Ask everyone you deal with if there’s any flexibility in their pricing—and don't be afraid to negotiate. Click for details on negotiating with a contractor.
Choose a couple of materials or design elements that are most important to you and make them your splurge items. Be flexible with all other choices. (For more on kitchen design, take our crash course in planning your dream kitchen.)
Consider black or white appliances to avoid paying the premium for stainless steel. Remember that black appliances are easier to match than white, a color that always varies somewhat between manufacturers.
Shop for Seconds
Explore alternative shopping sources like Habitat for Humanity’s Habitat ReStores, salvage yards, flea markets, thrift and antique stores, eBay—even yard sales and estate sales. You never know what you might find!
Handcrafted items such as ceramic tiles ease the burden on your wallet, and they only gain charm and character through slight variations in shape, color, or pattern.
To score the best deals, ask vendors about overstocks, closeouts, floor samples, showroom models and upcoming sales.
Savings add up if you do some of the work yourself, while advanced skills make for an even greater bottom-line impact.
If you're interested in more on kitchen makeovers, consider:
Quick Tip: Budget Kitchen Remodeling
DIY Kitchen Makeover (Without the Renovation)
Painted Cabinets: 10 Reasons to Transform Yours Now
If you have the money to hire a handyman for every household woe, go ahead. But if you want to hang on to your cash and exercise some self-sufficiency, check out these clever products that solve a million and one little problems around the house. Go now!