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Creating Budget Line Items and Determining Priorities

Once you have established the budgetary range for your kitchen remodel, as discussed in our last post, it is time to get a little more specific about your priorities. Establishing the items that are ‘must haves’ versus those that are simply on your ‘wish list’ will be important for your kitchen designer to know and helpful to you when financial decisions need to be made about additions and exclusions from the list.

One system to use for mapping out those priorities within your budget is to create a list of all the items that may or may not be included in the kitchen, along with possible alternatives. For example: Under the line item ‘Countertops’ on your list, you might list granite countertops as a ‘must have,’ #1 in priority or you might have it simply listed as a ‘wish list’ item, #2 in priority.

Some areas may have many items listed and other areas only one or two. Below we’ve created a possible budget line item table with a box for marking your priority: 1 for must have; 2 for wish list; and, 3 for acceptable.

Priority Line Items

1

Eating area in kitchen

1

-raised bar

2

-countertop height bar
-table with chairs

3

Desk station in kitchen

1

New Appliances

1

-gas cooking
-electrical cooking

2

-cooktop

3

-range

2

-double oven

3

-warming drawer

2

-brand name

2

-stainless finish

1

-side-by-side refrigerator/freezer
-bottom drawer freezer
-Top freezer

1

-water dispenser/ice maker in frig
-microwave hood

2

-commercial hood

3

-standard range hood

1

New Countertops

2

-granite countertops
-concrete countertops
-solid surface countertops

3

-quartz countertops
-tile countertops

2

-custom edging for countertops

2

-tile backsplash

3

-granite backsplash
Kitchen Sink

2

-Specific finish

1

-specific style

2

-two separate sinks

1

Kitchen Island
Storage Considerations

2

-walk-in pantry

1

-rollout shelves

1

-several drawer banks

3

-open display shelves

2

-glass front doors

2

-ceiling height cabinets
Countertop

1

-work area next to cook top

1

-work area on the island

2

-work area next to sink

1

-two or more work areas

1

New Lighting

1

-under cabinet lighting

2

-in cabinet lighting

2

-recessed lighting

2

-pendant lighting

1

New Flooring

2

-wood flooring

3

-tile flooring
-vinyl flooring

2

Wine Storage

2

-wine cooler

3

-open wine cabinet

Even though this example budget line items list may seem quite extensive, there are plenty of items that have not been covered, especially in regards to the cabinetry itself. You can see how physically going through such a detailed checklist can be helpful in sorting out your priorities.

Such a list allows your kitchen designer to focus first on the ‘must haves’ and then add in the ‘wish list’ items. If you can get all your wish list items and still remain in your budget, your dream kitchen will become reality! If some trimming needs to be done for the sake of the budget, both you and your designer will be able to quickly focus in on the items that were secondary in priority.