Kitchen Remodeling on a Budget
If you’re a homeowner, you probably already know that remodeling your kitchen is the best thing you can do to increase the resale value of your home, but you might still struggle with justifying the initial investment. Complete kitchen remodels can be outrageously expensive and time consuming. Fortunately, with careful planning and a little creativity, you can use cheap kitchen cabinets and other inexpensive elements to transform the look of your kitchen.
Installing new cabinets may seem like a big expense, but nothing remakes the look of a dated kitchen faster than modern cabinetwork. Affordable options do exist. Instead of knocking out a wall or completely redesigning your kitchen, you can save money by working with your existing layout. Cheap kitchen cabinets don’t have to look that way. Ready-to-assemble cabinets are available online in a variety of finishes and stock sizes that can be delivered direct to your door. Birch, pine, laminates and medium density fiberboard (MDF) are all affordable options that work well with either classic or contemporary design. Cut labor costs by removing your old cabinets and installing the new ones yourself. If your old cabinetry is in good condition, you may be able to get a tax deduction by donating it to a construction materials recycling center.
Get the look of pricey granite or soapstone with high-pressure laminate countertops. Laminate has come a long way in the last decade. New finishes replicate the look of more costly materials at a fraction of the price. Laminate counters are easy to clean, durable and available in a variety of edge designs ranging from simple to ornate. Solid wood or butcher’s block countertops are another inexpensive option. Although they fell out of style for a few years, they are back in vogue and deliver the look of luxury without the cost. Precut maple countertops in standard sizes are surprisingly affordable and can be finished in a variety of shades to suit your kitchen décor. Wooden countertops need occasional sealing to prevent water damage, but they are long lasting and minor damage is simple to repair.
Vinyl flooring is easy to clean, easy to install and easy on your budget. New developments in the manufacturing of pressure-treated vinyl flooring have made it more versatile and durable than ever. Vinyl is available in dozens of patterns and colors. Large rollout sheets are suitable for smaller kitchens. Mix and match individual squares in complimentary or contrasting colors for a polished, designer look. Laminate flooring can mimic the look of limestone or slate, and is available in faux hardwood finishes that are easy-cleaning alternatives to oak or maple. Bamboo is a sturdy and environmentally friendly option. You may be able to save even more money by looking for closeouts or retired patterns, but be sure to measure carefully to make sure you have enough material to finish the job.
Paint and Lighting
Dark, dim kitchens look tired and dated. Give your kitchen an inexpensive facelift with new paint, window treatments and light fixtures. Even the most affordable store-brand paints can be mixed in custom colors and a fresh coat instantly transforms a room. Choose pale tints to brighten smaller kitchens or use two or three shades of the same color on walls, ceilings and baseboards to add interest and depth. High gloss paint makes cleaning simple. Replace outdated drapes or heavy wooden blinds with café curtains or lightweight Roman or bamboo shades. Unless you are a professional electrician, installing recessed lighting or removing large florescent fixtures will be costly. Update the fixtures instead. Choose clear glass globes to make the most of fewer fixtures, and use environmentally friendly CFL or LED lamps to reduce energy costs.
If you know how to use basic tools and can follow instructions, you can add value to your home and remodel your kitchen without breaking the bank. Work in stages to save time and money. Start by installing cheap kitchen cabinets and work down to countertops and floors. Don’t forget small cosmetic changes like new hardware and switch plates. If your appliances still work well but don’t match your new design, consider facing them with wood or other material to match your new cabinets.