By now, you’ve probably heard from your neighbors, friends, and family that kitchen remodels are one of the best home remodeling projects because of their high return-on-investment. This is true, but with an important caveat: your ROI is relative to what you spend on the remodel. Go over budget, and you’re probably not getting that money back. In this article, we’ll walk through some of the ways you can limit your project’s scope and costs while still getting the most possible value out of your new kitchen.
If you’re working on a limited budget, you’ll need to prioritize what is essential to your kitchen remodel and decide what needs to get left out. When you consider the cost and time involved, you’ll probably find that making significant layout changes to your kitchen isn’t worth it.
Over the last few years, home remodeling television programs have helped to popularize the idea of an “open kitchen”—a marked contrast from the enclosed or galley-style kitchen most homes built in the 80s and 90s featured. This trend made for great television—including shots of people swinging sledgehammers and taking down walls—but the prospect of removing inside walls is far from straightforward. Here are some important considerations:
For every prospective homebuyer who oohs and aahs over your open floor plan, there will be two others who note the lack of usable counter and cabinet space. Not only is this trade-off not worth it, but a structural change to your kitchen can rapidly balloon your remodeling costs.
So, what are homebuyers looking for? For most, cabinets and countertops are key. By default, a “remodeled” kitchen, in the eyes of most, should include stone countertops (granite or quartz) and updated cabinets. It makes sense: these are the most visually appealing elements in the kitchen, and the first thing most people notice. Countertops and cabinets are more than just about looks, however: they also need to be functional and fit the homeowner’s everyday use of the space.
For the average kitchen remodel, upgrading the countertops and cabinets will be the most expensive part of the project. In fact, many homeowners spend about half their total remodeling budget on these two elements and their installation. However, you should avoid the temptation to cut costs in this area by buying cheaper, lower-quality materials. Countertops and cabinets are essential to the long-term value of your kitchen; if you buy low-grade stone or wood cabinets, you’ll probably regret it when they quickly show signs of wear-and-tear or start falling apart in the coming years.
How can you limit your remodeling costs? Well, for one, you can find great accessories for your kitchen without breaking the bank. Door knobs and pulls like these can make your kitchen feel luxurious without a major investment. Choosing the right pulls and knobs to complement your new countertops and cabinets can really pull the kitchen project together as a cohesive whole. Make sure that your kitchen sink also matches the aesthetic you’re aiming for. For example, a farmhouse-style white ceramic sink may fit some kitchens better than a stainless steel one.
Its importance is often overlooked, but lighting can also make a significant difference in the kitchen. Hang pendant lights over your kitchen island to highlight the countertop eating area. Under-cabinet lighting can make food preparation more comfortable and relaxed. Replace harsh fluorescent light panels with recessed lighting in the ceiling. Of course, if natural light is an option, let as much of it in as possible.
What we’ve discussed here is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to saving on your kitchen remodel. For even more ideas and to see a breakdown of what the average homeowner spends on their renovation, check out this infographic from the team at Superior Stone & Cabinet in Phoenix, AZ.