Save So You Can Splurge
How to cut corners so you can spend more on the kitchen renovations you really want.
Remodeling a kitchen
is one of the most expensive projects that a homeowner can undertake. And too
often a person's grandiose plans have to be changed when they learn how much
their dream kitchen will cost. But there are some ways you can save money on
less important features to get the things you really want. Read on.
Most homeowners feel strongly about countertops. After all,
the countertop is host to many family activities: preparing meals, dining, doing
homework and paying bills, among others. If you have your heart set on solid
surfacing or granite, don't assume you can't afford these high-ticket materials.
To achieve the look of one of these sumptuous surfaces, without parting with
the king's ransom, consider the following options.
- Solid surfacing veneer
(SSV), a 1/8-inch thick veneer of solid surfacing mounted on particleboard,
is an alternative to solid surfacing (a synthetic material commonly known
by the product names Corian, Avonite, Gibraltar or Surell). Regular solid
surfacing must be made to order as a seamless 1/2-inch thick piece and costs
anywhere from $65 to $110 per linear foot. Edge treatments and inlays will
boost that cost even more.
- You'll pay about 30
percent less for SSV or about $45 to $65 per linear foot. The one downside
to SSV is that color and patterns may be more limited than with regular solid
- Instead of ordering
a solid-slab granite countertop, think about installing granite tiles. Slab
granite costs about $75 per square foot (installed); tiles will give you the
same handsome look but cost only $20 or so per square foot (installed). The
one drawback to tile, however, is that you need to keep grout lines clean.
Can you live with your kitchen's current layout? For remodeling,
the best way to save money is to leave your kitchen as is. That means the new
refrigerator goes where the old one was, and so on. More than half of your total
renovation budget gets eaten up when you (or your contractor and plumber) start
moving walls, relocating water lines and adding new electrical wiring.
Buy the materials yourself
Many designers or contractors order building materials, flooring,
cabinets and appliances for you. They handle the headache of actually placing
the order and arranging delivery. They also build in a fee for this service.
Talk to your contractor or designer and ask if it's possible to buy some of
the materials yourself. Some professionals don't want you to handle any of the
materials ordering, mainly because he or she may factor in the profit on materials
within an overall bid. Understandably, your professional may be less than keen
to part with monies counted on up front.
If your professional does agree, don't do all of the ordering yourself. Stick
to the fairly straightforward products like appliances. Keep in mind that you
will have to take responsibility for making sure the order has been placed correctly,
as well as arranging delivery (which means waiting for it too.). Also, if the
product arrives damaged or is an incorrect model, you'll have to sort that out
If you have the time and
patience to deal with these issues, however, handling the ordering can save
you anywhere from five to 15 percent per item under what a professional would
If you don't have to have the newest appliance that's being
advertised in the latest shelter magazines, consider buying a closeout model.
Often times there's nothing wrong with these appliances, they are just products
that are no longer being manufactured for any number of reasons. It's a great
way to get a brand-new appliance at discounts of 30 percent or more. Most models
still carry a regular warranty, but check before purchasing. The best place
to check for closeouts may be with your local retailer.
-- Denise Tilles
Back to Main Page
Email this page to a friend