Many owners of older homes would love to remodel their kitchens, whether to create valuable storage space, replace aging and discolored countertops, or get rid of outdated cabinets. But budget concerns may cause homeowners to think twice about a sizable remodeling project. Although a complete kitchen remodel may seem out of reach to homeowners with only a little cash to spare, a kitchen design professional who specializes in remodeling can help. If a complete kitchen remodeling project isn’t possible to accomplish all at one time, a kitchen remodeling professional may be able to create a plan to allow homeowners to remodel a kitchen in a series of project phases.
Approaching a kitchen remodeling project piece by piece can make it more affordable and has the added bonus of reducing kitchen downtime—daily kitchen activities such as cooking and washing dishes may be continued while a different part of the kitchen is being remodeled. By following these steps, your remodeling project can be stretched over a period of months, or even years, as time and budget allow.
- Design A Dream Kitchen
Even if gradual remodeling is the goal, many homeowners benefit from a cohesive kitchen design plan prepared by a professional before remodeling work begins.
A professional kitchen remodeler can incorporate families’ kitchen needs and wants into one cohesive design plan. While some families’ needs require walk-in pantries and pull-out shelves in cabinets, others need child-friendly counter heights and eco-friendly smart appliances. A professional designer can incorporate just the right important elements and, keeping the family budget in mind, can plan several successive remodeling stages with a specific timeline that will ensure that a new space has a unified look and feel when finished.
It’s sometimes difficult for homeowners to imagine what a finished space will look like after a kitchen remodel is completed. To help eliminate this guesswork, some remodeling professionals offer 3-D modeling of kitchen design plans to allow homeowners to see exactly what an existing space will look like when it’s completely remodeled. From a computerized 3-D rendering, homeowners can view a three-dimensional mockup of a newly-designed space to ensure that the features, colors, and products they’ve selected will provide the finished look they’re seeking. If a design element turns out not to be what a homeowner had in mind, the plan can be adjusted before remodeling begins, saving the homeowner money and time.
- Budgeting for a Remodel
Homeowners considering a kitchen remodel need to make sure that their budgets can accommodate each step of a remodeling plan, considering carefully how they can afford to finance specific steps along the way.
A professional’s comprehensive kitchen remodeling plan will include a timeline for specific remodeling projects and a goal for an overall completion date. Spacing remodeling steps so that homeowners can pay for the remodel over a period of months or years is a strategy that works for many families. But occasionally, even spreading out the remodeling work over time isn’t quite enough to make the cost fit into the family budget.
Some professional kitchen remodelers have financing options to ease the budget impact of kitchen remodeling. Financing plans that offer no-interest or low-interest loans for six months to a year may allow homeowners to start remodeling right away, rather than having to wait until they save enough money. Some plans even waive all interest charges if the loan is paid in full within one year. Taking advantage of these “same-as-cash” options may allow homeowners to finance their remodeling plans interest-free. Homeowners can pay the loan off over time for the period of the offer without incurring interest, or they have the option to pay more slowly, allowing interest to accrue.
- Remodeling Priorities
Choosing which area of the kitchen to remodel first might depend on a variety of factors and is a decision a professional remodeler can help with. Some phases of kitchen remodeling may naturally need to be completed before another phase can begin—cabinetry before countertops, for example—and a remodeling professional can advise as to the order in which these important steps need to occur.
Families also have input into the priority of the different pieces of the remodeling plan. Many people find that increasing storage space is their most important priority, but for some, the most important update might be a new double convection oven to replace an outdated range or a new dishwasher to replace an older one that will no longer dry dishes properly.
If storage space is a homeowner’s identified priority, full-access cabinetry with features such as pull-out shelving may be a great place to start. Full-access cabinetry increases the amount of kitchen storage space without an increase in kitchen square footage, increasing functionality and kitchen efficiency.
Cabinets and countertops
Some of the most eye-catching remodeling changes to a kitchen space are changes to cabinetry, countertops, or both. A timeless cabinet style has universal appeal; contemporary or transitional looks are also popular and can add a splash of color and visual interest to a newly-imagined space.
A professional will measure the kitchen space to ensure that new custom-cut countertops will fit perfectly. Sinks are usually replaced at the same time as counters, so these remodeling steps will generally appear at the same place on the remodeling plan timeline.
Removing old tiles or backsplashes on kitchen walls is generally done before new cabinets and countertops are installed to prevent damage to these new pieces. New backsplashes are then installed after cabinets and countertops have been remodeled. A backsplash that complements new countertops can add visual interest and color.
A kitchen remodel provides plenty of opportunities to replace older light fixtures with trendy pendant, recessed, or task lighting. Under-cabinet lighting can provide both ambiance and increased functionality to countertop space. New fixtures also provide energy-efficient ways to reduce energy bills while at the same time increasing the amount of focused light in a task-oriented space.
Fixtures can generally be updated at any later point on the remodeling timeline and are typically one of the smaller expenses of a remodel. But newer fixtures can provide elegant and striking detail and can be the key to a luxurious looking kitchen. New faucets or drawer pulls complement new sinks, cabinetry, and countertops and can play a key role in the overall look and feel of the finished space.
Typically, the last step of a kitchen remodel involves replacing the oven, cooktops, microwave, refrigerator, dishwasher, and garbage disposal. The price of this step of the remodel will depend on the brands selected and the number of appliances being replaced. To add a touch of luxury, homeowners may want to consider a wine cooler, mini-fridge, or the latest double convection oven. Newer energy-efficient appliances allow families to recoup costs over time through lower energy bills.
With just a little creative planning, a new kitchen can be within reach for many homeowners. A kitchen remodeling professional can help families create a comprehensive remodeling plan and a timeline and budget that work for them.