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How to Save Money on a New Kitchen

By Jason Matthews

Although many people dream of a new kitchen, the price tag can be extremely high and sometimes prohibits immediate gratification. Rather than enduring an outdated, poorly functioning cooking area while saving for a more modern version in the future, why not use several cost cutting measures to make that dream a reality a bit sooner? To begin the process, it is important to properly plan for the kitchen update. Here are some tips to help you get a new kitchen for less.

Cost-Saving Questions to Ask

• Which of the tasks can you do yourself, and which will you have to pay someone to do?
• Will a change in design require new wiring, or will the new plan use existing electrical circuits?
• Must all new appliances be purchased, or are some of the older ones still working properly?
• Do the worktops need to be modernized in some way?
• Is the lighting adequate, or will a new light fixture need to be installed?
• Can the cabinets be restored, or should they be replaced entirely?
• Will the kitchen sink and taps match the new style, or should they be changed as well?
• Does the kitchen flooring need to be replaced or modernized for the new look?

All of these factors make a difference in the final price tag for a kitchen makeover project, but creative homeowners can usually find ways to mitigate some of these costs.

Cost-Saving Measures to Take

The following tips are just a few tricks of the trade which can lower the final price significantly:

• Do as much of the physical work as possible yourself, even if this means taking a home-improvement class. Removing old units and taking off old wall tiles is something that most people can do themselves. Also, offering to clear up after a tradesperson has finished is one way to reduce your labour costs. Many DIY skills are also demonstrated online and can be learned in a short period of time. Another idea is to barter with friends who have a skill who may be able to help you out.

• Try to incorporate the current electrical outlets and circuitry into the new plan, to save on the cost of rewiring.

• Update older appliances that still work well using veneer covers, or appliance paint to make them look like new, rather than splashing out on a new oven or fridge. If they do need replacing, look for energy efficient models that will be cheaper to run and shop around to get the best price. Compare deals online or see if you can get a discount on an ex-display item from an electrical store.

• Instead of using expensive granite for a new worktop, get the same modern appeal with granite-effect laminate, or use granite tiles rather than one large slab of stone.

• Paint older light fixtures, and consider installing modern fluorescent lighting to save money on energy bills over the long term.

• Paint or stain cabinets that are in good shape and make them more contemporary by replacing the door knobs or handles.

• Providing you have standard cabinet sizes you could consider getting replacement doors and keeping the original units. This is a good way to change the style of your kitchen without a lot of work or inconvenience, and you should be able to fit them yourself.

• If your units have reached the end of their life, search online for cheap kitchen cabinets that you can put together yourself, to save you money on the installation costs.

• Choose kitchen taps with a separate handle for hot and cold water, as these are usually cheaper than a single lever.

• Purchase several different colours or patterns of discontinued tiles to use for flooring or as a splashback, and be creative in forming a pattern. Plain colours, especially white, are usually the cheapest, but if you want to include a few decorative wall tiles, save money by using them just as a border, or as accents in places that they’ll have the most visual impact.

While in the planning stages of designing and creating a new kitchen, it is always wise to keep an eye out for unexpected bargains. Periodically check ads in local newspapers and online. Search discontinued ranges in DIY stores, find fixtures or counter height stools online, and watch for giveaways on FreeCycle. All of these sources can make a kitchen remodelling project less expensive.

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"The state represents violence in a concentrated and organized form. The individual has a soul, but as the state is a soulless machine, it can never be weaned from violence to which it owes its very existence." -- Mahatma Mohandas K. Gandhi


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