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Budget Kitchen Remodeling: 5 Money-Saving Steps

Can’t afford an entire kitchen remodel in one fell swoop? You can complete the work in 5 budget-saving stages (and still cook dinner during the down time).

Major kitchen remodels are among the most popular home improvements, but a revamped cooking and gathering space can set you back a pretty penny. According to the “2015 Remodeling Impact Report” from the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, a complete renovation of a 210-square-foot kitchen has a national median cost of $60,000, and you’ll recover 67% of that cost come selling time.

Despite the big price tag, you’ll be glad you upgraded. In fact, homeowners polled for the “Report” gave their kitchen redo a Joy Score of 9.8 — a rating based on those who said they were happy or satisfied with their remodeling, with 10 being the highest rating and 1 the lowest.

If you can’t afford the entire remodel all at once, complete the work in these five budget-saving stages.

Stage One: Start with a Complete Design Plan

Your plan should be comprehensive and detailed — everything from the location of the refrigerator to which direction the cabinet doors will open to whether you need a spice drawer.

To save time (and money) during tear-out and construction, plan on using your existing walls and kitchen configuration. That’ll keep plumbing and electrical systems mostly intact, and you won’t have the added expense — and mess — of tearing out walls.

Joseph Feinberg, vice president of Allied Kitchen and Bath in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., recommends hiring a professional designer, such as an architect or a certified kitchen designer, who can make sure the details of your plans are complete. You’ll pay about 10% of the total project for a pro designer, but you’ll save a whole bunch of headaches that would likely cost as much — or more — to fix. Plus, a pro is likely to offer smart solutions you hadn’t thought of.

For a nominal fee, you also can get design help from a major home improvement store. However, you’ll be expected to purchase some of your cabinets and appliances from that store.

  • Cost: professional designer: $5,800 (10% of total)
  • Key strategies: Once your plans are set, you can hold onto them until you’re ready to remodel.
  • Time frame: 3 to 6 months

Stage Two: Order the Cabinets, Appliances, and Lighting Fixtures

Cabinets and appliances are the biggest investments in your kitchen remodeling project. If you’re remodeling in stages, you can order them any time after the plans are complete and store them in a garage (away from moisture) or in a spare room until you’re ready to pull the trigger on the installation.

Remember that it may take four to six weeks from the day you order them for your cabinets to be delivered.

Related: How to Choose Stock Cabinets for Your Kitchen

If you can’t afford all new appliances, keep your old ones for now — but plan to buy either the same sizes, or choose larger sizes and design your cabinets around those larger measurements. You can replace appliances as budget permits later on.

The same goes for your lighting fixtures: If you can live with your old ones for now, you’ll save money by reusing them.

You’ll have to decide about flooring, too — one of the trickier decisions to make because it also affects how and when you install cabinets.

You’ll need to know if your old flooring runs underneath your cabinets, or if the flooring butts up against the cabinet sides and toe kicks. If the flooring runs underneath, you’ll have some leeway for new cabinet configurations — just be sure the old flooring will cover any newly exposed floor areas. Here are points to remember:

  • Keep old flooring for cost savings. This works if your new cabinets match your old layout, so that the new cabinets fit exactly into the old flooring configuration. If the existing flooring runs underneath your cabinets and covers all flooring area, then any new cabinet configuration will be fine.
  • Keep your old flooring for now and cover it or replace it later. Again, this works if your cabinet configuration is identical to the old layout.

However, if you plan to cover your old flooring or tear it out and replace it at some point in the future, remember that your new flooring might raise the height of your floor, effectively lowering your cabinet height.

For thin new floor coverings, such as vinyl and linoleum, the change is imperceptible. For thicker floorings, such as wood and tile, you might want to take into account the change in floor height by installing your new cabinets on shims.

  • Cost: cabinets: $16,000 (27% of total); appliances and lighting fixtures: $8,500 (15% of total); vinyl flooring: $1,000 (2% of total)
  • Key strategy: Keep old appliances, lighting fixtures, and flooring and use them until you can afford new ones.
  • Time frame: 2 to 3 weeks

Stage Three: Gut the Kitchen and Do the Electrical and Plumbing Work

Here’s where the remodel gets messy. Old cabinetry and appliances are removed, and walls may have to be opened up for new electrical circuits. Keep in close contact with your contractor during this stage so you can answer questions and clear up any problems quickly. A major kitchen remodel can take six to 10 weeks, depending on how extensive the project is.

During this stage, haul your refrigerator, microwave, and toaster oven to another room — near the laundry or the garage, for example — so you’ve got the means to cook meals. Feinberg suggests tackling this stage in the summer, when you can easily grill and eat outside. That’ll reduce the temptation to eat at restaurants, and will help keep your day-to-day costs under control.

  • Cost: $14,500 for tear-out and installation of new plumbing and electrical (25% of total)
  • Key strategies: Encourage your contractor to expedite the tear-out and installation of new systems. Plan a makeshift kitchen while the work is progressing. Schedule this work for summer when you can grill and eat outside.
  • Time frame: 6 to 10 weeks

Stage Four: Install Cabinets, Countertops, Appliances, Flooring, and Fixtures

If you’ve done your homework and bought key components in advance, you should roll through this phase. You’ve now got a (mostly) finished kitchen.

A high-end countertop and backsplash can be a sizable sum of money. If you can’t quite swing it, put down a temporary top, such as painted marine plywood or inexpensive laminate. Later, you can upgrade to granite, tile, solid surface, or marble.

  • Cost: $12,000 (21% of total)
  • Key strategy: Install an inexpensive countertop; upgrade when you’re able.
  • Time frame: 1 to 2 weeks

Final Phases: Upgrade if Necessary

Replace the inexpensive countertop, pull up the laminate flooring, and put in tile or hardwood, or buy that new refrigerator you wanted but couldn’t afford during the remodel. (Just make sure it fits in the space!)

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Las Campanas Builder Lots for sale

From now until the end of the year, I will donate $1500 to a Santa Fe non-profit of your choice for all Las Campanas builder lots sold and closed by Dec 31st. These lots range in price from $65,000 – $272,000 and many include full club amenities at Las Campanas. Click below to view all lots available.


Las Campanas Realty Homesites

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On Broker Tour Wed. October 4th 10am-1pm

Brokers and interested parties please join me for an open house at 18 Bella Loma, Santa Fe New Mexico.

This wonderful home located 12 minutes northwest of downtown Santa Fe is on 5 acres with a private well and views of 5 mountain ranges.

Totally approximately 3400sf, this house has 4 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms, a recently remodeled kitchen and fantastic patio spaces to enjoy the outdoors.

Please join for the tour to see for yourself.

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Open House Sunday August 20th 1-4pm 237 Camino de la Sierra

I will be holding an open house on Sunday August 20th from 1-4pm at 237 Camino de la Sierra. This open and bright split level home is located just north of the Santa Fe plaza, and has views to 3 mountain ranges. Built in 1990, it has a wonderful master bedroom suite with fireplace, small office area, walk-in closets and luxurious bath.

The great room boasts soaring ceilings, nichos for artwork, and a back patio that is great for entertaining guests or grilling a steak. A hot tub sits in a private corner with expansive views to the east.

Would be a candidate for some updating or just live in it as is. Perfect second home, stroll to the plaza.

The price was improved recently to $630,000.

Please join me!

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Siler Road Area – New Developments

The Siler Road area isn’t what you’d think would be the most exciting part of Santa Fe. Long an uninteresting industrial area supporting local businesses, warehouses, materials yards, and manufacturing facilities, the area is undergoing a renaissance in the past few years.

The first signs of hipness happened when Meow Wolf (with the help of George RR Martin) took a  look at the long abandoned Silva Lanes bowling alley (my kids are still sad it closed down) and decided it would be the perfect place to create their magical funhouse. After a year plus of renovation, they opened their new artspace which can only be described as indescribable. It was instantly a hit and outpaced initial visit estimates by an incredible amount and drew over 400,000 visitors in the first year. It has been listed nationally on many websites and travel blogs and their visit numbers are expected to continue to grow. Be sure to check out the new food truck – Trinity Kitchen – serving up Louisiana-style barbecue and other treats.

Second Street Brewery – a venerated Santa Fe brewpub with 2 locations – decided to purchase and renovate an old warehouse on Siler Road. Most of the square footage is devoted to the new brewing facility, something that will help them keep up with demand of their award winning ales and lagers. But the front third of the building will be the new taproom, which will also offer live music and a light menu.

Around the corner is another new brewpub serving up a different style of beer. Focusing mostly on sours and Belgian ales – Rowley’s Farmhouse is another cool place to check out. It’s not your typical pub, and not your typical pub food.

Siler Road Area Listings:

1300 A-4 Rufina Circle

1300 A-3 Rufina Circle

1300 A-2 Rufina Circle

1300 A-1 Rufina Circle

1301 Siler Road

Juniper Park Apartments

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$1 million price drop for Tano Road area estate

Stunning views, saltwater pool, and incomparable finishes come with this estate for sale Northwest of #SantaFe. The best part? A $1million price reduction. Call me if you’d like to see this property 505-570-1422.
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Pick up Bienvenidos Santa Fe Summer Guide now

Each year, the Santa Fe New Mexico publishes it’s Santa Fe summer guide entitled Bienvenidos. The guide is a full color glossy magazine highlighting all the events going on around Santa Fe through the summer. Highlights include new exhibits at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum (celebrating their 20th year this summer), the New Mexico History Museum (Voices of Counterculture from the Southwest), and the outdoor exhibit hosted in Cathedral Park all summer featuring prints of masterworks from the Prado Museum in Madrid, Spain.

If you’re interested in Frida Kahlo, don’t miss the new exhibit at the Spanish Colonial Museum located on Museum Hill. And of course the return of the Folk Art Market which continues to grow and become more successful each year.

The guide is available online but we highly recommend picking up a copy from a newsstand around town.


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Imus Ranch heading to auction June 15th

Don Imus Ranch to be Auctioned

The Don Imus Ranch located in northern New Mexico will be going to auction. Originally listed at $35 million 3 years ago with no takers, the auction will be held June 15th with a minimum opening bid of $5 million. Interested parties must put a $100,000 refundable cash deposit down for bidding.

The upcoming auction is expected to be run by Thomas Industries of Guilford, Conn., said Barry Chappel, an executive vice president at the firm.

Imus also found it ‘hard to breathe’ after suffering an injury while horseback riding several years ago. The ranch, located at 7,000 ft., has over 2,400 acres.

Interested parties should contact the listing agent Craig Huitfeldt of Keller Williams.


Don Imus ranch auction


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Construction Industry showing signs of Growth

A recent article in the Santa Fe New Mexican highlighted the positive growth in the construction industry statewide, but in particular in Santa Fe. Santa Fe Homebuilders Association President Kim Shanahan said “We signed up 15 homes yesterday for the Parade of Homes.” If the pace continues, the Parade of Homes will be one of the largest in recent years.

Copyright 2017 This Web site is not the official Web site of Sotheby’s International Realty, Inc. Sotheby’s International Realty, Inc. does not make any representation or warranty regarding any information, including without limitation its accuracy or completeness, contained on this web site. Real estate agents affiliated with Sotheby’s International Realty, Inc. are independent contractors and are not employees of Sotheby’s International Realty, Inc.