Dear reader, are you hoping or planning to remodel your kitchen? If so, read on, because I have some tips for you.

Start saving up a lot of money, especially if you're not planning on becoming the next best customer at Home Depot (NYSE:HD) or Lowe's (NYSE:LOW) by doing your remodeling yourself. A professional kitchen remodeling can cost $20,000 at a relatively low end and up to $60,000 and beyond for more extensive work.

  • Don't necessarily go with the lowest bidder when it comes to choosing a contractor. Take a look at these articles for suggestions on choosing a contractor and working with one.
  • Look at lots of magazines and gather lots of ideas. Make as many decisions as you can early, because it can be costly to keep changing your mind midstream.
  • If you end up daunted and decide to put the whole thing off, consider a small touch like just buying new handles for your cabinets. Your kitchen can have a bit of a new look for just $50 to $100 or so.

Here's some more detailed advice:

  • When shopping for cabinets, don't neglect less-expensive options, such as IKEA, which has an extensive line of kitchen furnishings.
  • For counters, granite is great, but consider some newfangled possibilities, too, such as colored concrete. For floors, understand that wood floors can get damaged by water, and tile floors can be hard on feet and damaged by falling Le Creuset pots. A host of other options exist, such as cork. (Tile or hardwood can still be considered, of course.)
  • Make sure you have lots of light. You don't have to turn on every light all the time, but if the kitchen is dark in spots at times, you may wish you'd added more lights during the job.

And here's the most important nugget I can offer you today:

DO NOT crash a car into your home intentionally, planning to collect enough insurance money to redo your kitchen. Got that? Don't do it. And lest you think I've got a vivid imagination (I do), note that in the Albany area, members of a family are on trial for allegedly doing just that -- perhaps up to 23 times!

Here's a snippet from the story I read about it: "When the day came, Cook said he backed the truck into one side of the attached garage. But, Joe, who was unsatisfied with the impact, hopped behind the wheel and hit it again himself, on the other side."

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Longtime Fool contributor Selena Maranjian owns shares of Home Depot. Home Depot is an Inside Value recommendation. The Motley Fool is Fools writing for Fools .