A kitchen renovation is the priciest of home renovation. What should be at the top of your makeover budget list? Where can you cut costs?
Spend On: Quality Appliances
Experts recommend allocating 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. Don’t just buy according to what an appliance costs and how it looks — you risk ‘buy cheap, buy twice. It pays to upgrade to energy-efficient appliances — they can save more than money in the long term.
For example 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.
Consider how your appliances affect the rest of the space. For example, a quiet dishwasher, especially in open-plan spaces where you can’t shut away the noise is something you may want to consider.
A cheap fridge will make more noise and cost more over its lifetime. 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.
Save By: Recycling and Reclaiming
Opting for reclaimed countertops — alone or paired with another material — can save money and be stylish, experts say.
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.
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. There are companies that specialize in this.
Spend On: Durable Materials
If you’re going for new products rather than reclaimed, pay 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.
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.
Consider the longevity of cabinets as well. Purchasing a solid wood kitchen is a worthwhile investment. This means it will stand the test of time, it won’t tire or look out of date, and you won’t have to replace it in a few years’ time — the ultimate measure of sustainability.
With a solid wood kitchen, you can update as necessary. 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. It will save money on delivery, installation and countertops.
Another way to save is to consider a backsplash in the same finish as your countertops. This will often work out to be much cheaper than other backsplash materials and it can be installed at the same time as the countertops, which also saves time and money.
Also, always go for wider cabinets over narrower for both kitchen and utility. 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. They know the right questions to ask to ensure you buy only what you need and what you’ll use. 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. 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.