Kitchen Remodeling on an Average-Sized Budget

From on August 15, 2011 in Kitchen Remodel


While everyone dreams about a kitchen remodel at some point, completing a full kitchen renovation can be a bit intimidating. You may stress about hiring the right contractor or going over budget, even for a medium-sized renovation.

However, there are ways to approach a kitchen makeover that can keep costs down and create a smart, functional and attractive kitchen – without breaking the bank.

Start by making a detailed wishlist, not of the items you may wish to purchase, but of the type of kitchen you’ve always wanted. Some may see organization as a top priority, while others need added storage and more counter space. Writing everything down will help you define what is most important to you.

Don’t rush to hire a contractor. Talk to as many as you can. Once you’ve narrowed the field down to three candidates, ask for recent references and check them. If you possibly can, visit another project in progress. Visiting a job site is the best way to judge how the contractor works. Once you find a contractor, be willing to work with their schedule, as a good contractor is always worth waiting for.

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The kitchen layout and general design must be decided upon before making any major purchases. In kitchens, designers focus on the triangle formed by a line drawn between the sink, stove and refrigerator. Ideally, the points of a kitchen triangle should be kept between four and eight feet. You’ll also want to accommodate foot traffic patterns.

Get the Most Bang for Your Buck

When it comes time to make purchases, a few tips can help you get the most bang for your buck. Stainless steel appliances are expensive, so you might consider a stainless steel cook top instead, with conventional wall ovens. If custom cabinetry is out of reach, add extra storage by including a walk-in pantry into the plan.

Or, instead of installing expensive granite countertops throughout the kitchen, limit the material to one counter. If you can’t knock out walls to create your ideal airy and open kitchen, invest in lighting and light-colored paint.

Homeowners can expect to recoup about 70% of kitchen remodeling costs when it comes time to sell their homes, but two words can make even small kitchen remodels a better investment: energy efficiency. Energy-efficient appliances, including extras like trash compactors and built-in recycling centers, can help you start saving time and money immediately, by simplifying chores and reducing monthly energy bills.

For the more sketch-savvy, you can try creating a 3-D rendering of your existing kitchen, showing the dimensions and locations of windows, doors, electrical outlets, as well as heating and plumbing lines. Using 3-D design software can make this an easy task, and having an architectural rendering in hand when you approach contractors can save you time and money.

Photo via Houzz