Thinking about a Kitchen Renovation?

I have been sharing some pictures and posts of our kitchen renovation journey with you.  I hope you enjoyed seeing them.

I will do a series of posts explaining our process, and if you're thinking of starting a kitchen remodel, hopefully, it will help you avoid some of our missteps and get some ideas from the things we did right.

Probably the best advice I can give is research, research, and do more research before taking the plunge.  No matter how much you prepare, you will run into issues, just accept it and move on.  But by researching and taking your time during the decision making phase you will avoid a lot of costly mistakes.


Start with a notebook and a Pinterest board.  

A small notebook and a ready pen that can be toted in your car or handbag will be invaluable.  Make notes of things you see that you like and where you found them and when you saw them.  It will be invaluable in backtracking to find something you really want in your kitchen, from cabinets or appliances, flooring, lighting fixtures or a decorative piece to a kitchen table or bar stool.  Be sure to note prices.

If you're not on Pinterest... sign up!  It's free!  Start a "Kitchens" board and pin anything and everything you see that you like.  You can go to mine and peruse the over 300 pictures I collected of all kinds of kitchens.  It certainly will get you started thinking about what kind of look you want.

Houzz is also another free site that can help guide you.  Lots of great ideas and pictures.  Our kitchen remodel was by no means cheap, but we found a lot of the remodels they had pictures of were either way out of our price league or they had far more space to work with for their kitchens than we did.  Still, the site did provide a number of ideas, certainly worth the time to check it out.  Also local contractors can usually be found there, which can be an enormous help.

We trolled kitchen remodel areas in all the home improvement stores.  We travel from Georgia to NY frequently and looked in both places.  Even the big box stores will have different displays in different stores.  Don't overlook the little guys either, they too, have some great ideas.

We started with appliances... we went everywhere.... Big box stores, appliance stores, Sears... opened fridges and stoves... looked inside dishwashers... made notes of brands, features and prices.  Then scoured the internet for reviews.  We talked to co-workers about what they have, what they liked and didn't like.  Keep in mind, what works well for someone else, may not necessarily work best for you.  You don't want to pay for expensive features that don't matter to you

Write everything down in a section of your note pad... I used those sticky divider tabs you can get at an office supply store to make sections for appliances, cabinets, flooring, furniture even paint.  Be prepared.... hubby may roll his eyes about keeping the notebook, but he'll come around... it comes in handy, trust me.

Anything I found on the net.. I copied and pasted the link into a word document and saved it... so I could easily find what I saw a week or even a month ago and didn't junk up my favorites list.  It saved us a fortune... $20 here, a $100+ adds up.. you will be surprised.  The same fixture or kitchen table can be a vastly different price at different places.

Listen to sales people, they can be a wealth of information.  Learn a little here and there... that, too, adds up. 

We finally settled on what appliances we wanted and even the best prices were a lot higher than our original budget for them.   We wrote all the brands, features and prices down, including installation costs and delivery.  We even took pictures with our smart phone of the stickers and sale signs.

ASK Questions

The number for all the appliances staring us down was just over $7200... when we started we had about $5000 penciled in for an appliance budget.   I kept checking sales, signed up at various sites for sales notification ..

Pay dirt....I found a "semi-annual" sale at Home Depot... we checked it out .. made note of the sale dates... the total appliance price now was about $1500 less.  So we knew we needed to get moving so we could take advantage of the sale.  So we geared up and forged on with the rest of the planning....

What happened...

We ended up at Lowes for the cabinets (more on that in another post) and when the designer asked about appliances... we mentioned we planned on buying them at Home Depot since they were on sale.   He asked to see what we planned on purchasing... we whipped out our notebook.... and pics of the prices.... Lowes carried all of them.... and not only matched the sale price... but if the items were in stock they take another 10% off..(all of ours weren't in stock, but the highest priced one was).. and if we used our Lowes card we had the option of 0% interest for a time period or another 5% off.... since we planned on not financing this project... we took the additional discount.... and paid the bill when it the cost was under $5000... less than our original budget and a lot less than the sticker price.  

Lesson learned... do your homework, keep track of everything and ask about price matching.  We were really lucky the designer asked the question, we hadn't thought to ask about price matching.

Be sure to look at the big picture too.... delivery charges, installation prices (if you use them from the store or arrange your own) and how long they will hold your purchase while you renovate.  We had thought to ask about that.  Both Lowes and Home Depot said they would hold the  fully paid for appliances.  Check with them for the limits when considering the purchase, it allows you to take advantage of great sales.

More to come.... hope this helped to start getting you thinking.

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