I'm an architect and designer. Here are 5 things you should never waste money on in your kitchen.
- I've worked as an architect and designer for 12 years and have renovated countless kitchens.
- I advise people to avoid buying custom cabinetry and altering a room's layout to save money.
When renovating a kitchen, it can be hard to know what is and isn't worth splurging on.
As an architect and designer at Block Renovation, a platform that streamlines the renovation process, I've worked on over 1,000 projects and learned a few tricks for cutting costs along the way.
Some expenses are unavoidable, like permits or temporary relocation costs, but here are five things to skip if you're trying to save money on a kitchen upgrade.
Ditch marble countertops for Caesarstone ones instead
Marble countertops are beautiful, but they tend to come with a hefty price tag and can require a lot of maintenance.
Homeowners looking for a luxurious feel at a lower price should opt for engineered quartz, a man-made product that uses natural materials.
Caesarstone provides a similar look to the one you get from marble but generally costs a lot less and requires less upkeep. Making this swap will save you time, effort, and money in the long run.
Avoid solid-wood cabinets and custom cabinetry whenever possible
Although solid-wood cabinets are durable, they tend to be quite expensive.
I've found that composite-wood cabinets with wood veneer are a great substitute. They provide a warm, natural look similar to the one you get from solid wood for a much lower price.
Additionally, I suggest avoiding custom cabinetry whenever possible. It tends to drive up costs and draw out timelines since it'll likely take a manufacturer a lot longer to prepare something specific for your space.
There are really interesting stock and semi-custom options on the market, so I don't recommend going down the custom route if you're at all concerned about time or budget.
Instead of splurging on fancy appliances, focus on subtle details
You may be tempted to turn your kitchen into one of the semiprofessional ones you see on TV, but a lot of those fancy details don't usually make sense for at-home cooks.
Going with an eight-burner, stainless-steel stove will probably eat into your budget and draw out your project's timeline. Most homeowners are perfectly fine with standard appliances, which typically cost thousands less than the heavy-duty stuff.
That being said, if you want to add a bit of that "Chef's Table" flair to your home kitchen, invest in subtle accessories like a magnetic knife holder, a rack to hang pots, or a pullout spice cabinet.
Upgrading these details is a relatively affordable way to elevate your space. These items can also be practical and help you cook.
Use a backsplash in place of homemade tiles
A kitchen isn't complete without a nice backsplash. It's a great way to add an exciting tonal and textural component to your space, and it usually won't break the bank.
Even though handmade tiles bring a sense of warmth into a kitchen, they don't come cheap. There are plenty of affordable alternatives, like glazed zellige tiles. These machine-made tiles have the look of handmade tiles without the high prices.
Avoid changing a room's layout
The biggest piece of advice I give to homeowners who want to keep costs low is that they should avoid making any major changes to the room's layout.
Any time you alter your plumbing, change your electrical layout, or tear down a wall, your costs will go up.
In most cases, those changes aren't necessary. You can achieve your functional and aesthetic goals by playing around with a space's proportions, materials, and color schemes.
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