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Renovating a kitchen can be an expensive endeavor but there are many ways to save a bit of your hard earned cash and still have a great looking kitchen. Here are 3 ways to shave a bit of cost off your kitchen project without skimping on a quality product.

Go with a great looking laminate counter top.

Getting a great looking solid surface counter top, such as quartz or granite, has gone from a trend to a “must have” for a lot people, even here in Edmonton. Solid surface counter tops, especially quartz, offer a durable work surface that looks beautiful and doesn’t come with a lot of maintenance. They also come with a hefty price tag when you compare them with the alternative, laminate.

Laminate has come a long way from the five colors commonly found in most home of the 1970s. In addition to a large selection of patterns and colors, there are also different edge profiles to even further customize your counter top. You can then choose to go with a laminate back splash or do what they did in the kitchen shown on the left. Our client opted to put in a tile back splash to really add some pizzazz to their kitchen.

Laminate tops really require only a bit more attention to keep them looking great than other counter tops. It is still recommended on all counter tops to avoid heat and to always use a cutting board. The extra care with a laminate top is with moisture. Keeping your top dry will help prolong its life.

If, after many years, your laminate top is starting to look a little shabby or dated, then, hey, you can replace it with another laminate top and you’d still probably save more money than if you originally went with a solid surface top.

Spend some time planning the details of your kitchen project.

It might not seem obvious, but in some cases, time can be used as a currency to save you money.  A well designed kitchen with the details worked out up front will help you to avoid making last minute decisions that can be costly. A example that we see all the time that can add a lot of cost to a kitchen project is product selection not being done ahead of time. Let’s say that instead of choosing the exact tile you’d like to use for your back splash, you instead set a allowance for it and opt to choose the tile later. You may find yourself in the situation where the tile you like doesn’t fit within the allowance and you’ve run out of time to pick out some product. Either you end up doing one of three things: 1) you choose the tile you picked out and pay extra, kicking yourself that you didn’t have the time to find something similar at a lower cost 2) you choose something that fits within the allowance but doesn’t exactly fit with what you envisioned or 3) you take the time to get exactly what you want for the right budget and delay the kitchen project, which sometimes can add cost.

As well, some items that your contractor might not provide in the scope of work, such as appliances, are best sought after as early as possible. Nowadays, appliances are notorious for coming in all sorts of different size and requirement for spacing. Having to make late game changes to your cabinet layout because you wanted a 36 inch fridge rather than a 32 inch one can be a disaster. And, when it comes to appliances, everything goes on sale. If you know what make and model of fridge you want well ahead of time, you may be able to pick it up cheaper when the big box retailers have their big sale events.

Do your research and compare your quotes carefully.

When you get a couple of quotes for a set of new tires for your car, it’s generally easy to see what the cost is versus what you are getting. With a kitchen project, there are a lot of variables that are not easily distinguished. Because it is much more difficult to compare apples to apples with a kitchen project, you should really dig down into the details of the scope of work to make sure you know what you’re getting. Even if the quotes are generally close, one of them might include soft close doors and drawers on the cabinets, a higher quality of flooring product and even something simple like debris removal. Some less than honorable contractors will exclude certain items in their scope of work and you wind up paying more for them because they are an ‘upgrade’. You should also check to see who will be performing the work. Is it a licensed plumber hooking up you new sink and taps? You might be saving on the front end with less skilled workers performing the work, but imagine how much that kitchen renovation would cost you if the taps started leaking uncontrollably while you were at work.