Kitchen Remodel – Money Saving Tips

If your dreams and your purse have looked each other squarely in the eye and your purse won, it is time re-evaluate! The kitchen is the second most costly room, per square foot, in your home, after bathrooms, and is worth a significant investment, but there are ways to cut costs, bringing your purse and your dreams together with a plan that is agreeable to both!

Re-evaluate each cost estimate. Be sure there is nothing you have overlooked.

Consider what items you might be willing to negotiate, compromise or eliminate.

Follow these steps to be sure your adjustments are realistic and do-able.

Since cabinets are probably the largest single expense, now is the time to visit dealer showroom again, asking some significant questions of your designer.

1. Can you reduce the number of cabinets in your plan by using one where you now have two?

2. Consider deleting or reducing the number of modifications or construction options first. The imaginative designer may be able to suggest other ways of achieving a similar result without changing the depth of a cabinet. Can you save by ordering plywood sides only for those cabinets which will have one or both sides exposed?

3. Can you reduce the number of decorative options, such as molding inserts, you have selected? How about making another decorative hardware selection? Must you have the wine rack or could you purchase another type less expensively than a cabinet?

4. You may want to re-consider another style, wood or finish. However, if the “look” is your primary concern, try not to compromise on this issue!

5. Re-evaluate the functional features you have included. Now may not be the time to give up the wonderful pantry cabinet, but perhaps you could install roll-out shelves for the base cabinets later. The same may be true of other features. Are they available as kits you could purchase and install later?

Counter tops also represent a sizeable part of your budget. Take a second look at when trying to reduce costs of your kitchen plan.

1. The easiest way to cut down the expense of the counter top is to select a less expensive material. Be careful not to expect the same performance from some of the less costly products. The counters must bear some of the most intense wear of all kitchen products. While the more expensive man-made solid surfaces cost more, they are also easier to repair and could actually save a considerable expense if major damage is incurred.

2. Is there a difference in material costs between colors and patterns?

3. Is there a different edge profile that would be less expensive?

Major Appliances

Re-assess your priorities for the functions of these important kitchen components. Ice and water in the door may be important to cut energy costs and make it easier for youngsters to use the fridge, but must you also have the orange juice this accessible? Delay start and extra quiet insulation features may be important if your kitchen is adjacent to your family room, but you may be willing to compromise on the stainless steel door.


1. Consider cutting back on the number of fixtures, if you can do it without compromising the results.

2. Consider less expensive models.

3. Consider fewer wall switches.


Not a good place to skimp, but the floor covering can be upgraded later without disturbing the other kitchen components.

1. Less expensive than other floors, high quality vinyls are still a great value and usually cost less to install than tile or hard wood, both of which could be installed in the future and give your kitchen an even newer look!


Not a major part of your kitchen budget but these important items are still worth looking at to be sure you are getting the value for your investment.

1. Choose another, less expensive wallpaper pattern. Be sure it is easily strippable in case you plan to change it later.

2. Choose a pre-mixed paint color or a less expensive brand, type, but don’t sacrifice “washability”.

Plumbing and Electrical Upgrades

Some of these costs may not be avoidable if you are planning a complete kitchen tear-out and remodel, since they may be required either by local codes or by the condition of old systems.

1. Consider selecting a less expensive faucet. It can be upgraded later without disturbing any other feature in your kitchen.

2. The garbage disposal is another plumbing component that can be easily upgraded at some future juncture.

Other Costs

You can’t control the cost of your building permit, but…

1. Do your own tear-out and disposal. (Don’t forget to factor in the disposal fee charged by the local landfill.)

2. Wall changes or additions can be a costly part of the job since it often impacts many other elements of the total package. Re-evaluate the relative advantages to this kind of work to the expenses it will incur. Example: Could a cabinet pantry serve as well as a closet pantry? Would it cost less?

Window and Door Replacement

Replacement windows and doors can be done at any time and may not need to be part of the kitchen you are planning now.


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