Cut Costs, Get Cooking: How to Save Money on Your Kitchen Renovation
When it comes to the heart of the home, many families are looking for an upgrade. In fact, U.S. homeowners remodel more than 10.2 million kitchens each year. But whether you’re looking for more functionality or you want to add value to your property if you sell down the line, these renovations don’t come cheap — unless you go in with a strategy. It’s entirely possible to keep a kitchen remodeling project on the affordable side; you’ll just need to have a game plan. If you’re looking to keep costs down, these tips will help get things cooking.
Keep the Existing Layout
Some kitchen layouts are highly undesirable and don’t leave much room for anyone to move around. In extreme cases like those, it may be better to gut everything and start fresh. But if the space is workable as it is and your main objective is to stay within a strict budget, you’ll want to keep as much the same as you can. That includes the existing hookups for plumbing, gas, and electricity. Moving those components can be costly (some estimates say you could spend up to $5,000 each time you move one of these hookups!), so if you’re able to keep the sink and large appliances were they already are, you’ll be able to devote funds to other necessary areas.
Paint or Reface Existing Cabinets
Cabinets are typically the largest expense for kitchen remodels. In fact, the National Kitchen and Bath Association estimates that new cabinets comprise 29% of the costs associated with a kitchen renovation. If at all possible, you’ll want to work with what you’ve got. Repainting or refacing your existing cabinets can make a world of difference and will cost only a few hundred dollars. If your cabinets are no longer in good shape, however, the next best thing is to go for ready-to-assemble cabinets over custom ones. Although custom options are always ideal, they aren’t so great for homeowners who are watching their spending. Since RTA cabinets can cost half of what custom cabinets do, you might have to compromise on this if you do need to replace them entirely. You might also consider switching out certain cabinets for open shelving. Not only is this a trendy choice, but it’s also a cost-effective one. It’ll be even more affordable if you use salvaged wood, but as it is, you’ll likely save a few thousand dollars. While you shouldn’t do away with cabinets entirely, as they’re a better choice for storage and protection, breaking up the design with open shelving can create visual interest and help you stay on-budget.
Look For Appliance Deals
You shouldn’t buy a consistently cheaper brand of refrigerator, as the quality probably won’t make this purchase more cost-effective in the long run. But you should wait to buy large appliances until there’s a great deal to take advantage of. You might be able to partake in rebate programs or even turn in your old appliances as part of a trade-in for a new one. Since much of stainless steel (including scrap and unused material) is 100% recyclable, you may also be doing a favor to the environment by participating. Many brands will allow for price matching, as well. Memorial Day and Labor Day sales are common for these kinds of appliances, though buying a less recent model is also a good way to save money. Some stores will even offer package deals, which can be great if you need to replace several appliances at once.
You might also want to figure out which aspects of your appliances you don’t need. While homeowners often focus on their property’s air ducts, which need to be cleaned every three to five years, there’s also ventilation to consider above the oven. In some areas, a range hood isn’t required. Though it can be beneficial, it’s possible your space doesn’t need one — and eliminating it could help you save money. The same goes for getting appliances with extra add-ons that your family isn’t likely to use. Although it might be nice to have a smart fridge, it’s definitely not necessary. You’ll want to make sure the appliance quality is great, but consider buying a less impressive model to keep costs down.
Taking on a kitchen remodel is no easy task, but it’s often what’s needed in order for you to enjoy your home or increase its value before selling. With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to perform a wow-worthy transformation without blowing your budget.