Keeping Kitchen Remodeling Costs in Line

kitchen remodel lowes


It’s tax refund time! If you’re like many homeowners in the metro Denver area, you know exactly what you want to do with that money – remodel the kitchen.

Kitchen Remodeling Costs Can Vary Greatly

No matter what you have in mind, keeping costs in line is probably a top priority. Remodeling a typical 12’ x 15’ kitchen can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $36,000 for materials and labor. Why the wide range? Your costs will depend on the materials you choose (for example, laminate countertops vs. quartz) and labor prices in your area.

Advice for Keeping Kitchen Remodeling Costs in Line

As a Realtor® for nearly 15 years, it’s safe to say I’ve seen a *lot* of kitchen remodels. I’m happy to share my perspective on what to do (and what to avoid) to control the budget. This article from (“A Kitchen Remodel Worksheet to Help You Cut Costs”) has a lot of great advice, but it does seem to be geared toward a lower-end remodel. Given that, there are some recommendations I disagree with. It also leaves out some recommendations drawn from experience. I’ve summarized all of this below. I’d love to hear your thoughts, especially if you’ve “been there, done that” with a kitchen remodel.

Saving on Kitchen Cabinets

  • Choose stock cabinets.
  • Only replace certain parts, such as door fronts; hardware; etc.
  • Hire a handyperson for installation rather than a carpenter or do it yourself.
  • Do your own demo (my pro tip: remove your old cabinets carefully so you can reuse them elsewhere in your house, such as in your garage).
  • Refinish your cabinets with a new stain or paint if they’re in good shape and if their layout still works for you.
  • Check IKEA’s clearance/’as-is” area for deals on their highly modular cabinets.

Saving on Painting

  • If you’re hiring a professional painter, have the work done in the winter when there is less demand for their services you can more easily negotiate pricing.
  • Do some of the prep work yourself. Your painter may charge less if you get things ready by removing light fixtures and outlet covers.
  • Do all of the work yourself if you have the time, skills, and patience.

Saving on Appliances

  • Pick up last year’s model. You’ll find deals during January on dishwashers, ovens, and microwaves. Looking for a new fridge? If you can wait until May, you can see significant savings.
  • Whenever possible, keep appliance locations the same. It’s super spendy to reroute gas, water, or electric lines…and even more so to add them where they don’t currently exist. (My pro tip: rotating a dishwasher by 90 degrees is generally not a big deal. For example, in a galley kitchen with the sink at the end and the dishwasher 90 degrees to one side or the other, you can usually swing the dishwasher back to the same wall as the sink without too much trouble.)
  • Skip the stainless. White never goes out of style and generally costs $100 less than a stainless finish. (My pro tip: For resale, it’s more important that the appliances are good quality and in matching colors. That said, the Denver market still prefers stainless.)

Saving on Countertops

  • Go direct to a local fabricator for savings, since the big box stores will outsource (and mark up) the fabrication and labor.
  • Use prefabricated laminate to save on costs for on-site cutting. (My pro tip: if you’re concerned about resale, skip laminate and go for a solid surface such as quartz. If the countertop is going into a rental unit, laminate might be an appropriate choice.)
  • Choose discontinued, remnant, or odd lot materials for discounts.

Saving on Sinks

  • Self-rimming (drop-in) sinks are less expensive than undermount or farmhouse sinks and are easier (and therefore cheaper) to install.
  • Swap out only the faucet if your sink is in good shape. Faucets can give a lot of bang for not a lot of bucks and are easy to install yourself.

Saving on Flooring

  • Go with quality sheet vinyl. (My pro tip: if you have to stick to a lower budget but are concerned with resale, you’re better off going with a high-quality laminate floor instead of vinyl. Vinyl in a rental unit makes more sense.)

One Last Thing About Kitchen Remodels

In my nearly 15 years as a Realtor® in the metro Denver area, I have built up a large network of trusted service providers and vendors. I would be happy to provide you with referrals to folks who can help you with some or all of a kitchen remodel. Just give me a call.

If you’re looking to make a move in 2019, it may make sense to look at that sooner rather than later. Give me a call at 303-204-6494 – I’m always happy to help!



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