If a person had to point to one part of a home to answer a question on what is the most important to the family it would have to be the kitchen. Unlike many other rooms in the house a kitchen is never static. There are always new things being changed, like appliances, and it is usually the first area that is thought of when planning a major renovation.
But for many people the dream of a new kitchen is above their financial scope. Just the cabinets alone can set a homeowner back between $8,000 and $25,000. They can also and add another $1,000 to $9,000 for countertops. However, there are many inexpensive ways to achieve a successful kitchen remodel without the added feeling that the results are inadequate.
Paint the Walls
Start with painting. Many people forget that although cabinets make up a great proportion of the wall space in a kitchen there are those empty spaces that require painting. Check some paint chips with your present cabinets or countertops and choose a colour that will make the best part of the kitchen stand out.
Change the Kitchen Backsplash
Many homes have very drab kitchen backsplashes when this is the part of the wall that can really bring out the character of a kitchen. There are so many tile and mosaic patterns from which to choose that a homeowner can perform a noticeable change in the kitchen décor by just filling in the spaces between the counter and the cabinets with a kitchen tile backsplash.
Most cabinets in older homes were built from solid plywood and can still be utilized. Since the purpose of cabinets is to store food and food preparation equipment there may be no need to rip them out in favour of new ones if the style and look of the present cabinets can be changed.
Paint: The standard wood-grain style of cabinets is still popular but this decor has been pushed aside by some great, solid colours. By resurfacing the cabinets with a melamine paint the old cabinets can be transformed into a wall of style. This can either be a do-it-yourself job or performed by a professional painting company that refinishes cabinets. Either way it still beats paying out the money for new ones.
Doors: Cabinet doors make up over 90% of the look and style of the cabinets. In many homes the cabinets are fine but the doors are either damaged or the style is really out of date. By changing the doors and drawer fronts the cabinets can look brand new at the fraction of the cost. Solid wood doors are under $30 and drawer fronts go for around $12. Wood-filled products, which look great, will sell for much less.
Hardware: Just like the trim on a new vehicle changing the hardware can spruce up the look of kitchen cabinets. In addition, the storage options have improved over the past 20 years with addition of new racks and holders that make finding things a lot easier. For those who hate dark spaces there a new in-cabinet lighting options that are inexpensive.
If cabinets define the style of the kitchen then countertops are the functional part. This is where the majority of the preparation work is done but the surface has to compliment the rest of the kitchen design. Again, a homeowner can spend from $500 for a laminate product to $8,000+ for granite or stone composite. Once way to get a happy medium without breaking the bank is to install a good quality laminate countertop for the main counters and then use an expensive type for the island. Countertops stores have pre-cut granite, marble and composite for standard islands for under $800. The whole job could be less than $1000 and the stone surface on the island would be a great focal point for the room.
Changing the kitchen floor is also an inexpensive way to get great results:
Laminates: New laminate products that mimic tile are not expensive and are easier on the feet than standard ceramic tile. There are many designs and the thing to remember is to properly seal the cracks and edges from moisture. Laminate floors can also be installed by someone with the very minimum of skills.
Engineered Wood: Although more expensive than laminate engineered wood snaps together like laminate so it is a good do-it-yourself project. Cork and bamboo are very popular kitchen floors and cork is really easy on the feet and back.
Vinyl: Cushioned, vinyl floor comes in a wide variety of designs and lasts a long time. It is relatively inexpensive and virtually maintenance-free.
When it comes down to overall ambience changing the lighting makes a big difference. In the past few years the price of lighting has come down considerably from what it used to be. By adding “puck” lights under the counters the work areas can be lit up without sacrificing the atmosphere of the whole room. Sconces are also popular for medium light.
For more information on inexpensive kitchen remodeling, consult our Contractor Directory or simply post you project online and a contractor will contact you.