Author Topic: What is the best way to finance/pay for a kitchen remodel?  (Read 10571 times)

charis

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What is the best way to finance/pay for a kitchen remodel?
« on: October 06, 2014, 10:03:24 AM »
What financially sound ways have people financed home improvement projects?  We have a badly-needed kitchen remodel project to start within the next year or two.  My husband is pretty handy but we are both employed full time with two small children, so we can't DIY in any timely manner.  We'll need a contractor.  The room is a hot mess and needs: cabinets and counters (currently has none of either), new flooring, sink, and paint job.  My husband would also like to cut out the upper half of the wall between the kitchen and dining room. We will be looking for quality, but not high-end materials.

What are some regular (home improvement credit line, cash, etc) ideas and creative ideas (?) for this project?  I am lost.


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Re: What is the best way to finance/pay for a kitchen remodel?
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2014, 10:22:12 AM »
I am a little confused perhaps.  A kitchen without cabinets or counters?

A couple of things come to mind.
- Never finance something like this.  2 incomes, 2 kids, you should be able to save for it.  If the jobs pay well, savings could be quick.  If the jobs are lower pay, it may take some time, but is far better than financing.   It's a great motivator to force you to scrutinize your budget, and make the tough decisions that need to be made.
- What are your goals in life, how important is 'retiring' early?  Since you are posting here, I will assume it is quite high.  If you are just looking for ideas to finance a kitchen that a contractor installs, I feel you are in the wrong forum.
- That being said, if your husband is pretty handy, he should go for it, as much as he can handle.  It definitely takes time, but I have seen people do amazing things with 'scratch and dent' cabinets etc.  Get a quote, that could help motivate you to do it yourself, when you compute the savings!

These projects are not easy with kids, which is why I try to minimize them altogether.  If I have to do them, I do them with very relaxed deadlines, so they do not take higher priority than my family.

Good luck!


VirginiaBob

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Re: What is the best way to finance/pay for a kitchen remodel?
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2014, 10:30:12 AM »
Enlist lots of free help (i.e. labor) from friends and family.  With the right support, you can really knock this project out in a few weekends.

chemgeek

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Re: What is the best way to finance/pay for a kitchen remodel?
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2014, 10:41:17 AM »
What type of money are you looking to spend on this?  If you're starting from scratch the bulk of your budget is going to go to cabinets, unless you get creative ( Ikea, habitat ReStore and then painting the cabinets etc).

charis

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Re: What is the best way to finance/pay for a kitchen remodel?
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2014, 11:42:01 AM »
We are planning on Ikea cabinets.  I am hoping to spend $10K-15K at most.

As for the current state of the kitchen, we have no counter space aside from two small spots that abut the current sink that is part of a metal sink console.  Our other "counter" space is a narrow kitchen table that we put in there.  The only cabinet, if you want to call it that is under the sink and contains the plumbing.  The kitchen has not been updated since the 50s.  We have a panty in a separate room that contains, cabinets, drawers, and a dishwasher.

 



totoro

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Re: What is the best way to finance/pay for a kitchen remodel?
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2014, 11:59:56 AM »
HELOC would probably give you the lowest interest on a loan. 

We are putting an Ikea kitchen in as well.  I'm using a no interest credit card balance transfer and paying it off in January 2015 when I can take money out of my corporation without a big income tax hit.  There will be zero interest.

This allows us to proceed earlier without any financing costs.

As for DIY: we aren't.  I have given up long ago on DIY for myself for these types of things.  I'm good for manual labour, finding materials, and design - and that is about it.  DH is more handy but works FT and we've maxed out his interest in DIY home renos. 

Best thing to save money when hiring is find the right person with the right skill set and references.




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Re: What is the best way to finance/pay for a kitchen remodel?
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2014, 12:15:38 PM »
Watch craigslist for used stuff.  When we redid our last place I bought a complete set of used oak cabinets with butcher block tops for $200.  I spent a few weekend refinishing them and they looked great.  Another great place to check for used is a Habitat for Humanity store if you have one in your neighborhood.  I know you were asking about financing advice but buying used means there is so much less to finance.

charis

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Re: What is the best way to finance/pay for a kitchen remodel?
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2014, 12:23:30 PM »
Thank you for sharing your idea!

I know that people are die-hard DIYers on this forum, but we simply can't for this project.  We work long hours and have small children, and we aren't friends with people that can offer for free the kind of skilled labor that we need.  It took my husband a year to remodel the basement on weekends and he'll have even less time now.

I see the suggestion for craigslist, which I definitely considered.   I think we will do Ikea for cabinets (can't afford time looking for cabinets that will fit our specs) and Redo Store for items that don't need so much customization. 

kendallf

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Re: What is the best way to finance/pay for a kitchen remodel?
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2014, 12:31:47 PM »
2nd the advice to look at Restores and the like.  I am in the middle of a 'gut and replace' kitchen remodel right now; I bought some very nice cabinets (complete with butcher block top) for $330 from a local used building supplies store (Eco Relics; if you're local to Jax, FL they're awesome!).

Now the dash of reality: I am doing significant custom work to these.  I actually cut the uppers in two, re-laminated some cabinet ends, I'm building matching shelves for a corner to fill in a gap, etc.  It will be rare to find a used set that precisely matches your layout and needs.

Even if you decide to hire out significant chunks of the work, at least be your own "general contractor".  Gut the old stuff yourself, that requires basically no skill, and then figure out the next thing.  Framing a wall?  Drywall?  Plumbing?  Cabinets?  Find and hire the appropriate person for that task.  This way you avoid two things: paying overhead to a contractor to manage the job; and more importantly, scope creep.  When it's a tidy package of "other people's work", it's easy to say, "Oh, let's just add the mother of pearl drawer handles!  It'll only be $50 more a month!".  :-)

totoro

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Re: What is the best way to finance/pay for a kitchen remodel?
« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2014, 12:32:45 PM »
We have $300 used oak cabinets from CL in our kitchen now. 

They are fine for interim, but difficult to match up for a completely different kitchen set and required some adjustment to fit as they do.  This was a stop-gap measure (one year now though!) along with temporary countertops and plain concrete flooring.  I'm ready for a finished kitchen with well-fit cabinets and nice backsplash/counter.

If this was a lower end rental or we had a much higher DIY skill level I think used cabinets could work great.  For us, the used fridge from CL was a bargain and we won't use super high-end tile or counters.  I am looking for a very nice faucet - maybe on CL.  I don't mind spending on the new Ikea kitchen - they have good reviews and are not super expensive.

RichMoose

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Re: What is the best way to finance/pay for a kitchen remodel?
« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2014, 12:42:48 PM »
I have worked in residential and commercial construction, including renovations. Here is what I would suggest:

- First, I would find someone qualified to help you draft a plan (doesn't necessarily have to be architectural drawings, you can make your own on graph paper as well). Look to your friend circle for someone who is in construction or engineering especially if you have to move walls or cut away walls as this could result in changes to your structure that would result in big damage if not done properly, or large additional expenses for engineered beams or trusses / rafters.
- Second, check your local requirements. Chances are you will need electrical and plumbing permits at the minimum. Again, this doesn't mean you can't do it yourself but you will need to get it inspected or you could be in deep poo when you sell your house down the road (or insurance issues if your house burns down).
- Third, based on your preliminary findings on the first two steps, create a realistic budget factoring in best and worst case scenarios.
- Four, financing... unless you do a professional-type finish job yourself with the help of friends maybe, count on not getting back your full investment. All these stupid TV shows make it appear like you can buy a house, hire someone to fix it up, and flip it for wads for cash in less than a month. Reality is most professional kitchen renovations will return anywhere from 50 - 95% of your investment depending on your local market and smart, or not so smart, decision making. Even though most people consider renovations to be "investments" in their homes, they actually are crappy investments for most people. I would highly recommend saving up your money and paying cash. After cash, consider a HELOC / refinance as your next best bet. If you can't do it with those two options, don't do it at all. In fact, I would personally even lean to saying if you don't have the cash, don't do it.
- Lastly, if you decide to go with a contractor, do not ever go with the cheapest bid. It's asking for problems. Do your research, ask contractors for recent references, go and see their recent projects and preferably current projects. Talk to those homeowners!! Find out if there are financial issues or completion issues. Some people think it's normal for a contractor to ask for a cheque every week or for projects to run way over schedule because of "surprises", its not. Do not just base your decision off BBB. Look for a contractor that offers a clearly written, easy to understand contract with a set payment schedule that makes sense, guaranteed timelines that are realistic, and offer incentives if they run past their timelines without good reason.

I don't work in the industry any more for my livelihood (thank God), so I say this only for your benefit. If your husband or friend circle is not qualified to do comprehensive renovations such as kitchens, there is a good chance that it is more economical to hire an honest, reasonable contractor. I have worked on several homeowner DIY nightmares where I came in and had to clean up a disaster. I can tell a few stories, but in short, structural mistakes and electrical mistakes can be expensive to make right.

charis

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Re: What is the best way to finance/pay for a kitchen remodel?
« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2014, 12:53:25 PM »
Thanks for the advice to be your own contractor.  We can do the demo ourselves, I think.  I think we can probably order the cabinets ourselves (we will likely have to store them for some period).  We will need to hire someone to install the cabinets, the flooring, and the countertop/back splash.  We have a plumber we use occasionally, and we might need an electrician (although we do have a friend who might help out on that).  Being our own contractor will also give H the opportunity to DIY some stuff, if he has the time when it comes up.

For financing, I am thinking that we will put what we can on a 18-month 0% apr credit card and pay cash when we need to.  Emotionally, I want no-interest way to pay it off over time, even if we have the cash.

swiper

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Re: What is the best way to finance/pay for a kitchen remodel?
« Reply #12 on: October 06, 2014, 01:43:48 PM »
Thanks for the advice to be your own contractor.  We can do the demo ourselves, I think.  I think we can probably order the cabinets ourselves (we will likely have to store them for some period).  We will need to hire someone to install the cabinets, the flooring, and the countertop/back splash.  We have a plumber we use occasionally, and we might need an electrician (although we do have a friend who might help out on that).  Being our own contractor will also give H the opportunity to DIY some stuff, if he has the time when it comes up.

For financing, I am thinking that we will put what we can on a 18-month 0% apr credit card and pay cash when we need to.  Emotionally, I want no-interest way to pay it off over time, even if we have the cash.

Perhaps you'd considering doing the cabinet install yourselves. We did full DIY gut and ikea kitchen install a few years ago and found the cabinet install one of the easier tasks. Assembly takes time, but its very simple. The lowers stand on legs. The uppers are hooked onto a rail, which was screwed into the wall and just slide along this rail. The rail(s) needs to be level and screwed into studs. Any extra space between a wall/fridge and your cabinets is taken by a matching filler strip. All instructions were very clear.

Here is how ours turned out:

http://houseforyou.2baneberry.com/photo/images/2_baneberry_2_jpg.jpg
http://houseforyou.2baneberry.com/photo/images/2_baneberry_3_jpg.jpg


Good luck.



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Re: What is the best way to finance/pay for a kitchen remodel?
« Reply #13 on: October 06, 2014, 02:47:39 PM »
I renovated my kitchen with Ikea cabinets last year, and have a few comments:

- Beautiful job, swiper!

+1 for swiper's recommendation.  If you are inclined to do some of the project yourself, and hire out other portions, Ikea cabinets are definitely the best for DIY.  I renovated my kitchen last year with Ikea cabinets, and they were the most straightforward part of the whole project.  After living with the kitchen over a year now, I can say that my wife and I are still very happy with the look, feel, and quality of the cabinets.  Perhaps hardwood would be more attractive, but we just couldn't justify that cost.

- Countertops are on the opposite end of the DIY/pro spectrum.  We had granite countertops installed by pros (purchased through Ikea and subcontracted to a local granite outfit), and there's no way I could have handled that on my own.

- Ikea has an annual kitchen sale (usually one month long in the spring) that gives a full 20% off all kitchen products, if you spend over $4500 (scarily easy to do with cabinets and countertops).

- The most important thing to keep in mind is that the better you plan and design the kitchen, the less headaches you'll encounter.  My wife and I got a design from IKDO (easily found on google).  It forced us to consider more details, and gave us a fun look at the design before we even bought the cabinets.  However, if I was to do it again I would just download a free drawing program like Sketchup and draw it myself.  Ikea lists accurate dimensions of each cabinet size online.

Best of luck!

deborah

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Re: What is the best way to finance/pay for a kitchen remodel?
« Reply #14 on: October 06, 2014, 04:24:30 PM »
When I moved into my first house, its kitchen may have been similar to yours - but I didn't have a pantry. I screwed shelf brackets to a wall and added narrow wood (I only wanted items to be one deep) to have floor to ceiling shelves for some storage space, and, like you I had a table as a bench space (I added a couple of wood shelves under it). My kitchen was like that until I was FI. I spent several years gradually refining what I actually wanted to have in my kitchen.

Maybe you could tackle the problem from a different perspective. It sounds like you could use the pantry for your food preparation, and just use the kitchen as an annex for cooking. Maybe you could think of decluttering, and see whether that gets you enough room without having to spend any money - just re-arrangement. This could also allow you to have the pantry as a child proof zone.

pdxbator

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Re: What is the best way to finance/pay for a kitchen remodel?
« Reply #15 on: October 06, 2014, 04:32:20 PM »
Note that Ikea is changing all of their cabinets in February. You may want to wait until then. The new type is not backward compatible.

charis

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Re: What is the best way to finance/pay for a kitchen remodel?
« Reply #16 on: October 07, 2014, 12:32:48 PM »

Jellyfish

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Re: What is the best way to finance/pay for a kitchen remodel?
« Reply #17 on: October 07, 2014, 12:40:20 PM »
What financially sound ways have people financed home improvement projects?  We have a badly-needed kitchen remodel project to start within the next year or two.  My husband is pretty handy but we are both employed full time with two small children, so we can't DIY in any timely manner.  We'll need a contractor.  The room is a hot mess and needs: cabinets and counters (currently has none of either), new flooring, sink, and paint job.  My husband would also like to cut out the upper half of the wall between the kitchen and dining room. We will be looking for quality, but not high-end materials.

What are some regular (home improvement credit line, cash, etc) ideas and creative ideas (?) for this project?  I am lost.

So I'm sort of surprised this hasn't already been said but...why are you considering a kitchen remodel if you would have to finance the cost of doing so?  If you'd need to take out a HELOC or otherwise finance the project it would seem to me that you aren't in a financial position to undertake such a major expenditure.  I'd consider embarking upon some heaving saving and when you've got a wad of cash saved up then....maybe....consider paying for it outright.

charis

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Re: What is the best way to finance/pay for a kitchen remodel?
« Reply #18 on: October 07, 2014, 12:44:03 PM »
When I moved into my first house, its kitchen may have been similar to yours - but I didn't have a pantry. I screwed shelf brackets to a wall and added narrow wood (I only wanted items to be one deep) to have floor to ceiling shelves for some storage space, and, like you I had a table as a bench space (I added a couple of wood shelves under it). My kitchen was like that until I was FI. I spent several years gradually refining what I actually wanted to have in my kitchen.

Maybe you could tackle the problem from a different perspective. It sounds like you could use the pantry for your food preparation, and just use the kitchen as an annex for cooking. Maybe you could think of decluttering, and see whether that gets you enough room without having to spend any money - just re-arrangement. This could also allow you to have the pantry as a child proof zone.

I'd say we do have enough room and we have been living living like this for almost five years.  And we could continue to live it, I'm sure.  But the metal sink console is rusty and fall apart in some places.  And the sunburst pattern linoleum flooring has deep black gauges in some spots (from god knows what).  Great for a retro themed party, but a disaster in reality. 

Given the state of the kitchen and its limited functionality, and that we bought the place 5 years ago for at $30K (at least) under value, I have no qualms about a budget-conscious remodel of kitchen that I hate every time I look at it.

charis

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Re: What is the best way to finance/pay for a kitchen remodel?
« Reply #19 on: October 07, 2014, 12:45:53 PM »
So I'm sort of surprised this hasn't already been said but...why are you considering a kitchen remodel if you would have to finance the cost of doing so?  If you'd need to take out a HELOC or otherwise finance the project it would seem to me that you aren't in a financial position to undertake such a major expenditure.  I'd consider embarking upon some heaving saving and when you've got a wad of cash saved up then....maybe....consider paying for it outright.

It has been said.  I don't know if you have read through the responses, but I indicated that we do have the cash.  Maybe "finance" was the wrong choice of words. 

Elizabeth

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Re: What is the best way to finance/pay for a kitchen remodel?
« Reply #20 on: January 23, 2016, 03:24:36 AM »
Meeting with my designer tonight to go over some stuff related to kitchen remodeling, and I figured id ask you guys what you have that you feel you cant live without.

im looking for cabinet gadget, and storage ideas that have to be built in.

stuff like this

pbkmaine

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What is the best way to finance/pay for a kitchen remodel?
« Reply #21 on: January 23, 2016, 06:22:29 AM »
Unless I could physically touch that swing-up mixer shelf and see how sturdy it is, I would not get one. KitchenAid mixers are very heavy. I would be much more inclined to have an appliance garage, or to keep the mixer out in the butler's pantry.

I spend a lot of time in the kitchen, and have lived in 8 as an adult, all modest in size. Here's what I have found useful:
1) more drawers than doors
2) shelves that pull out
3) enough counter space for a complicated meal
4) using odd spaces between big cabinets for tray storage or a spice rack
5) dishwasher very close to dish cabinet

Be sure to measure appliances, including hinges and doors, in person before you buy them. They vary more than you think. Two years ago, we bought this house, and the refrigerator that came with the house is too tight for its space. The only way you can get to the cabinet above it is to open the refrigerator doors!

Think medium colors. They do not show dirt. The best kitchen floors I ever had were slate and showed nothing. The ones I have now are white and need to be cleaned every day. Do not do this to yourself.

As far as countertops go, I have had every kind of surface and like laminate the best. You can't beat the performance for the price.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2016, 06:39:30 AM by pbkmaine »

pbkmaine

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GrOW

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Re: What is the best way to finance/pay for a kitchen remodel?
« Reply #23 on: January 23, 2016, 07:00:26 AM »
Be your own GC. Sub everything out that you cannot do. Get credible subs.

Shop at discount supply stores. Ask you subs if they have additional discounts at any store. Ask when they typically have sales. Ask about military, aarp, first responder, and any other discount available.

Looks for discontinued items, remnants, etc.

Buy items over time to help you avoid financing and hopefully get lucky with sales.

Determine which items can must be done all together and which can be done at a later date. If if helps you pay and not finance, do the later date items at a later date.

Look at scratch and dent or otherwise discounted appliances. Baring a free floating appliance in the middle of your kitchen, at least one side will be hidden from view so who cares if there is a blemish on the hidden side?

See if there are any federal, state, or local tax breaks, rebates, etc for your project.

Use rewards credit cards to pay for anything and everything. From an average kitchen remodel, you should be able to meet the bonus points requirement for 4-6 new credit cards. That should equate to free vacations for your family for a year. Read up on how to do this and don't just try it on the fly.

If an equity line makes sense - i.e. You need some financing, you aren't planning on moving soon, you have good credit to get a good rate, etc - this is likely your best after tax borrowing option.


lbmustache

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Re: What is the best way to finance/pay for a kitchen remodel?
« Reply #24 on: January 23, 2016, 12:19:57 PM »

I spend a lot of time in the kitchen, and have lived in 8 as an adult, all modest in size. Here's what I have found useful:
2) shelves that pull out


Yes! We have pull out shelving and it's a godsend. We also have lazy susans in the corner cabinets which is a better use of space (IMO) and you're not hunting around in the dark for things that ended up in the furthest corner. (like this: http://www.dbaca.com/images/wood/ls_01.jpg)

I miss having a pull out cutting board, helped with the counter space pbkmaine mentioned as well.

We have quartz which is cheaper than granite but a similar look, and it's amazing. No stains, no chips, no scuffs. Literally nothing to worry about out.

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: What is the best way to finance/pay for a kitchen remodel?
« Reply #25 on: January 23, 2016, 12:52:13 PM »
I hate my Lazy Susan. It is made of cheap plastic, so it always seems like it's tipping, and it's attached in the middle with some sort of large pins that are a magnet for anything in a bag or cardboard box. I have had massive spills of quinoa, salt, etc. from the packages being ripped.

Def. medium colors. I have this beautiful kitchen with dark cabinets and stainless steel appliances (came with house) and it is a BEAR to clean. The stainless steel shows every little fingerprint and drip and only really looks good if I wax it. Yes, I wax my fridge. And the cabinets always look dirty, too--and apparently the granite counters have to be sealed? I haven't done this yet but it sounds foul. I say keep it simple!

mozar

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Re: What is the best way to finance/pay for a kitchen remodel?
« Reply #26 on: January 23, 2016, 03:28:11 PM »
Where I live the next town over is "industrial" with discount cabinet stores and discount countertop stores. Might be worth driving around as they usually don't have websites.

NV Teacher

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Re: What is the best way to finance/pay for a kitchen remodel?
« Reply #27 on: January 23, 2016, 03:36:52 PM »
My mom has a small pull out table in her cabinets and it's very useful.  It's maybe 36" wide and pulls out 30".  It's great for cooking with kids because it puts things at their height and they don't have to stand on stools or sit on the counter.  We can sit three kids at it to eat when we have company and the kitchen table it full.  I wish I had gotten one when I redid my kitchen a few years ago.

pbkmaine

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Re: What is the best way to finance/pay for a kitchen remodel?
« Reply #28 on: January 23, 2016, 06:37:25 PM »
Stainless steel appliances are evil. They came with my house, and the best result I get is with baby oil.