6 Simple Ways to Save on Your Kitchen Renovation

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By Michele Koh Morollo
Upgrading a kitchen is seldom a cheap endeavor, but you can save yourself a pretty penny by following these tips.

A well-designed kitchen not only saves time and effort while cooking, but also offers a social hub for the family and friends, and adds to a property's resale value. According to HomeAdvisor, an average kitchen remodel will set you back around $22,120, with smaller projects coming in at around $12,600, and more lavish revamps costing around $33,400. If you want to revive your kitchen, but keep costs low, here are six helpful tips.  

1. Avoid Changing the Layout 

If your kitchen layout is already serving you well, focus on upgrading appliances, cabinetry, and finishings rather than rearranging everything. Moving appliances around means you’ll need to hire electricians and plumbers for rewiring and plumbing jobs, which will increase costs. 

If it is absolutely necessary to move items like the sink or stove, then plan deliberately to save yourself the hassle of having to reorganize again in the future. 

If it is absolutely necessary to move items like the sink or stove, then plan deliberately to save yourself the hassle of having to reorganize again in the future. 

 2. Understand What the Space Can Accommodate

If you’re undertaking a large-scale remodel, take some time considering the flooring, walls, and ceiling. Ensure that walls and ceilings have the right dimensions to accommodate the type and number of appliances and cabinetry that you have planned. Think about the positioning of windows, too. With careful planning, you won’t have to waste money later making alterations to improve efficiency. 

Consider investing in high-quality floors, which can make even a budget kitchen look stylish.

Consider investing in high-quality floors, which can make even a budget kitchen look stylish.

3. Repaint or Reface the Cabinetry 

Joinery and cabinet doors are the "face" of the kitchen, and thankfully, a makeover is often affordable, and easy to do with a new coat of paint, or refacing. Select your flooring, walls, backsplash, and countertop surface materials, then choose a new paint color for your cabinets that best complements the overall scheme. If you have cabinets that cannot be painted or stained, then consider refacing—a process that involves keeping the cabinet framework but replacing all the cabinet doors, side panels, and drawer fronts. 

The kitchen connects the living/dining room area and the family room.

The kitchen connects the living/dining room area and the family room.

4. Upgrade Your Kitchen Sink, Taps, and Hardware 

Rather than splurging on expensive countertops or tiles, a smart—and less expensive—way to reinvigorate your kitchen is to focus on the features that you use frequently, such as cabinet handles, sinks, and taps. Well-chosen, high-quality sinks, taps, and cupboard and drawer handles can elevate your kitchen, and give it a much more luxurious look.

The Cameron Residence in Austin, Texas.

The Cameron Residence in Austin, Texas.

5. Mix Worktop Materials

Stone worktop surfaces, such as marble or granite, are often one of the costliest components of a kitchen remodel, but this doesn’t mean you can’t include these texturally interesting, natural materials in your kitchen. Rather than have all worktops made out of a more expensive stone, you can use these materials in sections (say, for the breakfast bar portion of the island counter), combined with cheaper laminate or composites for the surfaces of more heavy-duty work areas.

The kitchen and dining connects to the living room.

The kitchen and dining connects to the living room.

6. Install a Butcher Block Island Counter

If you want a versatile, fuss-free island counter, one very affordable option is a butcher block. IKEA sells pre-cut butcher block islands in standard sizes for as little as $99. Though some maintenance is required—you'll want to sand and oil the surface at least twice a year—butcher block islands bring both warmth and practicality to kitchens: as a bonus, you can prepare food directly on it, saving the effort of using a cutting board.

Prized possessions such as the old English butcher block sit cheek-to-jowl with 21st-century amenities, such as the stacking ovens by Dacor, six-burner Viking stove, and Miele dishwasher.

Prized possessions such as the old English butcher block sit cheek-to-jowl with 21st-century amenities, such as the stacking ovens by Dacor, six-burner Viking stove, and Miele dishwasher.