Where Your Money Goes in a Kitchen Remodel

Where Your Money Goes in a Kitchen RemodelAccording to the 2017 REMODELING Cost vs. Value Report, when a homeowner calls in a remodeling company like Callen Construction to do a kitchen remodel, the amount they can expect to invest in this popular home remodeling project varies widely. It may range from a low of $21,303 up to $125,000 or more for a high-end job, with the national average being $62,158. If your kitchen is due for a remodel, it’s important to know the cost breakdown to be able to more accurately plan and prepare your budget.

Finished Products and Appliances

The majority of money in a kitchen remodel (65-70%) will be spent on finished kitchen products such as cabinets, countertops, flooring, and large appliances. The easiest way to keep your budget down is to look for less expensive manufactured appliances and products. Kitchen cabinets make up a large chunk of the cost of your finished products. If you’re trying to lower costs, you might want to look into re-facing or refinishing your cabinets, or purchasing stock cabinets, as opposed to ordering custom-built.

Labor Costs

The labor costs for a kitchen remodel will comprise about 30-35% of your budget. These costs stay fairly steady unless you want a lot of custom detailing or plan on doing extensive remodeling. This includes moving your sink or large appliances, which will require additional labor costs if you have to relocate wiring, water lines, or gas lines.

When to Save and When to Splurge

If you are planning on selling within a few years, it doesn’t make sense to splurge on

top-of-the-line appliances and materials that most likely won’t give you a return on your investment. A better choice is to buy mid-range products that are serviceable and reasonably priced. If, however, you plan to stay in your home for years to come, now is the time to invest in high-quality appliances and finished products that will last longer, rather than go the more economical route and potentially having to do another remodel down the road.

Here at Callen, we have certified designers who would love to help you with your remodel, whether it’s a one-time improvement or a multi-stage project. Call us today at 414-765-2585 for a free consultation to find out how we can help.

Learn more about where your money goes in a bathroom remodel.



Where Your Money Goes in a Bathroom Remodel

A bathroom remodel is one of the most popular home remodeling projects for a homeowner to undertake. Multiple factors are involved that can cause renovation costs to fluctuate from $5,000 -10,000 on the low end, up to $50,000 or more for a full luxury master bath remodel. As you plan your budget, take a look at this basic cost breakdown to get an idea of where your money will be going.

bathroom-remodeling-costs-092616Labor Costs

Minor bathroom remodeling in Brookfield, WI, can be very affordable. If, however, more extensive renovations are planned, labor costs can quickly rise. On average, 60-70% of bathroom remodeling costs are labor and associated expenses, with only 30-40% covering finished bathroom products like the sink, bathtub, and flooring. Keep in mind your goals for the project to keep costs in check. If you’re planning on moving in a few years, a “refresh” instead of a complete overhaul of your bathroom is more appropriate.

Plumbing Relocation

One of the biggest factors that will determine labor costs for a bathroom remodel is whether or not the project will require relocation of plumbing, which entails a considerable cost increase in labor and expenses. Due to the high moisture content in bathrooms, it’s possible that unexpected problems such as mold, rot, or outdated plumbing or wiring can pop up when you tear things out. These issues will have to be remediated before proceeding. When determining your budget, plan some wiggle room and consult with an experienced contractor who will help you know what to expect.

Tile Installation

The other component that tends to increase labor costs is the choice of tile for bathroom flooring, backsplashes, and tub and shower surrounds. Tile installation is time-consuming and laborious. While smaller tiles tend to be less expensive, they also take longer to install which means more labor charges. Customized inserts will also increase expenses, as the cost to cut them can range from $12-$40 for each insert.

Callen, the leader in bathroom remodeling in Waukesha, WI, has the knowledge and experience necessary to help you plan the perfect bathroom remodel. Just give us a call today at 414-765-2585 for a free consultation!



How to Plan for Your Bathroom Remodel

Remodeling a bathroom may seem like it’s not as extensive a project as a kitchen. After all, you’re working with basically four pieces – tub, toilet, shower, sink. But just like any other renovation, careful planning is necessary to ensure a successful outcome.

“There needs to be forethought before the project begins,” said Paulette Sodemann, a designer for Callen Construction. “Important considerations should be answered before you get started. It will be helpful for you to make a project plan to understand the steps necessary to get the job done.

“As you start planning your project, consider your lifestyle and how the bathroom fits into the picture,” Paulette advised. “Consider how you’re using it now and what you want this remodel to accomplish.”

March - bathroomHow long will you be in the home?

How long you plan to be in your home is a huge factor in the decision-making process.

“This will determine how much work and effort you will put into remodeling the bathroom. If this will be your home for the long haul, then you can give it a complete makeover, budget permitting. If you plan to move out in a couple of years, a refresh to increase the value of the house makes sense. Either way, this is something to consider so you and your designer can plan accordingly,” she said.

Know your budget.

It’s critical to decide what your budget will be. Know how much you want to spend and then plan for an additional 10 to 20 percent in a contingency fund for unexpected expenses. When you know your budget, the contractor can make the proper recommendations and help you prioritize your decisions.

Keep in mind that new configurations of tub, sink, or toilet may require additional plumbing and pipe placement, which also impacts the budget. It’s important to factor that into your overall plan and budget from the beginning.

Determine your wants and wishes.

Check out websites like Pinterest and Houzz, as well as shelter magazines and Callen’s project gallery on its website, to gather ideas of what you would like your new space to look like. Draw up a list of features you need to have and features you wish you could have. This will help your designer create a plan based on what you want to spend and the space available.

“There are many decisions when it comes to materials and finishes in the bathroom. This extends to cabinetry, flooring, backsplashes, countertops, lighting, exhaust fans, faucets, sinks, and more,” Paulette said. “Your designer should discuss with you different price points and differences in quality, maintenance, and durability.

“If this is your home for life, you also want to consider features that will allow you to remain in your home, should health or mobility issues become part of the picture in later years,” she said.

Find the right contractor.

Choose a contractor who has an established business and is knowledgeable about interior remodeling. Ask for references and follow-up on them.

Another key thing to consider is whether you have a comfort level with him/her. Can you communicate easily? While the contractor may not be the person who will be on-the-job daily, he should brief you on who will be, and how available they are for questions and project updates.

Expect the unexpected.

“Before you undertake your remodeling project, keep in mind that once that tub or shower is ripped out, the plumbing behind the wall may need to be updated, the same with electrical and the overall condition of the walls,” Paulette said. “There may have been an undetected leak and you might have a mold problem. This is something that your contractor will be able to remediate, but you need to be prepared that this can delay the project’s timeline and incur additional expense. If you are prepared for the unexpected, the process will be much less stressful.”

For more information on planning a bathroom remodel, or to schedule an initial showroom consultation, call Callen at 414-529-5509.



Festive Christmas Decorating on a Budget

If you didn’t have a chance to hit last season’s post-Christmas sales, yet would still like to do some holiday decorating this year without breaking the bank, there is a wide variety of creative ideas that don’t require excessive craftiness or effort. A few simple materials, some of which you may already have, are all you need to get started.

Callen Blog Photo - Festive Christmas Decorating on a Budget 113015 - PineconesPinecones

Pinecones can be used in a variety of ways to add a natural element to your decorating. Leave them untouched for a nod to the outdoors, or use spray paint and glitter to add color and subtle sparkle. They can then be gathered together and hung as a grouping, displayed in glass bowls or vases, or fashioned into wreaths and garlands.


Add elegance to gaily wrapped gifts with the addition of small ornaments or cheerful bells. Make a striking centerpiece display by stacking presents on a cake stand. A double-sided paper will allow you to alternate patterns and add visual interest to your garland. Use up leftover wrapping paper by making paper garlands. Bring little hands in on the fun, but be sure to use a thicker variety of wrapping paper that will hold up to handling.

Callen Blog Photo - Festive Christmas Decorating on a Budget 113015 - Glass Jar & VasesGlass Jars & Vases

There is no limit to the creative arrangements that can be made with glass jars and vases. Fill them with brightly colored candy, fruit, or seasonal nuts and berries. Group varying sizes together on a pretty serving platter for an eye-catching centerpiece. Fill glass stemware and intersperse them with candles for a charming mantel display.


Collect your favorite ornaments and place them in tall glass cylinders for a striking addition to your holiday décor. They can also be hung from a curtain rod on varying lengths of ribbon for a colorful curtain; use of clear fishing line will make them appear to be floating. Suspend ornaments from chandeliers or hanging light fixtures to add more holiday cheer.

Put the “WOW” in Your Home

Next holiday season, entertain in the home of your dreams! Call Callen for expert kitchen and bathroom remodeling in Waukesha, WI or surrounding areas. For more home improvement ideas and tips, visit the Callen blog.