Where to Spend vs. Where to Save in a Kitchen Remodel

A kitchen remodel enhances both the functionality and value of your home, but with how quickly expenses add up, it’s important to know where to invest and where you can cut costs. An avid cook may be more willing to splurge on big ticket appliances, while a busy family may be more inclined to prioritize creative storage solutions. Whether you’re planning a dream kitchen for your forever home or upgrading to help your resale value, we have a few pointers on how you can balance both quality and practicality.

For those hoping to build their dream kitchen, are you thinking about hiring a designer or designing yourself? Working with an in-house designer gives the ability to receive professional expertise regarding layouts and finishings that align with the functionality and budget you set. Designers work directly with the architect and builders to optimize your space which could end up saving you in change orders and may have access to a wider selection of materials that more closely align with your vision and price point.

Now onto finishings…

There are different ways to choose between high end material countertops and alternative materials that mimic the look. Consider what will function best in your home and what level of care you plan to put into them. Marble, while beautiful, is expensive, sensitive to temperature and stains easily, so unless you plan to be meticulous about its care, it may not be the best option. On the other hand, laminate products cost half the price of granite, but don’t allow you to put hot pans directly on the surface. Quartz countertops are durable, low maintenance and allow for color consistency where natural stones do not. While quartz is man-made, it provides the most versatility in design options with quality. Countertops: Splurge.

Strategize spending with appliances keeping in mind their shelf life. Maintaining the balance of spending on appliances like a stove top, that likely won’t need to be replaced in the next 10-15 years makes sense, while saving on a refrigerator or a microwave can leave some wiggle room for other parts of your kitchen that may be more of a priority. Appliances: Save.

Contrary to what many may think, cabinetry and storage are where your money may be best spent. When updating your home, there are many finishings that are easy to change in the future. Focus on high quality cabinetry that can withstand the wear and tear of daily use and investing in smart storage solutions for long term convenience. Cabinetry is one of, if not the main focal point of your kitchen, so they are worth investing in! Choosing between custom vs. semi-custom cabinets could be where you consider your budget. Cabinetry: Splurge.

Though sometimes overlooked, faucet selection is key. Many of the lower end faucets have parts that are made of plastic, requiring them to be fixed or replaced more often. Invest in hardware here that will withstand its everyday use.  Faucet: Splurge.

There are tons of budget-friendly options that look luxurious when it comes to hardware. If you ever wish to change up the look of your kitchen, hardware is the perfect place to do so. This one is simple. Hardware: Save.

Whether we’re talking about accent or overhead, lighting can make or break the way your kitchen looks (or any room for that matter). Task lighting both compliments your counters features and illuminates your cooking space. Not only is lighting one of the first things you notice when you walk into any room, but it is also difficult to change in the future. That being said, as long as your room is properly wired, changing out fixtures themselves is quite easy. Lighting: Save. 

Backsplashes are the place where you can really bring fun design and character to your kitchen. That being said, the cost of mosaics and flashy tiles can add up. There are many alternatives to expensive backsplashes that bring the same aesthetic appearance without the price tag. And contrary to what you may think, replacing kitchen backsplash is relatively easy, so if this is something you’d later like to splurge on, that’s always an option. Backsplash: Save

All types of flooring have their pros and cons. Hardwood is versatile in wood types, refinishes and is the most timeless in appearance, but it is not water resistant and can cost a pretty penny to install. Vinyl is water resistant and affordable but is susceptible to damage if heavy/sharp objects fall from your counter. Tile requires little maintenance, but is labor intensive when it comes to installation, bringing it to be a more expensive option. In the end, you want to install something long lasting that supports the functionality of your lifestyle. Flooring: Splurge.

When planning your kitchen remodel, it’s best to consider value vs. cost in terms of functionality and ROI. What may be best for an avid cook and entertainer may be different for a family of 5!


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