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How to budget for a kitchen renovation

You bought a fixer-upper and the time has come to knock down walls for your DREAM KITCHEN! In your mind is a gorgeous open-concept with light coloured cabinets, daring light fixtures, cool backsplash and a large island where the whole family can hangout. You want the WOW factor! … Here’s how you can get it.


Decide how much you want to spend on this renovation. Give yourself a bottomline and then add about 20-25% for the “unthinkables”.

The cost break down for materials will go a little something like this:

New cabinets
Wood flooring
Stone countertops
Cabinets (refinishing)
Tile flooring
Light fixtures
Grand total
What The Eye Doesn’t See

The numbers above are for all the “finishes” and it doesn’t include all of the materials below the surface. You will still need, drywall, screws, floor underlay(if applicable), transition pieces, cement & grout (for tiles), cabinet hardware, paint, etc. Some of these materials could fall into your pocket, be sure to get a straight answer from your contractor and any sub-contractors in order for you to be able to budget for these. Labour will also take a big chunk of your budget. The general rule-of-thumb is double your material costs.

Open-Concept? Changing the layout?

If we are knocking down walls and moving appliances for your dream kitchen, the beam alone could cost $10,000 plus the labour and installation costs. If you decide that the layout just isn’t cutting it for you, then be sure to factor in a plumber, electrician and possibly an architect who can provide you with official drawings.

The Designer

Do not cut out this middle WOman!

“Buy the Best and you will only cry one” – Miles Redd

Feel free to “Interview” a couple of designers to see who you like best and who you think will see your vision the way that you do. With any big construction, you will want someone to be your go-to person. An Interior Designer knows the ins and outs of all the behind-the-scene tasks that have to happen to give you the greatest finished product you could ever want. A Designer will have an unbiased opinion on your project and will also be keeping your wants and needs top of mind! Factor in anywhere from $1000 – $3500 for an Interior Designer, this number will have a lot of varying factors and every Designer is different with their prices.

Who’s Cooking During The Madness?

One thing that I find a lot of homeowners forget to factor in is the cost of the eating out while the renovations are taking place. While you are creating a timeline, think about how many days/weeks/months you will be without a kitchen. Are you going to eat out everyday, are you going to stay with family members or friends. Be sure to work these numbers into your budget.

Where You Can Cut Corners

There is always wiggle room to cut costs where you feel confident in doing the work. Think demolition! You’ll need a dumpster bin for all of the old materials but ripping out old cabinets and flooring is easier than you think. Crowbar for the floors, sledgehammer for the walls… you got this! You also may want to opt for a porcelain tile backsplash instead of a natural stone backsplash -> you’ll save about $10/ Square Foot. Hardwood floors -> you can get good quality without breaking the bank (flooring is for another day). And your appliances -> you may not need a smart fridge or an induction stove vent… figure out what is more important to you and where you can compromise.

Accessories and Furniture

This is another area that I find some homeowners brush off to the side because there are more important things on the budget. But once you have this gorgeous kitchen, where are you going to eat? Simply consider whether or not you will be buying new dining furniture, small appliances, any art pieces, shelving displays and decor. If everything will be new, I would add at least $2000-$4000 to your budget. This amount will vary depending on quality and whether or not you even need all new stuff.

Last Note

Keep in mind that all of these cost will vary depending on the size of your kitchen, the quality of materials and whether or not you are changing the layout of the kitchen. It’s easy to go over budget but remember that you never want to put more money into your home than what it would be worth if you sold it

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