They say the kitchen is the heart of the home, so what does it say when yours is falling apart? Outdated fixtures, old appliances, or a bad layout might have you daydreaming about renovations. But, how much will that set you back?
Like a major surgery, renovating the heart of your home shouldn’t be taken lightly. You might want to consider why you’re remodeling, how much you’ll do, when you’ll schedule the renovations, and how you’re going to pay for it before taking the process on.
Why Do You Want to Remodel?
Before you get the sledgehammer out, consider why you’re taking on a kitchen remodel. If you purchased the home with intent to remodel the kitchen, or you’re ready for an update, that’s one thing. But, some might consider a kitchen remodel as a way to increase value in a future sale.
The truth is, you may have a difficult time trying to recoup the total cost of a kitchen remodel in a home sale. When it comes to recouping, or even making money off of a home improvement, the best bang for your buck maybe less costly but visually impactful minor renovations, things like replacing the fronts of cabinets, upgrading countertops, repainting, or putting in new flooring in your kitchen.
According to Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value Report 2019 , The national average return on investment (ROI) for that work is approximately 80% . An upscale remodel, on the other hand, yields a 62.1% ROI, on average.
If you’re looking at a kitchen renovation solely to add value to your home in a sale, you might want to consider other, higher return, upgrades as well. On the other hand, in a 2018 Zillow survey , 58% of buyers “who purchased in the last 12 months said having their preferred style of kitchen was extremely or very important to their home-buying decision.” So if you’re considering selling your home in the near future, some small, strategic updates could potentially help the sale of the home.
You might not be able to get the idea of your dream kitchen remodel out of your head, and you’re not alone in that sentiment. According to the Zillow Housing Aspirations Report , 76% of Americans said they’d prefer to spend on upgrading their home rather than using the money as a downpayment for a new home.
We all remodel for different reasons, but it’s important to consider the cost and what the return value on the remodel will be before diving into plans.
Do you plan to live in your place a few more years and enjoy your new kitchen, or strategically upgrade for a more appealing home sale? The answer will probably influence where and how you spend.
How Much Do I Spend?
Of course, the budget for your remodel will vary widely based on the amount of work you want done and the quality and cost of the materials you choose to use. On average, homeowners spend between around $22,000 for a minor kitchen remodel all the way up to about $116,000 for an upscale kitchen remodel. With such a wide range to consider, it might be wise to think about what your budget will be before calling in contractors.
Consider what changes you want to make to your kitchen. Will the remodel be a simple updating of appliances, or do you want to change the entire layout and design? What is your goal for the remodel?
With an idea of what you want, next you might want to consider how to budget for it. A prioritized list of the updates or changes you want, with the estimated cost for each project, can be a helpful guide when trying to stay within a certain range.
What items or updates are must-haves in your remodel? What could be removed if it ends up being too pricey? With this in mind, you have a better idea of what you can eliminate to stay in budget.
Deciding how much you want to spend on your remodel is entirely up to you. If you’re looking for guidelines, HGTV recommends spending between 6% and 10% of the value of your home to get the best ROI.
But, even the best planned budgets might go awry, so it’s recommended to include a line item in your budget for unexpected expenses. Use our Home Improvement Cost Calculator to get an idea of how much your home improvement project will cost.
Where Can I Possibly Cut Costs?
Trying to keep the costs down? Keep in mind that certain design choices are likely to drive the budget up. In a full scale remodel, new cabinets in the kitchen are typically the biggest expense, generally accounting for 20% to 40% of the remodeling budget. If you’re looking to cut expenses out of your budget, you might consider trying to refinish or reface your existing cabinets.
The next biggest chunk in your budget is typically installation. When you’re starting the home remodel process, you should find a contractor you can trust.
That means doing your research, talking to multiple contractors, and even reaching out to their previous clients to see if they’re happy with the work.
If you want to go the extra mile in your contractor search, you might consider reaching out to your state consumer protection office to verify that your contractor is properly certified and insured.
A kitchen remodel is a serious undertaking, but you might be able to trim some associated installation costs by doing a few projects yourself. This could be as simple as picking up items instead of paying for delivery, or painting walls and fixtures instead of paying contractors to do it. Depending on your DIY know-how, you might be able to save a few bucks.
How Long Will this Take?
Every kitchen is different, so you can expect every kitchen remodel to be different as well. That means no timeline or project is exactly the same. Even with well-laid plans, timelines can run off the tracks.
While most of us think of the super efficient HGTV-style kitchen renovations that take a few days, most of us can expect a kitchen remodel, even if minor, to take weeks. A realistic expectation for your kitchen remodel can be somewhere around 10 to 12 weeks . However, note that’s simply an expectation. Reality can, and will, probably be very different.
Finding Cash for That Kitchen Renovation Project
While cabinet finishes, new appliances, and fresh countertops can be exciting, setting aside a budget usually isn’t. If it looks like your ambitions could outspend your budget, you might consider taking out a personal loan.
Personal loans from SoFi have low interest rates available for those who qualify, and offer fixed monthly payments. These 100% fee-free unsecured loans might be just the recipe to getting your perfect kitchen.
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