You know what they say: kitchens sell houses, and a kitchen renovation is a smart way to increase the value of your home.
Making over the kitchen can give you between $17,000 and $67,000 in return on investment. However, kitchen remodels are not cheap. An upscale kitchen remodel can cost more than $120,000. Here’s how you can keep your kitchen renovation costs low while still achieving that high return on investment.
1. Don’t Buy Tools When You Can Rent Them
Obviously, a huge money saver when you renovate your kitchen is being able to do the work yourself. If you’re up for the challenge, don’t invest in a ton of tools that you might never use for another project. Instead, take advantage of hardware stores’ rental programs. For example, Lowe’s and Home Depot have everything from saws to pressure washers available to rent.
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2. Keep the Current Layout
Tearing apart the kitchen is a quick way to drive your costs up. Once you start rearranging parts of the kitchen, the plumbing is affected, and redoing the plumbing will add more money to your renovation costs. Plus, knocking down any walls in the kitchen will probably lead to needing to fix areas of another room outside of just the kitchen. Instead, try to imagine how you could keep the current layout of your kitchen while still freshening it up.
3. Choose Your Countertops Wisely
Did you know marble countertops are less durable than granite ones, but cost more? Knowing the ins and outs of building materials and their durability will help you choose a counter that lasts longer and might cost you less. Quartzite countertops will also cost less than marble, as will natural or manufactured stone. If you’re probably not going to be cooking at home very often, butcher block is the cheapest (and least durable) option. Why spend the money on heavy-duty counters if you’re not going to use them?
4. Work with the Cabinets in Place
Your dingy kitchen cabinets might have been what prompted the kitchen remodel in the first place. However, completely gutting the cabinets and replacing them can cost between $4,000 and $11,000. A better idea is to see how you can update the look of your current cabinets. Maybe they just need a fresh coat of paint, or a color change that will completely modernize the room. If you really want or need to replace the cabinet doors, consider refacing. Refacing the cabinets keeps the box of the cabinet in place, but allows you to replace the doors, drawer fronts, hinges and handles. Even solely replacing the handles can make cabinets look 20 years newer.
5. Be on the Lookout for Mistints
Mistints are paints that are returned to the paint store either unopened or barely used. The ones that are barely used are typically because customers brought them home and didn’t like the color once they tried it. You can sometimes find mistints for as low as $5 a can.
6. Look for Discounted Appliances
Often, retailers will have a “scratch and dent” section where basically brand new appliances sell for much cheaper due to small cosmetic imperfections. You can also check online for retailers like Wayfair who offer their used or open box appliances at a discounted rate. American Freight also offers deals on used and opened appliances, including refrigerators for $300 or more off the original price.
7. Keep the Floor Simple
If you already have hardwood floors in your kitchen, you’re lucky. You can simply sand and finish them for a completely refreshed look. If you are looking to replace the decades-old tile in your kitchen, try vinyl flooring. It comes in a variety of looks, and is very easy to install. A lot of vinyl flooring is offered in peel-and-stick form, so it’s definitely a project you can do yourself. Laminate flooring is another affordable option that can be designed to look like wood for an elevated feel to the kitchen.
8. Don’t Sweat the Backsplash
Installing a trendy backsplash can cost between $500 and $1,400. A cheaper and less labor intensive way to achieve the backsplash look without the price is to opt for water-resistant wallpaper, or cheaper materials like beadboard or shiplap.
9. Make a Meal Plan
This isn’t exactly a design tip, but it’s something many people don’t realize until their kitchen is in shambles. You probably won’t have access to what you need in the kitchen to make your food. Make sure you’ve planned ahead with meal prep before you start renovating. This way, you won’t be ordering in or going out for every single meal.
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