Save Cash on a Kitchen Remodel

How to Save Cash on a Kitchen Remodel

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Image: Frigidaire

The holidays might have you thinking about sprucing up your home. If you’re planning to do a kitchen remodel, you’re probably looking for ways to save some cash. Julie Fritz, senior director of the Cooking Product Line for home appliance maker Electrolux, gave us some great tips for shaving a few dollars off your home renovation budget. Read on for ways to help your wallet stay fat. How do you make sure your budget is realistic?

Julie Fritz: In determining how much money to spend on a kitchen remodel, it’s generally suggested you spend about 5% to 15% of your home’s valuation. It is important to consider allocations within this budget. Whether it’s a major or minor project, a kitchen remodel has many components with varying costs—appliances, cabinetry, faucets and plumbing, lighting and electrical, and walls and trim. Creating a distribution chart among these categories helps in setting your budget. Keep in mind that miscellaneous costs are often overlooked and can throw the budget into shambles mid-project. Don’t forget to include items such as design/permitting fees and eating out more frequently (due to construction in the kitchen). In addition, it’s smart to allocate about 20% of the budget for unexpected costs (such as discovering water or termite damage).

What is the best way to achieve the look you want without breaking the bank?

Make sure you do your homework! Appliance retailers often offer varied prices on the same appliance, information that is readily available on retailer’s websites. If you find the perfect refrigerator but it exceeds your budget, look for a better price at a different retailer. A comparison of stores allows you to not only examine the base price, but also look for special in-store discounts. Conduct due diligence by reviewing publications such as, J.D. Power Appliance Retailer Satisfaction Study and Consumer Reports. Take advantage of the rebates and sales tax exemptions offered for energy-saving appliances. Many states offer “sales tax holidays” throughout the year on Energy Star appliances. Frigidaire offers a range of appliances that are ENERGY STAR® Qualified, which help save on utility bills. A more expensive energy-saving dishwasher could actually end up costing less than a cheaper model if you apply an Energy Star rebate and/or a state sales tax exemption, not to mention the energy savings experienced over the life of the appliance.

If you can’t afford to remodel, what are some other ways to spruce up your kitchen?
A full kitchen remodel may be out of the question due to budgetary constraints, but that doesn’t mean you can’t transform your kitchen into a more stylish version of itself. By hanging artwork on the walls you can add color and dimension. You may not be able to replace the cabinets, but by adding a fresh coat of paint or decorative cabinet handles you can make an old structure appear modern. Also keep in mind that while a full remodel may not be possible, you can still replace old appliances with a more gradual approach. Instead of replacing everything at once, get a new refrigerator this year, a new oven the following year, and so on. This spreads out the cost, making it a less daunting expense.

Generally, how much can you increase your home’s resale value by remodeling your kitchen?
Kitchen remodels continue to be one of the best investments you can make in your home when considering resale value. The kitchen tends to be the most frequently used and commented upon room in a house, and therefore, often the number-one renovation priority. In most housing markets, splurging for a kitchen remodel is a sure-fire investment, often returning more than 100% of the cost. Certain upgrades— premium appliances (especially stainless steel), and granite counters—are definitely worth their cost by enticing homebuyers and increasing value.