How to Save Money on a Kitchen Remodel

Homeowners spend more money on kitchen remodels than on any other home improvement project, and with good reason: kitchens are the hub of home life and a source of pride. A significant portion of kitchen remodel costs may be recovered by the value the project brings to your home.

kitchen remodel

To maximize your return on investment, we have a few tips to help stay on budget and make smart choices for the long term.

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Make a Plan

Planning your kitchen remodel should take more time than the actual construction. If you plan well, the amount of time you’re inconvenienced by construction will be minimized. Plus, you’re more likely to stay on budget.

How much time should you spend planning? The National Kitchen and Bath Association recommends at least six months. That way, you won’t be tempted to change your mind during construction, which will inflate construction costs and could hurt your return on investment.

Some tips on planning:

  • Study your existing kitchen: How wide is the doorway into your kitchen? Don’t buy the extra-large fridge unless you know you can get it through the doorway. Create a drawing of your kitchen with measurements for doorways, walkways, counters, etc.
  • Think about traffic patterns: Work aisles should be a minimum of 42 inches wide and at least 48 inches wide for households with multiple cooks.
  • Design with ergonomics in mind: Drawers or pull-out shelves in base cabinets; counter heights that can adjust up or down; a wall oven instead of a range: These are all features that make a kitchen accessible — and a pleasure to work in.
  • Plan for the unforeseeable: Even if you’ve planned down to the number of nails you’ll need in your remodel, expect the unexpected. Build in a little leeway for completing the remodel. Want it done by Thanksgiving? Then plan to be done before Halloween.

Maintain Your Footprint

Nothing will drive up the cost of a remodel faster than changing the location of plumbing pipes and electrical outlets, and knocking down walls.

This is also where unforeseen problems usually occur.If possible, keep appliances, water fixtures, and walls in the same location. Not only will you save on demolition and reconstruction costs, you’ll cut the amount of dust and debris your project generates.

Don’t Forget Lighting

Lighting can make a world of difference in a kitchen. It can make it look larger and brighter, and help you work safely and efficiently. You should have two types of lighting in your kitchen:

  • Task Lighting: Under-cabinet lighting should be on your must-do list, since cabinets create dark work areas. Plan for at least two fixtures per task area to eliminate shadows. Pendant lights are good for islands and other counters without low cabinets. Recessed lights and track lights work well over sinks and general prep areas with no cabinets overhead.
  • Ambient lighting: Flush-mounted ceiling fixtures, wall sconces, and track lights create overall lighting in your kitchen. Include dimmer switches to control intensity and mood.

Add Functional Storage

If you’re sticking with the same footprint, here are a couple of ideas to add more storage:

  • Install cabinets that reach the ceiling: They may cost more — and you might need a stepladder — but you’ll gain valuable storage space.
  • Hang it up: Mount small shelving units on unused wall areas and inside cabinet doors; hang pots and skillets on a ceiling-mounted rack; and add hooks to the backs of doors for aprons, brooms, and mops.

Maintain Clear Communication

Establishing a good rapport with your project manager or construction team is essential for staying on time and budget. To keep your project moving smoothly:

  • Establish a communication center: Hang a message board on site where you and the project manager can leave daily notes. Give your email address and cell phone number to subs and team leaders.
  • Set house rules: Be clear about noise levels, available bathrooms, and appropriate parking.
  • Be kind: Offer refreshments (a little hospitality can go a long way), give praise when warranted, and resist pestering them with conversation, jokes, and questions when they are working. They’ll work better when refreshed and allowed to concentrate on work.

Ready to remodel your kitchen? Give The Chuba Company a call today.

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At The Chuba Company, our dedication to service, attention to detail and use of top quality products ensures that we will be your trusted partner throughout the home renovation process. Contact us to talk about your kitchen remodel ideas or for an estimate! Be sure to follow Chuba on Facebook, Pinterest, and Houzz to see our latest work, and to get ideas, tips and inspiration.


(This is a repost of a blog post from January 2016 that was updated in April 2020.)

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