Your remodeling budget can be one of the most important—and frustrating—part of your kitchen remodel, especially when you need a new kitchen so badly. You know what we mean; when your kitchen is showing one of these signs it’s time for a new kitchen, when you have no functionality, or when it’s time to give your kitchen new life and a new look. If you’re trying to accomplish all that on a budget, we’re here to reassure you that it can be done—if you’re smart about where you allocate your money.
Don’t get us wrong. Smart budgeting does not mean creating a plan without contingencies. In almost every project, unexpected costs do come up. Plan accordingly; we’d suggest a contingency fund that is about 20% of the budget. Smart budgeting means doing a lot of research and finding a contractor that sticks to it. Many a homeowner has gotten in trouble because their contractor says, “What if we do this?” or “It will only cost a few hundred dollars to&helip;” far too many times. Contact a contractor who understands your budget and the importance of sticking to it. Once you’ve found that contractor, don’t be afraid to ask for ideas on how to save money as you plan your remodel. As a budget-conscious contractor, we’ve made quite a few money-saving suggestions over the years based on our knowledge and experience, suggestions like:
Look for ways you can make your kitchen more efficient during your remodel without increasing the cost. If you’re considering a significant addition but can’t afford it, look for ways you can maximize your space without the significant cost of adding on. Even if you’re not thinking about adding on, planning ahead now can save you money later and avoid unexpected costs. Don’t be afraid to consult the experts; we use designer Leah Johnson to help our clients. She can help turn your vision into reality, and may even have suggestions for making the most of your kitchen space.
Don’t move the plumbing
Moving your sink or adding plumbing is a significant cost, and should be avoided if you want to save money during your kitchen remodel. If your sink is in a really bad place, or you really want that pot filler faucet, then splurge—but budget accordingly.
Know your countertops
If you haven’t researched countertops, now is your chance to save money because the cost of countertop materials significantly differs. If you have a lot of countertop square footage, you can save as much as thousands of dollars (or a $1,000 or hundreds—depending on how much you need to save). For example, if you want the look of granite without the cost, consider high definition laminate or a solid surface alternate. Both of these countertop materials look great, are extremely durable, and can keep your total cost where you wanted.
Be selective about your hardware
Some drawer pulls and cabinet hardware can cost as much as $5-$10 (or more!) a knob or pull. With some kitchens having as many as 40 knobs and pulls (or more), your hardware is an area where you can penny pinch when the budget gets tight.
If appliances are part of your kitchen remodel, don’t buy the first refrigerator you see. Research your appliances at local stores and online. If you don’t mind a dent on the side, or have cabinets around your appliances, look in the scratch and dent section at your local appliance store. If you play your cards right, you can save significant amount of money and keep your costs down.
Know your cabinet options
There are several different ways to save money by knowing your cabinet options. The first is to determine whether you can keep your existing cabinets, which obviously saves money. If you want to give those cabinets a new look, look into refacing your cabinets. Refacing your cabinet doors can give you a whole new look, while still using your functional cabinet boxes.
If you need new cabinets and need to stick to a budget, avoid custom cabinets and some of the options that come with cabinets. For example, avoid the gentle-close mechanism, which ups your cost substantially. Other options, such as a lazy susan, also add to the total cost, so know what you need and what you want. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t order a lazy susan, it just means you shouldn’t go crazy with options if you want to stick to your budget.
Be smart about opening up your space
Want to be able to converse with your guests while you cook and still stick to your budget? Consider a cutout instead of taking down a wall. By doing a cutout, you can save money in floor and drywall repairs, while still having an opening that you can use to open up the space and even put a countertop on. You also don’t have to worry (as much) about moving mechanicals or rerouting all the wiring in a wall.
Look for flooring savings
If you can’t afford a new hardwood floor, don’t worry. Research lower cost options that look like wood but cost less, such as vinyl plank or laminate flooring. Even some tile floors have designs that look like wood. The same goes for tile; do your research and explore your flooring options. If you have a smaller amount of square footage, look into remnant sales where you can buy what’s left of their flooring (such as leftover pieces of slate, tile, laminate, etc.) for a fraction of the original price. There are beautiful flooring options available that won’t bust the bank—if you look for them.
Ready to get your kitchen remodel started? Contact Conger Construction for a free quote. We’ll come and see your space, and give you an idea of the cost (and ways to keep costs down if you want). Once you have your plan and budget set, we’ll also be able to give you the kitchen of your dreams—without looking like you were on a budget.