Kitchen renovations are exciting yet nerve-wracking projects. In the age of Pinterest, where there’s an endless amount of kitchen design inspiration, it can be easy to get carried away with all the renovation options available. While creating a budget can seem like a daunting task, it’s important to do this before anything else so you create a concrete foundation for your dream kitchen renovation. Avoid stress down the line by setting yourself up for financial success. Take a look at these five tips for creating a budget for a kitchen renovation.

Determine how much you can spend
And then don’t budge from that number. The first big question to ask yourself is: How much can you afford to invest in this project? By first determining where your finances stand, you can then filter down the scope of the project to fit within those parameters – not the other way around.

Also use this time to determine how long you plan on staying in your house, as this will also decide how much gets invested in the project. Are you looking to sell your home in the next few years? Best to consider this project an investment into upgrading your home for a future sale. Looking to stay in your home for years?

Make it a priority to invest in kitchen additions that are functional and comfortable to last your family for years to come.

Know how costs break down
Like all major projects, start by doing your research first before diving head first into a project. Know how costs break down to give yourself an idea of where your budget will be going. On average, about 30 to 35 percent of a budget will go towards cabinetry, while about 20 percent will go towards labor. An additional 20 percent is dedicated towards appliances, with the remaining 30 percent available for windows, lighting, hardware and miscellaneous items. It’s important to note that cabinetry and labor will take up a majority of your budget, so if custom cabinets are on the list, be sure not to invest
30 percent of the budget in a fancy new chandelier.

Make a list of must-haves
Creating a kitchen renovation budget and compromise go hand in hand. Create a list of priorities to determine your absolute must-haves and which kitchen items can be saved for later. If new cabinets are a priority, consider keeping your current appliances until later. If new appliances are a must have, decide if fancy fixtures and hardware are an absolute must have – it’s the little things that can add up in the budget fast.

Set aside for the unexpected
The general rule of thumb is to set aside 20 percent of your budget for the unexpected. Kitchen renovations, especially in older homes, can sometimes open up a can of worms during demolition. Whether it’s an unexpected leak or plumbing that’s out of code, it’s always best to leave some wiggle room so your budget isn’t blown after a single surprise.

Stick to the plan
With a never-ending wheel of stunning kitchen inspiration, it’s incredibly easy to get caught up in the desire to add little things to the plan. While a fancy knife drawer or state-of-the-art built in espresso machine may sound tempting, this is how budgets get overturned in the middle of the project. To make things easier, consider using a gift card to your local home improvement store to keep the budget organized. Don’t have enough on the card to splurge for a more expensive backsplash? There’s your answer! Stick to the plan and avoid deviating from it mid-project and you’re bound to keep that budget on track.

What tricks are you using to create a budget for your kitchen renovation?

By Kerrie Kelly, American Society of Interior Designers (ASID)
Kerrie Kelly is a California interior designer who has helped many people through renovations of all sizes. Kerrie writes on her design experiences for The Home Depot, offering homeowners ways to save money without compromising design.