Nine Ways to Save Money on a Kitchen Remodel

Nine Ways to Save Money on a Kitchen Remodel

Kitchen Remodel

Unfortunately, kitchens are expensive. Everything is either high end finish, appliances, or fixtures. Regardless of the scale of your project, whether you are just looking to make some minor changes or rip everything out, there are strategies for saving money.

Have a Plan

Having a plan is a good idea both in terms of an approach and a physical set of plans.  If you are doing more than the most minor project, it is important to have a clear set of plans that communicates at the smallest details what your expectations are. Pointing and saying, “I want a sink over there,” is a recipe for disaster.  A quality project is dependent on quality detailed instructions, which is what a set of plans provides. A haphazard approach, or the idea that you will ‘figure it out along the way,’ can lead to costly mistakes.

Be Prepared

Do not start construction before every selection has been decided. This is a great way to lose track of how much you are spending and end up in trouble.  It is also important to have scheduled every phase of the work so that you stay on time and do not end up waiting three weeks for the plumber and then a month for the electrician.  In construction time is literally money.

Use A Design/Build Firm

Well, as a design/build firm, of course we are going to say this.  But it also happens to be true.  Making sure that you have a single point of accountability saves money by not getting stuck between a designer and a contractor blaming each other for whatever goes wrong. In that situation the homeowner always gets stuck with the bill.  When the company that does design also builds the project, there is more sharing of information to create a complete project that starts and stays on budget.

Keep the Cabinets

Cabinets are one of the most expensive parts of a kitchen. Saving all or part of the cabinets can really help the budget.  If the cabinets are in decent shape but dated, consider painting them. These days the trend is white.  If they are too dated, consider changing the doors and drawer fronts for a more dramatic change.  Because we have a custom cabinet shop, we can build and modify cabinets inhouse.

Focus on Lighting

This is true for all design.  Lighting is a crucial and often overlooked element. Often a kitchen can be made to feel new simply by improving the lighting.  A small amount of accent lighting can provide a good return.  Kitchens are task areas that need a lot of light, up to 80 foot-candles. Make sure your kitchen designer understands lighting. This is also a function of aging in place as we need considerably lighter to see well as we age.

Stay with The Basic Layout

Moving the basic infrastructure such as plumbing, electrical, and ducting can add a lot of cost to a project. If you can avoid moving these elements you will save a good deal of money. Though it is easy to reimagine the whole space in a completely different way, avoid this if the budget is tight.

Counter Tops

The best way to save money on countertops is to use remnants. These are smaller pieces of stone from a slab that has already had some removed from it.  In a kitchen with a lot of counter space, this can be hard to do.  One way to make this more of a possibility is to consider using two different materials. For example, you can make an island stand out by using a more dramatic granite on it and something simpler on the rest of the kitchen. Another good approach for some is to include butcher block in cutting and chopping areas.


Appliance are another expensive item in a kitchen.  Find a scratch and dent sale. Often the blemish is an area that will not even show. Appliances are not unlike cars in that newer models are a frequent occurrence. Often the difference is small from a previous model.  Slightly outdated models will be discounted.

Let Little Features Add a Lot of Pizzazz

If your budget is especially tight, consider a small impactful change such as painting the cabinets, changing the backsplash, or adding some accent lighting. These small and relatively inexpensive changes can have a significant impact.

Stearns Design Build Opens Custom Cabinet Shop

Stearns Design Build Opens Custom Cabinet Shop


College Station, TX, Stearns Design Build, a local residential remodeling company, has announced that they are now offering furniture grade cabinets to the general public. For some time, Stearns Design Build has built high-quality custom cabinet for their remodeling clients.

In a desire to better control quality in cabinetry Stearns Design Build started building their own cabinets rather than subcontracting this work as is done by most general contractors. Owner, Hugh Stearns said, “This was a significant commitment in staffing and equipment investment, but it was worth it in the level of quality that we can provide.”

custom cabinet

Stearns Design Build recently hired David Oddo to manage their cabinet shop. Oddo is a third-generation woodworker and journeyman carpenter. He previously owned his own woodworking shop in Houston.  In addition to managing the cabinet shop, Oddo also assists in the design of custom cabinet. “I look at each project as an opportunity to build a relationship through creativity,” said Oddo.

>>Learn Nine Ways to Save Money on a Kitchen Remodel

In addition to custom cabinet, Stearns Design Build also provides custom entertainment centers and built-in furniture as well as a full line of residential remodeling including kitchens, bathrooms, and additions. “Often clients want a custom entertainment center or built-in without doing a full remodel. Now we offer that as an option. We will work with the client to design a piece that fits exactly what they need,” said Stearns.

Stearns Design Build has served the Brazos Valley for 25 years. Twice the recipient of the Newman Ten award, last year the company achieved national acclaim by being named to the Remodeling Big50, an award for remodeling excellence that goes to fifty of the top companies in America and Canada every year.  Stearns Design Build also received the GuildQuality Service Excellence Award, which goes to the five companies of the Big50 class that had the highest customer satisfaction ratings. For more information Stearns Design Build can be found on the web at www.stearnsdesignbuild.com or reached at 979.696.0524.

Press Release

Press Release

Stearns Design Build Named by REMODELING Magazine to its 2017 Big50 Class of America’s Top Remodelers

College Station, Texas (September 12, 2017) – Stearns Design Build has been selected by REMODELING magazine to join the REMODELING Big50. Each year since 1986, the REMODELING Big50 inducts 50 remodeling companies that have set exceptionally high standards for professionalism and integrity through exemplary business practices, craftsmanship, and impact in their community or the industry at large. Big50 remodelers run successful companies that have taken the lead in raising industry standards.

“To give a sense of how unique this status is, consider there are roughly 92,000 remodeling firms in America with paid staff,” noted Craig Webb, REMODELING’s Editor-in-Chief. “Since 1986, we have selected only about 1,550 firms. That’s 1.7% of all the remodeling businesses in the country.”

“We are honored to receive this distinction,” says Hugh Stearns, president of Stearns Design Build. “The award recognizes excellence and leadership, and we are privileged to be named to this select group of remodelers.”

REMODELING editors, columnists, industry leaders, and companies themselves make the nominations each year.  Following a lengthy evaluation and interview process, the editors select the 50 companies who exemplify the best of the industry that year, and who have something to offer other remodelers in proven practices.

The Big50 selection process has become increasingly rigorous in recent years, and the result, REMODELING editors believe, is one of the strongest classes to date. “Uniting the 2017 inductees are high standards and a determination to excel. They are taking the opportunity to build or adopt new efficiencies into their systems and processes— ensuring that they are poised to meet their sales, production, and customer-service goals and continue to thrive,” according to REMODELING.

The Big50 awards will be presented at a dinner at the Remodelers Summit and Awards Gala on Wednesday, September 27, 2017 in Minneapolis. The 2017 Big50 winners will be featured in the September issue of REMODELING, with longer profiles of the winners posted on the REMODELING website, remodelingmag.com.

Stearns Design Build was founded in in College Station in 1993. The company specializes in all aspects of single family residential remodeling such as kitchens, baths, additions and whole house remodeling. In addition to being a Big50 recipient, Stearns Design Build has also been a Newman 10 recipient and winner of the GuildMaster customer service award. They can be found at stearnsdesignbuild.com.

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Are Your Reviews Real?


We were recently asked if our great reviews are real.  Yes, they are.  But to be totally transparent, they are not sent unsolicited. 

After a project completes our clients receive a survey asking for feedback.   This surveying is done by GuildQuality, a company that specializes in survey for the residential housing industry.  We work hard to make sure that our clients are happy and will have good things to say about us. 

Sometimes we get feedback that is more instructive than flattering. While this feedback is not as gratifying, it is very helpful in providing the fuel for our growth. 

We are fortunate to have won several GuildMaster awards for customer service and we are fortunate to have a company like GuildQuality on our team to help us be the best company we can.  And of course we are very fortunate to clients who are our advocates in singing our praises and providing valuable insight into how we can improve what we do.



Contact: Sheila Lukes, Communications Director
2151 Harvey Mitchell Parkway
[email protected] 


College Station, TX June 2, 2016 — Stearns Design Build is a finalist for the 2016 Star Award.  This award, launched in 1992 by the Texas Association of Builders, is intended to showcase outstanding work of builders, remodelers, designers and other professionals in the construction industry in Texas and the Southeast. 

There were over 500 entries submitted across the State of Texas for this prestigious annual competition.  Stearns Design Build entered the competition for the Best Whole House Remodel under $500K and the Best Addition $100K-$200K.  The entries were judged by a distinguished panel of industry experts from across the nation during an extensive two-day judging period.  As a result, Stearns Design Build will be competing as one of three finalists in the Best Whole House Remodel category and one of two finalists in the Best Addition category.

Stearns Design Build was founded in 1993.  They were the first company to bring green building to the Brazos Valley. Founder and company President, Hugh Stearns grew up in College Station and Bryan and graduated from Texas A&M. The company has won numerous customer service awards.  They developed their own design concept called Transitions that focus on creating connection to nature. Stearns says, “studies have shown that connection to nature creates happiness.” The company’s tag line is “We design and build happiness.” 

They will be joining colleagues from across the state at Gaylord Texan in Grapevine, Texas to find out who will take home the award at the Star Award Reception and Presentation on August 4, 2016.

To learn more about Stearns Design Build visit www.stearnsdesignbuild.com. Or call 979.696.0524.