The kitchen is the focal point of most homes and as such, it gets abused and can become dated fast. For many, the solution is a pricey home improvement loan, but there are other ways to refresh your kitchen without taking out a huge debt.
Below are some simple ways that you can put a new face on your kitchen without taking out a big loan.
Add New Counters
Your countertop is the work surface of your kitchen and gets a lot of attention and abuse. If your counters have seen better days or are just dated, you might be surprised at how affordable it is to replace them.
Granite is by far the most popular countertop replacement and adding it to your kitchen can totally transform a 1980’s tract home into a modern day beauty. Surprisingly, granite is also not as expensive as you might think, with installed prices as low as $40 a square foot.
If your kitchen has 20 feet of linear counter space and it is 2 feet deep, that is 40 square feet of counter. At $40 a square foot, that means your price for a new counter could be as little as $1600. For the impact that granite would have on your kitchen, this is a steal and one of the best ways to at least partially remodel your kitchen with no loan.
Refresh Your Cabinets
Cabinets have a way of getting beat up gradually and before you know it, they can look worn out. Luckily, this is an easy fix that is also cheap, so no expensive loans should be required.
If the wood is in good condition, one option is to re stain your cabinets. You can lightly sand them and apply a fresh coat of varnish to give them a shine or completely change the look with a darker color. Lighter colors are possible as well, but would require significantly more sanding. If you go this route, make sure that your cabinets are solid wood and not veneer, which could be damaged by heavy sanding.
If your cabinets are too far gone for sanding or if you just want a more radical change, consider painting them. Nothing changes a room like painting dark cabinets white, but your color options are endless.
Should you decide to paint your cabinets, take the time to do a proper prep. Fix any holes and sand down rough spots.
Another option to change the look of your cabinets without borrowing any money is to simply add or change the hardware. For about $2 to $3 per handle, you can take your cabinets to the next level while adding additional functionality.
Replace The Doors
This option is a bit more expensive, but still far less than the cost of replacing the entire cabinet. Replacing the doors will entirely change the look of your kitchen by giving you a modern design and allowing you to go to newer designs, like hidden hinges.
Buy A New Appliance Package
Trends in appliances are always changing, so what is in style one year might be out of fashion the next. An appliance package general contains a refrigerator, oven, dishwasher and microwave. If you buy them all together, you will save money and make sure that all of your appliances match. Don’t underestimate how much better matching appliances will make your kitchen look.
By purchasing your appliances as a package, a buyer can typically save as much as 25 percent over the cost of buying appliances individually. Maximize your savings even more by purchasing them around a holiday such as Memorial or President’s Day.
Expect to pay between $2000 and $3000 for the average appliance package, with installation generally included. A good chunk of change, but a fraction of the cost of a full kitchen remodel. Additionally, if your appliances are very old, you can realize energy savings as well.
Install New Flooring
Flooring is another game changer for a kitchen. Think about the first thing that you look at when you walk into a home and it is generally the flooring.
For kitchens that are well used, ceramic tile is the best choice. It is durable, easy to clean and comes in a variety of looks (even wood floor look). It is also surprisingly easy to install and is in the realm of the average DIY home owner.
If you are not as hard on your kitchen, laminate and real wood flooring is also an option, but be sure to keep in mind that a kitchen is considered a wet area and it is best to choose water resistant flooring.
Install your flooring yourself and expect to pay roughly $4 to $10 a square foot, depending on the type of floor that you choose. That makes DIY floor replacements one of the best bangs for the buck when it comes to a kitchen remodel.
Shop Discount Stores
If you are a handy homeowner, you can likely do much of the work in your kitchen yourself, but the material is still expensive.
Avoid the high cost of cabinets, counters and flooring by shopping a discount store. Stores like “Seconds & Surplus” sell heavily discounted home improvement products. These items might have slight blemishes or they may have been products that just did not sell.
In any case, buying from a second hand store could allow you to remodel your kitchen more thoroughly without borrowing any cash.