Can I Afford to Remodel My Kitchen? 

Can I Afford to Remodel My Kitchen? 

If your kitchen is looking tired and you’re ready to make a change, the the first question on your mind is probably - “Can I afford to remodel my kitchen!?”.

We get it, it can be overwhelming when you start seeing average costs for kitchen remodels in your area or getting estimates back from contractors.

The good news is that over the years we have found that the answer to that questions is almost always yes, although some thinking ahead and planning will help to clarify how you can get there.

5 Steps to Take When Planning Your Kitchen Remodel Budget

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Of course, you may have to make some compromises to make a kitchen remodel fit in your budget.

It may not be a total overhaul of your kitchen, but most people can do at least a few things to change the look and refresh their kitchen within their budget!

Before you start ordering things online, you need to begin with thinking through the following steps.

Here’s How To Start Planning A Kitchen Remodel You Can Afford:

1.  Think about your five year plan.

If you’re planning to sell your home within the next five years a total overhaul of your kitchen may not pay off.

According to the Remodeling 2016 Cost vs. Value Report (*, a minor kitchen remodel replacing countertops, flooring, appliances, hardware, sink and faucet along with refacing cabinets will cost an average of $22,775.

With this project a homeowner may be able to recoup an average of 74.8% or $17,044 when selling their home.

That said, if you are planning to stay long term it may be worth it to spend more and make your kitchen your own.

Keep in mind that your needs may change in the next ten years and go for styles that are classic and more likely to stand the test of time.

2. Decide how much you are willing (and able) to spend. 

Can you afford to save for awhile before remodeling or do you want to take out a loan to make your kitchen remodel come true?

We recommend taking a good look at your finances, talking with a financial advisor, and exploring your options for loans, if desired.

You want to make sure you’re getting the best advice for your specific situation. Maybe it makes sense to use savings, or maybe a low interest rate loan may be the best fit for your family.

Either way, you want to be prepared and know how and how much you are willing, and able, to pay for your project.

3.  Set aside at least 10% of that budget for unexpected costs.

Inevitably unforeseen issues will arise during the course of your kitchen remodel.

No matter how experienced the contractor may be, the ability to see through walls or into the future is not in the job description.

Setting aside between 10-20% of your overall budget will help protect you from expensive surprises along the way.

Planning for the unexpected will help protect you from surprises that would change your affordable remodel into an overpriced and stressful situation.

4.  Make a plan with your contractor. 

Finding an honest and quality contractor is really important as you begin planning your remodel.

When you meet with your contractor, be clear about your goals, priorities and must-haves. That also includes your budget. They can only help you stick to a budget if they know what it is!

You know the saying - good, fast, cheap - you can pick two. This consistently stands true for remodeling.

Quality work takes time and planning.

Spend your money on what matters to you while understanding that some of the most important pieces of your remodel are things you cannot see.

Structural changes, electrical and plumbing are costly, but cutting corners will most definitely cost you more in the long run.

5.  Stick to your budget.

So many people seem to forget their budget as soon as they see something pretty and suddenly they cannot afford their remodel.

We have definitely been there ourselves!

It is easy to be excited by all the possibilities when you start selecting finishes for your new kitchen.

We can all be tempted to try the next new trend or by trying to keep up with the Joneses.

Individual changes and increases to the budget may seem small at the time but a few extra costs can quickly add up to a much bigger extra expense than anticipated.


Affording your kitchen remodel starts with smart planning. Thinking through the steps and your options for financing the project will help you create a budget you can afford. While no project is stress-free, following a budget plan will make the outcome happier for you and your contractor.

Now I want to hear from you - Are you trying to plan a kitchen remodel you can afford? What is the most difficult part of budgeting for your remodel?

*© 2016 Hanley Wood Media Inc. Complete data from the Remodeling
2016 Cost vs. Value Report can be downloaded free at