A Kitchen remodel and renovations – big and small – will almost always cost more than you think they will. But they can end up costing even more (more than they have to) if you do not budget correctly from the start. It’s better to be realistic with your budget before you start on individual costings.

Overall Budget – as step 1 in planning your kitchen remodel

At the outset your overall budget should include a sizeable contingency fund for extras and snags – anywhere up to 30%. You also need to factor in the cost of a kitchen consultant; this is always recommended for larger jobs and full kitchen remodels.

Once you have determined your overall budget, you need to prepare a costing breakdown. You will use your overall budget amount less your contingency amount and the cost of using a kitchen consultant to determine your budget.

Determining the kitchen remodel ‘specs’ and ‘scope’

At this stage you will also need your layout plans to determine specs – and what you can do with your kitchen remodel.  For example, you may find you should try save on costs by paining old cabinets instead of getting new ones.

Following is a rough % guideline you can use to apportion your budget and determine the scope of your kitchen remodel.

Budget Breakdown for a new kitchen

Cabinets are almost always the most costly items in a kitchen. Apportion a minimum of 35% of your budget to cabinetry if you want new cabinets.

Cabinets – 35%

Appliances – 20%

Fittings & Fixtures (including islands and lighting) – 10%

Electrical & Building – 15%

Contractor labor – 20%

The above is subject to how much building work you need done.

  • You may need a drywall removed or an opening made in a load-bearing wall. in most cases – especially when remodelling old kitchens – you will get the most value from opening up your kitchen to the living room.
  • You may want more light and need windows put in. Note that these can be very expensive, and may need their own chunk of your budget.
  • Do you need new wiring? flooring? A big paint job? Factor this in to your 15% for Electrical and Building as well as Labor.

Allowances – the final stage in your Kitchen Remodelling Budget

The final stage in preparing your budget is getting estimates from contractors and suppliers. You can then draft your ‘allowances’ in real figures.

Allowances should be greater than the estimates – at least by 15%. This will give you more room to choose when it comes down to options on fittings, lighting, cabinetry and appliances.