5 Reasons Kitchen Remodels Go Over Budget

Usually, the remodeling process starts out simple and exciting. Homeowners typically take to Houzz or Pinterest in search of ideas for their kitchen. When you begin planning a kitchen remodel, you may have no idea how much your vision might cost. The answer will likely depend on several factors, including the size of your space, what you will do to it, your geography, your home value, and budget.

That said, here are some common reasons kitchen remodels go over the original budget…

1. Custom cabinetry. Cabinet costs range widely, largely depending on whether they come from a big-box store or are semicustom or custom-made. The key is to know how much the designs you want might cost before you actually start to remodel your kitchen. Keep in mind that specialty and custom items usually cost more. For example, while it may look beautiful to stretch your upper cabinets to 12 feet to balance out high ceilings; it will most definitely increase your kitchen remodel price tag. Many homeowners benefit by asking their architect, design/build firm or general contractor to advise them on the costs of various options early on. These professionals can also prepare renderings for you, so that you can see how your kitchen will look with multiple cabinet layouts before committing to one.

cabinetry rendering

2. Special features. In addition to the external features of cabinets, what’s inside them can add to your kitchen remodel cost as well.  A few examples of nice-to-have but pricey cabinetry add-ons include a lazy Susan – circular platforms that mount inside cabinets and can be spun to bring items from the back of the cabinet to the front, silverware organizers, appliance garages, wine racks and pullout pantries. Before committing to a special feature, you may want to consider how much you’ll really use it. That way, you can determine if the added functionality is worth the cost to you.

3. Countertops. The cost for countertops ranges widely. Quartz and granite typically run $50 to $120 per square foot. More exotic stones can hike up your kitchen remodel price tag. While it may be tempting to go with a rare color; consider if it fits well with the rest of your home and if it will blend best with your space. Most remodeling professionals can bring a sample material into your home, so that way you can see how it looks under your home lighting (showroom lighting does wonders).

4. Unforeseen structural issues. If you’re remodeling an older home; you might open a wall and find that termites have eaten half the studs. Perhaps once the kitchen flooring is removed, you find that an undetected water leak has rotted the subfloor and floor joists. While some issues can be detected pre-construction; not every problem can be caught ahead of time. Many remodeling professionals recommend reserving a 20 percent contingency in your kitchen remodel budget for unexpected surprises.

5. Remodeling fever. This happens when the initial project starts coming together and homeowners experience a sense of excitement – and want to tackle other projects. If you’re contemplating other home updates at the beginning stages; talk to your home remodeling professional about pricing, so that you might be able to work them into your budget.