A kitchen is the focal point of any home. So it's important to have a space that's comfortable to work in and appealing to look at. But with the average price of a kitchen remodel in the tens of thousands, is there really a way you can afford to update your space without breaking your budget?
When my husband and I bought our home, we decided that the kitchen had to go. The space didn't look like it had been touched since the home was built in the early 1960s. The old light fixtures, peeling linoleum, and weird cabinet hardware wasn't exactly welcoming. After several months of planning, we finally decided to dive into our kitchen remodel.
The Prep Work
Before we started ripping out countertops and digging out paintbrushes, we did some prep work. Actually a lot of prep work. I watched an embarrassing amount of home improvement shows before we started, but I like to think that my time on the couch paid off.
For the second phase of preparation, we went through the potential kitchen remodel cost. I made a list of everything that we wanted to replace and we perused weekly advertisements. To give us a better idea of how much we would actually be spending, I made a spreadsheet and listed each item individually next to the potential cost. Then I made another column so we could fill in the actual costs as they came up.
To fund your project, check out home equity loan rates in Michigan or create a budget so you can set aside additional money each paycheck. Even though we had a budget planned out before the remodel, I challenged myself to try to trim costs. Instead of sacrificing on the looks and materials that I wanted, I found some interesting ways to save money.
I knew that I wanted quartz countertops, but I didn't want them to eat up our entire budget. We found the same brand and style of countertops at a local shop for significantly less than the big box store. Plus the local place threw in a new sink for free.
Redo Your Old Cabinets
It's tempting to rip out all of your cabinets and replace them with something new, but that's very costly. Our cabinets were in good shape but the finish on the outside was outdated. I wasn't exactly excited about the time consuming process of stripping and sanding the finish off, so I found a kit at a hardware store for redoing the outside of the cabinets. Not only was this kit less time consuming, but it was also very reasonably priced.
I picked out new cabinet pulls and knobs at a store, but I was shocked by the price. I checked Amazon* and found comparable knobs and pulls for a fraction of the cost. If you want something unique, check Etsy* for interesting cabinet hardware.
We couldn't find a backsplash that we both liked and could afford. But when we checked the clearance rack in the back of one store we found something we both loved. If the clearance rack doesn't have enough of what you need, check the store website to see if you can order more.
Save Your Receipts
I can almost guarantee that you won't use everything you buy. Put all of your receipts in one place so it's easy to return any leftover materials when you finish your project. Also, if you buy materials and they go on sale soon after, you can bring your receipt in for a price adjustment.
Ask for Discounts
I always feel awkward asking people for discounts, but for the sake of saving money I had to be bold. The stove we ordered had a scratch on the side of it. Instead of sending it back, we asked for a discount. The store offered us $80 off the original price and we took it.
Check the Local Habitat for Humanity Restore
Unfortunately, I didn't find out about this resource until after we finished our remodel. Sometimes you can find appliances at 70% off the retail price at these stores. Proceeds from the sale are donated to the charity. If you donate your gently used appliances, you could even write the donation off on your taxes.
Know Your Limits
I'm all about DIY projects and watching videos to learn how to make or fix something. But there are some things that you should probably have an expert do. We didn't feel comfortable doing the plumbing ourselves, so we called around and got a few quotes from area plumbers. Don't do things that could potentially end up costing you more in the end.
Use Your Resources
Ask friends and family for help on labor. My dad had experience tiling, so we asked him for help. He was happy to spend some time with us and we saved money by doing the work ourselves.
Undertaking any renovation is a lot of work, but with the proper planning the process will go much smoother. By looking for ways to save, we finished our project under budget and we didn't feel like we sacrificed on style. We finally have a space that we're proud of and comfortable working in. And the best part is that our savings didn't take a huge hit.
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