The kitchen is the most expensive room in the house to remodel. Depending upon the size, layout, and style, it can cost as much as $50,000 and higher to complete. For the smaller budget a redo rather than a complete remodel may be the way to go. Two keys to reducing costs are doing it yourself and planning. Educate yourself through home-repair sites and your local library, cost free
A fresh coat of paint can change the whole look of a room. Check out some of the most popular colors today, keeping in mind that gloss or semigloss will clean better than flat. Before you pick a dark color like red or plum, know that it will take more coats, thus using more paint.
Consider painting your cabinets as well. You can also sand them and restain. Once you have refinished the cabinet, always change the hardware for a complete new look.
How does the sink look? If it is dingy and dull-looking, try replacing it with a new stainless-steel model and new faucets. Both are fairly inexpensive, and will add to a clever update.
Flooring does not have to be expensive. Vinyl self-stick tiles can be purchased that look like hardwood floors or ceramic tile. If the subflooring is in good condition, you can install the tiles over the old ones. A 12x12 floor can cost as little as $65.00.
Old counter tops can make a kitchen look outdated. If your counter is worn and stained, replace it with a laminate one that looks like slate or granite. Most home-improvement centers have a section of counter tops that are precut. If not, they will cut one for you. If you have a tile counter top or backsplash, you may just need to replace the grouting. You can also spruce up the look of tile with decals.
Replace old light fixtures with something new. If you have fluorescent, try a chandelier or lighted ceiling fan over the eating area. Change the switch and outlet covers as well.
Where to Shop
Once you know what you want, the hunt for those items becomes exciting. Consider shopping at a local thrift store. You will be surprised at what some people donate. Doors, windows, counters, faucets can all be found at some thrift stores. You have to search your area for shops that take in such items. Use the phone and save some legwork and gas.
Yard sales are another source. When people remodel, they sell off the old, and you can get some great deals. Don’t be shy about bargaining.
See what you can find secondhand before shopping retail. It can save you a bundle.
Vickie Van Antwerp began her career as a technical writer for a consulting firm in 1987. Now a freelance writer in her fields of interest, her writings appear on southjersey.com, youandmemagazine.com and in "The Phelps Connection" and "The Storyteller." Van Antwerp holds an Associate of Arts in liberal arts from Gloucester County College and certification as a surgical technologist from Lenoir College.