Welcome to the next installment in our Remodeling 101 Series: Kitchens!
Your kitchen is more than just a place to cook and eat. It’s become the hub of the home; a place to do homework, a gathering spot for family and friends, where we begin each day, and then unwind as the sun goes down, sharing the day’s stories. The kitchen always seems to be the place where memories are made: We introduce significant others, share news, celebrate the life of a loved one, mourn losses and offer comfort. No other room in your home works this hard. So, it makes sense that you want your kitchen to be not only highly functional but inviting and comfortable, too.
According to Home Advisor, the average cost to remodel a kitchen is between $10,000 and $30,000. That’s quite a wide range! The good news is that if you are somewhat handy around the house, you may be able to stay closer to the lower end of that budget by doing a bit of the work yourself. With that in mind, here are some tips for getting the best DIY bang for your buck:
The kitchen cabinets are arguably the costliest (taking about 30% of your total budget) and most important consideration in your kitchen remodel. If you’ll be using your current layout, and simply updating the look of your space, refinishing or painting your cabinets can save you a great deal of money. It’s also something you can likely do yourself with just a bit of homework and preparation. You can find plenty of helpful advice online, like this article from This Old House. If you’ll be expanding your space or changing the layout, consider a combination of new and existing cabinets. Maybe you’ll be adding a new kitchen island. If so, you may be able to paint or refinish the cabinets around the perimeter of your kitchen and install complementary cabinets for the kitchen island.
The options available for countertops are virtually unlimited. There’s stone, tile, concrete, quartz, marble, butcher block, stainless steel, granite, Formica and Corian just to name the most popular. While not the most expensive part of a kitchen remodel, the countertop can certainly take a bite out of your budget, depending on the material you choose. As with the cabinets, if you’re simply adding a kitchen island, you may be able to keep your existing countertops on the perimeter of the room and add a complementary countertop on the island.
Just like countertops, there are many options available in kitchen flooring. Beyond hardwood, ceramic tile and porcelain tile, today’s luxury vinyl tile offers a great combination of both affordability and durability. And this is not your mother’s vinyl tile. Modern LVT can be made to look so much like real hardwood planks or porcelain tiles that they can fool even the most critical eye. Plus, they are tough enough to stand up to the most active family’s wear and tear.
Take the location of each of these into consideration. Do you need to move them in order to improve work or traffic flow? Will a larger appliance mean less space, etc.? Will it fit? Can you work with what you’ve got? If you can avoid purchasing new appliances, you’ll save a good amount of money that can be used in other areas of your budget. But if your appliances aren’t working well for your family, consider upgrading. You may be able to save a bit of money on a new, larger, more modern fridge or stove by shopping floor models or “dinged” or “scratched” products at local appliance stores. Some appliances are slightly damaged in shipping to stores and then are sold at a discount. And once they’re installed, most of these surface imperfections aren’t even visible.
Depending on the extent of your kitchen remodel, it may require a bit of plumbing work. The cost will depend on the upgrades you’re making. If you’re moving appliances or replacing older piping, you’ll want to budget anywhere from $200 – $1000 for labor. Remember to hire a professional plumber! Check the Better Business Bureau and sites such as Home Advisor for recommendations. (Maplewood Plumbing and Sewer has more than 30 years of experience, has an A+ BBB rating and is top rated by Home Advisor!)
A kitchen remodel typically results in new lighting. Whether you’re adding task or recessed lighting, electrical wiring will need to be run. You can modernize your kitchen simply by adding SUB outlets that make it easy to charge smart phones and tablets. As with plumbing, be sure to hire a licensed electrician for all your wiring needs. Angie’s List is a great resource for finding the right contractors. (Maplewood Plumbing is proud to be an Angie’s List Super Service Award winner since 2009!)
While there are standard design styles to choose from: Traditional, Contemporary, Transitional, Rustic, etc., you don’t have to follow any specific formula to create a beautiful kitchen. Create a space unique to your family by adding personal touches. For example, if your family is proud of its generations of great bakers, include a custom shelf to house your favorite recipe books or frame a favorite recipe written in a family member’s own handwriting. Adding these personal touches to your new kitchen will make it feel uniquely your own.
For more tips, tricks and insider-info on kitchen remodeling, visit our website. Maplewood Plumbing & Sewer has been taking care of St. Louis’ kitchen plumbing needs since 1985.We have extensive experience replacing fixtures, installing ice maker lines and garbage disposals, moving gas lines and many other kitchen remodeling tasks. To speak with a plumbing professional about your remodeling project or request a bid, contact us today.
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