Kitchen Remodeling Quotes: Quick How-to Guide - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Kitchen Remodeling Quotes: Quick How-to Guide

A kitchen remodel is a daunting task, and an expensive one at that: a minor kitchen remodel costs an average of $20,830, while a major kitchen remodel costs an average of $62,158. You want to get the most for your money; that’s why we’ve made this quick how-to guide on how to compare kitchen remodel estimates. Here are some tips on how to get an accurate quote and where you can save some money on your kitchen remodel.

Details, Details, Details

The more details you can lay out for each potential contractor, the more accurate of a quote they can give you and the less likely you are to be surprised by additional costs down the road. At a minimum, you should already have this information ready before you start soliciting bids from contractors:

  • Are you planning a minor or a major remodel? Remodeling magazine defines a major kitchen remodel as: “Update an outmoded 200-square-foot kitchen with a functional layout of 30 linear feet of semi-custom wood cabinets, including a 3-by-5-foot island; laminate countertops; and standard double-tub stainless-steel sink with standard single-lever faucet. Include energy-efficient wall oven, cooktop, ventilation system, built-in microwave, dishwasher, garbage disposal, and custom lighting. Add new resilient flooring. Finish with painted walls, trim, and ceiling.”
  • What layout do you want? Moving the location of your sink or gas range may significantly impact the cost.
  • What is your overall theme? Your theme will impact what materials you use, which will affect the cost.
  • Write a detailed list of the tasks you want to be done. No detail is too minor. List every task you want the contractor to do during the remodel so they can give you an accurate bid.
  • Select materials yourself. The more materials you pick yourself, the less labor the contractor may bill you for and the better deal you may be able to get on the materials.
  • Get four or five bids before selecting a contractor. Make sure each contract gives you a line item bid. If an item is significantly more or less expensive from one contractor than others, ask them why.

Find the Right Contractor

Don’t just get bids from five random contractors. Do some research about potential contractors before getting their bids, such as:

  • Ask about past projects they’ve done including how long they took to complete and how close to the original bid the final cost was.
  • Make sure they’re licensed, insured, and bonded.
  • Read reviews about them.
  • Contact previous clients and ask them about the quality of work the contractor did for them.

Plan Ahead

Planning your kitchen remodel several months ahead can save you time, money, and stress. Kitchen cabinets can take six weeks to make and be delivered, and you probably don’t want to be without kitchen cabinets for that long. Planning several months in advance also gives you time to look for sales on things like flooring, countertops, and appliances. If you don’t have room in your home to collect these items ahead of your remodel, it may be worth your while to rent a storage unit until your remodel is completed.

 

Additionally, busy contractors are likely to give you increased bids. The best time to hire a contractor is after the holiday rush but before the spring thaw. This tends to be the slowest time of year, and you may get a reduced bid from contractors just happy to get work.

Do Some Work Yourself

If you’re a little bit handy, you can save a fair amount of money on your kitchen remodel by doing some of the work yourself. Tearing out old cabinets and installing new cabinets isn’t terribly difficult, especially if the cabinets are preassembled. Eliminate delivery fees by picking up items yourself if you can, and paint as much as you feel comfortable with.

Prioritize

To avoid blowing your budget completely out of the water, you’ll likely need to make sacrifices in some areas to get what you really want in others. Do you really need name brand cabinets or professional-grade appliances? Decide which parts of the kitchen are the most important for you to spend your money on and where you can get something less expensive to manage costs.

As you can see, planning a kitchen remodel (or any other home improvement project) can be stressful, but getting quotes doesn’t have to be. As long as you plan ahead and do your research, you can get accurate bids that won’t be blown by additional work needed down the road.


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  1. Yaling Chen says:

    Very helpful article. We moved to the Seattle area and our new home has very dated kitchen cabinets. Our budget was lower than the average of the ‘minor remodel’ that you mentioned. We spent so much time reading articles online, trying to plan on our own. The good thing is that many kitchen remodel companies in the Lynnwood area can sort out the details. Like ABS Cabinets and Counter, they don’t mind people knowing next to nothing and they lead every step of the way to get what’s closest to budget. This article is still very helpful because then you know what questions to ask these kitchen remodel companies. Time frame can be shortened if the company you use stock everything. Following this guide will definitely help get accurate quotes and find the best people to do your kitchen.

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