How to Plan an On-Time and On-Budget Kitchen Remodel

Jake Thayer Kitchen remodel, Tips, Uncategorized

Having a beautiful and well-designed kitchen makes hosting, cooking, and entertaining fun and relaxing. Remodeling your kitchen should feel just as fun and clear-cut.

By the end of this article you will have the tools and resources you need to successfully plan and execute your kitchen remodel so that it stays on-time and on-budget. At JL Remodeling we’ve helped hundreds of people design and build their dream kitchens in a timely and cost effective manner and can help you build yours too.

Step 1: Clarify Your Budget

The first step is to determine what your budget for the project is. It might be tempting to jump to the fun parts of picking out hardware and designing layouts—but don’t do that just yet! Without clear budgetary constraints a kitchen remodel can quickly become a massive expense. When determining your budget consider the purpose for your remodel:

  • Are you looking to flip and sell the house or are you planning to stick around long term? 
  • Is this home your main residence or do you rent it out?
  • What is the value of your home compared to the surrounding area and will increasing the value of your home through a remodel be returned to you upon selling? 
  • How much money do you feel comfortable spending on the project? 

These are all important questions to consider when determining your budget. To give an idea of what to expect, here is what other homeowners are paying for their kitchen remodels and how far that money goes:

Small Kitchen (75 – 150 sq/ft)Medium Kitchen (150 – 250 sq/ft)Large Kitchen (250+ sq/ft)
$2,500 – $5,000Paint
Furnishings
Decor
Faucet/ Sink
Countertops
Paint
Furnishings
Decor
Faucet/ Sink
Paint
Furnishings
Decor
Faucet/ Sink
$5,000 – $10,000Above plus…
Backsplash
Flooring
Above plus…
Countertops
Backsplash
Above plus…
Countertops
$10,000 – $20,000Above plus…
Appliances
Above plus…
Flooring
Above plus…
Backsplash
Flooring
$20,000 – $30,000Above plus…
Cabinets
Higher quality materials
Above plus…
Appliances
Cabinets
Higher quality materials
Above plus…
Flooring
Appliances
Higher quality materials
$30,000+Above plus…
Structural changes
Above plus…
Structural changes
Above plus…
Cabinets
Structural changes

Step 2: Design Your Kitchen

Okay, now for the fun part. Hop on Pinterest, flip on HGTV, and get those creative juices flowing! Identify the styles, materials and colors that you like and create a list of upgrades you want made. We recommend identifying layout changes first, then material upgrades and finally finishings like colors and appliances. If there are particular materials or items you want be sure to add links so you can easily price them out later. Your list might look something like this:

  • Remove wall between kitchen and living room (structural)
  • Add walk in pantry (structural)
  • Add skylights and upgrade to LED lighting (structural) 
  • Install solid granite countertops (material)
  • Install updated hardwood floors (material)
  • Install undermount sink and new faucet (material)
  • Install backsplash (material)
  • Install new dishwasher and range (Appliance)
  • Update cabinet handles (Finishing)
  • Repaint walls (Color)
  • Repaint cabinets (Color)

If this step feels daunting to you, hiring an interior designer can take a lot of the stress off. They will know how to put together a space that suits your preferences and will likely have a healthy list of contractors and remodelers who can help complete the project as well.

At JL Remodeling, we have design experts with the experience and skill to walk you through these decisions. 

Step 3: Prioritize Your Upgrades

In the same way a coach has to choose which free-agents to hire and which players to fire, you too must make some tough decisions in order to build out your on-budget and on-time dream kitchen. Begin by pricing out the different changes you want made. If you are planning on doing the remodel yourself then you only need to factor in the cost of materials and any additional tools you will need to purchase to complete the job. 

Be wary of underestimating the cost and time it will take to DIY a project. It’s important to have realistic projections otherwise going the DIY route may end up costing you more. For components of the job you are hiring out, call around and get the job priced out by various contractors. Add all these numbers to your budget and see what your total is – likely you will be over budget, but that’s okay!

Begin by removing elements that are not as important to you and consider changing to lower cost materials to save cash. Make cuts to your project plan until you are under budget. How does it look? If it feels like too much of a compromise consider waiting to begin your remodel until you have enough funds saved that you are satisfied with the result. But, if you are happy with the changes, you are ready for the next step.

Step 4: Create a Project Plan

If you are planning on DIY-ing your remodel or will be acting as the general contractor then you need to have a project plan. A project plan is a calendar of what needs to happen, when it needs to happen, and how long it will take. Having a concise project plan will help keep your project on track. Be sure to sequence events properly to avoid doing rework. It’s no fun to finish drywalling only to realise you forgot to run plumbing!

In addition to sequencing jobs properly, be sure to be honest about how long things will take. It can be tempting, especially when doing things yourself, to underestimate the amount of time projects will require. Be sure to do research on how long different components of your project will take to have accurate projections.

If creating a project plan feels overwhelming consider hiring an experienced remodeler to manage your project. They will have the knowledge, team and resources needed to plan and execute your project in a timely manner.

Step 5: Execute

All that’s left now is to do it! Begin by removing food, dishes and equipment from the room – dust will find its way into everything. Then, contain the workspace by sealing off the kitchen from the rest of the house with painters plastic. Once prepped, begin the remodeling process, following your project plan. It’s likely that there will be hiccups along the way – perhaps a component doesn’t ship in time or a contractor cancels on you last minute. Be sure to plan ahead and leave space for contingencies. If you begin to fall behind schedule consider hiring additional help or extending your timeline.

Once the project is complete, remove all of your tools and remaining materials and give the room a proper cleaning. Be thorough since you will be prepping food on the surfaces.

And that’s it! Your on-time and on-budget kitchen remodel is complete! A project like this can feel daunting but now you have the resources to plan and tackle one yourself. 
Ready to redesign your kitchen? Fill out the contact form and let’s talk! As a certified kitchen remodeler, we’re thrilled to help our neighbors achieve their dream homes!