This page is part of the affordable kitchen remodeling series, created to help homeowners design an elegant kitchen that fits their budget. You can access the entire series here.
Welcome to the third and final installment of “How To Lower Your Kitchen Remodeling Costs”.
In part one we covered cabinets and showed you how to cut the cost of them in half. In part two we went over countertops, flooring, appliances, and light fixtures.
Part three is a bit of a smorgasbord of budgeting cheats that don’t fit anywhere else. In part one I gave you one of my favorite tips, instead of explaining it to you again here’s a direct link.
I wanted to make sure you didn’t miss that one, now let’s move onto tip number two.
Keep Your Fixtures And Appliances In The Same Spot
Relocating a kitchen sink or an oven is going to eat into your budget a surprising amount. Anytime you have to get a plumber or an electrician to move things, even just a few feet, you’re writing them a check for a few hundred dollars for each thing you want to move.
If your layout isn’t broke don’t fix it. If it is broke, read the next tip.
Add A Prep Sink
If your existing kitchen layout is a nightmare consider adding a prep sink, close to the refrigerator, with ample countertop space next to it. If you have an island that’s often the best place for it.
In most cases adding a prep sink will fix layout problems without you having to rearrange the entire kitchen, and remember to always follow the layout principles I gave you here.
Install A Cheap And Temporary Countertop
Laminate countertops are so cheap and durable that it may make sense to have one installed with the intention of keeping it for just a couple years. After you have fully recovered from the shock of spending $20,000+ to remodel your kitchen you can replace the countertop.
A stone countertop is going to cost you a a few thousand dollars, and by cutting that bill in half with laminate you can invest the room in your budget into better quality cabinets. In the long run you’re nearly always better off buying the best quality cabinets you can afford.
Don’t Get A Backsplash That Matches Your Countertop
If you get a stone countertop you have the option of getting a matching backsplash that’s a few inches high. It’s going to add a few hundred dollars to the bottom line and it not necessary at all.
Instead you can install a tile backsplash, which brings us to our next tip…
Hold Off On Installing A Tile Backsplash
To open up a few hundred more dollars in your budget you can hold off on installing a tile backsplash. They’re a very easy DIY project that you can do a few months later when the sting of draining your bank account to update the kitchen has faded a bit. For now just paint the wall behind your countertop and be done with it.
Again, I would use the savings here to upgrade the cabinets.
Shop For Appliances Before You Buy Anything Else
Appliances are a funny thing to buy, they constantly go on sale and the sale prices vary so much it’s impossible to know if you’re getting the lowest price of the year.
The way to counteract this is to pick out the exact appliances you want to buy before you pick out anything else, and then keep an eye on the prices. Every time a major holiday comes around they are more than likely going to have a sale, and odds are good that the price will be different from the last sale they had.
Most appliance stores have a price match guarantee, and that includes their own prices. So if you buy a set of appliances from them at their Fourth of July sale, and then they sell them for less at their Labor Day sale, they will refund you the difference.
Just keep an eye on their sales for a few months after you purchase your appliances and find out how long their guarantee lasts, every store that offers a guarantee like this has different terms.
Hire People To Do ‘Side Jobs’
There are a lot of licensed plumbers, electricians, and carpenters that work a full time job and look for extra work on nights and weekends.
Ask your friends if they know anyone looking for ‘side work’. Putting feelers out on Facebook is a great way to find people looking for work. How much you’ll save is going to vary but it can be anywhere from 10%-50% on the cost of the labor.
There’s almost always a cash discount but you have to ask for it. When you get quotes don’t tell them upfront that you’re going to pay in cash, but after they give you a quote it’s ok to ask if there’s a cash discount. It’s a commonly used tactic to help bring budgets inline with expectations so don’t be shy about asking.
Price Check Online
Just about everything sold in stores is sold online too. It’s not always cheaper but you have to check because sometimes the amount you can save will catch you buy surprise. It’s not uncommon to find things like kitchen faucets and pendant lights at a substantially lower price than you can find in local stores.
This article is the last in our series of lowering kitchen remodeling costs. I do have a few more tips which I’ll be passing along to you soon, as well as some design ideas from real interior designers.
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