Scott & Traci O'Connor
July 2024

5 Tips to Save in Your Kitchen Remodel

The kitchen is the hub of the household. It is where the family gathers daily to socialize and create delicious cuisine. Without a doubt, the kitchen is also one of the most important rooms to remodel to potentially increase the value of your home. In fact, a home that has undergone a kitchen remodel sells 8% faster, according to studies. 

Historically, the kitchen was once hidden away from the main house for several reasons, such as to reduce excessive heat and to control smells. Nowadays that is no longer the case. The kitchen has made its debut as an integral part of the home and perhaps the most important room, which is why many homeowners are looking to upgrade the space. In this article, we will explore tips to save in your kitchen remodel. 

Top Ways to Save in Your Kitchen Remodel 

The average cost of a kitchen remodel in the United States is between $8,500 to $25,000. The figure might seem a bit wide-ranging, but if you are looking for ways to pinch your pennies, then rest assured that with frugal decisions, you can cut costs to keep the total amount in the lower end of the spectrum. 

Choose mid-range efficient appliances 

Sure, it is tempting to pick only high-end appliances for your kitchen, but such high-dollar items are usually unnecessary. You can choose practical, energy-efficient appliances that boast acceptable warranties and look fabulous. 

A factor to consider when picking appliances is longevity. Refrigerators usually last only 15 years or less but a cooktop and range function last considerably longer. Also, if you have a large family then you are constantly washing dishes, so a large, efficient dishwasher becomes a mandatory investment.  

Whichever appliances you choose, try to stick with one brand and appearance. Stainless steel remains the most popular finish choice. If you want your home to appear modern, then you will want to pay close attention to design and appearance while still trying to avoid paying premium prices. Instead, settle for moderate workhorse appliances that provide you with looks, function, energy-efficiency, and longevity. 

Opt for affordable yet durable counter materials 

When you walk into a kitchen, you might believe your focal point is the cabinets but most people zero in on the countertops first. Perhaps it is the clean, sleek design or the sparkle of the surface. A showpiece countertop dictates the cabinetry, room furnishings, and color scheme. 

When picking countertop materials, remember you can pick granite with a rating of a level 2 grade (mid-grade) versus a level 3 (premium grade). The differences are subtle and usually missed by a novice who does not work in the granite business. Choosing a lovely, mid-grade granite countertop offers a greater return-on-investment. The cost of granite countertops runs from $35 to $500/sq. ft. 

Laminate countertops are another option. They mimic the appearance of granite without the high cost. Historically, you could not install an under-mount sink in a laminate countertop, but designs have changed and now you can. Laminate hovers at an affordable $5 to $30/sq. ft.

Quartz (an engineered stone) and concrete countertops are other cost-saving options. The average cost of quartz is $55 to $200/sq. ft. and concrete runs $75 to $200/sq. ft. 

Resurfacing an older countertop with tile is another option. This project typically costs around $10 to $70/sq. ft. 

Go for a cosmetic upgrade instead of a whole cabinet replacement

It’s tempting to purchase all new cabinets for the kitchen but that can become expensive with 30 linear feet of average cabinets costing from $6,412 to $11,400 for installation. However, resurfacing the existing cabinets is a great way to provide an instant facelift to the room. Many opt to carry out refinishing cabinets as a DIY project to save even more. 

You can also replace kitchen cabinets with veneer models instead of real wood. Budget cabinets range from $70 to $100 per linear foot. Handles, knobs, and pull are the crowning glory on your kitchen cabinets. However, that does not mean that you must spend a fortune on the hardware. Knobs can range from $1 to $100 and hinges from $1 to $15.  There is a huge range of prices so you can find your comfort zone within your budget. 

Install a backsplash with attractive, long-lasting materials 

Backsplashes look good and showcase not only the kitchen cabinets but also the countertops. There are a lot of different backsplash materials you can choose to create your perfect backsplash, but they aren’t all created equally. Depending on how much cooking you do, you’ll want to find a material that’s durable, stylish, and long-lasting.

Ceramic tile is very popular but it’s also costly, with the average price hovering at $5 to $100/sq. ft. However, you can pick a porcelain tile for $5 to $20/sq. ft. Also, why not cut costs by using large tiles that would usually be laid on floors as a backsplash? The bigger tiles require less grout and costly cutting. Deco-pieces like glass tiles are easy to fashion into eye-catching mosaics. 

Plan ahead by shopping around and doing some work yourself

Feel out your contractor’s schedule and get him at a slower time of year. Typically the middle of summer and the middle of winter are a little slower and could get you a better rate.

Next, check your local tile, stone, flooring, and bathroom fitting showrooms for odd lots. Odd lots are often left over or returned items. They’re just as good quality, but they go for rock bottom prices. The only catch is that what you see is what you get, so if you need 150 square feet of something, and they have 140, it won’t work. But, many times you can get lucky and find a thousand feet of something discontinued that you can get for pennies. This also goes for sinks and faucets - it really pays to check around, especially if you aren’t picky. 

If you need a small piece of stone for a vanity top, bar top, or table, also be sure to ask about remnants at the stone yard. 

Final thoughts

Yes, you can create the kitchen of your dreams on a shoestring budget with just a few of the ideas above. These tips to save in your kitchen remodel help you create an upscale remodel without spending an excessive amount of money. You can enjoy your beautiful kitchen while feeling good about the fact that you have potentially increased the value of your home, which is a great return on your real estate investment.

Scott & Traci O'Connor
E-mail: [email protected]
RE/MAX Advantage

5590 N. Academy Blvd.
Colorado Springs, CO 80918

Equal Housing Opportunity