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Remodel Your Kitchen Without Busting Your Budget

» Kitchen
» Kitchen Cabinets
» Outdoor Kitchens


Overview

Published: 09/06/2012 by Neomi Shrenker

Photos

You probably spend a good bit of time your kitchen. Even if you are not a gourmet chef, you may use the kitchen table to do craft projects, supervise the kids' homework, balance the family budget, or socialize with a friend over a cup of coffee. You want a fresh, modern, functional kitchen to work in, but you know a complete remodel has the potential to be a budget buster.

Tips For A Cost-Effective Kitchen Remodel

While gutting your kitchen can cost tens of thousands of dollars, there are several ways to achieve a new look for a fraction of the cost:

Call in a designer. Before you remodel, call in a designer for suggestions about layout and alternative approaches. If you need more space, a creative professional might suggest ways to repurpose what you have rather than add on costly square feet. Some contractors have a designer on staff; otherwise hiring one is a good idea, even if you are planning on doing the remodel yourself.

Prioritize your desires: If you watch a lot of home shows, you may decide that you cannot live without having the full package of granite countertops, professional-grade appliances, a ceramic floor, designer lighting, etc. In real life, let your budget be your guide. If you can afford it, pick one moderate upgrade to splurge on and find ways to economically refurbish the rest of your kitchen.

Restore your cabinets. Cabinets are among the most costly features of your kitchen. Replacing them can cost you $16,000-20,000 for custom cabinets, $8,000-10,000 for semi-custom ones, and $4,000-5,000 for ready-made ones. If your current cabinets are structurally sound, refinishing your cabinets will give you a new look while saving you money. You have three options: painting or staining them, replacing the doors, or re-facing the sides, frames, and fronts with plastic or wood laminates.

Upgrade your countertop: Good quality granite and other types of stone countertops are beautiful, but depending on the grade they can be very costly. You might be fortunate enough to find a pre-cut piece that fits your kitchen or be able to seam together pieces to save a bit, but you have many other choices as well. Modern laminates have come a long way from the laminates of the 1960s, and offer beauty, resilience, and a wide palette of colors - and more modest pricing. Unlike stone, many are resistant to stains and cracking, but they are not heat resistant.

Amazing flooring choices: Ceramic tile, hardwood, and stone flooring add elegance to a kitchen at a high price. Laminates, vinyl and linoleum can be less expensive, and still offer stylish choices to imitate stone or hardwood.

DIY Vs. Hiring A Contractor

If you are a competent do-it-yourselfer with the right tools, patience, and time, you can save money by remodeling your own kitchen. Hiring a contractor might not be as costly as you think and can even be the best choice in many cases. Even if you choose to refurbish your cabinets instead of replacing them, the materials are still costly enough to make professional installation be the best route. You do not have to hire out everything. If you find your skills strong in painting, but weak in tiling or carpentry, you can hire out specific jobs.

Remodeling your kitchen can boost your home's value and give you a good return on investment when it's time to sell. With so many options on the market today, you can easily make big changes to your kitchen even on a small budget.