Of all the remodeling projects you can undertake, remodeling your kitchen may be the most challenging—and rewarding. Unfortunately, it’s easy to get swept up in the excitement and let expenses get out of hand.
How can you keep your money from running down the kitchen drain? Here are three “secrets” to getting the most out of your kitchen remodel—without straining your budget.
1. Avoid the Sink Sinkhole. There is simply no way around it: It’s expensive to move things—especially when duct work, electrical wiring, gas lines, or pluming is involved. Even a move of only a few feet for your dishwasher or sink can be a several hundred-dollar decision. You may not be able to avoid it—and it may be the right solution, but keep in mind that moving things like your sink is expensive. If you are going to move your sink (plumbing), your refrigerator with ice-maker (plumbing), or your range (electrical wiring), make sure that decision is made early. You don’t want to pay your contractor to rebuild your walls!
2. Pay Attention to Your “Cabinet Appointment”. According to the National Kitchen and Bath Association, the largest single kitchen renovation cost is associated with cabinets. They put the figure at 36 percent, and some sources calculate that it’s as high as 50 percent. Either way, it’s a substantial chunk! Cabinets range widely in price depending on quality and on the type of material being used. Custom counters (built to your specific/unique dimensions) are naturally more expensive than stock counters. How important is it for you to have a specific wood type? And can you make a stock size work with your kitchen design? The answers to both of those questions can cost—or save—you money.
3. Consider a Clean Slate. A while ago slate tiles were selling for about $12 a square foot. Currently, those same tiles are selling for $3 to $4 per foot. And slate offers a unique, classy, natural look. It’s one of those unusual building materials that looks more expensive than it actually is.
Your building contractor probably has additional money-saving tips that he’d be happy to share with you.