Five tips for keeping costs down for your next kitchen remodel

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According to the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, an estimated two million kitchens will be remodeled this year. It’s great news for manufacturers and contractors who will be seeing record-breaking sales but it can be tough on homeowners since kitchens are typically the most expensive room in the home to remodel. The average cost for a kitchen remodel is close to $30,000 and many homeowner’s who’d like an updated kitchen aren’t in a position to spend that kind of money. If you want to remodel your kitchen on a tight budget, here are some tips for keeping the costs down.

Make up your mind and don’t change it

The number one reason for a kitchen remodel going over budget is the homeowner changing his/her mind mid-project. On average, changing your mind in the middle of a kitchen remodel will add another 10% to the cost. To avoid this, take plenty of time before you begin the project to figure out what it is you want. Scour the internet for ideas so that you have a pretty good sense for what it is you want. Then when a new idea pops into your head after work has begun, just remind yourself that you already did the research and planned out the scope of the project to your liking.

Don’t rush the design and planning

Another thing that adds to the cost of a remodel is failing to plan sufficiently. Don’t settle for a rough sketch of the finished project. Invest in some virtual reality software or 3D drawings which get the measurements exactly right. Then, whether you’re doing the work yourself or if a contractor is doing it, the work can be done exactly according to the plans without any guesswork.

Don’t overpay for high-end materials

While you certainly don’t want to go for the cheapest materials even when you’re on a tight budget, you shouldn’t feel like you need to choose the most expensive items every time. Remember that price isn’t always a good indicator of quality. Exotic marble countertops are very pricey but no more durable than quartz which is much cheaper and very easy to clean and take care of. You can achieve the look of hardwood floors at a much lower price by getting look-alike porcelain tiles.

Remember function before looks

Looks are certainly important, but they’re not everything. So while you want your remodeled kitchen to look nice, it’s even more important that it meets the needs of your family and that it is functional. Within your budget, try to allocate most of the funds towards things that will make your kitchen more functional. For example, spend bigger on a nice over-the-range hood for proper ventilation and invest in some under-cabinet task lighting to make food preparation easier. Additional storage space is another good way to spend your money.

Do your due diligence when hiring help

DIY is always the cheapest if you can get away with it but if a project requires professional help, it’s cheaper to get it done right the first time with the help of a professional than to mess it up. So really do your homework and select a contractor with a good reputation. The contractor should be licensed and insured as well.

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