4 Ways to Stay Within Your Kitchen Remodel Budget

I have clients who continually stay within budget. On the other hand, I have clients ask me the best ways to do so (usually as a reactive means, versus proactive).

I surveyed some of my most cost-conscious clients and asked them what keeps them within budget while still getting what they wanted.

1. Determine What’s Most Important To You

Otherwise known as prioritizing and compromising. If you write down your priorities at the beginning, then you’ll be able to hit your must-haves even when unexpected costs start hitting you.

If you know your must-haves include high-end appliances, perhaps your cabinet budget gets lowered.

You might love marble countertops but might do just as well with a less costly alternative that doesn’t require as much maintenance.  

2. Prepare For The Unexpected

It’s going to happen. No matter how well prepared you are, you’re going to have surprises during your kitchen remodeling.

If you don’t prepare for them, these surprises will destroy your budget.

You may find electrical problems behind walls, or water damage once you’ve ripped out a counter.

It’s recommended you set aside 15-20% of your entire budget just for unexpected problems like these.

3. Get Estimates but… Don’t Always Go With the Lowest Bid

Marble countertop with eggs & bowlIt may seem counter-intuitive when you want to save money, but the corner-cutting comes out of the quality of your work. Always check licenses, references and review sites. Verify BBB ratings.

If a company’s employee doesn’t hold the proper professional certifications and there is a costly mistake, you will be left to foot the bill.

Another consideration is unskilled laborers generally take longer, not knowing their trade. The cost for additional time will be passed along to you.

4. Say “No” to Extras You Think of After Getting Underway

You must be devoted to your budget. If it wasn’t important or crucial enough to fold into the budget at the beginning, you can live without it now.

No matter how incredible the feature is—you have to say no. If your budget calls for basic door handles, don’t switch it to a higher-end handle when you get to the store.

When the project wraps, you’ll be glad you took these steps. No unpleasant surprises, just the work you were expecting.

Ready to sit down with an expert to get some initial costs nailed down? Call (901) 509-9669 or (662) 895-0700 to set something up.

How to Do I Budget For a Kitchen Remodel?

You’d be hard pressed to try to show me a homeowner who doesn’t dream of a kitchen remodel.


First thing’s first: you’ve got to figure out your budget.


It might not be the sexiest part of the remodel. But neither is having to halt your remodeling because you overspent.

Setting your kitchen remodeling budget is both easier and harder than it appears.

On the one hand, you can’t just pull a number out of the air. You have to do some research.

On the other hand, once you know the “formula,” per se, it can be pretty simple to land in your general area.

The first thing you’ll want to consider when you’re first planning your budget is the “why”? What’s yours?

Do you want to remodel primarily to raise the value of your home to sell it within a few years?

Drawing of new kitchen on iPadOr are you remodeling to make you happier in a home you plan on living in for a long time?

  • Raise the value – Compare it to homes in your neighborhood. Don’t put upscale renovations in a modest neighborhood.
  • For general happiness – Plan changes that will keep your family comfortable and happy. Keep your wishlist affordable.

Regardless of your motivation, we recommend keeping your kitchen remodeling budget between 5-15% of your home’s value.

For example, if your home is valued at $300,000, the budget should be somewhere between 15k and 45k.

When the project wraps, you’ll be glad you took these steps. No unpleasant surprises, just the work you were expecting.

Ready to sit down with an expert to get some initial costs nailed down? Call for (901) 509-9669 or (662) 895-0700 availability.

Should I Refinish or Replace My Counters and Cabinets?

Beautiful kitchen cabinet with marble top and steel sink

Counters and cabinets can make a big impact on value without spending a fortune. But should you replace the counters and cabinets entirely or go for some less-extensive upgrades?

Minor updates can make a big difference. But sometimes the kitchen or bathroom needs significant changes.

Folks ask me often what is better, refacing or an overhaul. I always answer the same: It all depends on you.

First off, no matter what you decide, consider budget, how much time you will continue to live in the house, and time you can devote to the project.

Naturally budget is key, but I want you to consider how much project management time you can devote.

Not having the attention to focus on a major project will get costly. Without your oversight, projects like these often stall. Make sure you are in a good position to make it happen your way.

Small Changes

Modern sink on black kitchen counter with vase of plantWhen you love the overall design of your cabinets and counters, feel as though you have enough space and aren’t cramped but still would like to freshen your look, small changes will likely work for you.

Of all the ways to give your home an updated look, replacing the countertops is one of the easiest without breaking your budget.

New granite countertops add value instantly, so if you have to choose between new cabinets or new countertops, opt for the countertop and simply reface the cabinets.

Consider the no-seam, integral sink. Talk about slick looking. Gift yourself the sink and you’ll never regret the investment. No seams means no gunk. You’ll never look at a drop in sink the same after checking out one of these. Add a backsplash for not much more and the kitchen feels like a different house.

Time to Replace

If you continually find yourself tripping over others in your kitchen, spending too much time trying to find things in your cabinets or never having enough counter space, it’s time to think bigger. New cabinets, new countertops, perhaps even new layout.

You may have a complete shift in color scheme or overall design strategy. Perhaps you are looking to improve convenience and flow within the kitchen.

Maybe there is no major reason, it is just time. Give me a shout and I’ll help you get the ball rolling.

Take care,

We can turn your residential or commercial vision into an affordable reality.


Pros & Cons of Caesarstone

What is Caesarstone?

Some of my clients are looking for a countertop that will last a lifetime. They need something durable that won’t require a great deal of care. For these folks, I recommend Caesarstone.

Granted you will pay a little more. Caesarstone runs higher in pricing in comparison other stone. In 2017, on average, it cost somewhere between $20-$25 per square foot.

But you won’t ever have to replace it. Considering the cost of purchasing many slabs of stone. It comes to less cost over time.

Here are some other things I like and dislike about Caesarstone. I might be a little biased because the stone is such a dream to work with. But we have some gorgeous, lasting results.

Perhaps with my insight, you can decide if Caesarstone is right for you.

What I like…

Caesarstone is a dense manmade stone. It resists chips, scratches, and stains. It’s superb for a busy family that has little time for care.

Unlike granite countertops, Caesarstone doesn’t need yearly sealing. Most spills and stains wipe right off. Use soap and water or a soft sponge. That’s it!

The versatile stone is outstanding for use in kitchens and bathrooms. Caesarstone is colorful. You can’t imagine a style we won’t find. It comes in a wide variety of shades and patterns. Some counters look like natural stone like marble or granite. Others brighten a kitchen with vivid colors.

A fabricator’s dream! Sturdy, but easy to work with. This material can be cut into different sizes and shapes. Go as custom as your imagination takes you with this resilient stone.

What I’m not into…

Caesarstone is scratch and chip resistant, but it can still be damaged. Dropping a pot can chip hard edges and sharp corners. I recommend rounded edges. These are more resistant to this kind of damage.

Honed finishes are more easily damaged than polished finishes. It may scratch if you scrape food off with a metal knife.

Caesarstone tends to be heavier than granite. Make sure your countertop frame is strong enough to support it.

In rare cases, this stone may have manufacturing defects. These include pitting or strange looking veins of color. Other times, there are colors splashed in that weren’t asked for. Always inspect the countertop before having it installed.

Should You Pick Caesarstone?

Moreland Fog Caesarstone

Image courtesy of Caesarstoneus.com

This material is a good investment for homes that need a durable, attractive option. If your kitchen gets a lot of use, consider it.

Have several types of stone you are comparing? I’m happy to help you pick. Talk soon!


Contact us today at 662-895-0700 for more answers.

Or drop by our showroom to see what Caesarstone colors are available.

What is the good and bad of buying marble countertops?

Imagine you have come to the point in your project when you’re ready to pick stone. You’ve seen some impressive pictures of marble in a design magazine or book and are all set to commit.

I won’t lie, I love working with marble, it has the most appealing glimmer in kitchens with natural light. Marble projects are always stunning in a unique way, thanks to the swirling patterns and nuanced changes in shade. Used in the palaces of royalty for centuries, marble is truly an upscale, luxurious option for low-impact interiors.

This material has good and bad things to consider, like anything. Let’s talk through those and get a better idea if this attractive stone is right for you.



This gorgeous stone comes in a variety of colors including white, beige, grey, pink, and green. White marble is famous for brightening up spaces. No two counters will be the same because the veins running through them create unique patterns.


The stone is heat-resistant and has cooling properties. This is ideal if you like to put hot pans directly on top of the counter or knead bread dough against the marble.  This softer stone allows you to have the counter refreshed every few years with minor refinishing.


A countertop will always be an investment, but some varieties of marble are quite affordable.


Because marble is a relatively soft and porous stone, it is more fragile than, for example, granite. Over time, even the best cared-for counter will accumulate some damage. You may see:

  • Chips where something heavy was dropped.
  • Stains from spilled wine or tomato sauce.
  • Etching on the surface from splashed lemon juice.
  • Scratches after chopping vegetables against the bare counter.

You can minimize these problems by:

  • Choosing a matte finish or a distracting pattern.
  • Having the stone sealed.
  • Using a cutting board.
  • Wiping up spills immediately.

Is Marble Right for You?

Like I tell my customers, if you require a completely pristine countertop, you may be better off with a harder, stain-resistant stone like quartzite. Yet, many homeowners and home cooks like to watch the marble change over time, telling the history of the family in the home.

Folks who rarely cook in the kitchen or prioritize keeping stone surfaces clean can also enjoy marble’s incredible beauty without much wear and tear. This stone wouldn’t work well with high-impact traffic and isn’t a good choice for a family with kids or larger pets.

If, after reading through these pros and cons you feel you need a more durable stone, definitely check out my post on granite. You might find what you’re looking for in that versatile stone.

Want to come see some marble slabs in person? Give us a quick call to coordinate a visit to our showroom. 

Infographic: Which Countertop Stone is Right for You?

You decided it’s time to replace your kitchen countertops. You’ve seen plenty of pictures of other gorgeous houses highlighted in Memphis by now that your creative juices are flowing. Sure, you’ve taken color scheme, design, and layout in mind. But have you actually thought about what material is right for you?

Tips For Maintaining Your Granite Counters

Granite counters are an elegant addition to your kitchen. You can keep them looking great by following a few tricks. Proper granite counter maintenance will guarantee your kitchen counter looks gorgeous for many years to come.

How To Determine Your Kitchen Remodeling Budget

If you own your home, it’s likely that you’ve considered a kitchen remodel for some time. Many homeowners will start with scrapbooking their ideas before they’ll finally have the money saved to perform the actual remodel. It can be tough to go from dreaming about the perfect kitchen to the reality of figuring out your actual budget. A kitchen can make or break a home’s future sale too.

1. Actual Kitchen Remodel Costs

It really helps to understand what a kitchen remodel can cost on average. While you may be thinking that a budget of approximately $20,000 will be enough for a major remodel. There are many factors that can impact your budget. Items like moving walls, plumbing, and electrical, or the age of your home. It might help to know that the average cost of a major kitchen remodel is actually closer to $40,000. For $20,000, you might not get all the upgrades you’d expect.

2. List of Priorities

Once you realize that you can’t have everything you dreamed of in your kitchen, it’s time to list your priorities. If you absolutely need stainless steel appliances, make sure that’s on the list. You might have to make sacrifices on other items to keep the priorities. For example, instead of having high-end counters, you might have to settle on a cheaper option to afford your appliances.

3. Clear Expectations

House with for sale sign out frontWhen setting your budget, it helps to understand the motivation. If you plan on selling in a few years, you should be making upgrades that will allow your home to be competitive with others in the area. You might visit some open houses while you’re in the planning stages to see what others are doing when their house goes on the market.

4. Know Prices

If you have no idea how much granite costs per square foot, you will not understand how it impacts the kitchen remodeling budget. The same can be said for appliances, flooring, cabinets and hardware. It helps to take your priority list and add prices as you do research. Not only will you have to pay for the appliances, flooring and other expenses, you’ll need to factor in the labor costs unless you plan on doing some of it yourself.

5. Unexpected Costs

While you’re figuring out your kitchen remodeling budget, it’s vital that you add a cushion to the end result. You don’t want to end up going over budget and having to come up with extra money while you’re in the middle of your renovation.

Along with all these ways to figure out your kitchen remodeling budget, you can also ask a contractor to help you with the final budget. Often, a contractor can help you put a budget together much more quickly than you could on your own. Their quote will include their labor and other costs that you may not be aware of as well.