Renovating an old kitchen is a home improvement thrill ride. Each twist and turn brings new excitement as design elements are chosen and materials are selected. When you reach the part of the ride where you’ve found a contractor you can trust and a design that fits your budget and style, it’s time to throw your hands up and scream with glee.

However, there is one part of the ride that can be extremely scary and often intimidates many people from renovating their kitchen. Staying on budget can prove to be particularly challenging for a lot of homeowners. Without the proper precautions, you may find yourself barreling off the tracks and in a heap of trouble.

According to a recent study by Houzz, only 4% of home remodeling projects come in under budget. So how can you limit your chances of blowing the budget on your kitchen renovation?




At Cedars, we understand that sticking to a budget takes a cooperative effort between the designer, contractor, and the homeowner. After a design is finalized, a design contract is detailed to not only provide a 3-D rendering of the project but to also provide a list of materials and known expenses. Although there is a chance of small unexpected twists and turns, meticulous planning can capture a lot of the factors that impact the overall cost of your renovation.

Material upgrades can be one of the big influences that can cause the bottom to drop out from your budget planning process. One of the most invigorating parts of the process comes when a client begins to pick out specific countertops, hardware, lighting, and various components. This is where a project could go completely off-track. During the design and proposal stage, your kitchen remodeler and the designer will give generalized pricing guidelines for material costs. Even if mid-grade products are anticipated, choosing several premium products could increase your project costs by 15-20% or more.

The majority of kitchen renovation projects we partake of include, at least, one type of upgrade, despite a thorough design discovery phase. Clients often later fall in love with a particular style of lighting, trim element, or countertop material that wasn’t originally planned for by either party. Since kitchen remodeling choices remain in homes for decades, homeowners often gravitate to selecting upgrades mid-project in fear of future regrets of denying themselves improvements.

In order to keep your kitchen renovation project from coming to a screeching halt, we have the following suggestions:

  • Do lots of preliminary research to learn specific design elements that are make-or-break choices to match your style.
  • Only work with a kitchen renovation company that provides you with a comprehensive plan that includes product specifications, 3-D drawings, and a detailed proposal.
  • Spend plenty of time with your designer and contractor during the initial planning phase. Discuss material options and ask to see physical samples of products.
  • Make sure your kitchen designer or contractor informs you of the overall cost increases of upgrades. Materials measured in smaller units like square or linear feet can add up quickly. Ask for the total upgrade cost.
  • Plan for a 15% or more contingency in your budget. That way you won’t be thrown for a loop with extra costs.

Whether part of upgrading aesthetics or preparing a home for resale, kitchen renovations are one of the most likely and popular of home improvement projects. Don’t be intimidated, you’ll find the experience is bound to amaze. If you’re ready to jump in and buckle up, we’d be excited to enjoy the ride alongside you.

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