Five Tips for Renovating on a Budget: Kitchen Edition

With the rising costs of remodeling in 2023, budgeting will need to be more of a priority than it has been in the past.  By making budget-oriented choices throughout your renovation, you can improve your home without draining all of your savings.  In our last blog, we discussed ways to keep your bathroom renovation on a budget.  Now we’ll focus on how to achieve an affordable renovation in your kitchen. 

1.     Figure out your budget and be transparent with your contractor

a.     Many homeowners are reluctant to divulge their renovation budget too early in the process.  There’s a fear that a contractor will use your entire budget just because you have it rather than thinking of ways to go under your budget.  Those days are long gone.  Most clients we meet with have a budget that is about 30% under the amount they need to accomplish their vision.  Renovating in 2023 will be about finding a contractor who can marry your style with your budget.  The earlier in the process you discuss you budget, the better your design and material selection will go.  There’s no use getting invested in ideas that are not affordable. 


2.     Try to stick to standard sizes in your design and common styles in your finishes

a.     Affordable manufacturers cut their prices by offering a limited number of finishes and producing only standard sizes.  Because their selection is limited, they try to provide the most common styles that will appeal to the widest audience.  While you don’t need to select overly trendy materials, sticking with more popular styles in your region will help you avoid custom designer lines.  Similarly, designing around standard sized materials will give you the biggest selection within affordable lines.  Eclectic, unique, or less popular styles may have to take a backseat to achieve your budget.   

3.     Avoid appliance and sink relocation

a.     When cutting costs on your kitchen renovation, try to make your rough-in expenses as minimal as possible.  This means keeping your plumbing and electrical sources to your appliances very close to the same location.  This doesn’t mean you can’t redesign, it just means your redesign will be in cabinet positioning and overall layout instead.  You can still make significant changes to your kitchen’s functionality without completely redoing your rough-in locations.  This will keep your labor costs to a minimum.         


4.     Work within your existing footprint and stick to picture openings over full wall removal

a.     If you’re looking to cut costs, redesigning without fully removing walls will cut your costs significantly.  Whenever you remove a wall, you instantly add flooring and ceiling painting to your scope of work as the space where the wall used to be will be unfinished.  Meeting a budget goal might mean letting the dream of an open floor plan go to focus on transforming the layout of your kitchen within its existing floor plan.  You can make more significant changes within a set budget by leaving all walls in place or just doing a picture opening where you preserve the bottom of the wall and a bulkhead at the ceiling. 

5.     Consider a Reface 

a.     Sometimes, the worst thing about your kitchen is the way it looks.  You might be relatively happy with the overall layout, but not thrilled with the dated aesthetics.  If this is the case, you can achieve a “brand new” kitchen by doing a reface with a skilled company.  With this renovation style, you’ll be able to choose the door style and color of your choice to retro fit onto your existing cabinets.  Your contractor will paint the frames and boxes of your current cabinets to match the new color, install brand new doors, and will add molding and panels to make your kitchen appear to be a designer cabinet.  If you top this with a countertop replacement, flooring replacement, backsplash installation, undercabinet lighting, recessed lighting, and pendant lighting; the only one who won’t know you did not have a full kitchen renovation is you!


If you follow these tips and find a contractor who is motivated to meet your budget goals, you’ll still be able to renovate happily no matter what state the economy happens to be in.  Loving your home has a direct correlation to your overall mental health which is perhaps even more important when the cost of living is inflated everywhere you turn.  If you’d like to update your home and find out how you can make your budget stretch, give Mayflower a call!  We’re excited about renovating in 2023 and continuing to provide the DMV residents with outstanding kitchen and bathroom renovations!  


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