oven, stove and dishwasher, and yours might also cover your plumbing and electricity. If these systems start breaking down due to wear and tear, your warranty might replace them with updated options, saving you the money and hassle of doing it yourself during the remodel. If you don’t already have a home warranty, you can use this home warranty comparison to understand prices and determine the best package for you.
Additionally, you should review your homeowner’s insurance policy to understand what coverage you have during a remodel. Some insurance providers might protect you and your assets during renovations, and some don’t; you might consider altering your policy before you begin demolition.
Weigh Costs Against Your Budget
Of course you have a budget; you wouldn’t even think about beginning any project without first considering your cash flow. As an additional step in your budget-building, you should research lower-cost features and options that might help you save money while realizing your kitchen fantasies. These might include:
Consider the cabinets. New cabinets are easily the most expensive aspect of a new kitchen, so the more you can do to lower these costs, the better. You can consider purchasing stock cabinets, which come in a variety of styles and colors for a custom look without the cost. Adding updated hardware, like these slick knobs and drawer pulls can also give you a high end look without the huge expense.
Forget the foundation. If you want to expand your kitchen, you might choose to bump the walls a mere couple feet to form a bay window-like bulge on your home’s exterior. For most homes, this small extension does not require adding to the foundation, which can save huge amounts of budget while providing a small increase in space.
Get creative with countertops. High-quality granite can be costly, and marble costs even more. Worse, both granite and marble are difficult to care for; your brand-new counters could be scratched and stained inside a year. Instead, you can save money and enjoy a longer lifespan with butcher-block, soapstone, stainless steel, concrete or even laminate counters, which can mimic granite and marble. Even better, you should look into quartz, which looks almost identical to granite but is maintenance-free.
Weather the Weather
Finally, when it comes to choosing when to break ground on your kitchen remodel, you should think about the weather. When you are focusing on a kitchen remodel, you might consider scheduling your project for the winter, when you won’t need to worry about stopping for rain, sleet or snow. Then, during the sunny months, you can focus your efforts on outdoor restoration and relaxation.
Your kitchen can be just the way you want it, but only if you commit to a remodel in a timely manner. With the right resources — knowledge of the market, the proper insurance and warranty policies, cost-saving features and a conscientious contractor — you should have the kitchen of your dreams in no time flat.
About The Author: Tiffany Rowe is a marketing administrator who prides herself in her ability to create and provide high quality content that audiences find valuable. With many years of experience, Tiffany has found herself more passionate than ever to continue developing content and relationship across multiple platforms and audiences.
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