Three Ways to Save on Your Kitchen Renovation

It is not cheap to renovate a kitchen.

Remodeling magazine tracks the national average cost to renovate a 200-square foot kitchen. This includes installing semi-custom wood cabinets, standard appliances, and new flooring. The average cost of updating a 200-square-foot kitchen with luxuries such as stone countertops, a built in refrigerator, commercial-grade cooktops, designer faucets, and top-of the-line custom cabinets is $123,000.

There is an alternative. These tips from designers will help you give your kitchen a makeover before you spend your savings on a new kitchen.

REFACE YOUR CABINETS If your cabinet fronts are made from material that can’t be painted or stained you might consider refacing. This involves keeping the cabinet framework intact and replacing all doors, drawer fronts, and side panels with newer ones. Carolyn DiCarlo is a Manhattan-based designer who used this approach to renovate a loft in Brooklyn’s Dumbo section last year. She said that after remodeling the living room, she noticed that the kitchen looked tired next to the newly renovated loft. Instead of taking out the cabinets and replacing them with newer ones, Ms. DiCarlo swapped the cabinet fronts that had “aged and chipped over time” for recessed panel doors lacquered white.

She also installed rollout shelves and a new rangehood. Ms. DiCarlo explained that she painted the open center wall charcoal gray to increase depth and contrast and then installed some Boffi linear pendants above the island. This changed the entire feel of the kitchen. She estimated that all new cabinets would have cost around $22,000. However, the cost of a reface was only $2,500. The cost of the “abbreviated kitchen remodel” included new interior components, and Boffi pendants was $10,800.

OPT for OPEN SHELVES Open shelving can reduce the cost of upper cabinets if your cabinets are too old to reface. Liz Tiesi is the owner of Threshold Interiors. She explained that you only pay for the wood needed to build the shelf and the bracket required to support it, and not the entire cabinet box which costs a lot more in labor and material. She also noted that it eliminates the need to purchase hardware which can be costly.

You can also use particleboard to lower the cost of cabinetry. Mina Fies, a Reston designer and creator of The Renovation Roadmap, which is a website that helps homeowners to work with contractors to stay on schedule and budget. It will be available online in the next month. Ms. Fies suggests using particleboard for the construction of the perimeter and upper cabinet boxes. You can still use maple or cherry or hickory for the door and frame. This was what she used in her 17-by-15-foot kitchen renovation.

DONE THE DEMOLITION YOURSELF “It’s pretty simple to do over the weekend with a friend, spouse or spouse,” stated Ms. Tiesi. She transformed a former office space in TriBeCa into a four-bedroom apartment for her family. Also, she recently dismantled a Brooklyn kitchen with her husband and brother. Turn off the circuit breakers, water, and gas. Ms. Tiesi recommended that you first remove plumbing fixtures and appliances, then cabinets, backsplash, and counters.

She said, “It doesn’t require any precision; you just don’t want to harm yourself.” You should have black contractor bags ready to place any debris. Larger items would be taken outside, with garbage collected if possible. Ms. Tiesi stated that you can simply write them off and don’t need to worry about how to dispose of them.

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