6 ways to cut costs on your next kitchen remodel

January 16, 2014

By: , Contributing Writer

In: Kitchen Remodel

Giving your kitchen that much-needed facelift can not only invigorate a weary home, it can significantly increase its value. Whether you see your renovation as an investment in property or in happiness, you need to do what you can to keep costs as low as possible while still arriving at a finished product you're going to enjoy. Over the past five years Americans have spent an average of $28,030 on kitchen remodels, according to the design and home improvement website Houzz. To avoid spending excessively on your project, read on for some helpful tips.

1. Avoid brand new appliances
If purchasing a new fridge or stove is part of your kitchen remodel plan, or even if you have your sights set on smaller appliances like a mixer or a microwave, there's no need to buy them brand new. Most appliance retailers have scratch-and-dent sections, and you're going to find that many of these aren't actually very scratched or dented. You can also ask about purchasing a display model to save money and still get a virtually new piece of equipment.

2. Do the shelving yourself
If you plan to add shelving to the kitchen pantry, cross that off your estimates and handle the job on your own. Most home improvement centers have affordable and easy-to-install shelving which can save you big-time on your overall costs. If in doubt, ask for assistance when you make your purchase or go to your local hardware store for advice.

3. Paint or refinish countertops
Replacing countertops can get expensive in a hurry. Instead of a full gut-job, consider painting or refinishing them. Anytime you can upgrade rather than purchase new, the result is going to be better cost savings.

4. Keep your cabinets
Brand new and especially custom-made kitchen cabinets can be very expensive. Like your countertops, one workaround here is to simply repaint or refinish them and upgrade accessories such as handles and door knobs. If the underlying style of your cabinetry is attractive, but they're a little worse for wear, this may be your best option.

5. Donate the old stuff
Save on costly waste disposal services and get in touch with a local chapter of Habitat for Humanity to donate what can be reappropriated. If you don't have a lot of old appliances or materials, you may be able to get everything picked up for as little as $75. Make a list of the items you're giving and claim a charitable donation on your tax return.

6. Pay for electrical or wiring services
When it comes to electrical installation or wiring upgrades, you might be better off using the services of a professional, unless you are significantly well-versed in those areas. The last thing you want is to cause an injury or damage your home, which could end up costing you a lot of money. Unless electricity and wiring is old hat to you, pay the extra money and go with an electrician.

Now that we've reduced costs as much as possible, let's figure out how we're going to pay for your project. Lowe's and The Home Depot offer financing, and they even run special deals from time to time. You could also start cutting back now and save up enough to pay for your project in cash, avoiding interest entirely. If you're organized and well-disciplined, pay with a credit card that offers 0% interest for an extended period of time, such as the Citi Simplicity Card which provides 18 months. Just make sure you pay it all off before the promotional period ends. It'd be a shame to rack up all these savings only to lose them on pesky credit card interest.

What other ways can you think of to save on a kitchen remodel?

Charlie Connor is an online contributor who writes about DIY home improvement projects, smart shopping, and real estate.

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