Posted by Money Tips Staff

A kitchen renovation is one of the best ways to add value to any home since just about every prospective buyer is going to want a spacious, functional, and stylish room in which to create meals for their family and entertain guests.  Unfortunately, it is also the most expensive space to remodel thanks to plumbing, cabinetry, counters, and appliances.  Even if you planned to upgrade several rooms in your home, you could easily blow your entire budget on the kitchen alone.  So if you’re operating with limited funds, you’re going to need options that will help you to keep the costs down.  Here are a few that can get the ball rolling without breaking the bank.

  1. Choose wisely.  Whenever you’re working with a tight budget, you’re going to have to make some compromises.  This means you need to compile a list of everything you want to do and then narrow it down to a few key projects that are going to give you the most bang for your buck.  If the counters are useable but not exactly your taste, perhaps you can live with them in exchange for more functional cabinetry.  Or if the cabinets are solid, paint them (instead of replacing them) and get the granite countertop you’ve been dreaming of.  You may not be able to do it all, but you need to make informed decisions so that your expenditure shows a return down the road.
  2. Gettin’ fakey with it.  If your pricy plans for new surfaces are a no go, then simply go faux!  You might be surprised by the many options on the market for faux wood and stone.  Some look so close to the real thing that an untrained eye couldn’t tell the difference and all are a lot more friendly for your wallet (in addition to being better for the environment).
  3. Reclaimed options.  When it comes to capturing the warm and inviting feel you want for your kitchen, you may have your heart set on hardwood floors and cabinets, granite countertops, and a farmhouse sink.  But the combined price could be way over-budget.  So why not look into reclaimed items?  Often you can find gorgeous hardwood planks and fully intact cabinetry that has come from other homes (complete with the patina of age) for a lot less than new.  Retailers buy it cheap, refurbish it, and pass the savings on to you.  You can also find stone remnants for your countertops (if you don’t mind a few extra seams) and even old sinks and hardware that have come from demolished older homes if you simply shop around.
  4. Energy-star appliances.  The price on these modern appliances fluctuates just about the same as their energy-guzzling counterparts, so you can find some good deals.  But keep in mind that they are also going to save you on your utility bills, which makes them the gift that keeps on giving (to you and to the environment).
  5. DIY.  Kitchen remodeling isn’t rocket science.  Even though you may have to hire a contractor for some items on your checklist, there’s a lot you can do yourself.  For example, you can participate in demo and clean-up so that you don’t have to pay a crew to do it.  You may also be able to install flooring or even cabinets (with a home remodeling guide and a spec list of building codes) and you can certainly install your own lighting (and other) fixtures, paint, and even put up a backsplash.
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Filed under: Home Finance & InsurancePersonal Budgeting

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