My Kitchen Re-Model Came in Under Budget!!!

by Chris Bjorklund

Here’s How I Did It.

How often do you hear about kitchen remodels costing less than someone expected? Maybe never?

I can proudly say that I came in $15,000 under budget. For one thing, my starting budget was realistic. For another, I hired a contractor who understood my goals and objectives, and we had excellent communication.

Here are some other key things that helped me manage costs:

1) I set up a separate checking account for the kitchen project so I could keep track of the money I was spending every step of the way.
2) Whenever possible, I reused existing materials. For example, the contractor re-installed my old disposer and molding. That helped save money for other items I wanted to splurge on.
3) While I looked for inspiration in magazines and catalogues, I didn’t get caught up in the idea of designing a “dream” kitchen. With a friend’s help, I designed an attractive and functional kitchen.
4) When buying appliances, I relied on reviews from Consumer Reports magazine, and then looked for rebates and sales.
5) My advance planning helped the construction itself go smoothly. Also, once the once the project began, I was involved on a daily basis.
6) For some items, I shopped on-line. My knobs, for example, were $1.99 each, while similar ones were $8 each in a retail outlet.
7) This is a big one. I didn’t change my mind, forcing the contractor to undo and re-do work. Once you have a lot of change-orders, you add to your labor costs.

I feel lucky to have spent my kitchen budget wisely, and now, with the leftover cash, I’m thinking about the landscaping project I’ve been putting off! I miss the daily chaos, problem-solving, decision-making and all the action!