Redesigning your existing kitchen increases the value of your property, while improving daily living and creating a more efficient home. Most homeowners assume that a kitchen renovation costs a fortune, and tend to dream about the project long before making that leap. With the proper design and a clear strategy, kitchen remodeling can be done on a budget. Find out how and get moving on this valuable home improvement project.
Consider the Space and Layout
Revamping the existing layout of your kitchen and plumbing will drive the price of this project higher. Think about whether you can live with things remaining in the same location, provided the fixtures and features change. If you must move things to create an efficient work triangle or enlarge the room, try to minimize the features involved in that reconfiguration.
Moving the fridge or stove often requires a cabinetry refit, while shifting the sink or dishwasher over to another spot requires expensive plumbing work. Work on your new layout until you're sure the movement makes sense, both in terms of living space and your budget.
Some people find that moving the entire kitchen makes sense. Do you have a galley kitchen straddling your formal living room and family room? Why not upgrade to a large kitchen by taking over the formal dining room? Switching the location will result in substantial expenses, but a clean slate may be cheaper than trying to reconfigure or expand the existing galley space to suit your vision.
Shop the Sales and Invest in Quality at Lower Prices
As in every home improvement project, it makes sense to invest in high quality materials that provide the durability, appearance and comfort you deserve. But remember that with a little patience and a keen eye for sales, you can save big money on high-end cabinetry, flooring, appliances, fixtures and other features of your new kitchen.
Plan your kitchen renovation in advance, preferably twelve months or more in advance. This allows you to have an eye out for seasonal sales. Often interior renovation materials go on sale in early spring, just before exterior materials hit the shelves. And appliances tend to be priced low in January and February, when the post-holiday drag leaves retailers hungry.
Whether you plan to hire a contractor or tackle a DIY kitchen renovation, be patient and watch for sales on quality materials and appliances. This allows you to install quality without breaking the budget.
Know Where to Sink Your Money
Certain elements of your kitchen take the most abuse. Flooring, for instance, needs to be durable, comfortable and easy to clean, while the backsplash only serves to boost the room's image. Installing a tile backsplash does allow for easier wiping and protects the wall from spills and damage, but you don't necessarily need high-end marble mosaic tiles to achieve that purpose.
Cabinetry can be tricky. High quality wood cabinets will last for years, and cost much more than pressboard cabinets. Consider whether or not expensive cabinets are worth your money. Are you planning to stay in your home for the next twenty to thirty years? Investing in genuine wood kitchen cabinets would be wise in that case, since they will continue to look fabulous and remain sturdy for decades. But if long terms plans find you in another home, that money may be better spent elsewhere in the room.
Stage It Out
Some elements of your new kitchen could be completed in stages, allowing you to stretch out the budget. Foundational parts, like cabinetry, flooring and plumbing, need to be done all at once. But other portions, like appliance upgrades, lighting and cabinet hardware, can wait. Spend your initial budget on those things that must be done in the first round; your patience will be rewarded in the end.
Cabinetry hardware puts a major dent in your kitchen renovation budget, so choose wisely or wait for the right time. When you fall in love with that gorgeous drawer pull or door handle, remember that you'll need more than one to finish off the kitchen. Multiple the cost of that hardware by twenty or thirty to get a rough idea of the final tally for this element — this may cause you to rethink your initial choice, or wait for the item to go on sale.
Natural materials, like stone countertops, and popular styles, like stainless steel appliances, often come with high maintenance requirements. Be sure that you can handle the care of every element in your new kitchen. Talk to you contractor or designer about all of the options available, and compare prices and maintenance requirements to make the best choice for your family.
Just as durability is a factor in home improvement design, maintenance should be a consideration as well. Installing a high maintenance flooring material may not cost much up front, but you'll have to sink a lot of time into cleaning, and the overall cost can skyrocket thanks to special cleaning products or refinishing requirements. Sometimes the synthetic alternative (poured concrete countertops, as opposed to slate countertops, for example) is less expensive and lower maintenance — a win-win in every aspect.
DIY Kitchen Renovation Tips
Tackling an entire kitchen renovation can be a daunting task, but some parts of your remodeling project are ideal for the DIY crowd. Demolition takes a weekend or two, and can be easily done with the right tools and some motivation. You'll save money on labor and removal with this plan, providing you with more budget for quality materials and must haves in the kitchen.
Painting is another area that DIY fans can tackle. Think about those smaller, less complicated tasks and talk to your contractor about scheduling the project to allow for your involvement. Not every contractor will be flexible about it, but with open communication and a professional attitude you can make this work out to your advantage.
Complete your dream kitchen renovation on a budget with careful planning, patience and priorities. Stretching out the schedule or going the DIY route can save money, but be sure to talk about your plans and vision with an experienced kitchen remodeling contractor. This home improvement project improves your daily life and increases your property value. Take the time to do it right and your budget should fall in line.