Remodeling a kitchen is an expensive endeavor, but well worth it. It seems like there is a never-ending list of materials that need to be purchased, contractors that need to be paid — not to mention deposits — and countless unknowns. However, there are ways to keep a kitchen remodel within budget, without sacrificing the quality.

What exactly are these three ways to save money on a kitchen remodel? Get profesh help.

PLAN. PLAN. PLAN.

DIY.

Get Professional Help

So let’s talk about numba one!

I know your probably thinking I am off my rocker. Like seriously Jessica, you want me to hire — spend money on — a profesh kitchen designer and contractor to help me save money? Yep absolutely.

Even if you can’t afford to hire a designer for the entire project, book an in-home consultation for a one time fee to discuss your project. And please talk to your contractor, they may be willing to let you do some of the work yourself to help save you money. We will talk about this later.

Kitchen designers and contractors are experts in kitchen remodels. They know how to avoid costly mistakes, fix problem areas affordably, and know where to go to get the best quality for your budget. Professionals also know how to keep you on track and won’t let you try to slip a couple of bottles of champagne in if you have a beer budget.

This something they do every day, so don’t underestimate their value. Their training and experience combined will be worth more than you can imagine.

On to the next step.

PLAN. PLAN. PLAN.

And in case you haven’t gotten it yet — P-L-A-N!

Seriously, I know that this one seems like a no-brainer but the majority of people who plan a kitchen remodel do not plan properly. Yes, they may have a rough budget in their head, yes they may know the contractor that will be installing the kitchen and where they will be purchasing their material. These things are all excellent things to know when remodeling but it needs to go further than that.

Plan out your kitchen in detail. Do your homework, budget properly, know exactly what work your contractor will be performing. A few questions you should be asking yourself during the planning stage are:

  • Will the new kitchen design FUNCTION in the way I need it too?
  • Have I compared at least three cabinet/material estimates?
  • Have I been educated on the quality of the materials I want and does it make sense with my budget?
  • Have I interviewed at least three contractors/designers?
  • Have I reviewed an ITEMIZED estimate from each interviewed contractor/designer?
  • Have I hired all the proper trades?
  • If I do not have a general contractor, what work can I do myself?
  • Have I created a DETAILED budget?
    Pro Tip: You can use this budget worksheet as a guideline, although I prefer to go into much more detail. I list out each material I need separately (cabinets, countertop, backsplash, hardware, sink, faucet, flooring, lighting, paint, etc.). The contractor figures in all the construction material like drywall, mud, and screws, but I keep track of all the finish materials and budget for each item. This is something a kitchen designer can help you with.

DIY the Easy Way

This is one of the easiest ways to help keep your kitchen remodel on a budget. Some examples include:

  • Demo the kitchen yourself — tear out cabinets, drywall, appliances, ceiling, flooring, etc. so that your contractor has a clean slate.
  • Dispose of all demo construction material.
  • Prime and paint the kitchen yourself.
  • Paint or restain your existing cabinets.
    Pro Tip: If your cabinets are still in great shape and the layout of the kitchen works for you, why tear them out? Just give it a facelift. You can even replace the doors to give it a new look. A word of caution — a cabinet refacing job can cost almost the same as purchasing and installing new cabinets. Look for a local cabinet maker, who will probably be able to make new doors for a more reasonable price.
  • Install parts of the kitchen yourself, like lighting or drywall. Install your own flooring and backsplash. Install the entire kitchen yourself. However, I only recommend doing the latter if you have experience in this area. It is really not as easy as it may seem and could end up in a costly mistake.

Keep in mind if you are going to DIY parts of your remodel, please make sure that you complete your tasks in a timely manner. If you fall behind, it will push the contractors’ timeline behind, meaning your kitchen remodel will drag out and no one will be happy.

This also will affect your contractors other clients, so just keep in mind that you will need to be sure that you have the time to complete your tasks if you choose to DIY parts of your remodel.

Here’s a bonus tip and one of my favorite ways to make room in a budget!

Don’t be snotty about your countertops.

This is one area that I am ok with skimping on. Countertops are such an easy item to change later on down the road when funds allow. I always suggest using a laminate countertop when the budget is tight.

Laminate countertops have improved over time, and Wilson Art’s HD laminates are FIVE TIMES more scratch- and wear-resistant. And I believe it. I’ve tried scratching it will keys, slid heavy items across it and not one scratch. Some of the new laminate even look exactly like granite and quartz. I have been fooled by this until I touched it.

As you start thinking about your kitchen remodel, remember these simple tips, I promise they will help. Remodeling your kitchen is an investment, not only does it add value to your home but value to your life! Happy remodeling!

Jessica Lehman | Interior Designer, Owner, Jessica Lehman Designs

Jessica Lehman is an interior designer, momtrepreneur and bohemian — not necessarily in that order. I collaborate with people who are looking for a beautiful home but don’t have the time to make it a reality. Her design aesthetic is unique and free-spirited, and she tends to color outside the lines. She holds a bachelors in Interior Design with a minor in Art Studio from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Jessica has been designing colorful, life-friendly, functional homes since 2010.

Learn more about working with Jessica Lehman of Jessica Lehman Design on her eDesign Tribe member profile!

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