Kitchen remodeling: curing the over-budget blues

Posted by Jeffrey Anderson ~ June 20, 2013

Some things never seem to change. Remember when you were a kid and all the candy looked so good, but all you had to spend was a dollar? Kitchen remodeling is much the same -- it's just that the candy prices have gotten much higher! A major kitchen makeover may be the home improvement project that most often exceeds its budget -- sometimes by a lot. So what's the answer? Are there ways to accomplish what you want without coming down with a case of the over-budget blues?

4 tips for stretching your kitchen remodeling dollars

While you may not have been able to stretch that childhood dollar into several candy bars, there are some methods for making your kitchen remodeling budget go a little further. Here are four tips to try:

  1. Layout -- When it comes to remodeling, it's often what can't be seen that can hurt your budget. There are all sorts of hidden wires, pipes, and perhaps even ductwork installed to service your existing cabinet layout. Making a major change in design can involve a lot of costly electrical and mechanical work, none of which is DIY-friendly. If budget is a concern, stay as close to the current cabinet layout as possible.
  2. Cabinets -- It's easy to spend an afternoon or longer in a kitchen cabinet showroom with all of the beautiful styles, finishes, and wood types available. However, if you want to stretch those remodeling dollars, consider installing ready-to-assemble cabinets. RTA cabinets are offered by many manufacturers and are often a fraction of the cost of factory-built units. Look for solid wood models if you want top quality. If you can assemble your children's holiday presents, putting together RTA cabinets shouldn't be a challenge.
  3. Schedule -- Who hasn't seen countless commercials where companies advertise deferred payments on their products? If the new kitchen of your dreams is straining your remodeling budget right now, why not defer some of the work until next year or anytime in the future. Floor coverings, paint, light fixtures, and even some types of appliances can all be installed at a later date.
  4. Appliances -- Why would major manufacturers offer brand new, never-used appliances at major discounts? It's because they have small dents or scratches that occurred during shipping or when being delivered. If the defect will be up against a cabinet and never seen, who would ever know that you didn't pay full retail for that top of the line side-by-side refrigerator? Just about all major appliance manufacturers have regional scratch and dent warehouses.

Of course, doing some of the remodeling tasks yourself can be one of the best methods for saving a little money on your project. But be careful -- exceeding your skill level and having to hire someone to redo your work is almost a sure way to blow your budget.

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