Tips for Saving on Your Dream Kitchen

This year’s the year—you’re finally going to get that dream kitchen you’ve always wanted. Perhaps you’ve saved for years, or you’re using your tax return, either way, you’re ready to dive into the design catalogues and find the fanciest items you can add for the dramatic affect.

Did you know that the national median on a complete renovation of a typical residential kitchen (approximately 210 square feet) can cost $60,000? When it comes to selling your home, you’ll recover only 67 percent of that cost. But that shouldn’t deter you from enjoying the process. You might just want to think about more budget-friendly options.

Consider doing your renovation in sections. Cabinets and appliances make up the biggest chunk of your remodeling budget. Once you settled on a new plan and layout, you can purchase your cabinets first and store them away from moisture until you’re ready to move on with the remodel. If your appliances are still in decent working order, keep your old ones and plan to save money for new ones (keeping in mind that you may need to purchase the same size, or choose larger sizes and design your cabinets around the soon-to-be newer, larger appliances).

Reuse the Old. Lighting fixtures can easily be replaced, so consider keeping your current lighting fixtures until you find the ones you really want on sale. 

Tread Lightly with Flooring. Flooring can be tricky when it comes to deciding whether it needs to be replaced or kept. If you want to wait on swapping out the floor, make sure you know how your flooring runs—does it run underneath your current cabinets or does it butt up against the cabinet sides and toe kicks? If your flooring is in good, working condition, you might want to consider keeping it and just refinishing.

Think Efficiency Over Size. The cost to expand a kitchen by 200 square feet can range from $48,000 – $95,000. This could include running new plumbing, more flooring, etc. If your budget is tight, look at the efficiency of your new cabinets, which might cost $35,000.

Shine a Light on Lighting. Recessed lighting gets rather expensive compared to ceiling-mounted lighting or wall sconces. Why? The labor to cut the holes in the ceiling, insulate them properly, and the wiring can add up.

Sweat the Savings. Sweat equity can save you money. What is sweat equity? Do the job yourself—handle your own demolition, assist with hanging your cabinets, or do the painting or finish job yourself. However, make sure you’re comfortable doing those jobs yourself—if you’re unsure about a project (i.e., electrical work), it’s safer to pay a professional to do it than to risk injury to yourself or adding more work to the project to fix a mess-up.

Think Energy Savings. If you’re purchasing new appliances, make sure you’re practical and purchase appliances that are energy-efficient, with corresponding warranties. This is one area that you’ll probably splurge more than save, but the savings in energy usage will help you in the long run.

And, as always, discuss your plans with a trusted professional. Projects as big as a remodel shouldn’t be left to chance.