From Dean Dowd on September 27, 2011 in Kitchen Remodel
Remodeling your kitchen will make your life at home more enjoyable, more comfortable and more convenient – once it’s completed. In the interim, expect some disruption to your everyday routine. Getting that kitchen of your dreams can require a substantial investment, too. With a few savvy tips and some planning, a kitchen remodel on a smaller scale can be completed in less time and with less money.
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One caveat: When making up a budget for a minor kitchen remodel, remember resale. A good kitchen remodeling job will increase the value of your home, returning about 75 percent of your investment. Home-buyers want quality appliances, attractive cabinets, ample storage and modern conveniences. You’ll appreciate those amenities, too. Here’s how to get them without breaking the budget.
Keep your existing floor plan.
In the interest of keeping costs low, reuse your existing floor plan. Tearing out walls to gain square footage may not be necessary. Reorganizing to expand storage is a far more affordable option. Invest in features that make storage efficient and convenient, like dividers, pull-out trays, lazy Susans and “garage door” under-cabinet storage for small appliances.
Keep major items in place.
Moving cabinets and appliances around usually involves moving the electrical, plumbing and gas lines that support them. The most costly move is the sink. When you want to save time, as well as money, try to avoid altering plumbing lines. Reconfiguring any utility is labor intensive, and it’s the labor involved in a kitchen remodel that adds the most time to the whole renovation. Given the choice, most homeowners would rather enjoy a brand new stove over moving their existing stove across the room.
Consider semi-customized kitchen cabinets. While semi-customized cabinets are factory-assembled, their manufacturers offer customization options. The types of customizations available vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. Most will adjust the depth of the cabinet. A wide variety of sizes, colors and styles are available, as well as a broad selection of door styles, woods and inserts.
Pick affordable countertops.
Choose affordable flooring and countertops. Making function a priority when selecting materials doesn’t mean sacrificing style. Adding a stainless steel rim to simple laminate countertops gives them a sleek, modern look. Ripping up a floor adds time to a kitchen remodel. Choosing materials that can be applied over existing flooring, like vinyl or laminate, can be an attractive, functional alternative.
Get help with labor.
A contractor has to pay someone to sweep up sawdust and to carry debris to the curb. If you have the time, negotiate with the contractor to do the cleanup tasks yourself. If you have the know-how, you can save a substantial amount of money and time by doing any demolition yourself, before the construction crew arrives. You can also save by doing the finishing touches yourself, including adding hardware and fixtures, as well as by doing your own painting.
Splurge on the details.
Add quality, high-style fixtures to cabinets and drawers. Invest in a stylish, functional faucet. Add under-cabinet lighting and a new ceiling light fixture. Coordinate all the details to achieve a unified, professional-looking style. Photos via Houzz