If you are thinking about kitchen remodeling, you are probably thinking about getting some good initial cost estimates so you can set your project budget and start shopping for the materials, décor, and the right contractor for the job. No matter how good your cost estimate looks at first glance, prepare for the total cost of the project to look much, much better if you plan carefully and think about the big picture and not just the kitchen.
These resources will help you plan your kitchen remodel:
First, keep in mind that we are in a serious economic recession. Hundreds of thousands of people are not working. Many contractors, sub-contractors and workers are sitting idle because there is no work; because people are afraid to remodel. What this means for the homeowners who can afford to remodel now is lower prices. Many contractors are discounting remodeling jobs by 10% or more just to keep everyone working and some revenue coming in. You can be one of those who benefits from their desire to work. In some cases, it will also mean you will get higher quality work for an affordable price. If you are estimating $19,000 for the contractor and for labor on your project, a ten percent savings is a nice beginning to your calculation of what you can save on the project. 
Second, keep in mind another result of the economic situation – prices on materials, appliances, cabinets and more are being discounted. Here are just a few examples:
  • Drywall is priced a little bit lower than in recent months
  • Floor coverings are being marked down 10% or more
  • Lumber prices have fallen to a thirteen-year low
  • Major appliances are priced 10% to 30% off
  • Cabinets are 10% to 50% off, depending on manufacturer
On an average mid-range kitchen remodel, that comes to $2,500 -$3,200. Based on possible contractor/labor discount and discounts on materials, you are looking at a savings off the cost estimate of about $4,500 (almost a 10% discount on the cost of the average kitchen remodel.RemodelOrMove.com: 101 Ways to Save Money When by by Dan Fritschen
Third, calculate the savings you can rack up by claiming all available Federal and State tax credits and rebates, as well as rebates from your local utility company.
  1. The tax credits offered by the Federal Government as energy-efficiency incentives in the “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009”. In most cases there is a limit of a total tax credit of $1,500 in a year. These include:
·         If you choose a qualifying energy efficient window with a good UV coating, you can take a tax credit on your 2009 tax return for 30% of the cost of the window(s).
·         As you move, replace or open up walls, upgrade the insulation and wrap your pipes in insulation. Not only will this reduce your heating/cooling cost and your water heating cost, you will also be able to claim a tax credit of 30% of the cost of the insulation.
·         If your kitchen has an exterior door, replace it with a high efficiency door and claim a credit for 30% of the cost of the door.
·         If you have the budget, this might be a good time to upgrade your water heating system to something that is far more efficient. If you choose a solar water heating system, you can claim a tax credit for 30% of the cost of the system with no limit to the amount you can claim.
·         If you really want to be energy efficient, replace your heating/cooling system. If you choose a photovoltaic (solar), small wind energy or geothermal heat pump system, you can claim a tax credit of 30% of the cost of the system, with no limit. 
  1. Find out what is available from your State government and your local utility company. You might also find that the state offers low-interest financing on many energy efficiency upgrades. The complete list and description of all State and Utility company programs for all states is available at www.remodelormove.com/remodelingdiscounts. If you live in Colorado Springs, Colorado, for example, you would be eligible for the following:
·         Local Insulation Rebate Programs offer rebates of 20% of building insulation costs up to a limit of $300 rebate in participating areas of the State.
·         A local rebate program is offered by the State to homeowners who install solar/photovoltaic heating/cooling or water heating systems. The amount varies according to county or utility company, but will not exceed $9,000 for residential systems.
·         A local rebate program for solar water heaters is available in several utility company territories for varying amounts up to a maximum of $3,000 per home
·         You should check with your local government to see if and when a sales tax exemption is available for renewable energy systems (solar, wind, biomass, geothermal)
·         A local option property tax exception for renewable energy systems is also available from the state in participating localities
·         A matching grant program is available through four utility companies for small wind rebates. The rebate is based on $2/W to $3/W up to a maximum of $5,000 to $10,000 , depending on the utility company
·         Colorado Springs Utilities offers a Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program : Insulation and Air Sealing: $50, $100,or $200, depending on purchase price; Windows: same amounts based on purchase price; Furnace: $150; Programmable Thermostat: $15; Clothes Washer: $75.
·         Colorado Springs Utilities Renewable Energy Rebate Program offers $3.75/watt AC on qualifying photovoltaic systems
·         Colorado Natural Gas offers several rebates: Furnace – $200-$300 depending on efficiency; Boiler – $150; Hot Water Heater– $50 (tank), $100 (tankless); Programmable Thermostat $25; Insulation – 50% of cost; Infrared Heating — $500.

All of these discounts, rebates, tax credits and sale prices make it possible for almost any homeowner to save 20% or more on a kitchen remodel in the spring of 2009. Smart shopping, research on State and local utility programs and taking advantage of special low-interest financing will add up to huge savings.

Helpful related articles:

A Kitchen Remodel Calls for a High-Quality Kitchen Contractor

Guide to Remodeling a Kitchen