Before you begin your redesign, please review our list of cost-effective techniques for getting the kitchen you want while staying within your budget.
Even cosmetic upgrades (painting the existing cabinets and walls, changing the sink, faucet, and hardware, installing pendant lighting, and updating the wiring) might cost $5,000 or more in a kitchen renovation. Remove walls, reconfigure the layout, and purchase new appliances, cabinets, and worktops; the cost of your kitchen renovation might be $40,000 or $50,000 or more.
So, before you hire a contractor or start DIYing, read these money-saving tips—from simple tweaks to a major gut renovation—to get the kitchen you want while staying within your budget.
Spend-Smart Strategies for Your Kitchen Makeover
Paint and Save on Cabinets
New cabinets account for up to 40% of the cost of your kitchen renovation. If you like where they are and how they function, but the finish is dark or drab, consider painting them rather than replacing them. It’s a time-consuming but doable do-it-yourself job, and your wallet will thank you. Hiring a professional painter is also less expensive than purchasing new handmade cabinets.
Style Tip: Remove the doors from several uppers to create open shelves for a more relaxed, breezy effect.
Splurge on a Quality Faucet
Because the faucet is the most challenging working portion of the kitchen, choose A premium brand with a single handle that combines quality and convenience. Check faucet and handle clearances if your sink is in front of a window to ensure it fits (and you don’t bang your knuckles on the sill). When selecting a sink to go with it, please keep it simple: Choose a single basin that is as large as you can accommodate and no deeper than 10 inches so you don’t have to squat to wash the dishes.
Prep Before You Paint
These suggestions will help you get it done well, whether you’re doing it yourself or keeping a watch on your painter.
- The finish’s sheen (or shininess) affects how simple it is to clean; use semi-gloss on all trim, satin on painted cabinets, and eggshell on the walls.
- Prepare before you start painting; no amount of paint or primer can hide damaged walls or nail holes in trim. Sand uneven areas, fill nail holes, and caulk any seams. And, if you’ve hired a team, be sure your contractor specifies who is in charge of doing what.
- The optimum time to paint your kitchen is sooner than you think: Do it before the cabinets and backsplash are installed on the walls to save money on labor (even if you have to do it again later), avoid paint drips on the cabinets and tiles, and guarantee a precise line where they meet the wall.
When selecting a backsplash, keep both character and functionality in mind.
Consider the space between the countertop and the cabinets a blank canvas to express yourself. Subway tiles have a traditional aesthetic unless they are huge, put vertically, or grouped in a herringbone pattern. Cleaning the grout lines in small mosaic patterns is tricky.
Other non-tile options include beadboard paneling, metal ceiling tiles, and glass, metal, stone, mosaic, embossed ceramic, and other tiles. Choose something that reflects your preferences while being visually appealing and easy to maintain so that it does not turn off potential buyers when you put the house on the market.
Quartz, an artificial countertop material that mimics stone, has eclipsed granite as the most popular countertop. The National Kitchen & Bath Association states that material. Quartz is practically stain-resistant, scratch-resistant, and chip-resistant; it never has to be sealed.
Quartz comes in various hues and patterns, many of which accurately approximate the natural variance of marble and limestone, the genuine equivalents of which are very high-maintenance kitchen countertop materials.
Don’t Scrimp on Lighting
You may pick from three different styles of light fixtures for your kitchen. (Hint: you want them all.)
- Recessed Ceiling Fixtures: Place these above all open floors to offer ambient lighting where people will stand and work.
- Under-Cabinet Lighting: Use this to offer task lighting over the countertops and to emphasize the countertop, backsplash, and cabinets if it is the sole light on.
- Ceiling Fixtures/Pendants: Decorate work areas such as islands, peninsulas, and sinks with ornamental pendants that provide diffuse light without casting shadows.
Consider Wood-Look Flooring Alternatives
Wood has a natural, classic elegance but scrapes, dents, and wears in the kitchen.
Porcelain tile is easy to clean and available in various styles, including realistic stone and wood appearances, but most objects that fall on porcelain will shatter.
As a result, consider the following softer alternatives: Luxury vinyl and laminate flooring (seen above) is long-lasting, gentle, forgiving, and available in various wood appearances that most people mistake for the genuine thing.
Budget Recommendations for a Major Kitchen Remodel
When deciding how much to spend on your kitchen redesign, three aspects should be considered:
- How much you can afford to pay for the kitchen of your dreams?
- Kitchen quality in other homes in your area.
- How long do you intend to remain in your current residence? Consider the following while seeking resale payback: The worth of that room as a proportion of your entire property value determines how much you should be willing to spend on any extensive remodeling.
Get Out Your Wallet for a Gut Job
Tearing everything down to the studs allows you to easily modify the placements and sizes of doors and windows, add, move, or remove walls, install new heating/cooling, electrical, and plumbing lines, locate and fix any rot or insect damage, and insulate.
However, demolition work, removal of old materials, and replacement of wallboard and trim will dramatically increase the cost of your project. Discuss the benefits and drawbacks of your specific project with your contractor.
Insulate Well Before Putting Up Walls
Spray foam insulation provides the best barrier against outside temperatures and drafts. Still, fiberglass batt insulation or stone wool insulation may save you thousands of dollars if you’ve gutted the kitchen.
Another thing to look for before hanging drywall is that your contractor furs out the ceiling to make it perfectly level (if the joists aren’t straight) and installs the wallboard using screws rather than nails to eliminate nail pops.
Get the Look of High-End Cabinets at a Lower Price
Unless you’re searching for something genuinely unique, you may have the cabinet appearance you want (door style, wood type, finish) without the expensive expense of bespoke cabinets (which are manufactured to order to your precise design and size specifications).
Consider two low-cost options: Stock cabinets are the most affordable and quickly supplied; each manufacturer provides a limited selection of designs and finishes in three-inch width increments. Semi-custom cabinets are manufactured to order from a company’s existing plans and finish in one-inch size increments, the Goldilocks option.
Invest in New Windows
You don’t have to gut-renovate your kitchen to replace the windows and doors, but moving or expanding them would need down-to-the-studs demolition in certain areas.
New windows will enhance energy efficiency, tilt in for simple cleaning, and remove the unattractive storm windows typical in many properties with original single-pane windows. However, make sure to replace high-quality wood windows with low-cost vinyl equivalents, mainly if the structure is historic.
Do you have any further questions concerning your kitchen remodel? Give us a call; we’re happy to assist!