A clock face

Time Equals Money- Budgeting Your Time Wisely

No matter how large or small your project is, it will take time to complete. In an ideal world, every remodeling project would have an absolute, dead-on timetable. But in the real world, things get delayed for a variety of reasons: Maybe items are backordered or they simply don’t show up when promised. Or changes in your everyday life force you to rearrange your priorities and schedules. I’ve seen several kitchen remodels that lasted many, many months. One, in fact, took just short of a year to get to the final, everything-is-really-done finish. I’ve even seen small makeovers take several months. Don’t forget to look ahead on your calendar, too. If you’re planning on hosting Christmas dinner, for example, it probably isn’t wise to start a major kitchen remodel in November.

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A woman covering her mouth in shock while looking at her receipts

A Little Overspending Adds Up to a Lot of Going Over Budget

The number one problem with remodeling projects is going over budget. Most people don’t consciously or intentionally overspend, and most folks do their best to adhere to the budget they’ve created. Unfortunately, a little overspending here and there usually adds up to going over budget. Here are some suggestions to keep your spending in check.

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A person trying to get money from a penny piggy bank

How Am I Going to Pay for This? Financing Your Project

Now that you’ve determined how much money you need to remodel your kitchen, you need to find the funds.

Finding the money to pay for a kitchen-remodeling project may be the most important step in your project. After all, getting good prices on materials and labor doesn’t do any good if you can’t pay for things. You can choose from several financing methods, depending on the scope of the project, but what makes one better than another? Let’s look at the options that work for most folks and should work for you, too.

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A kitchen drawer full of cash

Refiguring until it fits

Establishing a workable and affordable budget usually means making some compromises on a few things. Here are just a few ways to make your budget numbers add up to what you can afford to spend.

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A sign for getting away

Give yourself a getaway

If you’re planning a lengthy or involved kitchen remodel, plan a weekend away from everything somewhere near the middle of the project. Go to a hotel or motel for a couple of nights and relax. Take in a movie, see a play; do something other than remodeling! This short break may be the best gift you can give yourself during the project. Yes, you’ll spend some money, but this hiatus will bring you back rested and energized, ready to finish up the project. If you do build in a mid-project getaway, try to schedule around parts of the projects that may have fumes or odors to deal with, for example, when the cabinet or floor finish is being applied and needs to dry. If you can’t find the time for a mid-project getaway, you may want to reward yourself with a weekend getaway when the project’s completed.

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Eating in a remodeled kitchen

Budgeting for breakfast, lunch, and dinner

After your kitchen’s out of commission, you’ll have a better appreciation of just how much time you spend in your kitchen and how much you miss having it. Besides the inconvenience, you’ll also find that a sizeable chunk of money will be spent on eating meals out. Don’t forget to build this expense into the budget. A family of four can easily spend $20 to $30 on an evening meal, even at a fast-food restaurant. Add in the cost of breakfast and lunch for the same size family and you’re looking at between $75 and $100 a day for meals, so budget accordingly.

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kitchen polaroids

Pricing products and gathering estimates

A visit to your local home center is a great place to begin. Don’t be afraid to visit a couple of different stores. Competition is fierce and you may be surprised by what a particular retailer will do (for example, a retailer may give you upcoming or previous sale prices on items or even throw in an item or two at no charge), especially if the store feels it can get your entire order.

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A calculator planning a kitchen budget

Determining the scope of the project

Where and how do you begin? First you need to decide what about your existing kitchen you like and what you want to improve. Then prioritize the projects from most important to least important, keeping the following facts in mind:

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An immaculate and fancy kitchen

Crunching the Numbers

Go over your budget and get down to the dollars-and-cents decisions and determine just how much you can spend on this project. Unfortunately, you might not get everything you want after you’ve done your homework. On the other hand, you might save some money in one area that allows you to keep and maybe even add a couple of extras. 

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A drawing of a remodeled kitchen

Putting Your Plans on Paper

Now is the time to take your wishes, wants, and needs and get them written or drawn out. So where should you start? How about figuring out how big your kitchen is.

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