4 Ways to Save Money When Remodeling Your Kitchen

Source: iStock

Source: iStock

Remodeling a kitchen is one of the most expensive projects that a homeowner can undertake. And too often, a person’s grandiose plans have to be changed when they learn how much their dream kitchen will cost. But there are some ways you can save money on less important features to get the things you really want. Read on.

1. Countertops

Most homeowners feel strongly about countertops. After all, the countertop is host to many family activities: preparing meals, dining, doing homework and paying bills, among others. If you have your heart set on solid surfacing or granite, don’t assume you can’t afford these high-ticket materials. To achieve the look of one of these sumptuous surfaces, without parting with the king’s ransom, consider the following options.

  1. Solid surfacing veneer (SSV), a 1/8-inch thick veneer of solid surfacing mounted on particleboard, is an alternative to solid surfacing (a synthetic material commonly known by the product names Corian, Avonite, Gibraltar or Surell). Regular solid surfacing must be made to order as a seamless 1/2-inch thick piece and costs anywhere from $65 to $110 per linear foot. Edge treatments and inlays will boost that cost even more.
  2. You’ll pay about 30 percent less for SSV or about $45 to $65 per linear foot. The one downside to SSV is that color and patterns may be more limited than with regular solid surfacing.
  3. Instead of ordering a solid-slab granite countertop, think about installing granite tiles. Slab granite costs about $75 per square foot (installed); tiles will give you the same handsome look but cost only $20 or so per square foot (installed). The one drawback to tile, however, is that you need to keep grout lines clean.
Source: iStock

Source: iStock

2. Kitchen configuration

Can you live with your kitchen’s current layout? For remodeling, the best way to save money is to leave your kitchen as is. That means the new refrigerator goes where the old one was, and so on. More than half of your total renovation budget gets eaten up when you (or your contractor and plumber) start moving walls, relocating water lines, and adding new electrical wiring.

3. Buy the materials yourself

Many designers or contractors order building materials, flooring, cabinets, and appliances for you. They handle the headache of actually placing the order and arranging delivery. They also build in a fee for this service. Talk to your contractor or designer and ask if it’s possible to buy some of the materials yourself. Some professionals don’t want you to handle any of the materials ordering, mainly because he or she may factor in the profit on materials within an overall bid. Understandably, your professional may be less than keen to part with monies counted on up front.

If your professional does agree, don’t do all of the ordering yourself. Stick to the fairly straightforward products like appliances. Keep in mind that you will have to take responsibility for making sure the order has been placed correctly, as well as arranging delivery (which means waiting for it too.). Also, if the product arrives damaged or is an incorrect model, you’ll have to sort that out as well.

If you have the time and patience to deal with these issues, however, handling the ordering can save you anywhere from five to 15 percent per item under what a professional would charge.

4. Appliances

If you don’t have to have the newest appliance that’s being advertised in the latest shelter magazines, consider buying a closeout model. Often times there’s nothing wrong with these appliances—they are just products that are no longer being manufactured for any number of reasons. It’s a great way to get a brand-new appliance at discounts of 30 percent or more. Most models still carry a regular warranty, but check before purchasing. The best place to check for closeouts may be with your local retailer.

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