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Planning - Budget

Budgeting and Construction

You have your wish list and measurements. Now it’s time to ask, “How much will this project cost?” Having a basic budget is a good idea for planning your Dream kitchen or any other project. The information below may be able to help. So that we may be able to service you better, please take the time to fill out the “Project Time and Budget” questionnaire and send it to the address below.

A Basic Budget

In today’s market there are many different types of cabinetry, options, countertop styles, and appliances available, each having a wide range of cost. Adding in the possible structural changes can make coming up with an exact price a bit difficult. A dishwasher, for example, can cost anywhere from $180 to $1,200 or more! Even kitchen designs in the same space can vary. One basic kitchen design may cost $8,000. After redesigning, using the same cabinetry, the new design may climb to more than $15,000.

However, it is possible to come up with a basic budget. A rule of thumb is that your total kitchen cost should not be less than 10% or more than 20% of the fair-market value of your home. That includes kitchen cabinetry, appliances, countertops, and labor.

Let’s say that the fair-market value of your home is about $200,000. You should spend between $20,000 and $40,000 on your kitchen for improvements. Keep in mind that if you plan to sell your home in the future and you spend less than 10%, then the kitchen may not meet a potential buyers’ expectations. If you go above 20%, then you’re less likely to make your money back when you sell your home. Kitchen remodeling has always maintained its position as a good home improvement investment. Sometimes the value goes up by as much as the cost of the remodeling, sometimes even more.

When Realtors were asked, “How often does an outdated kitchen or bath drive home buyers away?” Their response was: “It happens much too often!” As a former Realtor with over a million dollars in annual sales, Skip knows that a pleasing kitchen and bath do sell a home.

Building Your New Home

In new construction, many Builders will include a kitchen and bath cabinetry allowance, or budget, in the total price of their homes. Many will include a separate allowance or budget for countertops. Once upon a time, Builders used to include very low allowances or budgets. In a $200,000 home, for example, it wasn’t uncommon for a builder to allow their clients as little as $4,500 for their kitchen and bath cabinetry. Without researching, many clients didn’t realize that they had such a low allowance, or even know what their allowance was when they signed the contract. When it came time to pick out their new kitchen and bath cabinetry, they found they weren’t getting the Dream kitchen they wanted. Many had to go back to the bank to negotiate a new loan, causing lost construction time, headaches and frustration, and many times, more money.

Today, quality Builders know that their potential clients are more knowledgeable and more than ever are interested in better quality and better designs in their kitchen and baths. Most quality Builders today are now including larger allowances or budgets in their new home prices.

Quality Builders are usually very proud of their quality-built homes and the quality of the products they use, so don’t be afraid to inquire about the kitchen and bath cabinetry allowance or budget.

If you need help with a basic allowance or budget, SE Kitchens & Baths with your plans or blueprint (available through your contractor or architect), will be able to design a basic layout to help you come up with a ballpark figure.

Cost Factors

The products and materials you choose will have the greatest impact on the price of your new kitchen. Cabinets usually account for more than half the cost. Installation and labor costs (which can vary) will account for the next biggest piece, followed by the cost of appliances, countertops, and other accessories.

  1. Cabinetry comes in three varieties: stock, semi-custom, and custom.
    • Stock cabinetry is manufactured in standard sizes and a limited number of styles. (Stock cabinets are usually the least expensive version of cabinetry.)
    • Semi-custom would be second, where more options, finishes, and door styles are available than in stock cabinetry
    • Since custom cabinetry is built to precise specifications and measurements and offers the most options in materials and design, custom cabinetry is usually the most expensive. Even though custom cabinets may be a little more expensive, don’t be afraid to look into them. Sometimes custom cabinetry may be able to save you labor charges. For example: Islands are usually put together by the custom cabinetmaker, whereas, stock or semi-custom cabinetry islands are usually put together onsite by the installer.
  2. Your cabinets door style will have the most impact on your Dream kitchen. They come in a variety of quality and prices.
    • The least expensive door style is a veneer recessed panel door with a solid flat drawer front. The more expensive is solid center raised panel door style.
    • Remember, when choosing a door and drawer style, the more intricate in detail, the more it probably will cost.
  3. Cabinetry finishes can also affect the cost. Standard finishes are usually included in the price of the cabinetry. Optional painted and premium finishes usually have an “upgrade” charge.
  4. Wood species comes in different varieties and can have an affect on the cost. Apples to apples, a cherry wood is usually more expensive than oak.
  5. Countertops are available in a variety of surfaces. The least expensive is the laminate top. There are also the more expensive solid surface and granite tops.
  6. Appliances vary in cost. A standard refrigerator can cost as little as $500 where as a built-in style, commercial grade refrigerator can range in the thousands! A standard range can cost as little as $350, whereas a commercial grade style range can cost $2,000 or more. A wall oven and cook top will cost more than a freestanding range. It’s a good idea to set up an appointment with a local appliance dealer who will be able to help you with your appliance needs.
  7. Even when you’ve received a firm bid from your contractor, costs can rise due to unforeseen conditions or changes. This includes unknown structural, electrical, or plumbing problems that are discovered during demolition. These can add time and cost. Be prepared.

Keeping Costs Down

There are a few things that you can do to help keep the cost down. You will, however, have to be ready to make a few compromises here and there.

  1. If you’re a do-it yourselfer, you can:
    • Tear out the old cabinets.
    • Take up the old vinyl flooring.
    • Handle the trash removal during construction.
    • Do the painting or wallpapering.
    • Remove old sheetrock.
    • Install the insulation.
  2. Always remember to look for professional help in:
    • Plumbing and electrical work.
    • Appliance hookups.
    • Installing your new cabinets.
  3. Other ideas:
    • Reuse your existing appliances.
    • Forego ceramic tile or solid surfaces and use laminate countertops.
    • Hold off on the architectural details and other accents until you’ve chosen and paid for the Less optional features, such as appliances. You can add the special touches later.
    • Distinguish between your needs and wants.
    • If your appliances and cabinets are in good working order and condition, you may be able to Sell or donate them, saving contractor removal expense.

Nothing pushes up the cost of a project faster than last minute changes to the original plans. With careful planning using the information available in this Web site, and working with SE Kitchens & Baths you will be able to comfortably complete your new Dream kitchen, or any other room in your home without having to make any unnecessary changes.

If pricing is important, keep the quality over quantity of your cabinetry important. Remember the old saying, “You get what you pay for.” It’s been known to have clients replace lower quality cabinetry they have purchased in less than five years. Where did they save?

Put your remodeling or new construction dollars into what’s important to you. If you’ve always wanted a raised-panel cherry cabinetry and a cook top with a double-wall oven, splurge on those items and try to save in other areas.

SE Kitchens & Baths has available a wide range of cabinetry in different styles, features and prices that will fit into any budget. Links are available in the “Products” area on this Web site to explore the quality cabinetry available.

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