From Jennifer on October 12th, 2009 in Bathroom Remodel, Kitchen Remodel
There are a million reasons to remodel the kitchen or bathroom. Unfortunately, there’s usually not a million dollars to back the idea. Remodeling on a budget can be easy to do if you’re willing be flexible and think outside the box.
Many of the components that go into a kitchen remodel are the same as those in the bathroom: cabinetry, countertops and sinks & plumbing. For these items, there are a whole host of ways that you can change the appearance and functionality of your kitchen or bathroom for very little lost lettuce.
Cabinets can be a very costly part of remodeling, especially in the kitchen where you have so many of them. If your kitchen or bathroom floor plan is good the way it is, then there’s really no point in replacing your cabinets one-for-one, unless they’re damaged or irreparable.
Instead, the doors, drawers and frames can be sanded down, painted or re-stained (or both). For a dramatic look, consider painting the frames a bold color (country blue, barn red or hunter green, etc.) and staining the doors and drawer fronts a natural or honey tone.
Up for a little challenge?
Pull the wall cabinets down and hang them back up at varying heights. This will change the focus of the entire room and provide a few overhead display spaces for your famous cookie jar collection. Another great way to spruce up the cabinets is to replace the handles or knobs. There are tons of very cool and artistic cabinet hardware available today. Just be sure to get something that will work in the drilled holes you already have in your cabinets.
If you do want to replace your cabinets, think about getting knocked down cabinets from a major supplier. They’ll be much less expensive, although they do cost a bit more in time and effort; knocked down means there’s some assembly required (like all of it). The good news is they’re very simple to erect and come with all the hardware and instructions to get you through it.
Bathroom cabinetry can be even easier to replace since you’ll really only need a few. Some great deals can be found at the thrift stores, yard sales, salvage yards, antique shops and classified ads. For very little money, you can probably score a very unique find that will alter the entire image of your salle de bain.
Countertops can be tricky to alter without replacing the entire thing. If you’d like to replace the whole countertop, start by looking in the big box hardware stores for what’s in stock. Most likely, you’ll be able to find something suitable, but will need to make the proper cuts for the lengths and sink hole. Some stores may be willing to make the cuts for you, but you’ll need to provide proper measurements. Remember, measure twice, cut once. Measure once, and it’s likely you’ll have to pay twice!
If you’re handy with a power saw, you may be able to customize your own wooden or laminate tops. If you’re ready to invest in the best countertops, a concrete top would be ideal. They’re extremely durable, eco-friendly and can be molded into numerous variations of patterns and textures. Or want something simpler? You can rough up your existing wooden or laminate top and adhere tile on top of it for an entirely new look.
Sinks & Plumbing
The simplest thing you can do to brighten the kitchen or bathroom is to install shiny, new faucets and fixtures. There are tons of fixtures to choose from at large hardware stores. Many of them very durable, attractive and in fashion – all at prices guaranteed not to soak you.
Other plumbing fixtures can be found at stores as well, but the important thing to remember is that you’ll need to replace the old fixtures with new ones that have the same configuration. For example, you can’t replace a three-hole faucet (the countertop or sink will have three holes in it for the spigot and handles to emerge through) with a single-hole fixture (a faucet that has a control knob on it), unless you are careful enough to buy one with a matching plate to cover the two remaining holes. It’s even more difficult if you try to do the reverse – you’ll wind up needing to drill two more holes in your countertop or sink, which is difficult, to say the least.
If you’re planning to replace the sink as well, be sure to note the type of fixture that needs to go with the type of sink you’re getting. Sinks, too, can be found at the store, but they’re also more accessible in places like antique shops and salvage yards. Sometimes, you can even find a really neat old one-of-a-kind model for nearly the same price as a brand-new style.
The key to remodeling on a budget is to keep your eyes and ears open. Look for great deals and snatch them up when you can. Also, soaking up any how-to articles and classes that you come across is great for gleaning valuable information (it also helps to have a few handy friends who can pitch in).