Kitchen Remodel – Contractor Allowances


One thing that I’ve learned from this kitchen experience is that the contractor price is not something absolute. I’m talking about the contractor allowance  When they write-up a contract and give you a total dollar amount that your kitchen will cost, they do a bit of estimating. That makes sense, because you don’t always know how much something is going to cost if you haven’t already priced it out. Now in some things they were spot on and the allowance covered the items I chose, like for the sink and toilet in the powder room.

The one area where things didn’t quite make as much sense was in the tile for the floor and back splash wall. They measured everything and added the appropriate square footage to the contract and then gave me a $5.00 allowance.

That’s well and good, but I found out that my taste outdistanced the cost. I ended up choosing a floor tile that was $5.99 a square foot and I really wanted the back splash wall tile that was $11.99 a square foot. But, I reined myself in and went for the wall tile that was $4.70 a square foot. I’m sure it will look wonderful, but that was an agonizing decision. So, you could say, I stuck pretty close to the cost they allowed me.

But, oh no, not so fast.

The allowance cost does not take into account that you also have to buy grout and sealer and they usually make you buy full boxes of tiles. So, even though I only have 286 square feet of floor, I had to buy 290 square feet of tile.

Well, actually, the allowance would take that into account if I’d known or thought to ask if that was for the actual tile or if it had to pay for anything else.

So, when looking at those contractor allowances, remember to think about or really ask about all the extra things that allowance has to cover.


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