Whether you’re looking to sell your home in the near future or just want a kitchen you can enjoy using on a daily basis, a kitchen remodels just makes sense. Kitchen renovations have a relatively high return-on-investment compared to many other home remodeling projects, and that squares with the kitchen being, arguably, the heart of the modern American home.
To get the most out of the investment in your kitchen, you’ll need to make smart remodeling decisions, prioritize the right aspects of your remodel, and find places to save. In this article, we’ll review the best ways to do all three and get your kitchen renovated for less.
Save by limiting your scope, not by cutting corners
Too often, the homeowner’s plan for the kitchen is too ambitious for their budget. To make up the difference, they will compromise by purchasing low-quality, cheap materials and hiring low-cost labor for installation. As you might imagine, this has the potential to backfire catastrophically. The time-honored adage of “you get what you pay for” comes into play here: low-quality countertop stone and poorly crafted cabinets will typically look shoddy from day one, potentially blunting the positive impact you hoped to get out of your remodel in the first place. What’s more, these materials will most likely wear down and become damaged sooner, meaning that their value can drop—fast.
Meanwhile, hiring the wrong people to work in your home is a bad idea for several reasons. Craftsmanship and the quality of installation has a direct impact on how the kitchen looks and functions when the project is complete. A non-professional may fall victim to common installation pitfalls that leave you in the position of having to bring in an actual expert later to try to fix the issue. To put it shortly, this just isn’t worth it.
Overall, you’re better off limiting the scope of your project and not making dangerous compromises on quality. However, there is a third option: extending the project timeline.
Make upgrading your appliances a long-term plan
One of the best ways to limit your remodeling costs is by dividing the project into several phases. While new counters, cabinets, and floors should be completed first, you can extend the project out by several months and save for things like new appliances, lighting, or a tile backsplash while the initial portion of the remodel is being completed. By backloading these needed upgrades, you reduce the project’s overall impact on your finances.
Another benefit of doing this is that you’re less likely to find yourself in a position where you need to compromise on quality kitchen appliances. After all, you want to furnish your kitchen with a stove, dishwasher, and fridge that will last and provide real value, either to you or a future buyer. Just as with your countertops and cabinets, you do not want to settle for low-quality, low-grade appliances—doing so can really come back to bite you later.
Find do-it-yourself opportunities
Moving pipes and sinks as part of your remodel? Bring in a plumber. A certified and experienced electrician should be called if you need any wiring moved. Similarly, due to their weight and fragility, we recommend having a pro install your new countertops and cabinets.
However, beyond that, there’s plenty of work in the kitchen that is fair game for you as a homeowner. If you’re comfortable laying your tile, laminate, or vinyl floors, you can handle that yourself. The same thing goes for adding backsplash tile, hanging lights, or painting the kitchen. In fact, a majority of the “finishing touches” on the remodel can be handled by the homeowner, which helps cut down on the labor costs in your project. Just make sure you have a firm grasp on what you’re doing before you dive in!
There are plenty of opportunities to save beyond the ones listed above. For even more ways to cut down on your remodeling costs, and for a comprehensive look at what the average homeowner spends on their kitchen remodel, check out this infographic from the team at Superior Stone & Cabinet in Phoenix, Arizona: