Budget tips for a kitchen renovation

According to Remodeling Magazine, kitchen renovations provide the highest return on your investment. Not surprisingly, the kitchen is often the heart of a home?it’s where we eat, chat, and prepare meals for the holy-grail of family life, the dinner table. Setting a budget is essential to ensure you get the most band for your renovation buck.

Planning is key! The first step is setting goals for the renovation?and then realizing what’s actually feasible. The direct financial impact must be the top priority.

Some things to consider include:

  • How long you anticipate living in the home
  • Your current savings dedicated toward the project
  • Ability to finance any unexpected events
  • Your ability to borrow and the corresponding interest rate
  • A realistic repayment plan

Create a wish list of upgrades and compare that to the amount of time and money you can actually afford. Keep in mind the main functions of a kitchen: meal preparation, storage (of all kinds,) cooking, and the ease with which it can be cleaned.

Once your financial prospects become a reality, the next step involves understanding what can be done yourself or what should be left to professionals. It’s amazing the amount of money that can be saved through DIY workmanship?but be realistic, don’t go outside of your skill-set. Time can be as valuable as money, and you won’t save any of either if you surrender to a project you knew you couldn’t handle in the first place.

Popular DIY projects include:

  • changing knobs and light fixtures
  • refinishing cabinets
  • simple tile and paint jobs
  • repairing leaky faucets, gaskets or burnt out coils.

Typically, a good DIY project has a lot of how-to’s. The internet makes finding replacement appliance parts for repair jobs easier, which always save a bundle over that of a repurchase. Projects that involve gas or other fluids and fumes, or elaborate craftsman ship and plumbing, are best left to the licensed professionals.

Once you know what you can do yourself, be sure to break it all down. Start with the main areas of kitchen remodel and list the estimated cost, the ideal cost, and what can be afforded. Be sure to factor in materials AND labor. Additionally, sustainability and energy efficiency are important issues to consider, as their impact may shape the budget itself. There are often incentives, as this Loans Canada article notes: “multiple benefits come with buying green.”

Examples of project areas and points to consider:


  • Overhead
  • Accent
  • Fixtures
  • Energy efficiency

Appliances (repair, repurchase, install yourself):

  • Oven/stove (gas or electric)
  • Range Vent
  • Fridge
  • Dishwasher
  • Disposal
  • Compactor


  • Tile
  • Wood
  • Vinyl (typically cheapest)

Cabinetry / Counter Tops:

  • Wood
  • Tile
  • Marble
  • Steel


  • Sink
  • Faucets
  • Garbage Disposal
  • Refrigerator with ice-maker

Walls and ceiling:

  • Tile
  • Paint
  • Trim
  • Wainscoting
  • Faux


  • Window Treatments
  • Outlet Covers
  • Furniture

The list goes on. Try to focus on creating a balance of quality and cost. There’s no point spending money on faulty-materials nor is it advised to enter into a project you can’t afford. Understanding your own needs and intentions for use are also incredibly important factors to consider. But after a bit of budgeting, elbow grease, and a keen eye for deals, the first meal in a new kitchen will taste mighty sweet.


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