The two constants in kitchen remodeling are great need and great cost, right? Maybe. There are some features of a kitchen remodel suited only to high-end jobs with near-limitless budgets. But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do apart from a five-figure effort. In fact, we’ve come up with 10 ways to improve your kitchen and let you keep your wallet.
But before you dive into the details, make sure that with any kitchen remodel you set a budget beforehand. The last thing you want is to be stuck with a fully demolished kitchen and only a few nickels left to add a new one. Sticking to your budget requires your own personal investment of time into various product comparisons, be they options for floors or countertops. A well-informed client has the best chance to stay on budget, no matter the project.
Maintain Your Layout
First and foremost, one of the easiest ways to save money during a kitchen remodel is to keep your existing layout. Overall, this means you’ll be able to keep things like cabinets, ranges, and sinks in the same place. But you’ll also avoid the costly expenses of plumbers and electricians who might otherwise need to come and rewire or re-pipe your space.
Five Ways to Fix-Up Your Cabinets
Cabinets comprise one of the most visual elements of your design—they take up far more space than a single sink fixture or appliance. But not every cabinet improvement means replacing them all. Here are some of our favorite quick fixes.
1. Add New Cabinet Hardware. New cabinet hardware might be the cheapest way to change the look of your kitchen. This is a great way to update an older kitchen because of the impact of modern drawer pull designs.
2. Get a Fresh Coat of Paint for Your Cabinets. Another economical choice, adding a new coat of paint to your cabinets can completely change the feel of your kitchen by going from light to dark, or vice versa. This is also far less expensive than purchasing new cabinets.
3. Ditch the Upper Cabinets. Our next two recommendations are demolition jobs. Removing the upper cabinets from your kitchen can really open up a smaller space. For most homeowners, the upper cabinets serve little purpose other than hiding rarely used items.
4. Or, Ditch the Upper Cabinet Doors. If you can’t seem to part with the entire cabinet, think about just getting rid of the cabinet doors. You’ll be left with an open space perfect for displaying glasses without allowing you to give into a temptation to clutter.
5. Stick with the Stock Cabinets. If you do decide to get new cabinetry, purchasing stock cabinets sold at local stores can save you much more money than custom-built models. If you’re keeping your existing kitchen layout, this should help make the process even easier.
Classic Kitchen Improvements
Some classic kitchen improvements are also within the budget of many consumers.
Get a New Floor. While a new floor does not provide additional functionality, in most cases it can change the look and feel of your kitchen, especially if you’re hoping for a more modern approach. Economical ceramic tile is a good choice; we recommend using builders’ grade ceramic.
Spring for New Countertops. Another obvious candidate for replacement, countertops are a great way to update your kitchen. A 1 grade granite countertop, rather than a 4 or 5 grade countertop, will help you save money during the process. Of course, the larger the kitchen, the higher the cost will rise.
Switch out Your Sink and Faucet. If adding a new countertop doesn’t fit within your budget, maybe a new sink and faucet will. You’ll be able to convey some the same design elements at a fraction of the cost. You may also gain added functionality.
See the Same Space Anew
Along with a new kitchen floor, new and improved lighting is the most neglected improvement option when it comes to kitchens. Pendant lighting to replace drab fluorescent options, especially those hidden behind a cabinetry cornice, offer a chance to provide a modern feel for your kitchen.
Debbe Daley is the designer of choice for residential and commercial interior design in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and coastal Maine. Learn more about Debbe in the following, The Huffington Post, The Lowell Sun and WCAP - 980 AM Lowell, MA.