by Christy Heitger-Ewing | photos by Dave Pluimer

It often starts with an outdated aesthetic. Or maybe your bathroom lacks functionality, your kitchen has a poor flow of traffic, or you just want a change. Whatever the case may be, you are ready to tackle a much needed kitchen or bathroom remodel. So, what’s your budget?

While you have visions in your head of just the right shade of white oak cabinets, stunning tile, and complementary paint color to achieve the kitchen or bath of your dreams, setting your project budget is a crucial first step. However, most consumers don’t know where to start in terms of budget. If you reach out to several companies for estimates, you may be getting different answers, which can cause even more confusion.

To help potential clients find a starting point for their budget, ACo created a budget calculator that estimates the cost of a remodel based on the value of your home. Based on two decades’ worth of project data, the calculator enables a homeowner to see a ballpark estimate for what their project will cost, depending on the level of selections they make.

Once you have an initial idea of your project budget, it becomes a matter of achieving your vision within your price point. This is where the expertise of your design and remodeling team is crucial. They can not only create a beautifully designed space for you, but they can also guide you in making layout choices and design selections that maximize your budget.

However, it’s important to be transparent about your budget for a designer to come up with an accurate project estimate. Having trust in your selected designer is critical in achieving your vision.

“When people aren’t willing to give us a number, that’s when we, as designers, start guessing and throwing out options,” says Kayley Vargo, ACo Design & Sales Consultant.

By being upfront with your designer, they can make suggestions for a similar tile, countertop, or flooring option you were considering to something that fits better in your budget. They can also help you figure out where to splurge and where to save in terms of being cost-effective, but not sacrificing quality or a design feature you had your heart set on. It comes down to working together to achieve your dream and vision within budget.

For example, cabinets are often a big part of the budget, especially in a kitchen remodel, but since there are different lines and qualities of products, prices can vary greatly. You can create stunning, highly custom pieces to suit your every need and organizational dream, stick with good quality stock cabinets to keep your budget low or land somewhere in the middle. Figuring out those details with your designer is the fun part.

“Sometimes people want to spend more money on their cabinets but are willing to cut costs on other aspects to get them there,” says Vargo, noting that they can always go back to the drawing board and look at items that will bring a number down.

For the team at ACo, the goal is to help you remodel your kitchen or bath into a space you love. Get started with ACo’s Budget Calculator at