<h2 style="margin: 10pt 0in 0pt"><font size="3" color="#990000">Kitchen Makeover Success: Set a Realistic Budget</font></h2><p><span style="line-height: 200%; font-family: ‘Verdana’,’sans-serif’; letter-spacing: 1pt; font-size: 10pt">If you are getting ready to remodel your kitchen, creating a realistic budget should be your first step. You might have a lengthy list of kitchen renovations that you’d like to work on. However, the fact of the matter is that you should never spend money that you really can’t afford. Here are some budgeting tips that will help you make your kitchen makeover a big success.</span></p><span style="line-height: 200%; font-family: ‘Verdana’,’sans-serif’; letter-spacing: 1pt; font-size: 10pt"><p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal"><strong>Create a Realistic Plan</strong></p>  <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal">Before you start making grand plans for your kitchen, you should give some thought as to how long you plan to stay in your home. If you plan to live in your home for many years to come, then it probably makes good sense to invest in larger remodeling projects. Not only will you have a chance to enjoy your renovations for many years to come, but your home should also appreciate in value over the years. However, if you plan to sell your home in the not-too-distant future, it’s usually a good idea to stick to an overall decorating budget that doesn’t exceed 15% of the value of your home. However, it’s also important to remember that a home’s kitchen is frequently one of its prime selling features. As such, a kitchen makeover is usually money well-spent.</p><p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal"> </p>  <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal"><strong>Make a List</strong></p>  <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal">In order to create an overall remodeling budget, you will first need an accurate project list. Start by making a list of everything you’d like to do in the kitchen, such as installing new flooring, cabinets, countertops or appliances. Once you have a list, you can research the overall cost of your project by calling several different remodeling contractors. After getting a price estimate, revise your project list to better fit your budget, if necessary. In order to save money, you might also want to consider doing some parts of the project yourself. If you can do a few of the labor-intensive tasks yourself instead of paying a contractor, you’ll be able to reduce your project budget.</p><p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal"> </p>  <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal"><strong>Shop Carefully</strong></p>  <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal">In order to make sure that the price you are quoted is competitive, it’s important to always get estimates from more than one contractor. However, it’s rarely a good idea to select a contractor based on price alone. You should always ask for references, and look at pictures of similar remodeling projects they have done in the past. Family members and friends might also be able to recommend a good contractor that they have used successfully in the past. If you are planning to do one or more portions of the project yourself, be sure to shop carefully for building materials. </p><p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal"> </p><div style="text-align: center"><object classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=6,0,29,0" width="425" height="282"><param name="movie" value="../images/banners/2b.swf" /><param name="quality" value="high" /><param name="menu" value="false" /><param name="wmode" value="" /><embed src="../images/banners/2b.swf" wmode="" quality="high" menu="false" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="425" height="282"></embed></object></div><br /><p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal">By taking advantage of sales, special deals and even coupons, you can sometimes save a significant amount of money. You can also cut your project budget by not buying the most expensive models or options. For example, stock cabinets can be much less expensive as compared to those which are custom-built. This is also a way to cut costs on less important features, allowing you to splurge a bit on the features you really want.</p>  <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal">As your kitchen remodeling project progresses, be sure to keep accurate records of your expenses. If one part of your project ends up costing more than you had expected, you’ll need to cut other costs in other areas in order to stick to your budget. </p>  <p><span style="line-height: 200%; font-family: ‘Verdana’,’sans-serif’; letter-spacing: 1pt; font-size: 10pt">Professional designer Jessica Ackerman, writes for WallDecorandHomeAccents.com, and specializes in decorating with <a href="http://www.walldecorandhomeaccents.com/restaurant-decor.html" target="_blank">restaurant wall art</a> and <a href="http://www.walldecorandhomeaccents.com/kitchen-wall-decor.html" target="_blank">kitchen wall art</a>.</span></p></span>