The kitchen is the heart of the home and where we all go to cook a new recipe, eat our favorite meal, and bond with our families. Aside from the living room, it’s where we spend most of our time and for many of us, it’s our favorite place to go. Although it welcomes us with good vibes and good food, it’s not always the most flattering room of the house. Whether it’s because you’ve been living in the same house for decades or purchased a fixer-upper, many of us are longing for a brand new and updated kitchen. However, a kitchen remodel is one of the most expensive upgrades you can make to your home so the question is: how exactly do you get your dream kitchen without overspending? Luckily, there are some great tips you can try to help you maintain a budget without sacrificing the quality of your brand new kitchen.
Whether you’re hiring a contractor or taking on this project by yourself, you should always have a clear vision of your plans for the remodel. When you jump straight into the redesign without considering major components and prices, you run the risk of wasting your time and money.
So, to start, always list out the types of appliances, finishes, cabinets, and any other design elements that you want to include in your kitchen and record an expected cost for each item as well. Compiling this list of items and costs ahead of time will help you to develop a clear budget stress-free. If you can, develop an in-depth design of exactly how you want your kitchen to look. To save money on a designer, you can use apps and software systems to plan out your design. Many of them can be found in the app store of your phone, tablet or computer, but stores like Lowes also offer kitchen design tools through their website.
If you are working with a contractor, be sure to communicate your wants, needs, and expected costs to them as early in the process as possible to avoid any hiccups down the road.
Find Practical Alternatives
A necessary part of creating the perfect kitchen at an affordable price is to do your research on some alternative features that will match your design and your budget. Although the luxury, gourmet kitchens plastered across the covers of home magazines are definitely enticing, keep in mind that there are smart ways that you can get the same look for a lower cost.
First, don’t jump to custom cabinets if you don’t have to, as they can take up the bulk of your budget if you’re not careful. Depending on the size, design, and features you get, a custom cabinet unit can run for anywhere from $4,000 to $20,000. Instead of splurging on the cabinet system, many opt to use ready-to-assemble cabinets which, for some, can cost under $1,000; depending on the size and amount you need. To match minimalist and boho styled kitchens, you can even opt for open shelving at a significantly lower price than custom cabinets.
Also, don’t be afraid to try alternative countertop types as opposed to the typical marble and granite. In recent years, many have incorporated wooden, concrete, or solid acrylic countertops in their kitchens and they’ve gone great with modern and eclectic styles. You can finish the countertops with sealants, stains, and finishes, to give a vibrant appearance at a fraction of the cost. Whichever you choose, be sure to fully research any maintenance and upkeep tips to ensure that your countertops remain high-quality in years to come.
Add Reclaimed and Repurposed Materials
Never underestimate the power of reclaimed and repurposed materials, as they are often what bring character and authenticity into a space. Whether it be with fixtures, accents, or decor, a reclaimed component can make your space unique for a very low price.
If you choose to take advantage of reclaimed cabinets, islands, and chairs they can often be used as the focal point of your kitchen. With simple colors and finishes surrounding it, you can allow a wood reclaimed table to draw interest into the kitchen. Or you can create juxtaposition in your design with a refurbished metal light fixture and high-end light bulbs. There are hundreds of ways you can incorporate these types of pieces into your space and they can cost you as little as $1,000.
If you’re not ready to make the jump to reclaimed cabinets and furniture pieces, you can always save money on home decor and visit a local flea market to find interesting pieces. Sometimes you can find incredibly similar decor at a flea market for extremely low prices.
Maintain the Existing Layout
When it comes to remodeling, you should never take on more than you have to. Many make the mistake of trying to match their dream idea exactly, and in some cases it can cause more trouble than necessary. For kitchen remodeling specifically, avoid changing the layout of your space unless it’s absolutely necessary. Some may find their kitchen to be cramped and hard to navigate, and in those cases, a layout change is practical. However, if you are interested in adjusting the layout for simple cosmetic appearance, make sure that you are completely sure before continuing as other costs can emerge quickly. Aside from the demolishing of the old layout and installation of the new layout, you also may unexpectedly have to move walls and doorways and adjust plumbing and electricity which, of course, can add up.
Instead, try to incorporate movable furniture within your kitchen to simulate a brand new layout without taking on the added cost. Many will incorporate a free-standing kitchen island into their space to replicate the dream layout they’re going after and luckily, they sell for around $500. You can even add in a banquette or breakfast nook to the side of your kitchen to create a unique design feature in your space. While a fully customized and installed banquette may not be within your budget, there are a range of freestanding booths or benches you can add in for less than $1,000.
Arguably one of the most effective things you can do to save money on your dream kitchen remodel is to ensure its protection. Between your new appliances, countertops, and cabinets you are investing in a lot of high-end products that will need effective maintenance. So, it may be wise to look for affordable protection and include it in your budget ahead of time.
For appliances and other hidden kitchen systems, you’ll likely find a home warranty to be most beneficial. Essentially, with a warranty you can receive timely repairs to your appliances and systems for a low deductible cost; saving you more than if you were to take on repairs yourself. Depending on your needs for protection you can explore the range of home warranty companies and plans out there to determine which is most fitting for your new kitchen.
For countertops and cabinets, there’s no one, specific way to protect them as different materials and finishes will need different forms of maintenance. However, generally speaking, you should communicate with your contractor or sales associate where you purchased these pieces to determine some best practices for upkeeping. If you are in need of grease protection on your cabinet, you may want to incorporate an overhead vent into your kitchen to lessen the possibility of the grease wearing away at your cabinets. Additionally, you can apply a UV protective clear coat to your cabinet to prevent any paint from fading in the natural light.
While it may seem like a higher initial cost, it will save you money to incorporate protection plans for your kitchen into your budget now in order to avoid a costly replacement in the future.
Getting your dream kitchen doesn’t have to cost a fortune. With these quick tips, you can take advantage of savings throughout the entire remodeling process to ensure that you are staying within budget. With some planning and research, you can get all the necessary features you want out of your kitchen remodel and ultimately, save thousands of dollars. Comment below your favorite kitchen remodel tips!