A kitchen remodel or renovation is very exciting! You get to tear down the ugly avocado green wall paper, throw out that hideous countertop, and take a sledge hammer to that pesky drawer that never works and gets sawdust all through your cabinets. You get to create a functional kitchen that works for you AND reflects your impeccable taste! Cooking and baking might actually start to be fun!
BUT! Yes, there is alway that big “ BUT”.
A kitchen remodel can be EXPENSIVE, especially if you don’t do your homework. It always seems like there are hidden costs around every corner. Uh oh, your pipes are older than the earth itself, a floor joist is rotted, and your electrical is not up to code. Please, cough up another two to twenty grand you don’t have.
Fortunately, there are ways to help keep your costs down AND still get a beautifully functional kitchen. Below are seven different money saving tips that I use to help my clients save a fair chunk of change when tackling a kitchen remodel.
DESIGNERS and CONTRACTORS
Hire a designer AND a contractor, unless of course you are a designer or contractor. Seriously. It may seem counter intuitive, I mean SPENDING money on design and contracting fees is not exactly saving money. Hear me out, because I promise you it will save you thousands. You are gaining extra sets of TRAINED eyes as well as designer/contractor brains. A designer and contractor will not only catch and prevent costly mistakes before it is too late but also be able to present money saving ideas specific to your remodel. Designers and contractors are typically budget conscious and will lay the smack down if you start going crazy.
Buy after market or local. Buy items like spice racks, utensil organizers, glass for cabinet doors, and hardware from local businesses/after market sources. These items are typically less expensive and comparable to what you would get from the cabinet manufacturer. Bonus- you usually have more options when buying aftermarket or local.
Pay attention to cabinet construction options and door styles. All plywood construction can cost a great deal more than standard construction. Ornate doorstyles will also drive the cost skyward. Your design team will be able to help you choose the best and most economical cabinets for your remodel.
Pay attention to your countertop material. Purchasing remnant stone from a local countertop fabricator, can save you significantly. Beware that remnant stones are limited in color and sizes, so it may not work in your design, but it is definitely worth a checking into.
Also, don’t shy away from mixing countertop materials. For example, put a butcher block on the island and quartz on the perimeter. Not only can you save money but you are also adding another layer of texture and interest to your kitchen!
Laminate countertops are also a great way to save on cost and are very easily replaced in the future when budget allows for that stunning piece of granite you had your heart set on. Laminate, despite its bad rap, is actually a very durable and affordable option. The color options have come along way since 1912 as well as the durability.
Check out my blog post HERE on the pros and cons of various countertop material.
DIY and REPURPOSE
DIY and repurpose where possible. This is by far my favorite way to help my clients save money. Not only does it add a unique and personal touch, it also helps keep waste out of landfills. And rest assured, you can DIY and repurpose without getting the “flea market” or “kitschy” look if that is not your style.
Simple ways to DIY and repurpose are:
- Incorporate open shelving, use a table or repurposed dresser as an island, or use an antique hutch for pantry storage.
- Refinish your existing cabinets if they are in good shape and you like the layout. It is amazing what a coat of fresh paint or stain can do.
- Check out your local home improvement store or Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore for discounted items or items to be repurposed.
- Handle the areas of installation that you are able to. Demo and dispose of your existing cabinets, countertops and flooring. If drywall and ceiling need replaced, demo that as well. It will save your contractor time and your wallet will love you. Just be sure to discuss what you would like to do with your contractor before you break out the crowbar.
Add undercabinet task lighting. This can be less expensive than adding additional ceiling lights or recessed lighting if you do not already have. Undercabinet lighting can be added with minimal effort to your installer or electrician, and the material cost is minimal.
PLUMBING and APPLIANCES
Keep plumbing and appliances in existing locations. Hiring a plumber and electrician can be costly, so if you like your existing kitchen layout, keep it! Like my mom always says, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”!
These money saving tips are just a few of many to keep your wallet fat and happy, while creating your dream kitchen. I would love to hear how you saved money on your kitchen renovation or any money saving tips your use that I did not mention! Drop them in the comments below! I am always up for learning new and creative ways to save money.