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Renovating Your Kitchen? Here’s How You Can Save Money On Your Remodel

Updated 10/14/20

Everyone wants to remodel their kitchen. The fact is that a kitchen renovation is one of the most requested remodeling jobs by homeowners — and with good reason. You notice the difference in a real way when a kitchen is updated. On a practical level, kitchen appliances are used on a daily basis and tend to break down over time. They’re often updated in the market rather quickly, which means that you’ll notice when you visit a friend’s house and their oven is more up to date than your own. For that matter, you can put your own personal mark on a kitchen in a way that you can’t in other areas of the house. Kitchens can be modeled after a certain style or cultural influence; they can be homey or made to resemble a restaurant level kitchen. You can do a lot with your kitchen, which means that it can become something of a canvas for interior designers and homeowners alike.

With that being said, renovating a kitchen can also add a lot of value to your home. If you end up putting a house on a market, one of the first things that a potential buyer will look at is the kitchen. The kitchen can make or break a house sale. For that matter, you can potentially turn a house that had less value into a profitable home on the market, largely through a kitchen remodeling job. Therefore, a kitchen remodeling shouldn’t just be looked at as something that you want because you want it, but as an investment in your home. After all, even a minor kitchen renovation has a typical return on investment of 82.7%! But what happens when you’re looking at budget kitchen renovations, versus a renovation wherein the sky is the limit?budget kitchen renovation

It’s one thing to consider investing in your home on that level, but it’s another to make it happen. Where do you get the money from? Well, it’s your home, so you have to find the funds. It may seem easy to cut corners when choosing a budget kitchen renovation job over a high end remodeling job. However, if you cut the wrong corners — which many people do on impulse — you could end up losing money in the long term. If it comes time to sell your home and you’ve made bad renovation choices, you’ll ultimately have to come down on the price of the home. For that matter, you may have to spend money in order to fix mistakes made during the renovation. Therefore, a poorly done budget kitchen renovation, made with only money in mind, is not really a budget kitchen renovation at all! Fortunately, there are options available if you’re looking to renovation your kitchen while on a budget. If you think outside the box, a budget kitchen renovation is more attainable than you might think. Let’s look into why.


Financing Your Budget Kitchen Renovation

The beauty of a budget kitchen renovation over an expensive renovation is that there are finance options available on the table that wouldn’t be available if you were looking to spend a great deal of money on a remodeling job. For one thing, you can always look into securing a loan to fund your renovation. This sometimes can be easier said than done, of course, as with any loan.

One popular option is the FHA 203(k) loan. This type of loan allows people to finance their home renovations through a single loan, rather than spreading the renovation costs over multiple loans. Now, these loans are backed by the federal government, as their purpose is to essentially allow people to stay in their same homes and neighborhoods, rather than moving in order to get what they want. This could work for or against you — but again, as a budget kitchen renovation isn’t extravagant and is done to improve the home, it could be attainable for your purposes. Of course, as is the case when securing any type of loan, you’ll want to have a very detailed list of charges, and why they’re necessary. You’re essentially making an argument in order to secure financing. Of course, this type of loan — and the other government-backed loan, a Fannie Mae Homestyle loan — is often given to people who buy run down homes outright, or buy into depressed areas.

budget kitchen renovation

Private loans are also great options for those who want to pursue budget kitchen renovations. A home equity loan, also known as a second mortgage, is an option that a lot of people pursue. These loans typically have payments that remain the same throughout the repayment period. A home equity line of credit is another option, which is often considered more so for big renovations versus budget kitchen renovations. The issue with a line of credit is that your home serves as collateral. This is why a lot of people simply pursue a personal loan, which they can use for their own purposes, for a budget kitchen renovation. While you could look into these types options, as well as refinancing your mortgage, you can also tighten your belt and make the choices necessary to fund your renovation on your own. One of the reasons why you should try to keep the budget in control is that, the more attainable the budget is, the easier it is for you to finance it yourself. With that being said, don’t avoid getting creative. If you have to sell your life insurance policy in order to afford your kitchen renovation, maybe you should consider whether the kitchen renovation is worth it to you. As with any financial decision, much of what you’re doing is going to be based on your personal decisions and feelings. Ultimately, you need to make the call depending on what finance options are right for you.


Saving Money During The Renovation

If you end up being physically involved in the renovation and remodeling process, you may very well end up spending a lot of time and energy on finding ways to save money without cutting the wrong corners. Of course, this involves doing a lot of research, and taking even more advice. You may be approached by your contractor or interior designer with several different options, some of which are more expensive than others — and it will be up to you to decide what is worth the money, and what you would rather spend less on.

There are practical decisions that you can make to save money on your budget kitchen renovation. For example, you can choose to save money by making repairs rather than replacing things outright. Say you want to replace your leaky faucet; why not repair it instead? A hose clamp can work wonders in terms of stopping leaks. Of course, you can often save money on things like that, and won’t notice the difference. But if you skimp on replacing or updating your oven, you may find that you regret the choice later. Again, it’s a matter of give and take. You could also choose, rather than going with a generically updated look for your home, you can add your personality’s stamp while saving money. You may very well end up running on coffee throughout the process, as there is inherently more work involved when you take a hands on approach. However, lots of people find that there is something deeply rewarding about working on their home in a personal sense.

budget kitchen renovation

Obviously, you’ll want to tailor your kitchen renovations to work with what you need to get out of a kitchen. Say that you end up wanting to get more into cooking — you might choose to have a gourmet oven installed. A lot of people find that they’re adding a pizza oven to their kitchens, to add a more rustic feel and create a sense of community in the kitchen. Community and socialization in general is major for kitchens. Just think about how much time you spend in the kitchen, and how often families end up socializing there. You can also add in appliances that are modeled to help you live the life you want to live. If you want to pursue a healthy eating lifestyle, you may want to go with cupboards and pantries that make it easier for you to view your food and think about the choices you’re making. With that being said, you don’t have to focus your money saving efforts on appliances. You kitchen needs decoration, just like any part of the house. But you don’t have to spend a lot of money on fine art or expensive decor. You can make something that suits your sensibilities by picking up some scrap metal and creating a DIY project. Even if it’s something you find out about on Pinterest, it still could be a very worthwhile idea.

Picking The Contractor

One of the biggest ways in which people try to save money on their kitchen renovations is through choosing a less expensive contractor. That’s not a bad choice, of course. A contractor can be brilliant, but offer their services for less money simply to be competitive. It depends on the market they’re competing in, really. Another reason why people may offer their services for less money is because they’re just starting out. A less experienced contractor can still prove themselves when offering their plans. However, if you’ve never handled a renovation yourself before, you might not want to work with a contractor who is just starting out.

The key when choosing a contractor is being careful. You shouldn’t choose someone solely based on the rates they offer. They need to be able to back up their claims with expertise and skill. Some of the contractors who advertise their services online can be scam artists; not all, but some. If you’re working with someone who is unlicensed, you can end up losing a lot of time and money (though it looks like a good deal initially). The way that you can ensure that you’re not being scammed is by double checking the contractor you’re considering against the Arizona registrar of contractors or other databases available to you. Ultimately, you may find that you have to vet several different contractors before you find the right one. Take your time. Don’t rush into choosing a contractor before you’re ready.

Part of this vetting process will likely involve talking to the contractor about their plans versus your plans. A great contractor will not only be able to share your vision, but offer helpful tips — some of which can aid you in saving money on your renovation. You may not, for example, know that by switching to efficient spiral ductwork you could save money in the long term, not just in the moment when renovating your kitchen. But a good contractor can make those sorts of suggestions to help you stay in budget.

Is Remodeling a Kitchen Worth It?

The answer to this question, of course, depends on what you’re trying to accomplish. If you’re planning on selling in the near future, even minor, affordable kitchen transformations can boost your home’s resale price. The average ROI on kitchen remodels for a minor renovation is 81.1%, according to Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value Report 2018. The average return on kitchen remodels considered mid-range is 59%, and for an upscale major remodel, the average ROI is 53.5%.

Consider the following three factors to determine which scale of remodel is best for you and your home:

  1. Home value: Your kitchen renovation should accurately reflect the price point of your home.
  2. Local market: Are homebuyers in your local area looking for brand new, state-of-the-art kitchens?
  3. Budget: How much can you invest in a remodel?

Before you replace kitchen counter tops or even knock out a whole wall, consider the value of the rest of your home as well as the other homes in your area. If you live in a hot real estate market with mostly new homes, a high-end kitchen renovation could definitely be worth the money and effort since you’ll be competing with other homes with brand new kitchens.

Again, a budget kitchen renovation can be a bit more complicated than you might think when starting out. But there are ways in which you can make strides to not only afford your renovation, but afford the renovation that you want. Consider different finance options, look into loans, and save money. Furthermore, make renovation decisions that will add value to your home, and perhaps help you save money through functionality. Not everyone will love every renovation choice you make. But as long as you make the renovation decisions that are right for you, they will pay off.

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