Kitchen renovations: How to get the most bang for your buck
It seems everyone wants granite these days – I've even noticed that renters are asking for these high-end countertops, too. But while there's no doubt granite looks great, there are a ton of other options on the market that won't put such a massive hole in your budget. Butcher block, for example, is great for people who want a more rustic look, and it comes at a fraction of the price. Or, if you're after more industrial appeal, check out poured concrete countertops – you'll pay a bit more for the labour, but the materials are a whole lot cheaper. If your heart is set on granite, be smart about buying it, and research some companies that may have deals on precut pieces or find a company that does big restaurant jobs and you might get lucky piggy-backing on someone else's good deal.
You can save a ton of cash with budget-friendly tiles used in a creative way. Consider a herring-bone design, for example, rather than a traditional brick pattern. Or use the expensive tiles you want sparingly to create a trim detail or a feature area behind the cooktop rather than being forced to tile the entire expanse of a backsplash. When I work with designers I always challenge them to use more affordable products in a high-end application. Believe me, ingenuity can definitely pay off.3 Appliances
Big-ticket items like appliances can set you back a lot of money. So consider: How many BTUs do you want in a gas cooktop? Do you need an LC D screen or an icemaker in your fridge? Is a double oven with a microwave feature really necessary? While we'd all like our kitchens to look like they just jumped off the pages of a magazine, study your space, how you entertain and how you cook before you go shopping. If you have a 10-by-10-foot kitchen, that six-burner, dual-fuel professional range just might not fit.
Invite some strong friends over and make a demo day of gutting your old kitchen. Be sure all the water, gas and electrical are turned off or disconnected, then go to town. It feels awesome, trust me. You can save a grand or even two by doing a lot of the demo on your own. Rent a bin to cart it all away and know that the money saved can go into an amazing faucet or a light fixture.
It's really important that you don't over-invest in your kitchen renovation. If your home is only worth $400,000, coughing up $75,000 to redo the kitchen might not be the best decision. I renovate 25 to 30 kitchens a year, and many of them are built with cabinetry from big-box stores. If you plan properly, you can make standard cabinetry look like a custom kitchen. You can also save money if you time your kitchen renovation around annual kitchen-sale events. When it comes to appliances, buying last year's models is another way to save. Look for deals through online coupon companies or at auctions. And it doesn't hurt to try to negotiate terms like delivery, tax included or even trade-ins. The best advice is to keep everything in balance and know when to break down your kitchen renovation wish list into more bite-sized pieces.
CHECK OUT OUR top 10 kitchen renovation tips before you get started on your next reno!