So, you’re starting your kitchen remodel. Hurray! I’m sure you’ve waited for this day for a long time. But before you spend away your life savings, here’s a few tips and tricks to save yourself a little moolah AND get the home of your dreams. Check it out.
I wanted to remodel my kitchen from the moment we moved into our house. But of course, it costs money, and lots of it. Fast forward seven years and we had finally saved up enough money and it was still going to be way expensive. So, I figured out a few ways to save some money without sacrificing on quality. Here’s 10 tips that will hopefully help you with your next remodel.
Tip #1: Know what you want BEFORE you start
One of the easiest ways to save money on any remodel is not changing your mind halfway through. Once those walls come down and cabinets go up, there’s no going back. Unless you want to spend a whole bunch of money fixing it. My advice is to get some professional opinions and look at lots and lots of different options before deciding on your own.
Tip #2: Be your own contractor
Contractors are great. They get the job done. But they can be really expensive. Of course, hiring out your own electrician, plumber, painter, sheetrocker and flooring guys is a lot of work, but then you literally save thousands of dollars. Plus, you’re in the driver’s seat. You decide who’s working on your house and you can be part of the process all along the way.
Tip #3: Do some of the work yourself
Labor is a huge cost for any kitchen remodel. So, decide what parts of your remodel you can do yourself and what parts you absolutely must hire out. For example, instead of hiring a demolition crew, grab a hammer and tear out that wall. We decided to build our own pantry, paint our entire upstairs, and install baseboards and doors. We saved quite a bit of money.
Tip #4: Keep an eye on your subcontractors
Every remodel runs into snags. But if you tell your subcontractors to do something and they don’t do it right, you need to make sure they take care of it right away. Because once you’ve paid them, they most likely won’t be rushing back in a hurry to fix the problem. Then you’ll have to pay someone else to fix it.
Tip #5: Get multiple bids
When I was pricing out a new front door, my first bid told me it would cost $3,000. So, I decided to look around. I ended up going with another company that only charged me $600 for install and materials. Some subcontractors are super busy and purposely give inflated quotes because they don’t want to do that job. So, do your homework.
Tip #6: Be organized; time is money
You’ll need to start scheduling your cabinets at least three or four months in advance. Everything else hinges on that. And if you have to reschedule subcontractors, you might lose some of your other subcontractors and end up having to hire someone else that charges you more. I recommend getting a large white board and placing “to do” sticky notes in order of completion date and then write down on your calendar when everything is happening.
Tip #7: Be open to more affordable options
Do you really need gold-plated hardware on all of your cabinets? Maybe the brushed nickel looks just as good and is half the price. Do those second-hand bar stools look just as good as the brand new ones from Pottery Barn? Determine what is worth the expense and where you can save. For us, I decided to use second-hand IKEA bookcases for our mudroom shelves and spent $100 instead of $600.
Tip #8: Keep appliances that still fit the space
We were going to buy a brand new fridge for our kitchen and then we realized that our current fridge looked exactly the same. So we saved $3,000 and stuck with our old fridge. When that fridge breaks, then we can buy a new one. In the end we also kept our dishwasher and washer and dryer. It didn’t make sense to spend more money when our current appliances worked fine.
Tip #9: Hold off on other projects
If you’re remodeling your kitchen, sometimes you’re tempted to replace the vanity in the bathroom or pull up the carpet in the bedrooms at the same time. But, it’s okay if your entire home isn’t brand-spanking new. Finish your kitchen and then remodel the bathroom next year. It’s not worth going deeper into debt for.
Tip #10: Talk to your tax guy
Maybe you work from home and have a dedicated office. Or maybe your renovations can be considered capital improvements and add to the value of your home. Whatever the case may be, you might be able to save a little money on taxes. So, checked with a tax professional to see what you qualify for. And keep your receipts!
Hopefully these tips will help you on your upcoming kitchen remodel. Send me some before and after pictures. I would love to see them! Here’s a video showing the process we went through for our remodel.
Related link: Amazing kids bedroom makeover