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What’s the Best Investment in Your New Kitchen?

Let us explain why investing in your kitchen can be a great idea & how to do it.

Most people believe they can’t do it or that it will be too expensive. . . they’re wrong.

It’s almost always doable and can even save money.

What IS the best investment in your new kitchen?  It is changing the lay out!

Barely a day goes by that a customer doesn’t say to us “I have a small kitchen so there isn’t much that I can do.” or “We are on a budget, so we need to keep the layout of our kitchen the same.” Actually, there are many design possibilities with nearly every kitchen and improving the layout costs next to nothing.

kitchen with large island

Most of our customers don’t realize that just moving a sink, an appliance, or a doorway can dramatically improve an entire kitchen and incur little or no addition construction costs. Just moving a sink, appliance or doorway is such a great investment. A kitchen renovation includes installing flooring, drywall, lighting, cabinetry, backsplash, molding, fixtures and appliances. Changing the location of a sink or appliance rarely impacts the total construction costs. Even moving a doorway which might cost $500 could be offset by design improvements that make the cabinetry more standard and less expensive.

Berwyn PA Kitchen after
Bishop Utica Kitchen

Many choices make kitchens expensive but improving the layout is not one of them.   Homeowners frequently select a door style that is 25% to 40% more than that of a similar less expensive style.  Adding a glaze to cabinetry generally adds 10% or more to the cost.  Higher price level granite, quartz, soapstone, or marble countertops can cost thousands more than similar looking selections that wear equally well.

Upgrading appliances can have the greatest impact on a kitchen budget.  But all these expenses have a very limited effect on what the finished kitchen looks like.  For example, the difference between a stainless-steel shallow depth GE profile refrigerator costing $3,000 or a Sub-Zero costing $9,000 is barely noticeable.  Good designers want to see you get the most for your money and will suggest similar, less expensive options.

cherry wood kitchen

The layout of a kitchen can change an entire home for the better, sometimes increasing the home’s value far more than the cost of the renovation, which is greatest investment. Even removing a wall which can cost a couple of thousand dollars could save overall costs because it reduces the number of wall cabinets.  If because of the reduced wall space, the design also switches from having a wall oven and cooktop to a range, the reduced price of the appliances and cabinetry saves far more than the cost of removing the wall.

Selecting the door style, finish, countertops, and appliances is the easy part of a kitchen renovation but not the first part.  Layout possibilities, available materials, and many of the detail’s kitchen designers help clients with have the most impact on your happiness with the finished project and the cost.  That is why it is so important to shop for your kitchen designer first, and cabinetry and materials second!

The path to getting the best design and spending a kitchen budget effectively can be elusive.  At Main Line Kitchen Design, we look forward to finding and taking that path with you.

Read another relevant post Here

All the best, and as Julia said…

Bon Appetit!


2 Replies to “What’s the Best Investment in Your New Kitchen?”

  1. Joanne R

    Thank you
    I would like to know is fabuwood kitchen cabinets is good quality. How do you know when there so much bout there to pick from. How do you know who’s the best designer?

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Joanne,
      Fabuwood is very well made cabinetry. They use 1/2″ plywood sides and backs and 3/4″ plywood shelves.The drawers are solid wood dovetail drawers. Most of the styles use I beam construction and the best made soft close tracks and hinges sold.
      Fabuwood is inexpensive because they are mass produced and use factories outside the US to make the parts and build the cabinets in northern New Jersey. Because they are less expensive, they have a limited number of door styles and finishes and only make cabinets out of Birch wood.
      The best kitchen companies will get the most 5 star reviews and the best designers will usually be the most experienced people at those companies. Home centers like Lowes and Home Depot are no longer likely to have experienced kitchen designers because they pay designers half as much as they did 10 years ago. I would avoid big box stores in general when buying a kitchen. There are many kitchen places no more expensive and some less expensive that will have much better designers.

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