How To Save Money on a Kitchen Remodel

The Beauty of Granite

Granite counter tops are beautiful, but they can be pricey, and must be installed by a professional. If you must have them, be sure to include installation costs into your budget.
Granite counter tops are beautiful, but they can be pricey, and must be installed by a professional. If you must have them, be sure to include installation costs into your budget.

The Costs and Benefits of Remodeling a Kitchen

Kitchens are one of the most updated rooms in American homes. In fact, real estate professionals recommend that any kitchen over ten years old should be remodeled or updated. The average kitchen remodel costs between $40,000 and $50,000, and many cost more than that. The return on investment (ROI) of a kitchen remodel is between 80 and 95 percent on resale. However, if a remodel costs less than $15,000, the ROI is a hefty 99%!

So the question becomes: how can you remodel a kitchen on a budget, and get more of your money back on resale? The simplest answer is to do as much of the work yourself as possible! Many aspects of a kitchen remodel can be accomplished by most homeowners. The more you do yourself, the more money you save on labor. The more you save on labor, the lower your costs are and the higher your return on investment is.

Building Concrete Countertops

Painting Kitchen Cabinets

Kitchen Remodel Tasks for DIYers

For the average do-it-yourselfer, most kitchen installation tasks can be accomplished without hiring a contractor. Your choice of materials will greatly dictate how easy they will be to install. For example, if you insist on granite slab counter tops, you will have to hire a contractor or have the counter fabricator install it. Some flooring types are more DIY friendly than others, though most can be installed by the average homeowner without too much trouble. Here are some tasks most homeowners can do themselves, saving money on installation:

  • Cabinets: Most homeowners can install new cabinets. Installing them yourself can save you literally thousands of dollars in installation costs, depending on the size of your kitchen. Likewise, if your existing cabinets are in good shape, but need a bit of a facelift, most homeowners should be able to sand and paint them, giving the entire kitchen a brand-new look in the process.
  • Countertops: Other than slab granite, marble, and engineered stone, most homeowners should be able to install their own countertops. Great DIY options include tile, laminate, and butcher-block. Another great, trendy DIY option: concrete countertops.
  • Flooring: From vinyl tiles, to sheet vinyl, to ceramic tile and wood, many homeowners should be able to install their own flooring. Wood and tile are definitely better for resale, and they're not all that difficult to install, especially when you consider the proliferation of "floating" floor options such as Pergo. These are great DIY options.
  • Plumbing: Installing a new sink or faucet isn't too difficult for many homeowners, and it can save you big bucks when you consider that the average plumber charges around $60 per hour!
  • Electrical: Most homeowners can install new lighting fixtures themselves without too much trouble. However, when it comes to rewiring or installing new outlets, many homeowners feel better calling a professional.
  • Paint, Wallpaper: This is one of the most common DIY tasks, and it's easy! Most homeowners should be able to take this on with no problems.
  • Backsplashes: As with tile, your choice of material will decide whether this is a true DIY option or not. Slab granite, stainless steel, and bluestone will require a professional install. Tiles, a classic choice, are the perfect way for a DIYer to install a backsplash.

Installing Kitchen Cabinets

More Cost-Saving Ideas

Here are a few final ideas for cutting costs on your kitchen remodel:

  • Order stock cabinets instead of custom cabinets. Stock cabinets for an average kitchen will cost around $5,000. Custom cabinets for the same kitchen can easily cost $20,000 and up!
  • Consider how much appliance you really need. If your idea of cooking is to dial the local Chinese place, purchasing that slick 8-burner, stainless steel professional range doesn't make a whole lot of sense! It will be money wasted.
  • Plan, plan, plan! Figure out your budget ahead of time, and stick as closely to it as possible. In the bustle of a remodel, it's very easy to lose track of where the money is going. Revisiting the budget regularly, and deciding which items you're willing to scrimp on and which you're not will keep the budget from getting out of control.

In the end, a kitchen remodel can make your home more efficient, more valuable, and more stylish. And there is no greater satisfaction than walking into your beautiful new kitchen and knowing that you did a lot of the work yourself!

Ugly Flooring=Ugly Kitchen

Hint: If your flooring looks like this, it's time to replace it. This is what we had when we moved into our house. Needless to say, it was one of the first things to go!
Hint: If your flooring looks like this, it's time to replace it. This is what we had when we moved into our house. Needless to say, it was one of the first things to go!

DIY Granite

This photo of a kitchen that was a complete DIY project shows a more affordable option for granite countertops. This DIYer simply adhered 12x12 granite tile to the countertop and then grouted it. A solid granite countertop will cost upwards of $75 pe
This photo of a kitchen that was a complete DIY project shows a more affordable option for granite countertops. This DIYer simply adhered 12x12 granite tile to the countertop and then grouted it. A solid granite countertop will cost upwards of $75 pe

Faucets Add Character

There is a huge selection of styles and price ranges in faucets at your home improvement store.
There is a huge selection of styles and price ranges in faucets at your home improvement store.

Subway Tile Backsplash

Subway tile backsplashes can give a kitchen a high-end look, and they're the perfect do-it-yourself project.
Subway tile backsplashes can give a kitchen a high-end look, and they're the perfect do-it-yourself project.

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Comments 19 comments

Abhinaya 8 years ago

Great hub!I think I would like to remodel my kitchen after reading all this.Thanks.


Lynett profile image

Lynett 8 years ago from USA

You have some great information here. We're hoping to remodel our kitchen in the next six months, so I'll be back to refresh my memory on some of these tips.


Whitney05 profile image

Whitney05 8 years ago from Georgia

This looks great! I need to show this to my dad. Remodeling the kitchen is on his to-do list. He wants new cabinets and such. But refuses to change the wallpaper because it was too much trouble getting up. Ha.


midnightbliss profile image

midnightbliss 7 years ago from Hermosa Beach

great information and tips here, remodeling a kitchen or any part of the house seem to be difficult specially for DIY projects, but your hub motivates me to do some remodeling, thanks.


Kitchen designs 6 years ago

Very informative content. I can see you put a lot of thought and hard work into creating your hub. Hope it pays of for you.

Regards Julian


Morris Streak profile image

Morris Streak 6 years ago from UK

Even if you weren't remodelling your kitchen with the intent to sell your house, the return on investment would have to be measured not in money but in living comfort, the knowledge everything is where you expect them to be so you can cook in peace. I would recommend, as part of the planning stage, to draw on paper the floorplan on the current kitchen and the intended remodelled version, with the new appliances and cabinets in place. Good stuff you have here. I'm into home improvement myself.


scanzin profile image

scanzin 6 years ago from Not Spcified

Love all of the ideas! You are a wealth of information.


Craftsmith profile image

Craftsmith 6 years ago from India

very practical tips !


relica profile image

relica 6 years ago from California

Great suggestion planning to use stock cabinets. They really save a bundle over custom in a kitchen remodel.


AmandaB profile image

AmandaB 6 years ago from Middletown

Nice Hub!!! I'm definitely going to paint my cabinets for a new look in my kitchen.


Rebecca 6 years ago

We have started to remodel our kitchen. A complete gut job.

Hubby is doing it all himself.....that is going to be a great return!!


angelaglancy profile image

angelaglancy 6 years ago from Seattle

Great video on building a concrete countertop. Nice Hub.


Jim Dee 6 years ago

Nice hub. Keep adding more


Thomas 6 years ago

A kitchen is generally the first thing prospective homeowners look at. Today's kitchen is the life of the home, often serving as a dining area, office, entertaining and gathering place. With so many important functions, the kitchen should be the most welcoming room in the house.

If you only do one thing to your kitchen, replace the cabinets. Kitchen cabinets generally sets the tone for the kitchen, so with one project you instantly wake up the room. If you can't afford to replace your cabinets, consider stain, or paint to a new color, or reface them with new cabinet doors. Additionally, you can simply add new cabinet hardware to get a completely new look.


HomeInsights profile image

HomeInsights 5 years ago

I agree that planning is definitely key to keeping a budget as low as possible. Even though at times extra unexpected costs can peak in here and there planning is THE most important thing to do.


whitton profile image

whitton 5 years ago

Great Hub. Very informative tips and advice. I can see that you put a lot of thought and effort in this post.


tituscontracting profile image

tituscontracting 4 years ago from Savage MN

I agree with the commenter who said planning is the most important thing you can do. Otherwise, the job won't turn out the way it should. Every kitchen we've ever done has been planned: http://www.tituscontracting.com/2012/07/26/titus-c...


simon 12 months ago

Your articles are very well written and unique. http://mooreremodel.com/location/


sandiegogranite profile image

sandiegogranite 10 months ago from 3220 Kurtz St #300, San Diego, CA 92110, United States

Nice idea and saving money

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