Remodeling your kitchen on a tight budget

Remodeling your kitchen on a tight budget

By Oliver ODHIAMBO

A remodeled kitchen is a home improvement that can increase the value of your home as well as make it more comfortable to live and cook in. However, such a home improvement is also an expensive one, and if you have less disposable income available, you’ll want to know how to remodel a kitchen on a budget.

The short answer for this is that you need to plan carefully. However, there are details that will help you learn how to better remodel a kitchen on a budget. We all know too well that the economy, especially in the East African region has tended to get a little tougher, so the least you will spend on this venture, the better for your pocket.

 Start small

One of the basics in learning how to remodel a kitchen on a budget is to start small.
Little changes can spruce up the look your kitchen or enhance functionality without breaking the bank. For instance, by purchasing a pullout faucet, you not only get new sink fixtures that will give your kitchen a fresh look, but you’ll make your faucet more functional, since now you can pull it out and aim it to better fill pots or rinse out containers.

 Make priority

The key to learning how to remodel a kitchen on a budget is learning to prioritize the changes you’ll make. Since it will be difficult to make all your changes at once, you should take your time and instead list which changes are most important to you. Do you want more cabinet space? Then save up for new cabinetry before purchasing a fridge. Similarly, if you have a stove on its last legs, set aside money to replace that first. Learning how to remodel a kitchen on a budget means learning to identify what’s  most important to change.

 Redecorate

Before you try to figure out how to remodel a kitchen on a budget, try to identify what it is you really want to change. If it’s just the look and colors of your kitchen, spend your money on paint and wallpaper instead of new fixtures and appliances. Sometimes a fresh coat of paint on cabinets will make your kitchen seem like new, or new wallpaper can change the look of your walls.

 Change the lighting

Sometimes, figuring out how to remodel a kitchen on a budget is no more difficult than changing some lighting. If your kitchen has poor illumination in work areas, invest in some new work lighting to make those spots brighter. Instead of having trouble seeing, you’ll find it easier to cook great meals and to clean up afterwards. Remember, when you’re figuring out how to remodel a kitchen on a budget, you must consider the functionality of the space and not just the looks. But as long as you keep a creative mind and don’t take on too much at once, you will quickly figure out a plan for how to remodel a kitchen on a budget.

 Basic fundamentals

For starters, be sure the contractor you hire is professional. Always get references, and get a detailed contract that spells out every detail and step of the remodeling job.

 

The following tips could be very helpful:

1.  Try to keep windows in place. Moving windows gets expensive.

2.  Think paint. Changing the color of a room is one of the most dramatic – and cost-efficient – ways to change your room’s appearance.

3.  Try to stick with your existing appliances. This can save up to Ksh200,000. If you do opt for new appliances, choose ones that are energy-efficient: this will save you money on your utility bills, and will be an asset when it comes time to sell your home.

4.  Keep fixtures, appliances, and utilities in place so you don’t have to change plumbing, gas, and electrical outlets.

5.  Go with neutral colors. Your new fixtures, appliances, and laminates will be less expensive if you go with a white or almond sink and a neutral laminate. Plus, they won’t

come and go as a passing trend.

6.  If possible, use your existing floor. If you need new flooring, vinyl and laminate are

less expensive than wood and tile. Choose a color that ties the kitchen to the adjoining

rooms.

7.  Carefully study your cabinet options, because this will play a big role in the cost. You can delay some options to help reduce the initial costs. If you do decide to wait, make sure the option you want will be available and can be added after your new cabinets are in place.

8.  Consider refacing existing cabinets. This will save money and you won’t need to install a new floor, countertops, and appliances.

9.  Use standard cabinetry instead of custom.

10.  Choose cabinets that are finger-pulled and don’t need additional hardware.

11.  Think about laminate countertops. They are less expensive than tile and granite. You can accent it with wood or tile trim.

 

Choosing less costly products will help bring the total cost down, so compare prices carefully. You’ll also need to find out how much labor is involved in some of the features you are seeking, like tile countertops.

The most important thing you can do to extend your budget is to plan ahead. Go through the design process with a fine-tooth comb and select all your new countertops, flooring, appliances, and fixtures. This will help keep you from making impulsive decisions down the road.

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