Five Money-Saving Tips for a Cheap Kitchen Remodel

Industry Observer

Your kitchen is, by far, the most expensive room in the house unless you happen to have a state-of-the-art home theater to rival the effect of a typical IMAX theater experience.  Since most of us do not have the room or the money to invest in such extravagance, let’s be practical and consider the kitchen as the room of greatest cost to build and outfit with the conveniences of twenty-first century living.

We may spend more of our waking hours in the kitchen, so its use sees more wear and tear than other rooms.  The necessity to remodel and upgrade our kitchen will occur before any other room with the possible exception of a bathroom.  This will always mean an expense, but we should be able to achieve a cheap kitchen remodel with some money-saving tips that will be an envious experience.


Cabinet storage with custom drawers and shelves

One of the greatest drawbacks to a kitchen is its lack of storage space whether we are talking about food storage or tools, appliances, dishes and utensils.  Cabinets and drawers are an obvious solution, but before accepting the ordinary cabinet with two deep, wide shelves each and the wide-open box of a drawer, look seriously at how you use your kitchen.

If you want a pantry to store cans and bottles, but you do not have a convenient corner that can accommodate a pantry closet, perhaps there is a long wall that can be converted to a single-wall-thick built-in cabinet with narrow shelves and French doors.

Regular cabinets can be converted with pull-out drawers for pots and pans, a shelved carousel to accommodate a corner cabinet, or narrow cabinets next to the oven for cookie sheets and cooling racks.

Explore appliance options: electric, gas, or inductive

A kitchen remodel will be additionally cheap if the long-term expense of using a cooktop surpasses tradition.  You may be used to electric or gas burners, but have you experienced the efficiency and safety of inductive heating elements?  Heat energy from the burner heats only a pan or skillet of compatible material, but is cool to the touch.  No more burned fingers, but plenty of efficient heat to boil water and sauté chicken or lamb chops more quickly and with less energy cost than either alternative.  This is long-term savings.

2-for-1 chopping-block countertop

Any kitchen warrior needs a chopping block, but they never seem to be large enough for the task.  What if your countertop is the chopping block?  This does not necessarily mean it must be hardwood, but that is traditional and still very good looking.  It seems everyone is gravitating to granite these days, and it does have a great appearance, but is it practical for your kitchen needs?  A chopping-block countertop satisfies both the chopping preparation need and the appearance of practical elegance.  Look for a bowling alley that is closing.  The lanes are typically hard maple.

Decorative hardware

If you would like to change your cabinets, but the budget will not allow more than re-surfacing existing cabinets, consider highlighting your re-finishing with different hardware.  Consider safety for your children, but beyond providing for that, there is a wide world of alternatives in metal, ceramic, wood… the materials and shapes are nearly infinite.  Consider re-cycling items that were not originally door and drawer hardware, but would serve the purpose at a lighter expense than typical replacement hardware.

If you are, or are partnered with a handy-man/woman with wood, ceramic, plastic or metal-working tools, consider making your own cabinet and drawer hardware.  It will be a one-of-kind cheap kitchen remodel.

Scratch and dent

When you replace big appliances – refrigerators, ovens, etc. – you may be directed to the newest, latest and greatest, and that may be what you desire for a remodel, but a cheap kitchen remodel can be achieved with the latest and greatest, but there are occasions when you will have scratch and dent appliance available because of incidental shipping and handling damage.  The store will sell these items at a reduced rate.

You would certainly want to have a visual of the extent of damage before purchasing, but you may find that it is not that bad and may be able to be covered or repaired at small expense and still come out ahead.  If you don’t ask, the answer is “no.”

Final thought

A cheap kitchen remodel does not necessarily mean you must default to the cheapest materials to achieve your dream of a new kitchen.  Using any one or all of these tips will maintain a desirable quality while keeping the expense under control.  And whatever you put into the kitchen remodel, the expense will come back to you in pleasure of use and profit in selling.

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