Can You Spend Too Much on a Kitchen Renovation?

Most agree that kitchens are the most important room in the home. But is it possible to spend too much on a kitchen renovation? There are so many costly items that are needed for a great kitchen but real estate experts can help you identify where your money can go the farthest.

Photo of an updated kitchen
Spend your money smartly and you can have a gorgeous kitchen without breaking the bank. | Image by ErikaWittlieb

Home improvement in the past two years has been skyrocketing! Newbies are joining the ranks of DIYers by the droves. It’s satisfying to tackle simple projects that require a long weekend to finish. In fact, we strongly believe that it’s one of the best ways to spend your free time during these not-so-pleasant circumstances because it’s super productive and can help appreciate your property’s value if you ever plan to list your home for sale.

Sadly, though, one major misconception that continues to fester among both newbies and seasoned veterans alike is the idea that kitchen renovations are inherently expensive. While these certainly incur more expenses than your typical weekend DIY, it’s not impossible to cut down your kitchen renovation budget with a few tweaks to your perspective.

Your Ideas Are In The Clouds But Your Budget Can’t Reach

Rendering of a modern kitchen
Understand that very modern kitchens will cost a great deal more and you might not recoup those costs on resale. | Image by PIRO4D

To put things into context, the number one reason as to why you end up spending way too much of your hard-earned savings to the point of breaking the bank is because all your tastes might be too expensive. It’s important to take a realistic inventory of your “must-haves” and things that might be nice but aren’t essential.

Having a budget and sticking to it is crucial. Of course, while many would argue that it’s no fun to limit yourself during the brainstorming stages, we think putting a price in mind can help tone things down and keep them realistic.

Expensive Finishes and Materials

Firstly, the common culprit behind driving prices to absurd levels is the expensive finishes and materials. We opt for these because we saw them in a showroom once or glanced at the magazine catalog before a eureka moment. You see, while they are aesthetically pleasing, they aren’t quite the most functional or the best match for your lifestyle. And while marble does look glamorous, you’re more at risk of staining it and incurring an even bigger bill later down the line.

Over-The-Top Smart Appliances

Secondly, while modern smart appliances come equipped with amazing features, we often just add them to the cart without any regard to how big of a bill you’re paying for the sake of having the “best”. In most cases, going for the most expensive named brand is just over-the-top for countless homes out there, and that’s not accounting for the stark jump in prices due to the chip shortage forecasted to last until 2023.

Too Much Customization

The last way we spend too much on a kitchen renovation is through customization. Too much customization is infamous for secretly inflating your overall kitchen budget. Yes, custom-fit kitchen cabinets and an extended pantry are perfect for homebodies who enjoy cooking, but it’s not the most financially sound decision out there, especially if you’re working with a tight budget.

Think Functional When Remodeling Your Kitchen

Extravagant is nice but functional is definitely more important. Think about it, does a $10,000 slab of marble work any better than a $5,000 piece of granite? When touring the solid surface warehouse, ask to look at some partial slabs or other discounted materials that can save you big money.

When Considering Appliances

We are big fans of modern smart appliances. We’re not afraid to admit that we sometimes drool at the most innovative features they come out with every single year. However, end-of-line appliances are just as good and can save you a lot more when stores are trying to clear out their leftover stock. Companies make you feel like older models go obsolete after each new reveal, but that’s just not true.

Don’t forget about scratch and dent options that can save you 20 to 30 percent!

Low-Cost Yet Super Aesthetic Materials

Revisiting our topic on finishes, people often forget that low-cost alternatives exist that can look just as glamorous. For example, porcelain slab countertops are among the cleanest-looking countertop options out there, and with the right matching, can even blow more expensive materials out of the water. And that’s without accounting for the functionality aspect. They’re also super durable.

Remember, at its very core, the kitchen space is meant for cooking and preparing meals. You want it to look great but you also need it to make your life easier and more enjoyable. Renovation projects should always be accomplished with this simple principle at heart.

It Helps To Be Frugal and Budget-Oriented

Overall, we want to remind everyone that it doesn’t hurt to be a bit money-conscious. Think outside the box. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Will the cheaper option work as well as the more expensive one?
  • How long will these choices remain in style?
  • Is there another place in my home where these dollars might be better spent?

Be resourceful. Browse the web for money-saving ideas, coupon codes or sales. Don’t forget that Black Friday comes every year! And before you spend too much on a kitchen renovation, give some of our recommendations a try first.

Tre Pryor, Realtor

Tre Pryor is the leading real estate expert in the city of Louisville. He is a multi-million dollar producer and consistently ranks in the top 1% of Louisville Realtors for homes sold. Tre Pryor has the highest possible rating—5.0 stars on Google—by his clients and is routinely interviewed by the local NBC news. Tre Pryor is a member of the RE/MAX Hall of Fame.