Having a limited budget does not mean you have to pass on a kitchen update.  With a little planning and creativity, you can energize your kitchen without breaking the bank. Whether you’re planning to do the work yourself, invest in a complete kitchen remodel, or simply make a few changes over a weekend, every penny counts. It is important to choose projects that make the biggest impact to achieve the best results.

A cheap kitchen makeover starts with a sensible plan. Avoid over-purchasing materials and unnecessary splurges. Design the entire project from flooring to lighting before you start the work, this way you’ll know exactly what materials you need, have an understanding of the work you can do yourself, and which tasks will need a professional.

To keep the spending to a minimal consider planning your kitchen update at least a year ahead of time to allow you the opportunity to search out deals on the materials you will need. There are many kitchen suppliers that reduce the cost of cabinetry, appliances and fixtures when changing their floor plans, or when new models are released. The same holds true with flooring suppliers, so take advantage.

If you are determined to go this alone, start with evaluating what you have. If your tiles are in decent shape, but your grout is cracked or discolored, you can salvage your flooring. Consider hiring a grout restoration service. While this is not a do it yourself option, it is less expensive than replacing your floor in its entirety.

Kitchen cabinetry represents one of the biggest expenses in a makeover. You can cut the renovation costs with a little creativity.  If your cabinets are in good shape and aren’t hanging off the walls and the frames aren’t damaged, you have a few options. You can paint your existing cabinets and change the hardware – a great way to save money and make a significant impact. Or if you are interested in a completely new look, replace the cabinet doors only. This can provide a completely updated look without having to completely demo your kitchen in the process.

There are several ways to keep to your budget when it comes to counter-tops.  Choose laminate, tile or solid surfacing if you have to replace your existing counter-tops and your budget is limited. Granite and solid stone materials are a great option, but come with a greater price tag.

There are other options when updating your kitchen that do not require a major investment.  First, declutter your kitchen by removing small appliances, utensil holders and knickknacks from the counters.  This will open the space and make it look neater. This process may even identify some kitchen items or small appliances that you no longer use and can be discarded.

Do a deep clean of your cabinets, counter-top, sink and backsplash. Over the years, dirt, grease and grime can build up, dulling your kitchen’s finishes. If you are not sure which products work best, consult your local hardware store professional for specialty cleaners that work best for the surfaces you are cleaning.

If you are a little more ambitious, consider refinishing your solid wood cabinets.  This will take a little more effort and some consultation with a paint supply professional, like your local Benjamin Moore dealer, however, the results could be astounding.  Your dark and dreary cabinet faces can be transformed to bring richness just by using a new color stain.

Purchasing a few new colorful dish towels can also add a bright touch to your kitchen.  You may even want to consider some new low-cost window treatments or seat covers to add to the beauty of your newly redecorated room.

Although it not the least expensive option when sprucing up your kitchen, replacing aging appliances can provide energy savings, making the investment worth the effort.  Homeowners can capitalize on this opportunity by purchasing “last year’s” model at a discounted cost.  It may not be the newest appliance available on the market, but it is certainly an upgrade in efficiency from a 15 to 20-year old appliance, whereby making the investment a smart choice.

Replacing an existing light fixture or adding a decorative one can completely change the appearance of your kitchen or dinette area.  With so many options in the lighting industry, you can bling out your kitchen with a crystal chandelier, hang a pendant light over your island, install a ceiling fan with a light kit, or even install under counter lighting to provide your dark and dull kitchen with a new look.

In general, updating your kitchen can be one of the best investments of time and resources in your home.  You do not have to invest a lot of money to achieve results, and may be able to complete most of the projects on your own.  You will create a more comfortable place to live, a nicer environment to entertain your guests and best of all, increase its market value.

Should you decide that your kitchen remodel requires a little more effort, you should consult with a local licensed, insured and qualified home improvement contractor.  These professionals can provide you with some cost-effective options for a kitchen renovation that can change the way you live, entertain and enjoy your home.

Alex Filis – President    A.F. Signature Home Renovations

(347) 952-1449       www.afsignaturerenovations.com