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Kitchen Resources

A Kitchen Remodel Financing Checklist for Homeowners

Your kitchen is one of the most important spaces in your house. It’s a place where families and friends come together, connect, and share the small joys found in daily living. That’s why so many homeowners are drawn to kitchen remodel projects.

Modern kitchen design elements feature open space, updated appliances, ample storage, and beautiful natural materials for cabinets and flooring. Your upcoming kitchen remodel will increase the functionality of this space, as well as personal satisfaction with your home.

At the same time, a kitchen renovation is a big job that requires extensive planning, thorough knowledge of the costs involved, a detailed budget, and a trusted kitchen remodel contractor. Modernize created this kitchen remodel financing checklist to help homeowners prepare themselves for kitchen renovation projects. Once you’ve reviewed the checklist, you should be able to avoid costly mistakes or budget overruns, as well as find and vet contractors best suited to complete the job in your area.

Table of Contents

Understanding Kitchen Remodel Costs

The first step to financing a kitchen remodel is understanding the costs involved. Kitchen remodels can range from from modest DIY refresh projects to complete makeovers. The cost of a kitchen renovation varies greatly depending on how much labor and time it takes to get the job completed.

There are a few things you should know about your kitchen remodel budget before you begin gathering quotes from vetted kitchen remodel contractors. This list of common expected costs should provide you with a better understanding of the main items and work needed to transform your kitchen from blah to beautiful. Note: not all homeowners will require each item on this list, but it’s wise to consider these possibilities as you budget.

kitchen-remodel-design

Cabinetry

Sticker shock is common when researching new kitchen cabinets. According to HGTV, new kitchen cabinets cost between $60 and $1,200 per linear foot, depending on the chosen material. Other factors that affect out-the-door cabinet cost include the number of cabinets, size of your kitchen, removing and disposing of your old cabinetry, and the amount of trim and finish work required to complete the cabinet installation.

Flooring

Tile has long been the material of choice for kitchens. It is waterproof, highly durable, versatile, and visually appealing. Similar to cabinetry, flooring replacements will take up a significant portion of your kitchen renovation budget. Expect to pay roughly $10-$20 or more per square foot depending on the material you choose.

Countertops

Although countertops are yet another large expense, they can completely transform your kitchen. New quartz or granite countertops typically cost between $50 and $100 a square foot. Additional cost considerations include corner treatments, edge profiles and details, backsplash, and cutouts for sinks, faucets and electrical outlets.

Also keep in mind that adding a new kitchen island will be an extra expense. Expect to pay an additional $3,000 to $5,000 to add a kitchen island.

New Plumbing or Electrical Installations

Changes to wiring or plumbing layouts can significantly increase the cost of your remodel project due to the additional time, labor and materials. At the same time, this work is often necessary and cannot be worked around. Depending on the scope and complexity of the plumbing and electrical work, expect to pay between $300 and $1,900 for this modification.

Appliances

It does not make much sense to re-install outdated appliances in a newly renovated kitchen. Modern stainless steel range ovens, microwaves and refrigerators are costly but necessary to complete your kitchen transformation. Most homeowners will pay between $2,000 and $20,000 on new appliances, depending on their preferences and needs. You might consider choosing energy-efficient kitchen appliances to cut energy and utility costs over time. 

Additional Modifications

Other significant kitchen remodel costs can include demolition and removal of walls, new lighting, accent lighting, and non-essential but desirable accessories such as an instant hot water spigot or drawer organizers.

Financing Your Kitchen Remodel

Now that you have the information necessary to put together a preliminary kitchen remodel budget, it’s time to move to the next phase of our kitchen financing checklist.

There are many different ways to finance your kitchen renovation. Here are four common ways homeowners pay for large-scale kitchen remodel projects:

1. Cash-out refinance

With today’s low interest rates, homeowners can tap into the equity of their homes to pay for big-ticket expenses such as a kitchen remodel. 

2. Home Equity Line of Credit or Home Equity Loan

Qualified homeowners can use a Home Equity Line of Credit, or HELOC, to draw the exact amount of funds needed to pay for their kitchen remodel project. A home equity loan, meanwhile, lets you borrow against the equity in your home.

3. Credit cards

If necessary, you can pay for materials such as flooring, cabinets or countertops on credit. This option can increase total costs, due to the high-interest rates on most credit cards.

4. Insurance

You might be able to file a homeowners insurance claim to pay for part of your remodel if you need to renovate due to a leaky dishwasher or sink. Be sure to review your insurance policy to see what is covered and what you can leverage to complete your project.

Meeting With Your Kitchen Remodel Contractor

Now that you are armed with a fleshed-out kitchen financing checklist, you can meet with potential kitchen remodelers with a higher degree of confidence. You will have a better understanding of the overall scope of the job and costs associated with each aspect of your kitchen renovation plans. This will allow you compare kitchen contractor quotes effectively.

When you do have contractors come to your house to bid on the job, keep these additional tips top-of-mind:

  • Gather estimates. An estimate is not a contract. It’s an initial bid. However, your quote and the contracted price should be somewhat aligned. If they aren’t, don’t hesitate to ask questions about cost with your contractor.
  • Review quotes thoroughly. Quotes should include detailed line items denoting major costs for each aspect of your kitchen remodel. Be sure there are clearly defined costs for securing any necessary permits, time, materials and waste disposal. Move on from any contractors who cannot provide comprehensive quotes with detailed pricing estimates. Contractors also specify exactly when they will start, how long the job will take, and how many workers will be at your residence on any given day.
  • Get multiple quotes. You’ve likely heard it before: get bids from a minimum of three contractors. A high bid does not necessarily mean price-gouging. In some cases, you might be paying more because the contractor has years or decades of proven experience. Follow your instincts.
  • Negotiate on Pricing. Contractors can’t pay their bills from jobs they do not get. This means they might be flexible on costs, such as time and labor, in order to secure the job. Professionals also typically build in minor profit when billing for materials. They typically build solid relationships with key suppliers and often pay less for certain materials than consumers.
  • Keep all your paperwork. Stuff all paperwork relating to your kitchen remodel in a folder and keep it in a safe place. You will want to cross-reference the final product with the initial bid and contract to ensure final pricing was fair. You will also need receipts if there is a warranty issue later on.

If you need help finding reliable contractors, Modernize can put you in touch with trusted kitchen remodeling contractors in your area who are sure to help you cross off all the important boxes on your financing checklist. 

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