So, you’ve decided to renovate your kitchen. The first thing you may wonder is how much it will cost.
If you’re new to renovations, like many homeowners, the idea of investing thousands of dollars in your home is probably quite scary. What can be even scarier is if you call around to get pricing and can’t get a straight answer. It can be like asking, “How long is a piece of string?”
Let’s look at how a professional renovation and construction company determines the cost of a kitchen renovation.
Make a Realistic Budget
So, how much will your kitchen renovation really cost? Keep in mind that your kitchen is the hub of your home. You spend more time there than in any other room. It isn’t merely where you cook and eat, but where you gather to chat, plan, connect, socialize and entertain. When you invest in your home, you need to invest in your peace of mind.
Figure out what you want to spend, compare that with what you actually can spend, and then… SET A PRACTICAL BUDGET. Be sure to base the numbers on reality and not reality TV. According to the Appraisal Institute of Canada:
“If you renovate your kitchen as a facelift prior to selling it, you should spend no more than 10% – 15% of the cost of your house. If you are going to remain in your house for more than five years, you can spend 25% or more – and in most cases you will recoup the cost of the renovation when you sell.”
Of course, this is a generalization. The actual number will vary from urban to suburban to rural areas. For instance, a kitchen renovation in Vancouver will cost much more than in Richmond or Coquitlam. Realtor Sarah Daniels says, “If you put a $20,000 kitchen in a $2.5-million home, you might as well just burn the money. If it’s not up to the quality expected in the neighbourhood, don’t do it.”
Have a Plan
Once you have set an assignment of funds, establish a plan with an established Design Builder and his Professional Interior Designer. There are many separate parts to the project, so specifying the cost of your kitchen renovation is tough until you have a detailed plan and design laid out.
Design Builder and Interior Designer
Who you choose to plan and manage your renovation is a very important decision. Your Design Builder and his Interior Designer should guide you through every aspect (and price) of your new kitchen including demolition, cabinets, countertops, plumbing fixtures, tiles, flooring, lighting, paint, and more. Your Designer might even examine different floor plans that will enhance your kitchen space.
Your design team should commit to bringing your wants, needs and dreams to life. With the use of modern technology, your Designer will use 3D rendering to demonstrate plans and how your newly renovated kitchen will look. They should also shop for finishes and create a Specification Package (detailing all your design choices). Most importantly, they will handle all aspects of municipal permits, including completing applications, assembling complete architectural plans, even meeting with City Planners.
You Have the Plan…
Now you can talk to your Design Builder about the cost of your kitchen renovation. The Design Builder should work with your budget to guide the design and keep it as close as possible to your original figure.
If you had chosen the less flexible “Design-Bid-Build” method, now is when your plan would go to tender and getting costs close to your budget would be unlikely. Making adjustments to that kind of plan, either in scope or finishes, is going to be a costly hassle. Most people using the “Design-Bid-Build” method will end up sacrificing or shifting their priorities due to lack of informed planning.
What If Things Go Wrong?
Smart renovators set aside a contingency fund of 5% to 10% of the total budget. Renovations can be unpredictable. Unforeseen things can happen – wood rot, foundation repairs, supply problems, or worse. If something comes up, stay calm. Your contractor has many years of experience, thus he’s likely been through this before. That’s why you hired him – for situations like this. It usually comes down to choices. Will there be some extra costs? Yes, but very likely the costs will go toward a better renovation and a better home.
The Simple Truth
Here is a budget guide. If you live in Vancouver, Burnaby, West Vancouver or North Vancouver, your home is worth over $1,000,000. Therefore, for a comprehensive kitchen redesign and renovation (essentially a brand new kitchen), plan on spending at least $100,000. Having said that, it’s your home, so spend as much or as little as you like. Just keep it relative to the value of your home and your neighbourhood.
Most importantly, because it’s your home, you have only yourself to satisfy.
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