Where Designers Would Spend and Save in a Kitchen


Our experts suggest where to splurge and where to trim the budget when redesigning your kitchen

Written by Julie Butterworth, Houzz Contributor, and homes, architecture, and property journalist.  

A budget helps you to know where to save and where to spend.  From appliances and fixtures to countertops and cabinets, a healthy balance of investment and frugality pays off when it comes to this priciest of home renovations. But what should be at the top of the makeover budget priority list? And where could you cut costs?

Budget for your Kitchen Remodel

Spend on: Quality Appliances

Our experts recommend allocating the budget to energy-efficient appliances. They may not be cheaper to buy initially, but in the long term, they cost less to run and will tend to be less expensive overall.

“The numbers are out there on running costs, so it’s worth doing the research,” says Diane Berry of Diane Berry Kitchens. “Don’t just buy according to what an appliance costs and how it looks — you risk ‘buy cheap, buy twice.’ ”

Zoe Holland of Sustainable Kitchens says, “It pays to upgrade to energy-efficient appliances — they can save more than money in the long term.”

Clinton Patey of The Kitchen Partners recommends getting an instant hot water dispenser. “It’s not just a luxury, it’s energy-efficient … and has a safety handle that reduces the risk of burns.”

Patey also advises that you consider how your appliances affect the rest of the space. For example, he notes the importance of a quiet dishwasher, “especially in open-plan spaces where you can’t shut away the noise.”

“A cheap fridge will make more noise and cost more over its lifetime,” Berry says. “You could have bought the more expensive machine and had the joy of a quiet kitchen.”

A good vent hood is also key, especially in open-plan spaces. “It keeps the kitchen from becoming smelly and greasy and reduces damage to the cabinets above,” Patey says.

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Save by: Recycling and Reclaiming

Opting for reclaimed countertops — alone or paired with another material — can save money and be stylish, our experts say.

In this kitchen, “we’ve reused old school lab benches made from iroko wood, complete with graffiti and gum, and given them some TLC for a new lease on life,” Holland says. “Whether paired with other wood countertops or with stone or quartz, this could save a bit of money on your kitchen renovation.”

Another way to reduce countertop costs is by buying stone slab remnants left over from larger jobs. These can be used for a smaller area such as an island top or bar.

To save money and conserve resources, you can install preowned cabinets, as the owners of this California kitchen did.

Selling your existing kitchen is also great for the planet and saves on the cost of disposal. “The money can also help toward the cost of a new kitchen,” Berry says. “There are companies that specialize in this.”

Spend on: Durable Materials

If you’re going for new products rather than reclaimed, our experts recommend paying extra for materials that are easy to maintain and will last a long time. Composite or solid stone countertops are a good choice, for example.

Berry suggests purchasing remnants of granite and quartz countertops and using them to have something special made. “It could be a dining table top, a console, or a couple of coffee tables. You may pay a little extra for polishing on top, but look what you get,” she says.

Not sure where to start on your home project? Learn the basics

Consider the longevity of cabinets as well, Holland says. “Without a doubt, purchasing a solid wood kitchen is a worthwhile investment,” she says. “This means it will stand the test of time, it won’t tire or look out of date, and you won’t have to replace it in a few years — the ultimate measure of sustainability.

“With a solid wood kitchen, you can update as necessary,” Holland says. “You can repaint to keep the cabinets looking fresh and even choose an entirely different color if you ever want a change. A good-quality solid wood kitchen should last over 30 years.”

Save by: Calculating Carefully

To be able to spend more on quality materials, think about how you can save on things such as delivery charges. “If you can, do your utility room at the same time as your kitchen from the same supplier,” Patey says. “It will save money on delivery, installation and countertops.

“Also, always go for wider cabinets over narrower for both kitchen and utility,” he adds. “Fewer wide cabinets are not only more useful, they’re cheaper per linear [foot].”

A knowledgeable kitchen designer will be able to guide you through the choices that suit your needs. “We know the right questions to ask to ensure you buy only what you need and what you’ll use,” Berry says. “Talking through the features and benefits of every appliance, fixture, and fitting avoids overbuying.”

Spend on: Good Design and Installation

A kitchen is a huge purchase, so don’t be scared to walk into a kitchen studio, even if it looks intimidating, Berry says.

Holland agrees. “It always pays to get a designer’s eye and input. They will consider how you and your family live and make the best use of the space to ensure the investment will bring maximum benefit.”

Are you ready to remodel your kitchen?  Tri-Lite Builders will help you get the most out of your budget. 

Original article on Houzz

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