Kitchens should be reflective of your lifestyle. There are no definitive rules on how much or how little you should spend on a kitchen remodel. While it is important to keep your budget in the forefront of your mind, it is sometimes tempting to get the biggest or the best…but should you


Some homeowners may opt for features they don’t want just to save money, while others will put themselves in great debt to have the best that money can buy. It can get a bit overwhelming determining what you need. It is a good idea to stick to a list of your needs, monitoring your budget and how these two work together. Remember, are you designing a kitchen for the kitchen you want now, or for the home you plan to resell tomorrow?


If you are looking to stay put for a while, a good way to keep to your goals of a dream kitchen is to use placeholder options. An example of this is instead of getting that expensive stone countertop now you could opt for a decorative laminate that looks like stone. This would cut your cost nearly in half, affording you the opportunity for getting that real stone countertop when you can afford the upgrade.


When you can splurge and when you should save:


Your Kitchen cabinetry – There are many factors when it comes to cabinetry costs. Removal of your old cabinetry, delivery and installation of the new product as well as taxes on the materials and building permits all can have a big effect on your budget. Specialty drawers or cabinets with roll-out shelves can add up as well. Many home improvement specialists and contractors will tell you to splurge on the convenience aspects of your kitchen such as soft close drawers, Lazy Susan cabinet, recycling and waste drawers/cabinets and other ergonomic additions that will not only add ease of use, but also resale value. What is convenient to you may be the Holy Grail to the next owner. Floor to ceiling cabinetry is a great way to add a seamless look to your kitchen and storage, also while adding resale value. These may add to your budget, but they will pay off both in functionality and resale later. You should also not be afraid to splurge on installation. Leave that to the pros.


So, where should you save? Many of these experts suggest looking for cabinetry materials that are constructed from strong plywood but have a wood veneer. These veneers can have the look and feel of natural wood at a fraction of the cost. Quality pressed wood can last about 20 years and with regular maintenance will allow you to enjoy your kitchen for a long time to come.


You can also save a good amount of money foregoing the spendy drawer inserts you can buy at box stores and focus more on plastic or metal drawer/shelves to be put into your pantry. Deep base cabinet style drawers for your pantry are a great way to maximize your space as well as keep your budget in check.


Hardware Installation – Changing your hardware on your cabinetry can go the way of the $$ or inexpensive.  It really all depends on the look you are going for and what you feel will blend best with your kitchen.  You really can go as big or small as you like. Most box stores have a wide assortment of knobs, handles and pulls to choose from. In fact, just updating your hardware is a great and inexpensive way to update your kitchen. And don’t worry if some of your finishes between your cabinetry and fixtures don’t match; a little variety is always nice.


Your Appliances – This is where many a homeowner breaks the bank. Having that new fridge that tells you what you are running low on or a fancy wine bottle opener may be all the rage, but will it fit your budget? It is a good idea to really buckle down and decide the most practical appliances to fit your current kitchen needs when it comes time. You should splurge on appliances that are energy efficient and that are rated to last for a long time. If you choose your appliances before settling on your cabinetry and hardware and countertops you may lock yourself into an overall kitchen plan that your budget can’t handle.


You also need to be careful what appliances you focus your money on. While having a state-of-the-art fridge may be great, they can tend to require repair or replacement sooner than your cooktop – so you may want to focus your fundage on the cooktop rather than the fridge.  If you have a large household, your money may be better spent on a dishwasher than an 8 burner stove. Think – what will make our lives easier? Stainless steel is a top rated material for appliances, is cost effective and looks great.  When you start to throw money at custom covers for your appliances, you start to get into big spender territory.


Does anyone like tile anymore? Tile has been the go-to material for backsplashes and flooring, but depending on the type of tile and how much, your budget can blow up!  Porcelain tile has longevity and comes in a variety of colors and is extremely cost effective. If you feel like splurging it up, natural stone tiles are where to lay down the cash. Natural stone has offers strength that is equally matched with the beauty of irregularity in color and marbling. When in saving mode, you can purchase a ceramic or porcelain tile that looks and feels just like natural stone.


The size of your tile will also determine your cost. When you go with larger tiles, you have less grouting work which brings down your labor and material costs. You can buy decorative tile designs pre-made, which will also cut down on installation and material costs. If you want to splurge, you can have custom glass-tile mosaics created.


Before you go head first into your project, you want to really focus on where your money is going. Sometimes when you save money in one area, you free up some money to go into another. Be honest with yourself and keep on track as to what you really need and what you can do without for a while. By avoiding structural changes such as plumbing and mechanical systems, you can put more focus on what is existing which can save you money. Showrooms like MTD can offer you tons of options and guide you on how to get you a great kitchen at a great cost.