The national median cost for a complete kitchen renovation is a nothing-to-sneeze-at $80,000, according to the "Remodeling Impact Report" from the National Association of REALTORS®. Still, you can get the job done for less — much less — without forgoing anything on your wish list.
Below are seven great recommendations for ways to shave costs off your kitchen remodel. Each recommendation includes a percentage of the savings you can expect to trim off the overall cost of your kitchen remodeling. Because of variables, such as the price of materials in your area, the percentages are given as a range.
If you do all the recommendations, you’ll knock 20% to 40% off the cost of your project.
#1 Skip the Custom Cabinet Shop
All of the major cabinet manufacturers offer a range of styles and finishes in their stock product lines. The only compromise you’ll make is that you can’t get cabinet widths sized to the exact fraction of an inch.
“Stock cabinets come in three-inch increments, so you may need to get something slightly smaller than the space you have to fill,” says Cambridge, Mass., kitchen designer Jean Courtney. But nobody will ever notice. “Your contractor will use matching filler pieces and moldings to hide any gaps and make everything look custom fitted.”
Your savings: 5% to 12%
Related: What Your Remodeling Contract Should Say
#2 Keep the Sink and Appliances in Their Current Locations
That avoids having to run new electrical wiring, natural gas lines, plumbing pipes, and hood-vent lines, knocking thousands off your construction costs.
Your savings: 5% to 10%
#3 Select a Simple Cabinet Door Design
A classic shaker door, which is plain and elegant, comes at about half the cost of something more complex, such as an arch-top panel with intricate moldings. And you’ll get a more timeless, never-go-out-of-style look.
Your savings: 2% to 4%
#4 Choose a Stock Stain or Paint Finish
Opt for a stock finished instead of a trendy two-tone glazed finish. Most cabinet manufacturers offer an array of good-looking, durable stock finishes.
Your savings: 3% to 4%
Related: Guide to Paint Finishes
#5 Keep the Existing Window Locations
Using the current openings -- and resisting the temptation to increase window size -- reduces construction costs considerably because the contractor won’t have to frame out new openings.
Your savings: 3% to 6%
#6 Simplify the Edge Profile of Your Countertops
A waterfall, ogee, or other fancy edge choice can add hundreds to the fabrication costs of your countertops. Trim that cost by opting for a square or simple round-over treatment.
Your savings: 1% to 2%
#7 Shop for Discontinued Hardwood Flooring and Backsplash Tiles
“When a particular line of subway tile or oak flooring is going out of production, stores slash the prices to move the merchandise -- but it’s perfectly good stuff,” says Courtney.
Another option: Look for salvaged building materials, such as sinks, faucets, and lighting fixtures.
Your savings: 1% to 2%