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7 Ways to Slash Your Kitchen Remodeling Bill

© 2017 by Kelly Smith; all rights reserved; content may not be copied, rewritten, or republished without written permission.

A well-designed kitchen

Most homeowners considering a full-scale kitchen remodel project are shocked to find that it can cost upwards of $75,000. There are so many costs and inconveniences — contractors, sub-contractors, permit fees, designers, having the kitchen unavailable for weeks, and more.

Now you will be wondering is there is a more frugal approach for your project. Luckily the answer is yes. Consider these 7 tips to more inexpensive kitchen remodeling without sacrificing the things you really need.

  1. Don’t Mess with Your Kitchen Configuration

    Kitchens come in one of several pre-determined shapes. These are known as the kitchen work triangle. few kitchen designers ever do anything different, mainly because these shapes work so well. They ensure efficiency during food preparation.

    The basic configurations are the one-wall kitchen layout, corridor or galley, L-shape, U-shape, and G-shape. Keep in mind that your plumbing and electrical supply are both hard-wired for the configuration you have. In turn this dictates your cabinet layout. Any changes will end up costing you the big bucks.
  2. Keep Your Appliances Where They Are

    Following the logic of the explanation of the kitchen triangle, know that any changes that mandate moving your plumbing, gas, or electrical will negatively impact your budget and mess with your time line.

    There are some exceptions involving appliances without moving their hook-up. Consider that your dishwasher can be relocated to the opposite side of your sink, since your washer’s hook-ups usually come from the central spot under the sink.
  3. Keep Your Flooring Functional, Not Expensive

    Kitchens are like bathrooms in that the flooring you install really needs to perform. That means it would be a better idea to install resilient or ceramic tile that does the job in the work environment rather than an expensive hardwood floor that soaks up spills.

    Vinyl sheet goods or tile are inexpensive and make for an easy DIY install. Bear in mind that laminate flooring is not a good option for a kitchen. As durable as it is, too much water will damage it by seeping between the planks. Go with well-sealed hardwood if you want that look.

    Also, you do not really need that Tuscan marble, no matter what the remodeling guy on TV says. Save that money for when you remodel your entryway or great room.
  4. Have a Look at Off-the-Shelf Cabinets

    The good news here is that stock kitchen cabinets have been making strides in quality in order to stay competitive. Melamine-faced particle board cabinets are not your only choice today.

    Just have a look at the big box stores like The Home Depot, Lowe’s, and IKEA, in standard sizes. This approach is much more frugal than custom cabinetry, and any contractor or handyman can install it with easy. Another solution is to consider cabinet re-facing.
  5. Rethink Your Countertop Choice

    Kitchen countertops can kill your budget. Everybody seems to want the latest trendy natural stone. But there is really no reason to shell out the big bucks for that option. Concrete countertops, stainless steel, and faux stone can give you the look for a lower price.

    Ceramic tile is an affordable choice that boasts endless possibilities. Another material that deserves a second look is laminate. Although laminate may still bear the stigma of cheap kitchen remodeling there are more attractive options than ever nowadays.
  6. Go Easy on Electrical Re-Wiring

    Completely rewiring your kitchen can eat up 25% or more of your remodeling budget. However, if your current wiring is safe and is capable of carrying the current load, re-think whether you need big, power-draining appliances such as double-ovens, oversized electric ranges, and convenience appliances such as trash compactors.

    The caveat to this is if you currently have aluminum wiring. You may have it if your home was built in the mid 60s to the early 70s. Just another frugal idea gone bad. Aluminum poses a fire hazard because it will expand and this compromises the insulation.
  7. Avoiding Permit-Requiring Tasks will Reduce Costs

    Permits in and of themselves do not cost a lot of money but be aware that anything requiring a permit is an indication that this task will ratchet up your spending. Things such as modifying exterior walls, plumbing, and electrical are all permit-requiring jobs.

    That being said, you should not avoid seeking a permit when permitting is required by your local building code. Consider scaling down your project to the point where permits are minimized.

    As an example, where I live a permit isn’t required to replace carpet with a tile floor. However if I planned on adding radiant heat underneath the tile an electrical permit would be called for. The bottom line is that sometimes you don’t really need all the bells and whistles.

These are just a sampling of ideas of ways to slash your kitchen remodeling bill. Do you have some tried and true tips? Feel free to share them with our readers in the comment section below.

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