Budget-Friendly Kitchen Remodeling Plan
If you are planning a kitchen remodeling, cost-effective tips can make a difference in the outcome of your project.
Kitchen remodeling can be an overwhelming thought to many people. The cost can be enormous, the work can seem never-ending, and there is always the question of what you can do yourself and what you should leave to a good contractor.
With some thought and research remodeling, a kitchen can be a smooth transition from “blah” to “ta-dah!”. You may even find that you can do more of the work yourself than you thought you could. There are some questions you should ask yourself and the decisions that you need to make before you ever get started. Doing so will make your kitchen remodeling project much easier with fewer surprises.
Determine Your Budget
This always has to be the starting point. If you have $30,000.00 to spend on a remodeling project you will have to be less careful than if you only have $5,000.00 to spend on your kitchen remodel. There are some things you should think about:
Home Value: What is the value of your home? You don’t want to put a $50,000.00 kitchen in a $60,000.00 home. Determine if it is cost-effective to do a full remodel or if you should consider sprucing it up and then selling your home for a more updated one with a kitchen you like better.
Are You Planning to Move? If you are planning a move within the next couple of years you may want to just do a minimal remodel and forgo your dream kitchen until after you are settled in the new house. Do only what you need to do to give it a seller’s edge.
Will you need to go into debt? Debt is not a great thing to have. It is better by far to save up the money and pay cash for your remodel, or pay as you go than to get into overwhelming debt for a pretty kitchen. There are numerous ways to keep the cost of kitchen remodeling down, you just need to think outside the box.
If you are planning on going into debt for the kitchen remodel project, there are several ways you can do it.
- Traditional store credit is the most expensive but usually the quickest and easiest to get.
- Home Equity Loan is a loan against the equity you have in your home. The interest rates are usually quite low and depending on how much equity you have you may be able to get quite a lot of money.
- Refinance your home. At this writing interest rates on mortgages and refinances are low. You may be able to refinance for a higher value, get cashback for your remodel and pay a similar payment to what you are paying now.
Remember to allow ten to fifteen percent extra in your budget for unexpected things that happen during the course of remodeling.
Assess Your Needs
After you have your budget in mind you need to list what your needs are. Do you cook a lot? Will you need a larger stove than normal? A double oven? Remember that a remodel is something you usually plan to live with long term. When considering what your needs are thought ahead to how your family will be in five or ten years.
- Try to plan for the future as well as the present.
- Will you need an office area in the kitchen to write bills and grocery lists?
- How much pantry and storage space will work best for you?
- Are there any health issues that might mean you will need a universal kitchen plan to allow for wheelchairs or other help?
- If you have a cement slab type foundation and you will be in the kitchen on your feet a lot you will want to plan a very padded flooring to reduce leg and joint pain.
List Your Wants
Everyone has a different idea about what will make the perfect kitchen. It is wise to get the whole family involved in this.
- Are there younger children that use the microwave but are too short for an over the stove model?
- Any plan to have it built into a lower cabinet?
- Do you cook together as a family? You will need more space than a single cook, as well as preparation centers.
If there are special items and materials that are important to you then you should list them.
- Are you interested in sustainable, eco-friendly materials?
- Certain surfaces?
- A certain type of cabinet?
List all of these items in this area of your notes. Be sure to make note of the things that are most important to you and the things that you would like but aren’t really necessary. If you have to cut some things to keep the costs down you will want to cut the items that are the least important.
List Your Abilities
You, of all people, know what you can do realistically. If you have never picked up a hammer in your life you probably are going to need more professional help than someone who has built things before. Here is a breakdown of the expertise and jobs that are required in a kitchen remodel.
Little Experience- assuming you can follow instruction and have a good how-to book:
- Tiling counters or back-splashes (you will need a class, usually free at Home Depot)
- Changing a simple light fixture
- Putting up wallpaper border
- Putting up open shelves
- Adding wainscoting or a chair rail
- Laying peel and stick tile, snap-in hardwood flooring, tile, etc.
- Replacing a sink or faucet
Moderate Experience- assuming you have worked with tools, power tools, and other building materials:
- All of the above
- Installing cabinetry
- Changing a more difficult light fixture
- Adding ceiling fans
Things to Leave to A Contractor:
- Attaching gas stoves, etc.
- Changing, adding, or removing walls and spaces
- Anything you are not comfortable with
Little Ways to Save Big Bucks
There are a lot of ways you can save even more on your kitchen remodeling project. Consider:
- Use CraigsList to find gently used building supplies and appliances
- Use eBay
- See if there is a Habitat for Humanity store near you. They often have leftover building materials at a low cost.
- If you know someone who has building experience ask them to do some of the work you can’t and do something for them in trade.
- Utilize free classes offered by many local home improvement stores on the weekends.
- Check out local architectural salvage places
- Check out the dent and scratched section of the appliance stores.
- If you are going to buy several appliances talk to the store manager and ask for a discount.
You can save big money on your kitchen remodeling project by thinking and planning ahead, and utilizing a variety of sources to get what you need.
Budget Kitchen Remodeling Ideas
Although kitchens are usually the most expensive room in a home to renovate, you can make big changes to your kitchen even if you have a small budget. These kitchen remodeling ideas will help you upgrade your kitchen without breaking the bank.
Replace Your Countertops
If your countertops are clearly from several decades ago, it is probably worth the money to replace them. However, you don’t have to opt for expensive materials. Many laminate products are attractive and can be found at less than $1 per square foot. If you have a small space to cover, you may be able to find a remnant in a natural stone, such as granite or marble, at a low reduced price.
Change Your Faucet
If you can’t afford a new sink, provide an update to the sink by switching out the old sink head and handles. Opt for a chrome or nickel option for an updated look.
Add a Kitchen Island
Many kitchens sorely lack preparation space, but many homeowners are unable to afford a new stationary island complete with a granite surface. If you are limited on your existing counter space and you don’t want to splurge on new countertops, adding an island can help you increase your preparation space at a fraction of the cost.
Select an affordable option, such as a small island that is set on wheels so that you can move it in and out of the space according to your needs. You can also opt for a cheaper surface material, such as butcher block.
Change Your Cabinets
If new cabinets are not in the budget, don’t despair. You can change the look of your cabinets by painting them. Change the outdated look of oak cabinets with a darker and richer color, such as rust or black. You can also paint the cabinets white for a fresh look.
Staining the cabinets is another option if they are made from natural wood. New door handles or knobs can also make a dramatic impact for a low price. You can also change out just the doors instead of the entire cabinet.
Replace Your Appliances
Although you may not be able to afford an entire set of new appliances, you may be able to splurge on one item that you need the most. You can also check the scratch and dent section of your local appliance store or find a restaurant that is going out of business to score commercial grade appliances on a budget.
Change the Walls
A splash of paint can make a world of difference in a kitchen. Wallpaper may be used in areas that are not next to water or steam. Beadboard provides a charming cottage feel to the space.
Add a Backsplash
A backsplash can instantly change the look of one wall on the kitchen. This project can usually be completed at an affordable cost. You can use tile, mosaic tile, aluminum sheeting, tin tiles or a variety of other materials to create an attractive and finished look for the space.
Add Architectural Details
Pick up some discounted crown molding or other types of molding to add a unique addition to the space. Add crown molding to the top of your walls or cabinetry. Molding can also be added to the walls, baseboards and the bottom of your cabinetry.
Remodeling a kitchen can help you increase the efficiency and appearance of the space. You don’t have to spend $10,000 or $20,000 to accomplish this goal either. Looking for great deals and adding creative touches to the space can help set your kitchen apart from other kitchens on the block.
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