PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Looking to get the most bang for your buck on a kitchen remodel? Consumer Reports says take care, to avoid the biggest budget busters.
Like changing your mind. It can drive your budget up an average of 10 percent.
"The average kitchen remodel costs around $28,000 dollars. So spend a little longer on the design and stick to that plan no matter what." said Dan DiClerico, Consumer Reports Home Editor.
So don't rely on rough sketches. These days, 3D drawings and even tools like virtual-reality software help you visualize the space before you even take down a wall.
"As a veteran kitchen designer, I can't imagine making a large dollar purchase that I will hold onto for decades without having a full sense of standing in that space ahead of time," said kitchen designer, Sheri Mercadante.
Also, don't overpay for high-end materials. Forgo pricey, exotic marble countertops for less expensive, low-maintenance quartz - top-rated by Consumer Reports.
And you can get the look of hardwood floors for half the price with more durable, porcelain tile look-alikes.
Remember, while looks are important - don't forget function.
Save room in the budget for things like a range hood to keep your kitchen well-ventilated, under-cabinet lighting to ease food preparation, and improved storage, like drawers in the base units.
"It's not the sexiest stuff, but it's these little things that you interact with every day that are going to influence your long-term satisfaction in a major way," said DiClerico.
Your dream kitchen can be a reality if you plan wisely.
It's also important to know as much as you can about who is doing the work.
Consumer Reports found that accredited contractors are better at holding down costs on remodeling projects when unexpected problems crop up.
And it's also a good idea ask past clients about their experience.
Kitchen remodel mistakes that could bust your budget
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