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Ask a Designer: Keeping Costs Down


How can I keep costs down?

I would say that, again, it’s going to go into looking at the space and seeing if there’s any areas that you can eliminate cabinets. That’s going to be the biggest. A lot of times, people want to fill their entire kitchen with cabinets, and sometimes it’s best to eliminate certain areas. If you don’t want to get into that, you can look at little things, like finish. Someone can come in wanting a French country decorative glaze finish, and something like that, and maybe they need to scale back on the finish, which is going to cut costs.

Accessories, interior rollouts, kind of the fun gadgets that go into kitchen cabinetries, can eliminate those to save some cost. Then, limiting your amount of details, as far as decorative moldings or hand molding, turn post, and things like that, keeping the kitchen a little more simple, as far as the design, is going to keep your cost down.

You walk into an appliance store, and you can go up to the most expensive refrigerator, and then you can find one with not as many bells and whistles, maybe, but aesthetically that is similar, for half of the cost. with granites and stone and and Cambria and all those nice, solid surface countertops, about 10-15%, as far as the difference in cost. Almost every product is going to have a range of, “Oh, well you could start with this, and this is at this price point, and then, you know, you can upgrade and get this feature.”

It would be the same way. You get into the more, I want to say, decorative or more variation in color and speckles and everything like that; those tend to be more costly than their plain, solid colors. Laminate would be definitely a great way to go to save a lot of money. That would be the one countertop material that you would save a lot of money in, versus all the others.

Other suggestions might be to keep existing plumbing where it is, maybe keep the gas lines and electric lines where they are, as much as possible. That would mean that the professional tradespeople, like the plumbers and the electricians, may not charge you as much, because they’re actually not moving plumbing and not moving the gas lines. A lot of is just an hourly labor-type situation, where it just depends on what each individual house is constructed as.