Another timely post from the PrimeLending blog: JR and I are about to embark on a kitchen remodel (more on that in an upcoming post) for a new home. And yes, we’re following these steps (and more). Thinking about a kitchen remodel? Start here:

07-24-Remodel-Kitchen-ArticleIt’s 7:15 a.m. on a weekday and you’re frantically running around, trying to get everyone out the door on time. You’re making breakfast, packing lunches and prepping the crockpot for tonight’s dinner. However, as you rush around the island in your kitchen, you begin to realize that the space is no longer working for your family. In addition to being outdated, there’s just not enough room for everyone anymore. Sound familiar? If so, it might be time to consider remodeling your kitchen. But where do you start?


Write Down Your Dream Upgrades

Once you’ve decided to remodel, your mind might be exploding with ideas, pictures you’ve seen in magazines and projects from HGTV. While you may want to think, “The sky’s the limit,” your bank account may beg to differ.

The first step to take is to make a list of kitchen features you would like to consider upgrading during the remodeling process, and number them based on importance to you. This will help you during your budgeting step (a step that will closely follow).

Areas to consider during this process include appliances, cabinetry, countertops, lighting, backsplashes, hardware and flooring. However, each homeowner will have different ideal upgrades. For some, they may have always dreamed of that built-in wine refrigerator. For others, it may be a single-bowl sink or an island.


Now that you have established a list of ideal kitchen upgrades for your upcoming remodel, it’s time to do some research and see what kind of numbers you’re looking at. Did you know that the average kitchen remodel costs somewhere around $20,000? It’s important to conduct research prior to setting your budget or meeting with any contractors in order to further define your list and see what items are realistic and which ones you may need to wait on.

This is a great time to decide which areas you can splurge on and where you will keep costs at a minimum. HGTV has some good tips on where to splurge and where to save during the remodeling process.


When deciding to complete a remodel, it’s important to create a strict budget and then stick to it. When creating a budget, first sit down and review your current financial situation in order to see where you stand and what you can currently afford.

Next, think about your future. How long do you expect to live at your current home? Will your job will be relocating you within the next few years, or will your family want to upgrade to a larger house? If so, then you need to consider how much this improvement will increase your resale value and try to stay within that area.

Did you know there are a wide range of conventional and government-insured mortgage products designed specifically for financing remodeling and renovation projects? A PrimeLending Home Loan Expert can help you decide which type of loan is the best match for your home renovation project.

Now you have a budget, but don’t plan on spending every cent on upgrades. At least 20 percent of the budget needs to be set aside for unexpected expenses. Once remodeling begins, surprises typically arise, and you’ll want to have money set aside to cover any unanticipated issues.

Consider Hiring an Inspector

By hiring an inspector to evaluate your home before renovations begin, you’ll find out about any potential issues that could end up interfering with your upgrades. An inspector can tell you if your home has any structural problems, mold, roofing issues, etc.

If you’re planning to resell your home one day, knowing about these types of issues upfront is important. Many people remodel knowing that it will help increase the value of a house, but if there are problems you don’t know about that will be costly to repair, the renovations won’t be nearly as valuable.

Decide Whether You’ll Make Upgrades Yourself

Depending on what kind of upgrades you’re looking to make, you may need to hire a contractor. If you’re a do-it-yourself kind of person, some tasks may make more sense to handle on your own, like painting or attaching new hardware to the cabinets. But for trickier tasks, like installing a new sink or lighting, it may be best to leave these things to the professionals.

When that’s the case, you should look into hiring a contractor for home improvement projects. You can ask friends and relatives for suggestions and look up reviews online. When you meet with a contractor, you can also get quotes on how much renovations will cost. Learn more from our blog, Choosing A Remodeling Or Renovation Contractor You Can Trust.

Set Up a Timeline

Once you’ve established your budget and met with a contractor, you should determine how long renovations will take – the last thing you want to do is accidentally schedule yourself to host a dinner party before construction is finished.

Some renovations are simple and only take a few days, while some can take months. It all depends on what kind of renovations are needed. If you’re unsure of how long upgrades will take, your contractor should be able to assist you.


From the PrimeLending blog by Special Contributor Bailey McMahon