10 Ways to Save on Your Kitchen Remodel

6 min read
Kitchen Remodel

If you’re thinking about remodeling your kitchen, you’ll want to read this article first for ways to save yourself some money–and a lot of headache.

10. Do It Yourself

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The best way to save money is to do the remodeling yourself. You can do your own painting, sanding and cleanup, you can pick up the materials yourself, or you can do some of the finish work instead of paying someone else to do these things. For some projects, however, it may be best to leave it to the professionals, especially if you lack the expertise. This is certainly true when it comes to handling your own demolition. Just make sure you know what you’re doing or you could cause some serious damage, like taking out a structural wall or sawing into live wiring. Don’t let that discourage you, however. Liz Tiesi, owner of Threshold Interiors, has some tips for safe demolition:

-Step 1: Turn off the circuit breakers, water, and gas.
-Step 2: Remove appliances and plumbing fixtures.
-Step 3: Remove cabinets, backsplash, and counters.

9. Revamp Instead of Replacing

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Replacing kitchen cabinets can be quite expensive, so consider revamping them instead. You can do this by putting on a fresh coat of paint, adding new cabinet handles, replacing the doors and drawer fronts, or opting for open shelves. Open shelving is a great option for cabinets that are too far gone to revamp. “You are only paying for the piece of wood to make the shelf and the bracket to hold it up — not an entire cabinet box, which is a lot more in material and labor,” Tiesi said in an article on The New York Times‘ website.

8. Keep Your Existing Layout

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Moving walls, sinks, dishwashers and ovens can add thousands of dollars to your budget. For example, moving a sink is equal to a day’s worth of plumbing work. Moving an oven, which would require altering gas or electric lines depending on the type of range you have, can add one or two days of labor by an electrician or plumber, or both. Mina Fies, creator of the Renovation Roadmap, said in an article on The New York Times‘ website that she once had a client who insisted on re-configuring the kitchen walls to let in more natural light. After Fies explained the pros and cons of a project of this nature, the client eventually decided on a design that didn’t require opening up the wall. That decision saved her about $8,000!

7. Find Bargains

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Consider floor models if you want new appliances at a steal. According to DIY Network, you can get a floor model for less than half the original price. They may have a scratch or two, but the savings more than make up for any imperfections.

Another way to get a bargain is to shop at a Habitat for Humanity ReStore. They sell new and gently used furniture, home accessories, appliances and building materials for a fraction of the retail price. Keep in mind, however, that some contractors might not want to work with used materials because they can be held liable if something goes wrong. That being said, used materials are a good option if you plan on doing the work yourself.

Other ways to find bargains include:
-Shopping for appliances in early fall, when stores clear out last year’s inventory–at a discount–to make room for new items.
-Asking for volume discounts. Some stores offer discounts if you purchase all your appliances from them.
-Purchasing from a local building supplier. You could save up to 20 percent.
-Reaching out to retailers or wholesalers who offer free design services. For example, CliqueStudios in Minneapolis offers professional kitchen design services like colored 3D renderings, a customized layout, and an itemized quote, all with no obligation to purchase cabinets.

6. Bring in Natural Light with Solar Tubes

Solar Energy
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Installing solar tubes is a less expensive way of bringing natural light into your kitchen than cutting a hole in the side of the house to install a new window. Solar tubes, also called light tubes, are installed between roof rafters and funnel sunlight down into your kitchen. They’re eco-friendly and have the same light output as traditional skylights, yet they’re usually cheaper to purchase and install. Plus, you don’t have to worry about the glare, heat gain, leaking and potential damage associated with skylights, and they require almost no maintenance. Some types even qualify for federal tax credits. The only cons are that they can’t be opened and they don’t allow a direct view of the sky.

5. Opt for Tile Flooring

Tile Flooring
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Tile flooring is cheaper and will help you save more money in the long run than wood floors, which can easily be damaged by water leaks. That being said, porcelain tile is a good choice if you want something that’s stain- and scratch-resistant. Plus, it holds up well under heavy foot traffic.

TIP: You can also use tiles in kitchen backsplashes to add a bit of style at an affordable price. It’s durable, has a wipe-clean surface, and is highly customizable.

4. Don’t Work Against Your Kitchen’s Architectural Style

Architectural Style
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Trying to remodel an older kitchen into a contemporary one will require a complete overhaul and end up costing you a lot of money and time. If you want to give your kitchen an updated look, try adding some interesting textures or fixtures. If all else fails, consult an architect. You’ll likely have to pay a flat fee, but the architect can take a look at your kitchen and come up with a few low-cost solutions to give your kitchen a more contemporary look and feel. It could be something as simple as adding new hardware (e.g. knobs, pulls, etc.), which would definitely be a lot cheaper than a complete overhaul.

3. Schedule Your Renovation at Just the Right Time

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As we mentioned earlier, you can snag a good deal if you shop for appliances in early fall. But, did you also know that you can get a discount if you schedule your renovation during a contractor’s down time? According to This Old House magazine, a Virginia-based contractor said he offers discounts of between 4.5 and 5.5 percent right after the new year. That’s when business is slowest for him. That being said, it’s best to avoid peak times (the height of the summer or between September and Christmas) when suppliers are super busy, laborers are few, and deliveries tend to be slow.

2. Plan Ahead

Plan Ahead
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Know exactly what you want your kitchen to look like before you get started remodeling. Robin Siegerman, Chief Design and Renovation Officer at Sieguzi Kitchen & Home Inc. in Toronto, Canada, told HGTV that “one of the factors that sends a budget spiraling out of control is a homeowner picking products during the renovation.” Sometimes products are  backordered, so the homeowner has to choose between waiting for the product to come in or picking a different product that could be costlier. Plus, if you make your contractor wait and he or she has other jobs they need to get to, they might end up charging you extra.

1. Consider Long-Term Costs

Long Term Costs
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It’s perfectly fine to skimp on costs, like purchasing materials at a bargain price. Just make sure you don’t skimp on quality. You’ll save yourself a lot of money and headache in the long run if you don’t cut corners. There are ways, however, to fit quality cabinetry into your budget. One way, as we mentioned before, is to go with open shelving. Another option is to use particleboard where no one will see it–with the exception of the area under the kitchen sink, which can be damaged by leaks. “A lot of people think they have to have all-plywood kitchen cabinetry, and they don’t,” Fies said in an article on The New York Times‘ website. She recommends using particleboard to build out the upper and perimeter cabinet boxes. Doing so helped her shave over $1,400 off cabinetry costs.


Have you remodeled your kitchen? Tell us all about your experience. We’d love to know how it turned out. Thanks for reading!