Your kitchen may be one of the most expensive rooms in your home to remodel, potentially costing a small fortune. A major kitchen remodel may cost upwards of $55,000, while a minor remodel could still cost $18,000 or more. The good news is a remodeled kitchen also gives you a lot of bang for your buck. With a few tricks, you can save thousands of dollars on those upgrades without having to sacrifice quality.
The first, and most important step to any remodel project is, don’t ever go into it without a plan. Know exactly what you are tearing out, moving, purchasing, replacing, etc. before you lift a tool. Shop around and get a lot of quotes, from materials to appliances to contractors. Shop early! Pick out your products and materials prior to renovation, make sure these items will not be on backorder when you need them, and make sure you are getting the best deal. Make sure you and your chosen contractor are on the same page about the finished product, and how it should look. You don’t want to come home from work one day and discover your contractor tore out the wall of perfect, hand built cabinets your grandfather built due to a miscommunication. It is extremely important to have a plan when considering a renovation project, especially when tackling a large one like the kitchen!
Oftentimes, cabinets are one of biggest expenses in a kitchen remodel, but they don’t have to be. If your cabinets are in good shape, and you are not planning to move your kitchen, consider refinishing them. Sand down your current wood cabinets and re-stain or paint them. You can save some dough by picking up “new to you” hardware at a Habitat for Humanity ReStore instead of purchasing new. If reusing your current kitchen cabinets are a no-go, try ready to assemble cabinets, or consider open shelving instead of cabinets. If you are looking for something a little more custom, visit a local kitchen supplier, many times they have display cabinetry you can pick up for a steal. The more custom the cabinets however, the more costly they will be.
Countertops are also a top expense in the remodeling process. Granite is one the most sought after materials for countertops, and also one of the most expensive. If you are considering granite for your remodel, consider shopping around for your slab and go directly to the source. You may be able to find a remnant that is large enough to cover your counters. If you are considering an alternative material, there are several new trends on the rise. Among the most popular are glowing glass, tile, laminate, recycled glass, solid wood, concrete and butcher block.
Keep your basic kitchen layout the same. Keep your appliances and plumbing where they are. It could cost thousands of dollars to move plumbing and electrical elsewhere within your kitchen, not including if your contractor runs into an issue while making the move. Try not to move any major electrical, mechanical, or plumbing to save huge costs. Keep the same in mind when trying to open space by removing walls. There are many things to consider when removing a wall including what electrical or pipes may be in the wall, whether the wall is load bearing, and what the additional cost will be to repair the floor and ceiling. Rather than remove the entire wall, consider opting for a cutout instead. This opens up your space without having to consider costly floor and ceiling repairs or rerouting wires or pipes.
Repurposing can play a big role in the remodeling process. Kitchen islands can range anywhere from a couple hundred to a couple thousand dollars. Instead, consider repurposing a unique piece of furniture. It could be an old microwave cart, table, desk, the possibilities are endless. You can repurpose your other materials as well. If you have leftover countertop material, consider making a cutting board or tabletop. Any remnants of flooring material may be used in closets, pantries, bathrooms, or donated.
Saving money on your remodel takes a little hard work, time, and homework, but it can be done. You have to be up for the job before you start, because once start the demo, there may be no going back. Don’t be afraid to utilize your local resources and ask for tips. Chances are, you’ll get some inspiration in surprising places!