Kitchen Remodel Tips: Where to Save vs. Splurge

Kitchen Remodel Tips: Where to Save vs. Splurge

A kitchen remodel can get expensive! Many homeowners spend tens of thousands of dollars on their kitchen remodel just to make basic changes. If you’re on a tight renovation budget and want to get the most out of your remodel, it’s important to know where to save vs. splurge.

By spending money on big-ticket items, and saving money where it doesn’t need to be spent, you can get the most bang for your buck – and the highest ROI if you decide to sell your house. Here’s what you need to know. 

Save on Cabinet Boxes 

Semi custom cabinets can cost as much as $650 per linear foot. That kind of cost could break your kitchen renovation budget quickly. Fortunately, you can save money by purchasing budget kitchen cabinets from a supplier like IKEA. The less you spend on the cabinet boxes, the more you’ll have to spend on the custom cabinet fronts.

Don’t want to buy new cabinet boxes at all? Use the existing cabinets in your kitchen, but remove the doors from your lower and upper cabinets. Old cabinetry often has perfectly good cabinet boxes and can be made-over with new doors or paint.

Splurge on Custom Fronts

By installing new custom fronts on your cabinetry boxes, you can achieve the look of custom cabinetry and save a lot of money at the same time. High quality fronts can make your cabinets look brand-new and high-end. Work with a custom cabinet door supplier to purchase cabinet doors that you’ll love for years to come.  

Scandia doors in Sweetly Sage took this kitchen from dated to contemporary.

Save on Painting (Do it DIY!)

Painting your walls and cabinets yourself is one way that you can reduce the cost of your kitchen remodel without sacrificing value. Apply a fresh coat to your walls and new paint to your cabinets to make them stand out! 

Remember to use a  semi gloss paint on your kitchen walls to make them easy to clean – and semi gloss or glossy on the ceilings. Newly painted cabinets look great, but over time, paint can chip if the paint isn’t applied correctly. Be sure to prep the cabinet surfaces to ensure that the paint is long-lasting and durable. 

Splurge on Stainless Steel Appliances

New appliances like the dishwasher, refrigerator and stove are all important parts of the kitchen. For high efficiency and longevity, buy high-quality appliances. Look for the ENERGY STAR rating before making a purchase. 

Stainless steel appliances are popular with home buyers right now, so if you’re planning to sell your home soon, leave room in your renovation budget for attractive appliances that will make your kitchen stand out.  

Save by Using Existing Layout

Homeowners spend a lot of money updating their kitchen designs. Moving appliances and plumbing from one location to another requires invasive changes that can cost a lot of money. Unless you’re seeking a perfect work triangle or a brand-new kitchen design, you can save money and reduce cost by using your existing layout.

Leaving your existing cabinets, kitchen island and appliances where they are, you can potentially save thousands of dollars. If you’re seeking a more efficient kitchen triangle, talk to your contractor about smaller changes to improve your efficiency, like swapping appliance locations within your existing layout. 

Splurge on Quartz Countertops

For many homeowners, installing new countertops is one of the best parts of the kitchen remodel. While granite countertops and marble countertops are popular for their natural properties, quartz countertops are the new king of the kitchen.

These low-maintenance countertops are designed to last. Unlike other types of stone like granite and marble countertops, they require no sealing. They’re naturally stain-resistant and need only to be cleaned regularly in order to look and perform their best. If you hope to entertain guests after your new kitchen renovation, quartz countertops will make you proud to host guests in your home. 

Anika of Anika’s DIY Life explains steps to properly prep your cabinetry for long lasting paint results.

Know Where to Save Vs. Splurge on Your Kitchen Remodeling Ideas? Get Started Today

Your kitchen makeover doesn’t need to break your budget. Get started on your kitchen remodel with low cost, high impact changes. Remove some upper cabinets for decorative shelving to make your space feel larger, or buy new fronts for outdated cabinets.

Stay tuned for future renovation and decorating ideas to help create your dream home.

IKEA is a registered trademark of Inter-IKEA Systems B.V. and is not affiliated with Nieu Cabinet Doors.

5 Reasons a Cabinet Refacing Project Might be For You

5 Reasons a Cabinet Refacing Project Might be For You

Are you dreaming of a kitchen remodel?

Many people dream of a new kitchen but get stressed thinking of the inconvenience, the cost, and the mess and complications of a large renovation.

Kitchen renovations: the number one room remodel in North America.

Your kitchen is the heart of your home. It’s no wonder that kitchens are the number one room to remodel in North American homes.

How does cabinet refacing work?

Refacing cabinets (aka replacing cabinet doors and drawer fronts) instead of renovating your kitchen gives you the update you are looking for while saving 50% to 60% of replacing all your cabinets.  For DIYers cabinet refacing is a straightforward process of removing your existing doors and installing new ones in the style and color of your choice.

A cartoon image of a couple sitting at a table, wondering what to do about their kitchen.
Redoing your kitchen can be overwhelming until you know all of your options!

5 Reasons Cabinet Refacing May Be For You:

1. Your kitchen layout is just fine

You don’t want to spend money on changing the layout of your kitchen, but you do need a change. Changing the layout and moving electrical, water, gas and HVAC elements is expensive. If your existing kitchen layout works and you see little benefit in changing it, then refacing is for you.  By leaving the cabinets where they are and just replacing the doors, you avoid the time and cost (and mess) involved in a larger kitchen remodel project.  

2. You have a limited kitchen renovation budget

Watching home renovation shows can make one feel like they need to spend tens of thousands of dollars to have great kitchen renovation. We get asked all the time “What is the cost for cabinet refacing?” DIY refacing can replace the doors in a small kitchen for as little as a few hundred dollars. When your savings grow, you can replace the countertop and backsplash. No need to do it all at once.

3. You have DIY skills

DIY cabinet refacing is a relatively straightforward process for a DIYer.  It can be as simple as unscrewing the hinges on your old doors and attaching the new ones. We have found that most homeowners, however, will replace their old hinges with new soft-close, concealed hinges and perhaps update the knobs or pulls. Adding new drawer boxes, panels, toe-kicks and trim can add to the complexity of a DIY refacing job, but cabinet refacing tools are found in most homes. Screw drivers, a drill and a measuring tape will be the most basic items needed. For refacing jobs involving panels and trim, a circular saw or table saw will be needed. Check out our Nieu Door Guide for everything you’ll need.

4. You have countertop blues

You installed a new countertop last year and now the doors look dated. Or maybe you just bought the house and the previous owner had an expensive countertop installed, but the doors are not your style. Countertops, especially Quartz or Granite can account for a large portion of a kitchen remodel project and they can sometimes sink (pun intended) a renovation budget. Rather than replace a new countertop you may be better off leaving the countertop in place and just replacing the doors. Remember, when refacing cabinet doors you can change the color to better suit both your style and the existing countertop.

5. You plan on selling

Time for a move and want to maximize your selling price? Kitchens we are told are what sells a home. Cabinet door replacement can update your kitchen to be on trend, with the knowledge that the money spent may both increase your asking price and decrease the number of days on the market. The added benefit of being able to list your home for sale with a recently updated kitchen will surely attract more home buyers than one with the original builder’s kitchen from 15 years ago.  

Is cabinet refacing for you?

Cabinet refacing is not for everyone. If you have some bigger layout issues that only a full-scale remodel will fix, and you have the available budget, then go for it! But if some or all of these points sound familiar, a DIY kitchen reface might be the solution you seek. See our How To section and videos for more information on if refacing might just be for you. 

A couple more things…

It’s more efficient and eco-friendly

Tossing perfectly usable kitchen cabinet boxes into the garbage does not feel good. Sure, some areas recycle and make new products from wood waste, but that process can consume a lot of resources like water and electricity. If there is still life left in those cabinet boxes why not let them shine-on with swanky new cabinet doors. 

Cost for Cabinet Refacing

Refacing your kitchen can save you 50-60% over replacing your cabinets.  To see what your cost for cabinet door replacement might be, use our online order form where you can input your door measurements and generate pricing in real-time. You might be surprised that you can afford both a new kitchen and a family vacation this year! 


  1. It saves time.   
  2. It saves money.   
  3. It transforms your kitchen.