There are few projects more complicated than a
1. Leave it to the Pros
Kitchen remodeling is tedious, time consuming, and expensive. If you make a small mistake it could end up blowing your budget. It isn't worth the risk and the headaches unless you have years of experience or are performing small alterations that won't render the area unusable and you don't have time restrictions. Hiring a professional contractor will ensure the job is done right the first time, and if there are mistakes, you will likely have some safeguards to protect you from paying for something that wasn't performed properly. Many contractors also get better rates for buying materials, so you might be able to upgrade for little to no budget increase.
2. Don't Go for Trends
Sure, that slick marble countertop might be all the rage in Beverly Hills, but does it fit with your needs and home styling? A home with high value has continuity and balance. Imagine living in a house that has a country-inspired living room, retro 60's carpeting, and then a super-modern minimalist bathroom. There is no harmony in that. Choose materials and designs for your kitchen remodeling that are up to date, but still blend in with the rest of your home (or will if you plan on any more modifications).
There are few areas of the house that hinge more on functional usage than the kitchen. Kitchen remodeling projects need to not only emphasize the aesthetics, but the practical. It may seem cool to buy a double oven, but is there enough room as well as money? Will it really add enough value to your home to be worth the investment? Likewise, storage is important to most homeowners. The more the better. You rarely hear someone complaining about too many closets. But in addition to storage, it has to work for the area. Are the pots near the stove? Pans near the oven? Wine glasses within reach of a bar or fridge? These things matter.
Before getting your heart set on a particular design, cabinet finish, or tile, you need to do a bit of research to get the best deal. Materials purchased from a catalog or home improvement store can have greatly inflated prices. Sales can help, as well as opening a credit card with the store, which can add another instant discount to your first purchase (just make sure to pay your balance before you accrue interest). There are even better ways to save hundreds if not thousands though. Check the papers for auctions in your neighborhood. A hardware store could go out of business and you'll end up scoring big. Check thrift stores and flea markets as well for some cheap scrap material or tools for kitchen remodeling.