Erin Doman on June 24, 2015 1 Comment Remodeling your kitchen can be exhausting both physically and financially, but the rewards to be reaped in the end make it well worth it. Lessen the blow of this purchase and construction by investing intelligently. This will ensure that you are going to enjoy your expenses as much as possible, and that these investments can offer a higher resale value when you move on to your next home and project. There are things that you might want to invest in that your buyers won’t necessarily notice. This is where investing intelligently is important. Don’t risk losing money by investing a lot in something that is so permanent and uniquely your style either, because chances are it can lower your home’s value. Buyers are more interested in clean building blocks for their homes–transitional style. Stainless steel and neutral colored walls are big sellers, so be sure that you are going to be in your home for quite a while before you invest in those neon yellow cabinets and novelty drawer pulls. A good system to implement is to plan ahead. Don’t spend money as you go, because it is easy to get swept away with all of the newest technologies and fixtures. This is an easy way to overspend and quickly go over budget. If you start with a solid plan, do your research on costs of supplies and manpower and firmly stick to your plan, you should not break the bank. That being said, during your budgeting process you should factor in unexpected costs. Remember, if something could go wrong, it will go wrong—so it’s best to plan ahead and allocate roughly 20% of your budget for the unexpected. Best case scenario: everything goes according to plan and you are significantly under budget, allowing you to either save money or spend it on some nice decor and useful accessories in your brand new kitchen. Cabinetry In any complete kitchen remodel, your cabinets are likely to eat up the most of your budget. You have two options: splurge on your cabinets or try to cut your costs as best as possible and splurge elsewhere. The National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) recommends that you spend roughly 29% of your remodeling budget on updating your cabinetry and hardware. To put it into perspective, your countertops should be about 10% of your total budget. So if you’re starting with a budget of $30,000, you can afford $8,700 for cabinets and $3,000 countertops…but most of us don’t have a $30,000 renovation budget. Use this formula (scaled to your renovation allotment) before you make any major purchases to ensure that you are keeping your budget in check. Save Cabinets are often a focal point in a kitchen, so it is important not only that they are functional and sturdy, but that they look good too. Instead of installing completely new cabinets, consider resurfacing them instead. This can provide the look you want for a significantly lower price. If you are completely replacing your cabinets for newer ones, a consideration to keep in mind is if and where your larger appliances will go. Shop All Built-In Ice Makers Are you planning on adding anything from your dream wishlist that you didn’t have before? Something larger–for instance, a new built-in ice maker–might fit perfectly in a place where you old cabinet used to be. Be sure you accommodate for whatever appliance when laying out your cabinet design. This can help you save money because you are not buying something now that you won’t need later on. Again: planning ahead can save you more money than you realize. Decent pulls or knobs can take a kitchen that doesn’t have any particular style influence and turn it into a trendy and modern cooking space. This is an easy way to update your cabinetry without staining them or ripping them off of the walls completely. There are plenty of nice looking pulls and knobs available for a low price. Of course, you could splurge if you really wanted to and order custom pulls for a significantly higher price. Splurge Some common features that people typically want to add in their redesigned kitchen are things like Lazy Susans, soft-close drawers and doors, and a fancy new backsplash. This means that these are also things that people look for when buying a new home. All of these can add significant value to your house, and they are all beautiful or functional for your everyday use. Lazy Susans can be a fun and useful addition to your cabinetry, and can absolutely add value to your home. These can be quite expensive, especially if you need to tear out all of your existing cabinetry in order to make room for this addition. Like I said previously, if you plan for all of the features that you want in your kitchen, you wont end up buying cabinets where you don’t need them. If you think you ought to completely redo your cabinets instead of just refinish them, you might want to splurge on nice wood. This offers a sleek and finished look as well as a strong structural base. New cabinets with nicer wood can last you far longer than laminate cabinets. Another thing to consider before installation is using soft-close technology. Most kitchen renovations splurge on soft-close cabinets and drawers. More and more people are seeing this as a must-have instead of just a luxury. You just need to weigh the pros and cons of value versus return on income once you decide to sell again. Again, cabinets typically cost home renovators around a third of their entire budget because they are aware of the difference custom cabinets can make in a home’s value. Appliances Appliances are anything from your toaster to your refrigerator; your blender to your built-in wine cooler. Some you need, some your want. When deciding on what to include in your dream kitchen remodel, prioritize your wishlist. Granite countertops are nice, but if you go for butcherblock instead you’ll be able to afford that ice maker that would be perfect for your dinner parties. Make a plan before you begin to avoid any superfluous and spontaneous expenses. Save It’s not difficult to save money when it comes to appliances: just don’t buy what you don’t absolutely need. A refrigerator, microwave, stovetop and oven are absolute musts. Everything beyond that are things you should buy if you have a little extra spending money. Even if you keep to these basic appliances, there are still ways to save costs. Instead of going for all stainless steel appliances, maybe just choose that option for the refrigerator. All black appliances are often cheaper and they look nearly as sleek as the steel. If you choose the budget options for these appliances, you might want to step up another area of your kitchen–or at least your decorating and staging skills–in order to compensate for the lack of a higher-end look. Another consideration for saving money with your appliances is the energy usage. Often times an energy-efficient unit can be a little more up-front, but can pay for itself in just a few months. Consider the energy bill you are willing to pay monthly when looking for your perfect kitchen appliances. Splurge Shop All Built-In Wine Refrigerators Chances are that if you’re visiting our site, you are a wine-lover. Why not include something in your new kitchen to stimulate that interest? Appliances are where the most fun can lie in your kitchen, so if you can afford it, go for it! Lovers of wine and home entertaining would benefit from a wine refrigerator. Wine refrigerators come in a variety of sizes, so the average wine enthusiast can keep their twelve favorite bottles cooled to the perfect temperature right there in their kitchen.The wine fanatics, or even the sommeliers among us, can purchase a larger unit. Wine coolers are fantastic gifts as well, especially as a housewarming gift. Depending on your level of wine fanaticism and amount of free space in your kitchen or dining area, you will need to adjust the size of the wine cooler you choose. Luckily for you, we’ll likely offer a unit that suits your wine bottle storage needs. Two of our most popular options are the EdgeStar 46 Bottle Built-In Dual Zone Wine Cooler or the slightly bigger EdgeStar 53 Bottle Built-In Wine Cooler. These two units offer built-in or freestanding options and an elegant design, which gives you the freedom to install this unit exactly where you want it to be, and it will always look nice. Not a wine drinker? You can still experience the luxury of a dedicated beverage refrigerator while keeping your house dry. The EdgeStar 148 Can Stainless Steel Beverage Cooler is equipped to hold water bottles and beer for you or various soft drinks for the kids. If you just love beer, wine and soft drinks and couldn’t possibly pick a favorite among them, you may be interested in a single dedicated unit for them all. The EdgeStar 24 Inch Built-In Wine and Beverage Cooler with French Doors offers the possibility of installation under your counter, and features the classy and functional French door style. This unit allows for individualized temperature control between the left and right sides, so you can ensure that your beverages are always the perfect temperature. If you are concerned with the idea of keeping your kid’s beverages in the same area as your adult beverages, be aware that this unit as well as the other units come with an integrated safety lock that keeps the wrong hands out of the wrong places. Ice makers sit on the line between party accessory and absolute necessary appliance. Sure, you could stick with your 12-cube tray for your ice making, but people who love to entertain in their home know that this is not enough. Units like our Ice-O-Matic 85 lb. Nugget Ice Machine or our EdgeStar Stainless Steel 45 Lb. Undercounter Clear Ice Maker can transform any open kitchen into a bar and entertainment zone. An ice machine is not something you might consider splurging on, but once you have one its presence will be felt. Countertops Countertops are often the first thing that we want redone in our kitchen. Granite countertops are so highly desired for their aesthetic appeal and their ability to add to our home’s resale value. A nice granite countertop can take your kitchen from outdated and boring to classy and fresh–but it can also weigh heavily on your bank account. Know that there are plenty of options available to you if granite is just not in your budget yet. Save A common way to save money but keep a strong sense of style in the kitchen is to use butcherblock for your countertops. This style can offer a rustic style that is not expensive–miles cheaper than granite. Butcherblock counters are commonly used on kitchen islands, but you can really put them anywhere. Just be sure to not use them as if they are your cutting board, as you might be tempted to. Like a cutting board, this type of countertop is prone to stains, scuffs and scratches. All of these problems can be easily remedied with some sanding and buffing. If you don’t want to worry about the upkeep, then a butcherblock counter might not be a viable option for you. If you do opt for this countertop, be sure it matches your kitchen well, as this is a quirkier style might begin looking outdated in several years. If you are looking for a cheaper option still, laminate is always a safe option. Laminate countertops can be great if you can find one with a texture and color similar to your favorite granite. This way you can have the classic look of granite countertops and keep some pocket change when it’s installed. Laminate countertops are cheap and versatile and it’s easy to find one with a matching hue and pattern to your kitchen’s color scheme. Splurge A marbled slab of granite can completely change the feeling of your kitchen. Potential homebuyers also love to see granite, so it is likely that your resale value will pay for the initial expense anyway. Granite is sleek and much more sanitary than other counter options. This is because granite is strong enough to be cut and chip proof, whereas laminate and butcherblock countertops are not. The tiny nicks in these cheaper counter options can create breeding grounds for bacteria, especially in areas where you work with raw meats. If ever there was a place where sanitation is crucial, it would be in the kitchen, and you cannot go wrong with granite. Flooring Not a lot is worse for your home’s value than an old flooring. Old floorings not only look bad but often hold on to odors and stains. If your flooring is old–perhaps your linoleum is peeling at the corners–this should probably be your priority to replace. Good news is that there are plenty of budget options for new flooring, many of which still look nice. While you might be interested in wood flooring, you can achieve this look while still saving money with a quality vinyl flooring. Save Some options for cheap flooring are laminate, vinyl, and veneer. All three of these options offer decent looking imitations for the more expensive flooring but for a fraction of the price. The trade off is that they are less durable and sometimes detectable as imitations. But if you remain cognizant of what you are purchasing, you can avoid these cheap looking versions and find something of good quality. Cheap vinyl or laminate flooring that is decent quality is not hard to find online. Three minutes and Google search led me to luxury vinyl bamboo flooring at around half of the price of real bamboo flooring. Out of all of the things to save on from the list, this might be the easiest to conceal if you go the budgeted route. Splurge If you want a floor that looks nice, will last for a long time, and does not hold onto odor, you might want to invest in stone, wood or stained concrete flooring. Flooring from these materials can transform your kitchen into the luxury gourmet cooking station that you’ve always wanted. Stained concrete and stone tiles are more difficult to imitate with artificial supplies like laminate, so if you are set on this addition, be prepared to spend a little bit more. However, luxury grade flooring is a big seller to potential home buyers, so this flooring facelift will only raise your house’s value. Prioritizing Your Wishlist Pick one area of your kitchen to splurge on, and the rest of your kitchen will build off of it. Sleek granite cabinets, enormous French door refrigerators, and a complete cabinet redesign can each look nice on their own, but together they could possibly create a disjointed feeling in your kitchen. Avoid this and save money by picking one focal point to spend on, and then choosing the budget options for the rest of the room. Even laminate countertops can look nice if they are framed with, say…a new stainless steel wine cooler. When in doubt (or maybe you’re a picky spender, like me) reorganize your kitchen instead of completely overhauling it. Adding a few plants and reducing other clutter in your cabinets and on your countertops can go a long way in making your kitchen feel fresh and new. Minimalism is in–use it as an excuse to purge yourself of all that junk taking up your cooking space! The bottom line? Remodel intelligently: spend money where you will notice and enjoy it the most. Spend on things that will actually increase the resale value. Spend on things you love and will take advantage of. Save everywhere else. Your wallet will thank you.