Monday, October 6

5 Ways to Update your Kitchen on a Budget

So your looking for ways to update your kitchen, but you don't have the cash to spend.  I am always looking for a bargain, so I have a few tricks up my sleeve that will help you out.  First of all, budget is important.  Seems to be more so now than ever, people are trying to get the biggest bang for their buck, mostly because they don't have a lot of extra bucks to spend in the first place.  So when it comes to updating your kitchen, a full remodel isn't the best way to go.  

First, we all know a full blown kitchen remodel is on average 10% the value of your home.  If your house is worth $300,000, your talking $30,000 just for a kitchen remodel.  Who has that kind of cash laying around?  And it's certainly not "Budget". 

So what about Refacing?  After my years with Home Depot in their Kitchen and Bath Department, I will honestly tell you that Refacing is never a budget choice.  Going back to that $30,000 remodel, $10,000 of that is for cabinets, your probably going to spend that much, if not more, for refacing.  I can't tell you how many times I had customers choose to do a full blown remodel over refacing because it was actually cheaper, and they could change the layout issues they were having.  

So what's a budget fix then?  Obviously Replacing and refacing isn't a good budget option, so now what do you do?  I have several tricks up my sleeve that can spruce up your kitchen, all for less than $1000!  That's right, five different options to update a kitchen for less than a grand.  Even if you put it on a credit card, it's easy enough to pay off in a year.  

  1. Refinishing:  Now obviously, for less than $1000, your not going to be able to have an artisan come in and paint your cabinets.  But you can do it yourself.  I painted all of my cabinets myself, with some help from the Mother in Law, for less than $200!  It took some time, patience, and reading a lot of instructions, but my kitchen looks amazing.  I have referred the products to more customers than I can even count, and have never had a negative bit of feedback.  The product I used, and highly recommend, is the Rust-Oleum Cabinet Transformation's Kit, available and most major home improvement stores for about $80/box, or 10 linear feet.  I used two boxes in my kitchen, and still have enough to do my bathrooms.
  2.  New Hardware: New hinges, handles and pulls are a great way to update a kitchen with minimal out of pocket expense.  Getting rid of old brass colored hinges will instantly update your kitchen.  Even if you don't know how to route out your cabinets for concealed hinges, you can always go with a chrome or brushed nickel version of what you already have.  I replaced all the hinges in my kitchen for less than $25.  I only have 6 drawers, so I splurged on my drawer pulls, at about $6 each, but got less expensive door knobs, at about $2 each.  So for all new hinges, knobs and pulls, I spent about $100.  Check out Liberty Hardware, manufacturer of knobs, pulls, and hinges.
  3.  New Flooring: Flooring isn't nearly as expensive as most people think, especially if you do the labor yourself.  Allure Ultra is a water proof flooring material that cost about $3/square foot, and is super easy to install yourself.  It's a click-lock material designed for the DIYer.  Available through Home Depot, there are some great wood look materials and some nice tile looks.  You can also get nice quality porcelain tile for around the same cost.  Rent a tile saw to keep your prices down.  Personally, I put laminate in my kitchen.  Not nearly as water resistant, but I wanted the same flooring throughout my house.  My flooring was actually only $2/foot at Home Depot, plus the underlayment required for slab foundations.  Total, was still less than $3/foot.
  4.  Fresh Paint: The quickest way to update any space in your home is always going to be paint.  A quick and easy coat of paint can be an easy weekend job.  Just be sure to do the prep work.  Painting over a poorly prepped space is just asking for trouble.  Prime if needed, and texture over any areas that need it. We actually had someone come in and re texture the splash area to remove the floral wall paper.  It was the fastest way to get my kitchen out of the 1980's.  Including new spray texture, we spent about $1000 on this project.
  5. Ditch the Fluorescent Lights: When trying to update your kitchen, another great way to update is to remove that ugly fluorescent light box so many of us have.  Swap it out for recessed cans.  We have a friend who is an electrician, and did the work for us fairly inexpensively.  We got five can's and with his labor probably spent about $700.  This project did have to be done with the texture and painting, so keep that in mind.