Kitchen Kerfuffle

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“Ask The Experts” is written and provided by Scholarship Media. It does not reflect the views of The Collegian or its advertisers.

I recently bought my first house after college. It is nearly perfect – but I hate the kitchen! I am advocating for major renovations, but my spouse is concerned about balancing the cost with our student loans. How much does it cost to redo a kitchen?

Kitchen renovations are among the most popular remodeling projects in the country. On average, a kitchen remodeling job will cost $21,798. But there is a problem with that figure, of course, and that is that there are all sorts of different types kitchen renovations, from minor repairs to complete additions and transformations. The experts suggest that a range of $12,586 – $33,142 is fairly typical, but that is a large range, and it does not help you see where your project might fall. So let us take a look at some of the common costs associated with kitchen remodeling projects, so that you can begin to estimate how much yours might cost. In order to properly price out your kitchen renovation, you will have to make a list of your priorities and calculate the cost of each portion of your proposed budget. From there, you can make cuts or additions as you see fit.

Kitchen renovations often involve the transformation of the space itself. That means cabinets, countertops, and hardwood flooring – each of which can be fairly pricey. But how pricey things get will depend a lot on your choice of materials and how much of the project you choose to do yourself.

Appliances are another area where price can vary significantly. This expert round-up finds that ovens can vary in cost from $350 up to more than ten times that amount. Up-front costs are not everything, of course, since luxury appliance companies can offer everything from concrete energy savings to what manufacturer Dacor calls “the kitchen as a space for togetherness.”

When the major renovations are done, you may choose to move your furniture back into your space – or you may choose to invest in a new table, chairs, stools, and other kitchen furnishings. Here, too, budgets can vary wildly. High-end furnishing are available from luxury manufacturers, though plenty of Americans opt for second-hand options, too: polls show that 13% of Americans prefer that option in their kitchen, though other rooms are more popular destinations for second-hand purchases.

Then, of course, there are the finishing touches. Personalized decor can be as simple as a framed photo or as elaborate as that same photo printed on brushed steel or backlit acrylic.

Determining your own budget for a kitchen remodeling job is about balancing your desires with your budget. If you find that your eyes have become bigger than your wallet, you may need to cut back on your budget for installations, furnishings, or appliances. Or, as some experts recommend, you may want to split your kitchen renovation in two and delay the second half of it until you have the budget for it. While this denies you some instant gratification, it does have the benefit of allowing you to invest in the best appliances and furniture that you can afford, rather than opting for budget alternatives. In some cases, buying cheap goods can be costlier in the long run than buying nicer ones: you can do the math on operating costs yourself by plugging each appliances’ specs into this online calculator.

In short, your kitchen renovations can cost anywhere from $12,586 – $33,142 (or more), and where your project falls on that spectrum will be the result of your own decisions. Take the expert advice above into account and make the right decision for your unique situation.

“The place I like best in this world is the kitchen. No matter where it is, no matter what kind, if it’s a kitchen, if it’s a place where they make food, it’s fine with me,” Banana Yoshimoto

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