Managing a Kitchen Renovation Budget

managing a kitchen renovation budget

Without a home renovation budget in place renovating your home can quickly and easily slide out of control. Unlike other locations in the world, the cost of products and the cost of manual labour in Canada is quite high. For example, a complete kitchen renovation for an average size home could easily cost you $50K to $60K, or more, if your budget is not managed properly. However, you could renovate your kitchen for quite a bit less, if you do your due diligence, create a detailed budget, and manage it well, every step of the way. To get yourself on the right track, follow these guidelines as you investigate your options and requirements, and create your kitchen renovation budget.

Inspect Your Home for Old Wiring and Old Plumbing

Depending on where you live in Canada you may or may not be in a home that has old electrical wiring and old plumbing.

Doing a complete kitchen renovation will mean that you will be working with the electricity and plumbing at some point. So the first thing you want to do is to determine the status of your wiring and your pipes.

Are they old and in dire need of replacement or are they up to code and installed properly?

As I am sure you are aware, if you determine that either or both need to be replaced, the cost to renovate your kitchen just increased significantly. But, by figuring that out before you begin your demolition, you will be able to include those costs in your budget and adjust your finances accordingly, or delay your kitchen renovation until you have more money.

Choose Your Products Wisely

kitchen productsTo do a full kitchen renovation you will most likely be purchasing the following list of products. This is not an all inclusive list, but it does outline the main items that you will need.

  • Paint
  • Flooring
  • Drywall
  • Windows
  • Appliances
  • Cabinets
  • Countertops
  • Sink and Faucet               

Take your list with you to the store, or shop online, or both. Figure out exactly how much each item costs, and which companies offer the best prices.

After you input all of the prices into your budget look at your grand total and see if you can afford all of that or if you need to prioritize some items, or delay your renovation all together. And, always remember to include sales tax.

Design Plans

Decisions on what to buy and how to design your kitchen should not be made on the fly.

kitchen design plansYou might watch shows on HGTV that make it appear as if the contractors simply walk into a room and visually redesign the look and feel of the kitchen while they are standing there, but the actual design plan is done long before that, and important decisions are made ahead of time.

You need to do the same thing.

First, decide if you have the skills to renovate the kitchen on your own or if you will need to hire an interior designer.

There are benefits to hiring an interior designer. A good designer will typically be able to source products at a lower price, and a good designer will also typically be associated with good contractors. The drawback in working with a designer is that their services will cost you money.

Hiring an interior designer is a personal choice, but the one thing I would caution is to make sure that they never allow you to spend more than you can afford. Even if you work with a professional designer it is still very important for you to stick to your renovation budget.

Choose Excellent Contractors

If you choose to work without an Interior Designer, or if he or she does not have access to contractors, then make sure to do your homework and source out the best contractors for the job.

This is not an area where you want to find the cheapest people available. I have a few friends that always hire the cheapest person, and let me tell you, the work looks horrible, and they usually end up dealing with a lot of unnecessary drama, thanks to the cheap contractor.

Interview a number of contractors. Go over your plans with them, and have them submit written estimates. Check their references, and whenever possible, go and personally view other jobs that they have completed. And before you give them any money, make sure they are insured and bonded.

Contingency Fund

kitchen reno budgetYour contingency fund is a separate item on your list of expenses. It is cash that you have set aside to cover any unforeseen expenses and emergencies.

The money in your contingency fund is still part of your overall budget, but you should work on your renovation with the goal of not needing to spend this money.

At the same time, if you do need it for an emergency, you can relax, knowing that you have the cash available to do so.

Paying for the Kitchen Renovation

Determining how you will pay for your kitchen renovation is a big part of your planning phase.

With your budget in front of you, you can decide where the money will come from.

Do you have the required cash in the bank? And, do you want to use that cash to pay for the renovation, or would you prefer to keep that money in the bank, and finance your renovation?

There are certain things that warrant financing, and a kitchen renovation is definitely one of those things. Why? Because your home is an investment and for it to continue to increase in value you want to take care of it and keep it up-to-date.

Whether you are looking to sell your home right after the renovation or you plan to live there for another five to ten years, this will increase the value of your home, and once you do sell, you will see a nice return on that investment.

kitchen budgetFinancing a kitchen renovation is not something you want to do with a credit card, especially one that charges 19.99% interest.

If you need to borrow for a kitchen renovation, you should try to find the lowest possible interest rate, and preferably a fixed term loan so you know exactly when you'll have it paid off. I've recently learned about Borrowell, a Canadian company that offers three and five year loans with interest rates that start at 5.6% APR. Your interest rate would be fixed for the entire term and your monthly payments will remain the same. By making the monthly payment, your loan will be paid off at the end of your term.

As a Canadian with a good credit score you have access to Borrowell’s alternative lending option. Their ultimate goal is to help Canadians conquer debt by giving them a smarter solution to high interest rates. They offer home improvement loans up to $35,000, which for an average size home, is more than enough to cover a good kitchen renovation budget.

Curious about how much you can borrow? Borrowell can instantly tell you what your interest rate will be and how much you can borrow from them. Click HERE to find out - checking your rate won't affect your credit score and it only takes a minute. I hope your kitchen renovation goes well.


    • Erick Brunet

      Erick Brunet 07/17/2015 9:01 a.m. #

      Thanks for the nice tips! It's always a pain to renovate but the results are what we all want.
      But I hope when you want to renovate the kitchen or something else, you do it by your own budget, don't get in more debts.

    • Femme

      Femme 07/19/2015 3:57 p.m. #

      Oh the contingency plan is so super smart! Will probably be referring back to this at some point once we get into our own place. Don't anticipate being able to afford a place with updated everything.

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