One way we can increase our home investment is to make improvements ourselves. Before you grow that you can only plant pansies in the garden, consider this. The second most cost-effective way to increase the value of your home is to renovate your kitchen. This does not necessarily mean that you have to dismantle your entire kitchen and buy everything new. We’re talking AFFORDABLE value, so let’s investigate some shortcuts.
Color is one of the cheapest and most impactful ways to change a home. Interior decoration is also the number one way to improve the saleability of your home. In a kitchen, if you paint it, don’t skimp on the quality of the paint. It is the only room where we will always be cleaning marks, fingerprints and splashes.
Don’t underestimate the power of pure white in a kitchen. It is clean and bright. It will also go with any color. If you want to get started but are still undecided on a focus color, start with white, cleanliness will inspire you!
The most notable parts of a kitchen are: sink, cabinets, floor, and countertops. These are the areas to examine for your new look. Obviously, replacing everything with a new one is ideal, so study each of them carefully and critically. If you’re trying to upgrade your kitchen on a budget, something’s got to give!
For example, could you upgrade your sink by re-caulking and simply replacing the faucet with a nice modern set?
How about a splash guard? Changing (or adding) a tiled backslash behind your sink serves several purposes. It takes the focus off your sink and is practical. If you don’t want to stay neutral, it also allows you to incorporate your color scheme and can be expanded, according to your kitchen design. It is also a very economical ‘face lift’. Due to the relative cheapness, you could add a touch of luxury and incorporate the new natural ‘field’ or glass effect tiles.
Kitchen cabinets are a very expensive outlay that in most cases can be wisely avoided. They can be painted or renewed with an intense color coloring gel. Also, many companies advertise that they will replace your cabinet doors (doors ONLY) for a very modest fee. These new kitchen cabinet door fronts can cost $20.00, although an oak door can start closer to $30.00. This idea will considerably reduce the cost of a new look for your kitchen.
If the kitchen is dark, you can ask for white doors, or if you want luxury, you can ask for cherry doors or any other option. Since most of us have had to learn how to use a screwdriver, this will be an improvement you can handle on your own. An easy way to brighten up a kitchen is to add strip lighting under the wall cabinets. These can be bought cheaply, just pay attention that the wiring does not look messy.
Improving a floor does not have to be as expensive as you think. While linoleum is still expensive, acrylic floor tiles that look like Italian ceramic can be found for as little as $1.00 per foot. (A tile is 12″ x 12″) Colored stains can now be purchased for grout, to give a tiled effect or just to keep it simple.
Well, the countertop had to be treated last. Yes, there is an inexpensive way to spruce up your countertop, but this is one area where you may have to bite the bullet! First, let’s examine one of the ways to save your countertop.
One way is to recoat the existing top, using the word ‘paint’ would be oversimplifying. There is a lot of prep work, including cleaning with detergent and alcohol, fine sanding between all the primer coats, and oil-based paint top coats. Then finally several coats of marine varnish finish (or polyurethane is second best).
Once complete, you should always use a cutting board and not place hot pots directly on the counter. These are rules that we often follow for our laminate surfaces as well. The ever faithful laminate countertop is getting some competition these days from the granite gang. The gang consists of granite countertops and other real stones as well as high quality imitations to choose from. If you’re choosing a new countertop on a budget, then granite isn’t the least expensive option!
If you’re still in the planning stage, start compiling a file of kitchen decorating ideas. A piece of graph paper will help you plan within your actual measurements.
Although kitchen renovation can be an expensive undertaking, it can also be fun and very rewarding. At the end of all your work, you will have a bright and clean kitchen to work in and you will have improved your investment. It is very likely that the money spent on the kitchen will show the best financial return on the resale of your home. Experts say that up to 75% of your expenses will be returned to you through the increase in the sale price.