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Splurge on eye-catching surfaces for your kitchen. It’s worth paying extra for that custom-made concrete, marble or soapstone countertop that will be the visual centerpiece of your new space.
Save on kitchen drawers and doors. You can achieve a clean, streamlined look with simple white finishes. (Cough, cough...Ikea.)
Splurge on restoring any detail that will give your home a historic or era-specific look. It might seem like a lot of time and money to refinish that balustrade or expose that fireplace, but it ultimately goes a long way toward making a renovation look complete. Plus, it’s great for resale.
Save on doors (if you have to replace them). There are plenty of standard-issue doors at places like Lowes that will work just fine. No need to go for custom-made unless your doorways are a really funky size.
Splurge on fabulous patterned tiles. Gold silk-screened ceramics like these from Lea Ceramiche don’t come cheap (they clock in at about $62 per square foot), but there’s no way you’re going to get this level of beauty or quality from a big-box store.
*Hint: If you don’t have a massive budget, tile the smallest wall you have or just half of a wall.
Save on white subway tiles. Run-of-the-mill ones from The Home Depot ($2 per square foot) look just as good as more expensive versions. Go for black or gray grout to really make them pop.
Splurge on a plumbing and electrical assessment. It may not sound as sexy as that Sub-Zero fridge, but if you’re renovating a bathroom or kitchen, it pays to hire a professional to assess the building’s bones before you begin. It typically costs about $600, but it just might save you from discovering a structural problem after you’ve broken through that bedroom wall.
Save by hiring a contractor with connections. When you’re in the process of meeting contractors and getting quotes, be sure to ask if they get discounts from specific suppliers, which can help cut down on material costs. PureWow’s managing editor recently worked with a contractor who got a 10 percent discount at Lowes, which ended up saving her about $300 over the course of her kitchen remodel.
Splurge on a pullout faucet. Cleaning that roasting pan is hard enough--you need anything that will make washing up easier.
Save on the kitchen sink. A $900 copper farmhouse sink is certainly pretty, but it’s no more functional than a $300 stainless-steel model. If you’ve already gone splurge-y with your countertops and faucet, an inexpensive sink will automatically look elevated.
Splurge on anything that improves the quality of your life--soft-close drawers, built-in dimmers, a proper soundproofing system so you can finally stop listening to your neighbor’s awful reggae. These might seem like frivolous add-ons when you’re already spending so much on a renovation, but remember: You have to live in this space every single day.
We’re not going to sugarcoat it: Home renovations are stupid expensive. If you aim for a $40,000 finished basement, it’ll cost you fifty. If you tell your architect you can’t spend more than $700 on flooring, you’ll somehow get talked into a grand. If at some point somebody discovers a rusted pipe that needs replacing, you will literally start hemorrhaging dollar bills.
The good news? You can now educate yourself about your options.
We checked in with our pals at Bolster--a cool new company that helps homeowners vet contractors and insure renovations--for some tips on where to splurge and scrimp when undertaking a remodel.
Click here to see what’s worth shelling out for and when you can be frugal. Hint: Cheap doors are OK, but heaven help the woman who goes with a low-end faucet.
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