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Six ways to cut costs, not quality, on a kitchen remodel

Six ways to cut costs, not quality, on a kitchen remodel

Saving money on major appliances and kitchen countertops can take some sleuthing but who doesn’t like discovering a deal? Good timing helps. Watch for major retailers to discount refrigerators, laundry appliances, and more around Memorial Day. Our own digital digging turned up six ways to save.

Appliance rebates and discounts
Before shopping, search the websites of manufacturers and retailers. Maytag is offering rebates of up to $250 on laundry appliances, including a $125 rebate on the Maytag Maxima XL MHW7000A front-loading washer, $1,150, the top-rated model of the 68 we tested. But keep going. Look for Energy Star rebates for energy-efficient appliances at Energy Star, dsireusa.org and even Sears. And if you’re moving or military, look into Lowe’s special discounts.

Online outlet stores. GE and Whirlpool sell discontinued models and shipping may even be free. But these appliances are only a good deal if performance is impressive, especially in ways that matter to you—an oven’s baking or broiling, for example. So do your research and check the results of our appliance tests. Readers of Consumer Reports magazine can check the index to see when a product was last tested.

Price-matching offers. Many major retailers have price-matching offers, claiming they’ll match, or beat by 10 percent, a competitor’s lower price. Sears will match the lower price even after you’ve made your purchase so if you bought a range there and it sells for a lower price somewhere else within 14 days, Sears will refund the difference, if you ask.

Countertop price cuts
Granite and other natural stones continue to be on homebuyers’ wish lists and quartz has increased in popularity. This engineered stone tops our Ratings of 14 countertop materials from leading brands, edging out granite slightly. Most countertop materials we tested cost around $40 to $100 per square foot installed. Consider mixing and matching materials as a way to save, especially in a big kitchen.

For Costco members. This members-only retailer sells granite, quartz and solid surface countertops via countertopsbysupplymycounter.com and promises they’re sold at a price others can’t match. Costco offers free in-home consultation and says the local installers are licensed, bonded and insured professionals. You can visit the stone yard and pick out your granite slabs. Most Costco warehouses have kiosks offering these three countertop materials, the difference being brands. Costco warehouses sell DuPont’s Corian solid surfacing and Zodiaq quartz as well as granite. And CaesarStone quartz, LivingStone solid surfacing, and granite are available online. Note that except for recycled glass countertops, our tests found little variation among brands, but big differences in materials.

Edging. Seems like a small detail but edging is one feature that affects a countertop’s overall look and some edges cost extra. Rounded edges are less likely to chip—a plus if you choose natural stone or quartz. You can see more than a dozen edging options from various angles using the edge-options tool at caesarstoneus.com.

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