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Kitchen Resources

Avoid Hidden Costs During Your Kitchen Remodel

A kitchen remodel is nerve-wracking to begin with; add in the prospect of going over budget and you might start to wonder what you’ve gotten into. Now that you’ve vetted and chosen the best kitchen remodeler for your project and have an estimate in hand, it’s time to look at the hidden costs of a kitchen remodel. What things might pop up that aren’t on that estimate? Let’s take a look at what those things might be and how to avoid them if you can.

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Surprise Issues in the Walls

You think you know everything about your kitchen, but what you don’t know could be lurking behind the walls. We’re talking about that moment when the contractor pulls away the sink to find serious water damage behind it, or that pest problem you had no idea existed behind the stove. You might find issues with waterlogged insulation from a tiny leak that has been dripping for years, as well as ancient wiring that is definitely not up to code.

When you find structural issues with the walls, floors, windows, or even the ceiling, it will need to be fixed before the contractor can sign off on the job. Remember that experts recommend adding an extra 20 percent to your kitchen remodel budget to cover the little things, and this is exactly why.

Upgrades and Additions

You probably have a very good idea of what you want your kitchen to look like, but are you sure about the materials? For instance, you might choose a particular countertop that looks much better than the first one you were eying, but the price is a bit higher. The same might happen with flooring, or even with appliances.

The little costs here and there for upgrades you didn’t initially count on or additions you decide on mid-work can add up to blowing your budget. It’s important to have a good idea of what you want at the start, but as well as have the wiggle room in your budget for those sudden changes of heart. You should also have a few affordable alternatives in mind for materials to use for areas such as countertops, flooring, and cabinets. Additionally, look into energy-efficient kitchen appliances for long-term savings.

Upending Your Lifestyle

It’s long been said the kitchen is the center of the home, and you’ll feel every bit of that statement when your kitchen is out of commission for a few weeks. You’ll have to plan out all your meals, and might even have to move out of your home for a bit, depending upon how much space you have and how extensive the remodel is. That means a potential hotel stay, which can get expensive, as well as eating meals out or turning to convenience foods, which adds up fast. There might also be other issues, such as needing to board pets for a while to keep them out from underfoot.

Many people don’t think about these costs until the remodeling date approaches, then scramble to figure out what to do and how to afford it. Consider those costs now – and if you were planning on a vacation anytime in the near future, it might pay to take it while your kitchen remodel is happening.

Bringing It All Up to Code

Sometimes a contractor will discover something that just isn’t right, such as that old wiring or plumbing that isn’t up to code. Most states require that if a contractor sees something amiss, they are obligated to bring it up to current code. That can mean a great deal of expense added onto the job.

For instance, a contractor who opens up a wall to insert new electrical outlets might find that the wiring is old and dangerous. In that case, the wiring in the entire kitchen might need replacement, and that requires an electrician and a whole new set of expenses. The sticker shock can be enough to make a homeowner scramble to find more money for their budget.

The “Little Things” That Pop Up Later

When the kitchen remodel is finished, the new countertops installed, the gorgeous flooring put in, and those new appliances humming away, you’re probably going to want to make some additional changes.

For instance, you might not be happy with the pots and pans that no longer match, that butcher block board that doesn’t look quite right, or those kitchen curtains that are suddenly out of place. This leads you to purchasing new items to outfit your new kitchen, which leads to expenses you didn’t take into account. Of course you can avoid these expenses, but when going for a big kitchen remodel, the temptation to newly decorate your space can be quite compelling.

To avoid this budget creep, think about what you already have and how it might fit into the overall look of your kitchen. Better yet, do some research into the new things you’d like to have, and build a separate budget for those. That way you can enjoy the renovation of your kitchen as well as your careful buying spree when it’s all done, and not worry about those new pots and pans breaking the bank.


Are you ready to dive into a kitchen remodel? Take a look at these 10 ways to save during a kitchen remodel. Keep in mind that negotiating price with your kitchen remodeler is also a possibility to cut costs.

The Modernize Contractor Checklist is also a great help in vetting a trusted contractor, so you can rest assured that your estimate will be right on target, cutting out some of the guesswork of your budget.  Let us help you make the most of your new kitchen plans.

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