Kitchen is no longer the space for just cooking food.
It has become a multi-functional space which integrates seamlessly with our lifestyle. Whether you are a gourmet chef or a family cook, a well equipped kitchen is a must for completing your dream home.
A kitchen renovation is a time and money intensive project. An average kitchen remodel can cost anywhere between INR 1.5 to 3 lakhs.
Proper budgeting can make the process smoother for the whole family. It will also save you from last minute running around and mental stress. A good budget can minimise the expenses and optimise the expenditure.
Here are our top tips to help you budget your kitchen remodel efficiently –
Tip 01 –Take stock
Kitchen renovation is a huge investment. So you should take at least 6 months for research and planning. Every change you make in the process of remodel will cost you time and money. Invest as much time as you need and go in depth on every element of planning.
Getting baseline will give you clear picture of what needs to change and why. The first step is taking stock of your kitchen –
You can start by creating a baseline of how your kitchen fits into your lifestyle in terms of both form and functionality.
You need to assess what is the size and layout of your kitchen? Is it suitable for the needs of your family? What are the features you are happy with? What are the features you want to change? What components can you reuse? What components can you upgrade? Etc.
(Use this A Day In the life of kitchen worksheet to pinpoint the plus and minus aspects of your kitchen.)
Next step is to create a Wish list –
Explore the internet and design magazines to get as much information about your dream kitchen as possible. Collect images of kitchens which have the look and the features you are wishing for.
Get answers to questions like Do you want a gourmet kitchen or family kitchen? Do you want a separate pantry? What appliances o you want in your kitchen? Paint colour and finish? What materials you want in cabinets and countertops? Do you want a modular kitchen or a custom kitchen? Etc.
(Use this Kitchen Goals Worksheet as a guide for arriving at your kitchen remodel goals.)
On the foundation of this information, budget your renovation to accommodate as many of your needs as possible.
Tip 02 – Consider the Factors influencing your Budget –
While budgeting keep these 6 major factors in mind –
- Size – The size or square footage of your kitchen will be a huge influence on your budget. The size will determine the layout, how much paint/ flooring you will need, how much storage you can carve out, what kind of appliances you can fit in etc. Try to optimise every square inch of space available. Make note of the dimensions of the room and width of the door etc. accurately to ensure the right fit for appliances and cabinets.
- Layout –Do you wish to make major structural changes like knocking down the walls and relocation of windows etc.? Avoid these unless absolutely necessary as they will cause a major dent into your budget. Explore the possibility of arranging the counters and cabinets to reach your kitchen goals. Have a look at this Hut story guide for kitchen layouts for better understanding of ergonomics and workflow.
- Infrastructure – Can your kitchen remodel design work with existing plumbing and electrical infrastructure? If not it can drive up the costs exponentially. Try to work out the counter space and cabinets in such a way as to avoid ripping the water and electrical outlets. You may need to replace the water pipes and electrical wires if they are aged.
- Lifestyle – Are you a gourmet cook or a family cook? Do you entertain large number of friends/family regularly? These factors will play an important role in how much you will spend on appliances and finishes. If you are a family cook, choosing the top of range appliances may not be the wisest course. If you socialise often, then you may need to put in better finishing overall to make the kitchen fit for entertaining. If you are a workhorse you will need inexpensive and easy to clean surfaces all around.
- Budget – How much should you spend on your kitchen? This depends on a couple of factors. Major one is how long will you stay in the house? If this is your forever home, then going for best options in materials and appliances id justified. But if you are planning to move from the home/ rent it out after some years, high degree of customization and heavy investments may not be justified.
- Professional help – A professional interior designer will charge 10 to 15% of your budget as his fees. This might feel extravagant in the short run. But if you are dealing with a challenging space in terms of architecture/ layout/light etc., he can be a lifesaver. For instance, you may want an open kitchen that is a multifunctional space for the whole family. The designer will help you integrate it better with other spaces of your home without compromising on functionality.
Tip 03 – Marshall your resources and know the cost breakdown
How are you going to finance your remodel?
Do you have savings you can dip into? Can you encash any investment and use it for the purpose? Are you financing with a bank loan? Are you borrowing money from family or friends?
Get clarity about various sources of finance available to you and their interest implication.
Ideally you should save for a renovation and avoid debts. But you can ensure significant savings by shopping around for best terms of interest rates and principal before borrowing. Also keep in mind the impact on EMI if you already have a housing loan.
Prepare a timeline of kitchen remodel and schedule the financing to meet the needs in time. Also try out using a combination of payment methods to balance out the expenditure. For example, you could use your credit card to pay for lower end expenditures like door knobs and handles along with a loan for painting and cabinets.
Get clarity on cost breakdowns – how much you will be spending on what component? Here’s a basic cost breakdown for average kitchen remodel –
Use this as a baseline. Don’t be afraid veer away from this if you are going for high degree of customization.
Kitchen renovation is a time consuming project. So, make alternative arrangements like a temporary kitchen or eating out. Don’t forget to factor in these costs while budgeting.
Keep aside at least 20% of your budget for emergencies and unforeseen expenses to avoid last minute scrambling.
Tip 04 – Prioritise
Prioritise the work schedule and various components of your kitchen.
What elements are a must? What elements are you willing to compromise on? What appliances/fittings you can reuse with updates? What must be replaced? These are some important questions you need to decide on.
If you cannot afford a component, consider a placeholder. For example, you might eventually want to have a kitchen island with granite countertop but cannot afford it right now. Use a wooden/steel table, which costs very less and can be moved/ used for some other space in the house later.
Similarly consider mix n match of materials. For example marble countertops all over could prove too out of range for your budget. So, use granite for cooktop and Kitchen Island. For the worktop use ceramic tiles which are less expensive and easy to clean.
Schedule the purchase of appliances – You must buy the cooking range at the time of renovation. But the upgrading of movables like microwave can be postponed to the future.
Consider DIY – If you are a DIY enthusiast, consider taking on some of the projects and reducing labour costs. For example attaching door knobs and faucets can be undertaken with basic knowledge. You could even take down cabinetry if no wiring/pipes are involved.
Recycle the components from your existing kitchen to minimise the cost. For example painting your cabinets will freshen up the look of your kitchen without breaking the bank. If your cooktop or refrigerator are up to date, it makes sense to design the layout to accommodate them rather than buying new ones.
Tip 05 – Finalise the budget
You should get quotations from at least 2 contractors keeping your research as the baseline. Be clear about your plans and materials you want to use. Give full information so that, the contractor can arrive at an accurate figure.
Depending on this quotation, review your budget and make necessary adjustments. Once you have finalised the budget avoid making major changes which might cost more than 2 to 3% of your budget.
Be careful to test out paint colours, size of appliances, cabinet organization etc. thoroughly to avoid costly corrections in the future.
A well-appointed kitchen is a pleasure to cook in.
With proper budgeting and planning even the remodelling process can be enjoyable.
For starters, why not try this kitchen cost calculator to get basic idea about the expenses?