Boston North Shore kitchen home improvements include remodeling and renovation to one of the most important rooms in any home. Because it’s so important, it’s imperative that homeowners hoping for a successful kitchen remodeling project start with a realistic budget – and stick to it! Establishing the budget is a definite “must do.” In addition, the budget should always rule every decision during the course of the work. Here are five easy steps that will help you and your spouse set – and adhere to – your kitchen remodeling budget costs.

Do your homework.

It's important to plan your Boston North Shore kitchen home improvements before you begin.

The first step in creating your budget is to understand what you’re dealing with. No doubt you have an idea of the specifics you’d like to accomplish with the remodeling project and a general idea of what items like new appliances may cost to purchase and install. However, that’s just the beginning. It’s vital to have a handle on the typical cost of remodeling kitchens in today’s market. Remodeling Magazine, in its 2016 Cost vs. Value Report, says the average cost throughout the U.S. for a middle-range kitchen remodeling or renovation project is nearly $60,000. In addition, the average return on value is roughly 65%. Translated, this means that for every dollar you spend you’ll have a return on your investment of 65 cents. So, a $30,000 kitchen remodeling project may add $19,500 to your home’s value. Of course, these amounts will vary depending on the size of your home and the scope of your Boston North Shore kitchen home improvements project.

If you’re considering remodeling your kitchen to improve its sales value, remember this:  Your home’s valuation – or sales price – is dependent upon how it stacks up to comparable homes in your market or neighborhood. Don’t go overboard by having THE best kitchen in the neighborhood. You probably will enjoy a lower return on investment when you sell.

If you’re remodeling your kitchen for your own personal enjoyment and benefit, choose a remodeling plan that best matches your family’s tastes, needs and lifestyle. And, if you’re planning to sell your home in the next 5-7 years, treat your kitchen project as an investment. If yours is a higher-priced home, you’ll want to make sure your kitchen includes top-of-the-line appliances, granite countertops, high-quality custom cabinetry and upgraded flooring. The experts suggest engaging the service of a professional decorator specializing in functional and fashionable kitchen remodels.

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Set your budget and live with it.

When it comes to Boston North Shore kitchen home improvements – it’s best to determine in advance how you want your kitchen to look. Will it include a center island? What style and material will the cabinetry look like? Will you go with stainless steel appliances? What about kitchen sink and faucet hardware? Price out each of the items and use the total as a starting point from which you can expand or contract. A rule of thumb is to maintain the remodeling budget in the range of 5% to 15% of the total value of your home. So, if your home’s value is $400,000 your kitchen remodeling budget goal should be in the $20,000 – $60,000 range. It’s important that once you set the range, you adhere to the maximum budget. We recommend having some leeway built in for contingencies, but make sure you don’t exceed them.

Know your costs and their origin.

As is the case with any remodeling project, the various components of a kitchen renovation are broken down as a percentage of the total cost.  The National Kitchen and Bath Association has published this cost component breakdown for guidance:

•  Design fees: 4%

•  Installation (of cabinetry, flooring, plumbing and appliances:) 17%

•  Appliances and ventilation: 14%

•  Cabinetry and hardware:  29%

•  Countertops:  10%

•  Lighting:  5%

•  Flooring:  7%

•  Doors and windows:  4%

•  Walls and ceilings:  5%

•  Faucets and plumbing:  4%

•  Other items:  1%

Prepare for the unexpected.

It’s important to understand that almost every project involving Boston North Shore kitchen home improvements will face unexpected costs. The trick is to anticipate them as best as possible in order to be prepared for them. We suggest budgeting a contingency of 20% to allow for unexpected twists and turns. They could range from plumbing problems caused by older pipes to wiring issues as a result of bad electrical work or overloaded circuitry.

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Hire a professional. 

One of the best things you can do to ensure you stay within your budget is to hire the right professional for your kitchen project. With proper, ongoing communication not only will you stay within budget, but you can probably expect to save money in some cases. Contractors are able to buy appliances and materials in bulk can pass the savings on to their clients. Be sure to give your professional remodeler a complete list of what you want and what you expect. Have your professional give you a written estimate including a timetable of when payments or draws are expected. Most importantly, have a clear understanding of what it will cost in – in terms of both time and money – should you decide to make design changes during the course of the remodeling project. Some contractors are notorious for issuing change orders without estimating the costs. The result can be disastrous to your budget. Instead of simply asking the question, “Can we move the cabinets over a foot in order to add a wider refrigerator,” ask, “If we decided to move the cabinets over by a foot or so, what would the additional cost be and would it delay the project?”

With proper planning and focused budgeting, your kitchen remodeling project may be one of the most profitable Boston North Shore kitchen home improvements you can make. Remember, set your budget, allow for contingencies, and stick to what you’ve budgeted. Not only will you end up with a beautiful addition to your home, but having it completed within your budget will give you a great sense of accomplishment and future enjoyment.

You can find more articles pertaining to home improvements in the Boston North Shore Home Improvements section of our site below Boston North Shore Real Estate Categories in the column to your right.We also post tips daily on Twitter and Facebook and would love for you to follow us there as well.