How to Set a Budget for a Remodel Project

Posted by Nicole R. Martin
Remodeling Project Specialist, Brubaker Inc.

Brubaker KitchenThe prospect of designing your perfect bathroom or kitchen and selecting the beautiful fixtures you will enjoy for many years is an exciting adventure. The first step in that process, however, should be setting a budget for your project. Many aspects of the renovation will greatly affect the price. Having a realistic expectation of what can be done within your budget will eliminate frustration and disappointment at the outset of your project.

It’s important to ask yourself some preliminary questions:

  • Can I retain the existing layout of my bathroom or kitchen, or do I want to make major layout changes?
  • What type of cabinets do I want?
  • Which countertop material best suits my lifestyle?
  • What floor covering is attractive to me?

The DesignFinal rendering Kitchen Remodel
The most cost effective design option for your kitchen or bathroom is to keep existing mechanicals such as plumbing, gas and electric lines in the same location, as well as retain the existing placement of bathroom fixtures. Remodeling projects are often predicated by a need for better room flow or more floor space. Relocating tubs, toilets and appliances can often make your room more functional. Often walls can be removed or cut down to open up a room or annex adjoining space. Such changes are worth the additional cost incurred but this construction work needs to be considered when setting your budget.


Perhaps the biggest effect on price is the style of fixtures and materials you select. Cabinets generally incorporate the majority of material costs in a kitchen and are available in several constructions. Custom cabinets have the highest price tag but also give you the greatest flexibility in style, finish and size. Semi-custom cabinets are a popular option that allow for the quality of custom cabinets but with a price closer to stock cabinets. If standard cabinet sizes work with your floor plan, stock cabinets will help save money while offering attractive options in finish and style.

CountertopsGranite 2-w800-h600
Countertops, both in a kitchen and bathroom, greatly affect the price of your project. Counters can double or triple in cost from one material to another.

Vinyl, tile, laminate and luxury tile are popular choices for floors. These selections, including the necessary installation costs, will affect your overall price.

Labor costs within a remodeling project are usually as high, or higher, than the cost of the materials. The necessary labor hours to do a project can vary even within the same type of project when done in two different houses. Circumstances that significantly affect the number of labor hours, and thus the overall job cost, include but are not limited to the age of the house, the type and construction of existing fixtures to be removed, the intricacy of new tile or moulding work to be performed and the type of new fixtures to be installed.

 BathroomSetting a budget at the beginning of your project and sharing that amount with your remodeling project specialist will help him or her to point you towards attractive, quality products that will meet your needs and your budget. Should the preliminary design and material ideas you collect and present to him or her not fit within your budget, an experienced remodeling project specialist will be able to make suggestions and offer excellent alternatives to be certain you achieve the room of which you truly dream…at any price.