How to Set a Kitchen Remodel Budget and Get Design Ideas

In the last post of  this series, 4 Signs that You Need a Kitchen Remodel, we talked about some sure-fire signs that it’s time to upgrade the kitchen in a home. Now, the second most important step in the process is deciding exactly how to spend on that remodel. How much will it cost to create that dream kitchen? How much is actually available to you?

Gather Kitchen Remodel Ideas

Tip: clip and save pictures of the products you love!

When deciding on a kitchen remodel budget, it is often helpful to know where you are going with the project itself. What things need to be replaced, and how much will those replacements cost? Is there major construction involved (such as tearing down walls or building in all-new pipes), or it is simply a matter of hauling that old dishware out and hauling in the new one?

If you are completely at a loss, start by making a list of everything that is broken, stained, or otherwise undesirable right now. Here are just a few ideas to get you started:

  • The fridge that gobbles electricity and/or no longer works properly.
  • The sink that is scratched, cracked, broken, growing mold, or otherwise unsightly.
  • That laminate flooring that is yellowing.
  • Those broken tiles…or all of the tile.
  • That old stove that is a huge pain to clean (trade up with a sleek glass-topped one).

If you aren’t remodeling out of necessity, you are free to make changes based on “because I want to.” Either way, getting ideas for sexy new layouts, color, textures, and more is a great way to start building a kitchen remodel budget. Try magazines, TV shows, or even the Internet to get more ideas than you can handle.

As you go, make note of items you want and their “average” prices. This will help you build a “want” budget. I.e., the budget required to have everything you want.

Determine How to Pay For the Kitchen Remodel

Finally, it is time to go through what is available to you. Contractors and designers have it easy because they will simply get the budget from their clients, but the client may have some difficulty deciding what they can actually afford. The two most common options to look into are:

  • Current savings (if they are not deemed as emergency savings).
  • Equity. You might be surprised to find out just how much is waiting for you in an equity line or loan.

Discovering what is available to you will give you a “have” budget. Quite often, you will find yourself with a gap between the “want” and “have” budgets. If this is the case, it is time to close that gap by shopping for better deals on quality kitchen remodel supplies. If you still see a gap after hunting down the best deals on what you need, you may need to put off some of those things on the “want” budget. Add them to your holiday or birthday wish list instead!

Following these steps will help you better understand and envision what is truly possible for that kitchen. Once you’re there, it is easy to start Planning a Kitchen Remodel, which just happens to be what the next blog in this series is about!

4 Signs That You Need a Kitchen Remodel

Spring is in the air! Do you know what that means? No…not more birds waking you up at 6 AM or more pastel colors than we can stand. It means time for some major kitchen remodeling! But how can you be sure it is a necessary step? Whether you are a homeowner or contractor, here are a few surefire signs that a kitchen is in dire need of an upgrade.

The electric bills are horrendously high.

When electric bills start hurting our finances, the first step most of take is to buy more efficient light bulbs and make sure all appliances not in use are off. But appliances that are always plugged in like that fridge or freezer could go unnoticed for years, leaving you to wonder why all of your efforts have been in vain. Even if you do nothing else, it may be time to look for newer models which are energy efficient. While you’re at it, replace that leaky faucet with one that doesn’t waste so much water – and money!

There hasn’t been a remodel in about 30 years.

Credit: JuddejahThere is a difference between vintage and worn out. If your kitchen looks exactly the same as it did in the 60s, chances are it’s time for a remodel. Kitchen remodels sound like a very big job to those with and without experience, but they needn’t be. Identifying just 4 or 5 things to replace or upgrade in the room (such as the counter tops and flooring) can give it an instant boost.

There are major signs of disrepair.

Credit: Jared ZimmermanPeeling wallpaper or floor laminate, yellowing or chipping paint, rusty faucets, a very loud fridge, cracked or broken tiles and countertops. All of these are considered signs of disrepair and will seriously lower the value of a home. A remodel can easily have all of these replaced and up that value more than you may think.


You are sick of the design, layout, or functionality.

A kitchen remodel doesn’t have to be “necessary” to be necessary. Sometimes, you just can’t stand that center island, or really need a stove that works dependably. Perhaps the color scheme makes you sick and you want to throw all of the appliances in a swamp. Sometimes a remodel is simply necessary for your own sanity. Just as a new wardrobe or makeover can make many of us feel like a million bucks, a kitchen remodel can make our homes feel like palaces.

If you think you may be in need of a kitchen remodel, be sure to check out the next title in this series: How to Set a Kitchen Remodel Budget and Get Design Ideas. Coming soon!