Setting a budget and sticking to it may sound simple enough in theory, but realistically, it’s one the most challenging aspects of planning a remodel. Whether you’re committing to a complete overhaul, or just a few updates here and there, every homeowner has the same outcome in mind when they set out. Ideally, the final product should create a comfortable, attractive, and practical space for you and your family. But can you achieve your dream kitchen without breaking the bank or compromising on what matters? With the right mindset, planning, and preparation, it’s absolutely possible.
If you take a step back and consider the big picture, the overall budget for every aspect of your remodel should break down into percentages that fall somewhere around these figures:
- Cabinetry and hardware: 30&
- Labor and installation: 23%
- Appliances: 15%
- Countertops: 10%
- Flooring: 7%
- Faucets, sink and plumbing: 5%
- Lighting: 5%
- Backsplash: 5%
Below, we’ve included some advice that will help you make the most of your remodeling budget as you tackle each of the elements listed above. Since the idea here is for you to do as much of the work by yourself as possible, the percentage given for labor and installation will vary depending on what you require professional assistance with. Such instances aside, we’re here to share our best tips on taking the initiative without having to sacrifice on style or quality for your kitchen.
Cabinetry & Hardware:
Prefabricated cabinetry is a great, less expensive option if your kitchen doesn’t have the kind of nooks or crannies that might require custom-built cabinets. First-time homeowners and those new to remodeling will also likely find these to be a simpler, less complicated choice. They come in plenty of colors and styles as well. Oak tends to be the most affordable material if you prefer natural wood, but laminate is another attractive option that will save on money. When it comes to hardware, remember that while going with the cheapest option available may seem like a good idea at the time, you’ll end up shelling out even more when the knobs and pulls wear out far too quickly.
There’s definitely a trick to knowing where to spend and where to save during a remodel, and springing for name-brand appliances just isn’t worth the splurge. Prioritizing an appliance’s practical qualities, such as safety features, ease of operation, and energy efficiency is far more important. Aside from waiting until the holiday sales roll around to start making purchases, it’s also worth keeping in touch with various big-box stores in your area. Occasionally, usually on weekends or holidays, they’ll bring out heavily discounted items and appliances which have been damaged in some manner that is often barely noticeable. The discounts offered can range anywhere from 30-60% off – a huge relief to your budget!
Countertops & Backsplash:
Outfitting an entire kitchen with stone countertops can turn into a seriously costly endeavor. Luckily, there are ways to utilize materials like granite even if you can’t afford to go all-out. One option is to look for stone remnants, which are large pieces of rock that have been left over from previous projects. As natural stone can’t just be mixed and matched seamlessly, these slabs are cheaper than they would normally be. One such piece of stone would be perfect for fabricating an island, which could provide a beautiful focal point for your kitchen. Using laminate, a far cheaper but still very attractive material on your remaining counter space would work well to create a lovely contrast. Building an inexpensive backsplash shouldn’t be too difficult as long as it isn’t exceedingly large. You can use anything from subway tile to chalkboard and should be able to get pretty creative without breaking the bank.
Kitchens are, naturally, high-traffic areas of the home which require durable flooring that can capably weather lots of movement and wear-and-tear. Ultimately, the choice of material you settle on will depend on both your lifestyle and aesthetic preferences, but for an investment that will last, you should focus on either hardwood, laminate, tile, linoleum, vinyl, bamboo, or cork. These are all sturdy options, although some will require the use of sealant and periodic re-sealing. Regardless of which type you choose, you can save money by choosing from in-stock inventory as opposed to making a special order. Flooring manufacturers give big discounts to dealers who buy in bulk, and you’ll reap those benefits.
Faucets & Sink:
It’s always best to choose your faucet once you’ve already settled on a sink, because the characteristics of your sink will dictate what type of faucet you need. If you or your family tend to be hard on sinks, then deciding on a stainless-steel option will likely be worth it in the long run. Keep in mind that lower-gauge stainless steel makes for a better-quality sink. Coming in at a lower price point, however, are composite sinks – a new style of material that might appeal to homeowners who are watching their wallet. These come in many different colors and designs but aren’t as sturdy. When selecting a faucet, consider where you’ll want to mount it and whether it’s large enough to reach the entire sink. One that’s built with a ceramic disk valve and solid brass base materials will be the most durable.
When it comes to lighting, design experts differentiate between four distinct “layers”. These are called ambient, task, focal and decorative. Ambient light refers to general overhead illumination, whereas task lighting is concentrated over a more specific area, like your sink. Focal lighting is used to enhance art or certain architectural elements, and the decorative layer pretty much speaks for itself. Whether you want to incorporate all of these different types is up to you, but your best bet is to find fixtures that can do multiple things at once. You can also afford to gravitate toward cheaper options where fixtures are concerned, but deciding on a type of bulb is different. While incandescent bulbs will initially be cheaper, LED lights can last for nearly seven years on average which will help you save in the long-term.
Once you have your budget, you can follow these 10 steps to remodel your kitchen.
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