A good kitchen remodel can get really expensive really quick. Aside from the daunting price tag, you also have to consider that it may take weeks or even months, throughout which you will not have a workable kitchen (eating out equals empty wallet). Of course, this is assuming that you opt for a contractor (or several) instead of the DIY approach (which may take longer, but only affect certain areas of your space at one time). If you do opt for a contractor, I highly recommend vetting them with a site like Angie’s List.
However, the benefits of a remodeled kitchen are certainly appealing, whether it’s for your own use or as a selling point (or both). And surprisingly, you can save a lot of money by following a few simple steps.
1. DIY as much as you can. Whether you have the chops to operate a table saw and the electrical know-how to install recessed lighting, or if all you can do is lay tile, doing it yourself will save you a ton of money. There are all kinds of manuals and guides to teach you how to do home improvement projects, but be aware that if you go into it with no idea what you’re doing, you may end up spending more money to have it re-done, so do some research and try to tackle projects that you feel you can realistically complete on your own.
P.S. Ask for help! You probably have plenty of friends who are handy with a hammer and willing to work for pizza and beer.
2. Be a bargain hunter. All kinds of websites offer discounts on materials from cabinets to tile to appliances and hardware. You can usually find a much better price by letting your fingers do the walking. Just keep in mind that going to a local store could yield a better price on installation.
3. Don’t be afraid to haggle. We’re in a buyer’s economy. Everyone wants your business, which allows you to be choosy. So see if local businesses are willing to price match or give you a better deal for purchasing multiple products or services. You’ll be surprised how much you can get by simply asking.
4. Wait for sales. If you’re not in a rush to get the job done, wait for one of the big holidays (Easter, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, etc.) to take advantage of mega sales and seasonal blowouts. Most stores use these times to get rid of old stock at exceptionally low prices.
5. Get it used. You can check garage sales, but you’re better off using the internet. There are all kinds of resources for used kitchen items, including cabinets, flooring, and hardware. You can save a bundle and often getter better products by recycling used parts. There are websites for everything used, or you can check on eBay and Craig’s list for specific items. Just remember, pre-owned items are usually buyer beware, so make sure your purchases are the quality you desire.
A kitchen remodel can seem like rocket science (and cost just as much) if you work from a model-home mentality, so forget about the designer kitchens you’re lusting after in those magazines. You can still get close to what you want for a fraction of the cost by shopping around, waiting for sales, and talking down sellers. And with a little ingenuity and elbow grease, your dream kitchen won’t cost you an arm and a leg.