Learn to Budget and Save on a Kitchen Cabinet Remodel
Remodeling your kitchen can be an exciting project that adds valuable style and function to your home. However, it also requires a significant investment, with the cabinetry alone accounting for up to 40% of the total renovation budget. With some planning and smart decisions, you can get beautiful new cabinets that transform your space while sticking to your budget.
When starting a kitchen remodel, many homeowners underestimate the cost of new cabinets. It’s easy to be wowed by upscale custom designs and premium features. But custom cabinetry requires an unlimited budget, while most of us need to get the most value from our investment. The good news is you can install stylish, durable cabinetry that suits your home without overspending. By understanding what impacts costs and using budget-friendly alternatives, you can achieve the kitchen of your dreams on a realistic budget.
Cabinet Construction and Materials Set the Cost Baseline
When pricing out cabinets, the choices of materials and construction methods are where cost savings start. Solid hardwoods like oak and maple are considered top-of-the-line but come at a luxury price point. Opting for plywood boxes with hardwood veneers offers an attractive look for less. Thermofoil and melamine laminates are highly affordable options perfect for contemporary spaces.
Doors with intricate detailing and carvings will upcharge your order. Clean-lined shaker or slab cabinet door styles maximize savings without sacrificing style. While you may dream of ornate crown molding and trims, limiting these premium accents trims costs.
Customization Adds Significantly to Bottom Line
One of the biggest factors in cabinet pricing is whether you choose custom-built or stock cabinetry. Custom cabinets are made to your exact kitchen’s specifications, from tailored sizes and layouts to personalized drawer and door styles.
This customization allows a seamless, integrated look but requires intensive labor and higher-cost materials. On average, custom cabinetry costs range from $12,000 to $14,000 for a 10×10 kitchen.
Stock cabinets are mass-produced in standard widths and heights. You select a style and color from the manufacturer’s catalog. With limited configuration options and quick assembly, stock cabinetry typically costs $120-$220 per linear foot – just a fraction of custom pricing.
Should You Purchase Custom or Stock?
When trying to cut cabinet costs, stock cabinets are generally the way to go. However, they may not suit kitchens with challenging dimensions or complex layouts. Here are key considerations when weighing the two:
- Custom cabinets are fully tailored to your kitchen’s footprint and specifications.
- Endless style options for doors, molding, finish to create your dream look.
- Seamlessly integrated cabinets with specialized storage solutions.
- Much higher cost, typically 4-5 times more than stock cabinetry.
- Stock cabinets only come in set heights and widths.
- Very cost-effective, $2,000-$5,000 range for average kitchen.
- Quick and easy DYI or professional installation.
- Limited configuration possibilities.
Tips to Keep Your Kitchen Cabinet Remodel On Budget
Finding ways to trim costs on your cabinetry keeps your makeover affordable. Follow these tips when installing new kitchen cabinets on a conservative budget:
Opt for Mid-Range Stock Cabinets
cmd_query: Should homeowners purchase the cheapest stock cabinets to save money?
It’s tempting to choose ultra-budget cabinets, but quality should take priority over price alone. Flimsy construction and materials will degrade quickly under heavy use. Spending a bit more for sturdy mid-tier cabinetry ensures your investment lasts.
Select Simple, Clean-Lined Door Styles
Smooth, slab cabinet doors or basic shaker styles cost far less than heavily embellished designs yet still look fresh and contemporary. Avoid ornate cathedral or inset cabinet doors to keep your order affordable.
For a harmonious look, stick with 1-2 door styles instead of mixing and matching different custom options that each upcharge the total.
Install the New Cabinets Yourself
Opting for DIY kitchen cabinet installation rather than hiring a professional saves significantly on labor costs. Stock cabinets are designed for easy assembly. Watch online tutorials to pick up essential skills for a smooth installation.
Many DIYers choose to get help installing upper cabinets, as this requires more precision. But you can likely handle base cabinets, doors, shelves, and drawers on your own.
Do Your Research and Get Multiple Quotes
Take time to research cabinet brands, and get bids from at least three distributors. Buying factory direct vs. through a kitchen designer or home improvement store can yield major savings.
Be wary of limited time specials or high-pressure sales tactics nudging you to overspend. Negotiate respectfully with suppliers to get the best deal possible.
Have a Realistic Budget and Stick To It
Know how much you can afford to spend on your kitchen remodel, and create a realistic cabinetry budget dependent on total kitchen size and layout. Remember that inexpensive upgrades like hardware and molding add up.
Avoid impulse purchases and changes mid-project that derail your budget. Limit adjustments or additions, and be selective of must-have splurges vs. nice-to-haves.
Updating worn or outdated kitchen cabinets makes an enormous impact on your home’s functionality and style. With some savvy planning and budget-friendly choices, you can install beautiful new cabinetry and stay on budget.
Focus on finding a great value rather than the cheapest option. Moderately priced stock cabinets offer lots of bang for your buck. Keep door styles simple but elegant. Be open to doing portions of the install yourself. And always keep your predetermined budget top of mind.
With the right information and approach, you can give your kitchen a breathtaking facelift complete with stunning new cabinets – all without breaking the bank.