Money Saving Tips For Kitchen Remodeling

Money Saving Tips For Kitchen Remodeling

There’s no doubt kitchens are one of the most important rooms in any home. They can also be one of the most expensive to remodel. Estimates for overhauling a kitchen usually start in the $ 25,000 range and can skyrocket from there. But if you are willing to do some research and are flexible about your options, you CAN have a great new kitchen for about $ 10,000 to $ 12,000. At the same time, you’ll likely be increasing the value of your home by more than double the amount!

To begin, consider the overall look and feel you want to achieve and then decide how best to accomplish it through the five main elements of kitchen design:

• cabinets

• counter tops

• appliances

• fixtures

• the finishing touch

Find the Best Deal on Cabinets. Cabinets set the tone for the entire kitchen. They are also one of the most expensive items of a kitchen remodel. So determine if your cabinets truly need to be replaced. If they are in good working condition, refinishing or painting them might be all you need to create the look you want. For example, if you have white cabinets now but prefer a cherry wood finish, consider matching a paint color to the desired wood finish and painting them instead of replacing them. You’ll save thousands. If the cabinets must go, then some comparison shopping is in order. First, check out the major building supply warehouses geared towards do-it-yourselfers (Home Depot, Lowes, etc.). Among the many cabinet options offered, most carry their own discount lines with some that require assembly. These cabinets often look and function just like their more expensive counterparts but at a much lower cost. Next, call several local builders and ask where they buy their cabinets. Sometimes, these cabinet shops will sell direct to homeowners. Check out prices online as well. You can often find a cabinet manufacturer you like at a showroom and then do an online search for the cheapest price. Finally, if you are buying new cabinets, compare the wood grades and finishes carefully. You can often achieve a very similar look with a less expensive wood grade and save big. Focus more on the overall look you are trying to accomplish, rather than bragging rights about the rare “Wollemi pine” wood that costs a fortune.

Save on Counter Tops and Back Splash Options. Solid surface counters, like granite, are becoming more and more prevalent and they can be very expensive. But there are ways to achieve the popular look for less. First consider using granite tiles rather than custom measured and cut slabs. The granite tiles have the same look but are substantially cheaper. Another option is using a granite slab on an island and then going with coordinating ceramic tile for the rest of the tops. Further, some of the new laminated tops have the look of granite at about 75% savings over the real thing. Again, focus on the overall look you want to achieve, rather than using the most expensive materials available. If you decide to go with granite slabs, check around with several suppliers. Some have sales or deals on pieces that have not sold or that were remnants from a larger job. You can sometimes pick up a bargain that way. Just ask! Another place to save is on back splashes. While a full height tile back splash is certainly luxurious, you can save money by using a single four or six inch tile and then painting the rest of the wall a similar color to get the overall look for less. Tile is also relatively easy to install (even a full height splash), so you might consider installing it yourself. If you go this route, choose a tile that is easy to cut (just ask at the tile store).  

Be Careful When Selecting Appliances. Appliances vary widely in price. Don’t spend up for top of the line products unless you are a professional chef. A $ 5000 stove will most often NOT add $ 5,000 to the value of your home! Go with a mid range product line and look for sales and close-outs at your local supply house for deals. Then compare prices online. There are many manufacturers now that offer products with some of the more elegant finishes and features but at a “builder line” price. Stainless steel appliances are very popular, for example, and many of the manufacturers offer several grades of finishes. Consider looking at a stainless faced appliance rather than a solid one.

Don’t Get Fooled by Fancy Fixtures (Lighting & Plumbing). Light fixtures can either end up being one of the most expensive elements in a kitchen, or one of the least. Once installed, it’s hard to tell the difference! A wide array of light fixtures can be found at the national building supply warehouses or at local lighting specialty stores, but be sure to ask for their builder pricing. Fixtures are not a place to spend up. Many low cost fixtures look very similar to the more expensive products. Ditto faucets. There are many lower priced facets that offer the same look and feel of the higher priced products and function just as well.

Don’t Forget the Finishing Touch. It’s often the details that make the biggest impressions. Such is true for kitchen remodeling too. Cabinet hardware can make a huge impact and can be purchased for a nominal amount. Of course, you can buy super expensive knobs, but why? If you have used your old cabinets and want to install new hardware, look for either a finish similar to the cabinet hinges (if they show) or replace the hinges to match the new hardware. Either way, the hardware is the final touch to set the mood for your new kitchen.

Bill Edwards has built more than 200 custom homes over the last 30 years and has also helped many people build or remodel their own homes using his tested methods. He currently heads up American Home Counsel, a consortium of professionals in the home building, real estate, development, financing, and education professions. Their goal is to help educate people about home building, home remodeling, and home buying and selling. To learn more about kitchen remodeling costs, please visit:

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