This is a guest post by Daniela Baker. If you want to guest post on this blog, see the guidelines here.
According to Consumer Digest information from a National Association of the Remodeling Industry report, today’s consumers will only get a 72% return on investment when remodeling a kitchen. While a kitchen can still be one of the best places in your home to renovate, as far as ROI goes, it is not a good idea that the housing market as it is in 2012 to remove thousands on a kitchen remodel.
Unless you plan to stay in your home for decades and can afford to renovate simply for your comfort and aesthetics, it’s a better idea to check out inexpensive but effective kitchen remodeling options like these:
1. Get a gallon of paint.
Paint is the cheapest and most versatile way to refurbish your kitchen. While you might automatically think of painting the kitchen walls, don’t forget that you can also paint cabinets. In fact, this is the simplest and cheapest way to dress up outdated cabinets. Make sure you take the time to thoroughly sand and clean them before priming and painting with a new color of your choice.
2. Install your own tile backsplash.
If your kitchen doesn’t have a backsplash over the stove and sink — or doesn’t have an attractive one — installing a new one isn’t rocket science. Laminates are incredibly easy to install, although ceramic tiles will give a more upscale feel. Consider using painted or stained beadboard for a homey, country-style look, or embossed metal ceiling squares if you want an eclectic, vintage look.
3. Replace the hardware.
Changing the hardware on your cabinets is really simple, and it’s a great and inexpensive way to update the look of your entire kitchen. Adding hardware to outdated, hardware-free kitchen cabinets can really update their look as well. For a sleek and modern look, choose stainless steel hardware. If you want a more whimsical look (and you won’t be selling your house anytime soon), buy vintage drawers online.
4. Open the upper cabinets.
One simple – and free – way to modernize your kitchen and give it a lighter, airier look is simply to take the doors off the upper cabinets. Organize some of your prettiest china or everyday items that look nice in your open shelf space for a great new look. A fun option is to wallpaper or paint the inside of your open cabinets for a pop of color.
5. Install new countertops.
Installing countertops can take a pro if you’ve never done it before, but it’s not too difficult. You can peel the laminate countertops off the plywood deck quite easily, and then replace it for $30 to $40 per square foot of laminate to update the color of your counters. Another affordable option is to place tile countertops directly on plywood.
6. Replace the cabinet doors.
If you have a little more money to play with, you can replace the cabinet doors instead of refinishing or painting them. You’ll probably need to paint or refinish the current cabinets, but you won’t have to buy new ones – which saves you a ton of money. If you’re handy with a router, you can actually create “new” cabinet doors by cutting out the panels in the current ones and replacing them with glass, metal or even fabric. You can also get new cabinet doors for $100 to $400 per door.
7. Add crown molding.
If you want an elegant look in the kitchen and your cabinets don’t go all the way to the ceiling, add crown molding or a soffit around the top of the cabinets. It looks nice when finished in the same color as your cabinets, and it’s a relatively inexpensive upgrade.
8. Change the floor.
Improving your kitchen floor – as long as it’s already in good condition underneath – is as simple as laying self-adhesive vinyl tiles or floor sheets. You can also use a special floor primer and paint the floors in a color that goes with the look you want for your kitchen.
9. Organize the cabinets.
If your kitchen is driving you crazy because it’s hard to keep organized, consider improving the organization systems in your cabinets. Get lazy suzan, drawer dividers or sliding shelves retrofitted for your existing cabinets for about $1,000 to $3,000 for your entire kitchen. This move alone can save you a lot of time when you are cooking.
Once you’ve completed your kitchen mod, make sure you take the time to accessorize it. Find a cute kitchen rug, or make your own rag rug with one of the hundreds of DIY tutorials floating around the web. Invest in matching curtains, and get some accessories for your kitchen shelves that go with the theme and colors of your new kitchen.
Basic tips for kitchen style
If you’re ready to start your kitchen makeover, these tips will help you get there:
a) The easiest way to get extra cash for your kitchen mod without worrying about interest ramifications later is to check 0% introductory APR credit cards. While they won’t have a 0% interest rate forever, these cards can spread the cost of your kitchen remodel over several months, making it easier on the budget. If you’re looking for some of the more expensive changes on this list but don’t have the cash on hand right now to do all of them, a credit card can help you afford to do all of the changes at once , which is probably going to be cheaper in the long run.
b) Shop and secondhand sales. If you’re willing to do a little digging, you can save even more on your kitchen mod by shopping sales. Many home and garden stores will offer discontinued tiles, paint that doesn’t mix well and even scrapers and reducers at a deep discount. If you’re looking for something specific, check Craigslist and eBay first to see if you can find what you need before paying full price for it.
c) Learn how to do it yourself. Remodeling is loads cheaper if you do it yourself, but you have to learn how to do it right. If you’re not already handy with power tools and tile grout, talk to a friend or family member who is. For a small fee – or maybe even a home-cooked meal – he or she may be willing to get you started on your DIY project. Once you know the basics, you can read online to see how to make most of your kitchen mod yourself.
These days, it is more important than ever that homeowners carefully consider what they are doing when it comes to home remodels.
Daniela Baker helps families find credit card deals at https://www.creditdonkey.com. If you’re ready to change your kitchen, make the most of your investment by getting more for your money and choosing low-cost, high-impact remodels that really add value to your home.