Places To Splurge & Save In Your Kitchen Renovation

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"It's difficult to make sweeping generalizations about kitchen renovations and builds (other than the old "add 50% to the initial estimate!" rule — always a good idea!)."  
This initial statement from the author of this article is very interesting. There's a rule to add 50% to the initial estimate? Yikes! This must be for a DIY project, right? Because as a professional design/build remodeling firm AK guarantees our initial estimates plus or minus 10% for 30 days. And a contract? Unless you change the scope of the project, the price does not change! Whether you're splurging or saving, when you work with AK you know how much you're spending. That is true peace of mind. Click to find out more about AK's Remodel Pricing Guarantee.
Here are a few ideas from the author's article on with some ideas on where to splurge and where to save when remodeling your kitchen. We'd love to hear if you agree, or disagree!

 "Every kitchen is different, just as every cook has a slightly different set of desires and priorities. However, as I've researched and shopped for my own kitchen, which is being built from the ground up, I've made some trade-offs in costs and priority that, so far, seem worth it to me...

Save: Lighting
Splurge: Windows
No matter what, lighting in a kitchen is very important. I would love to have some spendy modern pendants over the island and the dining table (why oh why do my tastes run to the Champagne in this area??) but it's not in the budget.
I chose instead to put money into high-quality awning windows with good hardware. There are full-length sidelights next to a sliding door, and more windows in the dining area. The cost of windows adds up, but this is the time to put them in. Other lighting is less important, and inexpensive pendants from IKEA can be easily replaced down the road.

Save: Faucet
Splurge: Sink
I predict this will be a controversial choice! The faucet is, after all, the most-frequently-used fixture in your kitchen. But as I have researched and shopped, I have found that some great faucets can be found from brands such as Grohe and Kohler, and they are often on sale at Amazon and Wayfair. You can get quite decent faucets for under $200.
Sinks, on the other hand, often cost more, and they are much more difficult to replace down the road. I am looking for a good although modestly-priced faucet, but I am buying the sink that I want.

Save: Oven
Splurge: Stove
Kitchen designer Susan Serra told me that the oven is the least-used appliance in most people's kitchens. Some folks don't even need an oven at all, especially with the advent of convection microwaves. Unless you're a frequent baker, prioritize your stove over your oven.
And, in my opinion, the stove doesn't need to be a high-powered faux-restaurant monster to be a good buy. I'm going for a more modestly-priced Bertazzoni rangetop, which is a fraction of the price of a BlueStar or Viking (although still the most expensive appliance in the kitchen). My oven is a used model (still in warranty!) that I found on Craigslist.

Save: Tile and backsplash
Splurge: Countertop

What do you think?


  1. Found your post on Hometalk and wanted to comment that I agree with your suggestions. As a DIY home blogger it is important for us to realize the differences on where to cut back costs and where to invest the extra dollars to make sure our projects are not only cost effective but last for many years to come. I am glad that my thoughts correlate with those of a professionals...I can now rest assured :)

  2. Great input, Jennifer! Thanks so much for sharing from the DIY point of view. And thank you for leaving us a comment!


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