Affordable kitchen remodeling is totally possible, but you may have to think outside the box a bit. Obviously, purchasing everything new is going to be the most expensive way to go. A bit of creativity and elbow grease on your part can give your current kitchen a much-needed facelift, without breaking the bank.
Here are five secrets you can use to stay under budget, and still come out with a fantastic looking new kitchen.
Reface, Don’t Replace
Cabinetry constitutes the largest portion of any kitchen renovation. For homeowners on extremely tight budgets, ripping out and replacing cabinets might eat up their entire kitchen fund, before they have a chance to address any of the other issues.
As it turns out, the best kitchen cabinets for your project may be the ones that are already there. If there are no structural issues with the cabinet boxes or shelving, keep them. What you can do instead is put new fronts on the drawers and cabinet doors, giving the space a fresh and updated look at a fraction of the cost.
Paint Can Transform a Room
A fresh coat of paint can literally transform a space. Smaller kitchens sporting darker colors can appear to open up before your very eyes when light colors and neutrals are used instead. Can’t afford a tile backsplash? Use an accent paint color, and maybe add an interesting texture. Not in love with the wood used on your current cabinets? Paint them.
Paint can cover over a lot of imperfections, and it can also bring your kitchen up into this decade. A dated paint color can give away the age of your decor, but a modern paint color can mask and improve older features.
Invest in the Floor
One place to invest some money is the floor. If you have an outdated kitchen, chances are the floor has seen many years, if not decades of wear and tear. There is only so much of that type of damage which can be covered over. Your best bet is to completely replace the floor.
Now, of course a tile or hardwood floor will cost much more than a laminate. You will want to weigh the pros and cons of each. The laminate floors of today can be made to look like hardwood or tile, and can be purchased for a fraction of the cost. Of course, laminate flooring is more susceptible to cuts and scratches than more durable material. So decide which is more important to you: durability or affordability.
Update the Hardware
If replacing or refacing your cabinets is completely out of your budget, a third option would be to give your cabinets a fresh coat of paint, and to swap out the hardware instead. A new set of handles or drawer pulls can add style and character to your kitchen at very little cost.
You can also use hardware as a way of matching a theme or architectural style. You can take cabinets from colonial to modern with a few small changes.
Get Better Lighting
If you have only one or two lighting fixtures in your kitchen, and they are either florescent or incandescent bulbs, it is probably time for an upgrade. Not only will better lighting help to show off your new kitchen, but it will also lower your energy bills.
LED or CFL lighting can instantly add warmth and brightness to a space. It is also relatively inexpensive to install, and therefore makes a great option for under cabinet lighting, or other hidden sources of light in your kitchen.
Try incorporating these five secrets of the budget renovation into your next project. Each of these secrets can help update your kitchen, without overtaxing your bank account.
Niv Orlian is an online marketer and the Co-Founder of DO Online Marketing, a Chicago based company that helps local businesses such as Planet Cabinets, acquire, manage, and retain local customers online.