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6 Simple Steps: Create a Bath and Kitchen Remodel Budget

bath and kitchen remodel planning

Before you ask your contractor for a bath and kitchen remodel estimate, it is important to know a ballpark range of how much you want to invest into your bathroom or kitchen remodel.

In the beginning of your search, you might spend time Googling how much an average kitchen or bathroom remodel costs. However, that is probably not the best way to establish your budget. This is because costs vary dramatically based on your location in the US, the cost of materials at the moment, whether you are doing a DIY remodel or remodeling with a general contractor, and the quality of the contractor you are working with.

Also, there are other factors related to your project, such as the size of your space, the quality of the materials you would like, whether you are changing a room layout, etc. So it is pretty difficult to set a true “average.” If you would like to explore this more, read the following articles about bath and kitchen remodel costs:

A better idea would be to follow the following six steps to create the best bath and kitchen remodel budget.

1. Use Guiding Questions to Draft Your Bath and Kitchen Remodel Budget:

  • How long do you expect to stay in this home?
  • Does the room need just a facelift, or a complete overhaul?
  • What is the value of your home?
  • Compare the homes in the neighborhood – what quality of kitchen and bathrooms do they have?
  • What items in the remodel are most important to you? What items would be “nice?”
  • Doing an honest assessment of your current finances, how much can you afford to spend at this time without digging into the money set aside for other important goals?
  • What is the maximum you be willing to take out of savings for your project?
  • What is a range of what you would be hoping to spend and what you would be willing to stretch to for the right reasons?

Set aside 10-20% of your budget for the unexpected. You might find something when you go shopping that costs more than budgeted for. You could find that extra work needs to be done to get your home up to code. Or, you could find that a weak or unlevel wall needs to be torn down to ensure your cabinets will be installed properly. A home over 50 years old may have more issues that need to be addressed during the remodel, such as lead, asbestos, or necessary electrical upgrades.

2. Consider How You Will Pay for Your Bath and Kitchen Remodel

It is worth your time to consider whether it makes more sense to pay in cash or finance your home improvement project. Even if you have cash set aside, it is possible that you may not want to spend it all on your renovation. If tragedy strikes, you want to have enough in the bank to cover costs.

At TBrothers Renovations, we offer a financing program with 0% interest options. You can apply through our financing program to see what terms you qualify for if you are considering a bath and kitchen remodel with us.

We are not tax advisors and do not give tax or financial advice. But a home equity loan is generally tax deductible. They are also usually low-interest because they are collateralized. This makes taking money out of your home one popular way to pay for a home renovation.

Other options to consider include personal loans, FHA loans, loans from retirement plans or whole life insurance plans. But borrowing at a low rate might be a better option than taking money out of a high-yield retirement account. You can also potentially cover some materials costs on a credit card. (Look for a 0% interest promotion!)

3. Make a List of Bath and Kitchen Remodel Priorities

It is a good idea to draft a list of what would be “big payoff” items you REALLY want, and which items would be “nice to have.”

It is tempting to write down what each line item might cost. But this might be an area to rely on the expertise of your contractor. Your contractor likely can get a different price on materials than you can if you are shopping at a big-box store. Also, we have preferred materials systems that make installation easy. Some of these materials could actually be more expensive than you find at the store, but will have a longer lifespan and will decrease the labor time of installation, so the costs even out in the end.

At TBrothers, we are a design and build general contractor. So we love to plan and go shopping with you! You can provide as much input as you want on the design, and you are welcome to purchase some of the materials on your own. But ultimately, it may be best to wait on some items until we can meet and plan together. For this reason, it is better to have a list of priorities than a hard list of line item prices.

4. Let Your Contractor Know Your Budget

If you are not sure what budget is appropriate to set for your bath and kitchen remodel, your contractor can help you by providing a typical range for the type of renovation you are thinking of. The average cost of a kitchen remodel or the average cost of a bathroom remodel will change based on a variety of factors we have broken down in other articles.

When your kitchen and bath contractor asks upfront what your budget is, we are not trying to “get” from you a price so that we can manipulate you. Rather, we want to know how much room we have to work with. We design your bath and kitchen remodel with your budget in mind. We can let you know what the scope is of what we can do within that budget and adjust based on your priorities.

Show the contractor what research you did to come to your budget conclusions. Your contractor may know at a glance whether you left out key considerations or whether your budget is realistic.

5. Adjust Your Estimate

The funny thing about asking for a bath and kitchen remodel “quote” is that a quote is flexible. Your kitchen and bath contractor can adjust the price of your project based on changing the project scope or materials. Don’t say “no” right away if your quote comes back higher than expected or if another contractor came in with a lower estimate. Ask what factored into the estimate and what could change that estimate.

Our goal is always to give you the best. But what is “best” differs for different clients. Let your contractor know whether you place more value on keeping the budget down, or whether you are set on certain design elements even if your price range needs to shift. We will help you get the sweet spot between price and quality.

Another point to mention is that if you select the cheapest contractor around who gave you the lowest bid, you can expect to do the most adjusting of your budget as you deal with problems along the way! Check out this painful-to-read article from Policy Genius, explaining common reasons why renovation projects end up going over budget. 

6. Finalize a Quote Based on a Design Draft

The most accurate way to get a quote from a contractor is not to ask for a quick quote, but to purchase a design consultation. Your designer will talk with you at length about the design you would like, take measurements of your home, and draft a plan for your bath and kitchen remodel. At TBrothers, we even create a 3D rendering of what your space will look like after it is renovated.

Once you have a more formalized plan in place, it is more common that your contractor will stick to the budget set. Your goal should be to adjust your budget BEFORE renovations start, not after. At TBrothers, we pride ourselves on proper planning and getting the job done right the first time. 

We look forward to hearing from you. Schedule your own in-home estimate and design session today!


Service Areas: All Western New York, including Buffalo, Amherst, Williamsville, Clarence, Kenmore, Tonawanda, Grand Island, Lancaster, Depew, Cheektowaga, West Seneca, Akron, Elma, Wheatfield, Lockport, Lewiston, and Niagara Falls.