The kitchen is one of the first places homeowners look when pursuing high-ROI home improvement projects. Upgrading your kitchen is a big job, regardless of how much you plan to change. This room tends to be the most expensive to renovate and also the most disruptive to daily life.
As you look at the job ahead, it’s essential to consider whether renovating or remodeling is your best bet. Renovating means adding smaller, non-structural changes to your kitchen. Remodeling means you’re tearing out fixtures and reconstructing the space to be brand-new. Keep reading to better understand the difference between renovation and remodeling and decide which choice is better for your kitchen.
Setting a budget is essential when facing a significant project. If you have a minimal budget to work with, a kitchen renovation will be cheaper than remodeling. You can reduce your budget by repurposing old materials or keeping the general flow of your kitchen the same.
When you plan your budget, remember to account for surprises and errors, both of which are inevitable. When budgeting for a renovation, be sure to factor in unexpected expenses. It’s also worth considering how you finance this project, as interest rates will impact the overall cost.
If your style differs dramatically from your existing kitchen, a rebuild might be a better option. For example, if you have old, oak kitchen cabinets with gaudy cathedral doors and prefer sleek, modern black kitchen cabinets, you’ll require extensive work to make your dream a reality.
Of course, your style and budget may not be aligned. Consider creating a prioritized list of non-negotiables, things that would be nice to have, and features you like but wouldn’t be sad to cut. This can help you set your intentions for your budget and determine the best path forward.
Some kitchens don’t have an intuitive layout, making them dysfunctional for cooking and entertaining. If you have an older home, you might have a galley kitchen that you and other household members can’t utilize at the same time.
A remodel might be your only option if your kitchen project requires significant layout changes. This factor is especially true if you need to demolish walls or expand.
To minimize the costs associated with a layout change, consider keeping the sink or dishwasher in the same place and changing the rest of the layout. Plumbing changes tend to be the most expensive during a kitchen rebuild. If you can avoid moving your plumbing, you can cut hundreds to thousands of dollars from your project costs.
Before you start tearing things apart, reflect upon your long-term goals as a homeowner. If you intend to stay in this house for the long run, a remodel might be worth creating a kitchen that suits your needs. However, a simple remodel is likely more cost-efficient if you plan to sell.
Kitchen upgrades add significant resale value to a home, but there’s a tipping point. Investing $5,000 in a kitchen renovation will likely have a faster return on investment. Spending tens of thousands of dollars on a kitchen remodel probably won’t.
While it’s fun to envision your kitchen with designer-inspired elements that improve the atmosphere, it’s also important to be realistic. Consider what upgrades are necessary versus what upgrades are purely aesthetic.
For example, if your dishwasher is constantly on the fritz or half the burners don’t work on your stove, these are necessary upgrades. If your counters are well-maintained but feel a little dated, they’re not a top priority.
These factors will impact your budget allocation and determine what is and isn’t feasible during your kitchen upgrade.
DIY vs. Hiring a Pro
Hiring a professional can be expensive, but it’s not always more costly than doing the project yourself. Taking a DIY approach could cost you time, money, and safety. Consider what aspects of the kitchen upgrade project will require a professional touch— electric work, plumbing, and ensuring you’re not taking out a support wall are some notable starting points.
If you’re doing a full kitchen remodel, you’ll require more professional assistance than a simple remodel. Consider these factors when addressing your overall budget and timelines.
Renovating vs. Remodeling: Which Is Best For Your Kitchen?
So, what’s the verdict? Are you remodeling or rebuilding your kitchen? The six factors we’ve discussed should help make your decision a little easier. Remember that budget is always a key consideration, as is your personal style and the layout requirements of your home. If you have long-term goals for your kitchen, be sure to take those into account as well. And finally, ask yourself if you want to do the work yourself or hire a professional. No matter what route you choose, we wish you the best of luck in creating your dream kitchen!