How To Save Money on a Kitchen Remodel
The Beauty of Granite
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
Faucets Add Character
Advice and DIY Projects for Your Kitchen Remodel
- Low Cost Kitchen Makeovers
Sometimes all a kitchen needs is a little sprucing up. This page from HGTV provides options for makeovers on a $500, $1000, and $2500 budget. Projects include DIY mosaic countertops and projects for making your appliances look like built-ins.
- Tips to Renovate Your Kitchen on a Budget
In this article and related video clip from MSNBC, a real estate agent gives her advice on where to spend your kitchen remodeling dollar. This article focuses a lot on the planning phase, which will save you money throughout your remodel.
- Simple Kitchen Makeovers
This informative article from This Old House provides great advice for sprucing up a kitchen. This covers it all: storage, countertops, appliances, and flooring.
- Installing Kitchen Flooring
A new floor can make a world of difference in your kitchen remodel. This resource from Hometime provides instructions for installing sheet vinyl, vinyl tile, and wood flooring. There is plenty of useful information here.
- Kitchen Lighting Schemes
The success of any remodel lies in the details. This page from This Old House includes a slideshow illustrating a dozen lighting schemes, as well as advice for creating your own lighting plan for your kitchen.
- Installing Ceramic Tile Counters and Backsplashes
This is a great, comprehensive resource for everything you need to know to install your own ceramic tile kitchen countertop and backsplash.
- Install a Ceramic Tile Backsplash
This article from Lowe's Home Improvement provides a supplies list, step-by-step instructions, and plenty of tips for installing a custom tile backsplash in your kitchen. It includes great photos and easy-to-follow instructions.
- Replacing Cabinet Door Pulls
Something as simple as replacing the handles or knobs on your cabinet doors and drawers can give your kitchen a quick update. This project guide from The Home Depot gives you step-by-step instructions for updating your hardware.
- Choosing a Kitchen Sink
This article from DIY guru Bob Vila gives you all the information you need for selecting a new kitchen sink. It includes a great rundown of different sink materials, and explains the pros and cons of each.
- Energy Star: Efficient Kitchen Appliances
Most kitchen remodels include replacing old appliances. While style is usually the deciding factor, taking the energy efficiency of your appliances into account will save on your energy bills in the future.
Subway Tile Backsplash
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