Three ways to save thousands on your kitchen remodel

The bride and I just finished our kitchen remodel. The process sucked to be blunt

but the end result is fantastic. We approached the whole process with an open mind which quickly turned to disgust as we started to meet with contractors.

Best advice in picking your contractor is get one that listens to you. Multiple contractors we had gave us estimates but always tried to up sell to higher end products instead of listening to our budget needs. In the end, I found my contractor through the electrician I knew I would hire for the project.

Here is where we saved thousands in our kitchen remodel:

Countertop & Cabinets
The countertop we went with high resolution laminate. We didn’t need granite or quartz. They are popular but also expensive.
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The cabinets we ordered ourselves from Home Depot online. Nothing special like a cherry or custome made. They are a few steps above unfinished cabinets in the store and have the extra backing in support for the drawers and hinges. They also came with shelves. We went with white.
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For countertop and cabinets we had several quotes ranging from $14,000 -$18,000. That included install. Our final cost was $1100 for countertop, $3000 for cabinets and $3000 for install. Total price tag of $7100. (I’m about to get a partial refund for countertops because we received them somewhat bowed).

Total savings of about $7,000

Electrical
Picking my electrician happened before my contractor. I wanted that done right since I live in an older home. One quote for electrical I received was for $3900. When I showed the independent electrician he laughed. I got a handshake estimate of $2000. I budgeted more money aside for any problems he may have run into. He had about an extra 4 hours of work than expected but overall he stuck to his price. The higher  estimate I had gotten was for very minimal work and would’ve shot up dramatically with the finished electrical job.

Don’t be hesitant to go with an independent electrician separate from your contractor.

Total savings $2500

Painting, caulking & miscellaneous

Painting and caulking we did ourselves. It saves you a ton of money. Contractor got drywall done on a Friday morning and let us have it for the weekend to paint. Caulking was same way. Right after he installed the countertops, the wife went around caulking everything.
These two jobs are a big profit margin areas for contractors. Proper caulking took six hours alone. Picking out the paint and painting was two days.

We also did things on our own to free up the contractors time. We ordered the dumpster, returned items, ripped up the flooring, picked up various items (insulation, trim, cabinet handles, the sink, etc). All this adds up in costs if you have the contractor do it. He even told us, “If it takes you two hours to pick out paint colors, it would take me 4 hours.” Contractors will charge you for all this type of work.

Total savings $2000

We still have to put up a backsplash(possibly ourselves) here in a few weeks but the kitchen is done. We stressed for about three weeks dealing with all the intricacies of a project like this, but we now walk into a kitchen completely happy and also a better sense of ownership since we helped with it.

Here’s a before and after:
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