“I had a kitchen remodel design done, then the pricing, and now I’d like to cut costs for the project I’m considering. What’s the best way to do that?”
Review the Cost Breakdown
First, ask your general contractor to break down your kitchen remodel costs into individual components. A typical kitchen extension/addition may not only be broken down into sub-contractor items for foundation, electrical, plumbing, drywall, paint, and so on; but also into vendor items like cabinets, light fixtures, appliances, plumbing fixtures, etc.
How do you know when you’ve got a breakdown you can truly use? First, a simple text document does not give you anything to work with. Only a spreadsheet can give you the ability to work with the numbers at the level that you need to make informed and intelligent choices.
Look for Average Line Item Amounts
Second, depending on the size of the kitchen remodel, you should be looking for an average line item dollar amount of $1,000 for projects under $100k, going up to $2,000 for projects in the $500k range. This kind of breakdown can easily give you and your design team the transparency and control you need to be able to make good and informed choices about your project
Let’s take granite countertops options for example. 4” granite backsplashes, 6” or full height? Or none, because you prefer tile? Mitered front nosings (for that seamless look) or simple lamination? The slab you absolutely fell in love with (read: expensive) or the one that you liked just fine for a lot less?
I count 8 cost-option line items above, and if you assume a cost of $8,000 for your countertops, that’s an average line item amount of $1,000 per item.
Now take that and apply it to every aspect of your project and you quickly see how these kinds of breakdowns can give you significant control over your construction budget.
Often, there aren’t large, single-line items that you can remove from your budget and save 20% or 30%, but there are always lots of little ones that can add up to significant savings if you have the breakdown you need to work with. Ask your general contractor for it. It’s a reasonable request.