Low-cost ways to enhance your kitchen

Many homeowners don’t have the budget for an upscale kitchen remodel.

According to Remodeling Magazine, in the Cost vs. Remodeling Report, the average complete kitchen remodel cost is about $100,000. Even smaller upgrades can cost from $15,000 to $20,000. Other issues preventing homeowners from remodeling are the volatile housing market, potential buyer taste and whether they will recoup their money after the sale. However, there are other ideas that can freshen up your kitchen without putting a big dent in your wallet.

Updated bathrooms and kitchens are very important to would-be buyers. You will almost always get a return on the money you invested in those areas to update them. First, plan out the changes you want to make and then decide on a budget. One of the most inexpensive updates is paint color. When choosing a color, make sure it compliments the other things that will remain in the kitchen. For instance, pick a color out of your countertop. Make sure it isn’t too loud or harsh, but something you can use to tie in other kitchen fixtures too.

As far as countertops go, there is no need to spend a ton of money on fancy countertops unless that is what you are looking for. A few home improvement stores have various laminate countertops that look like granite ones without the hefty price tag. With a bit of know-how and research, installing them shouldn’t be too hard and will make a huge difference.

Another idea is to add backsplash tiles that come in a variety of designs and applications. Backsplashes should start from the top of the upper cabinets and extend down to the countertop. Replacing dated light fixtures with more updated ones will make your kitchen look more stylish. Also, focus on fixtures that provide proper cooking lighting and showcase your kitchen’s great features. Replace outdated appliances if you can afford to, or just replace one. Stainless steel appliances are still a favorite among homebuyers.

For kitchens with insufficient storage, think about investing in a freestanding cupboard that compliments your existing cabinets. When it comes to floors, wood or laminate made for high traffic areas stand the test of time for flooring. Porcelain and ceramic tile are other options but are more costly to install. A cheaper option is to install high-traffic, durable linoleum.

Replacing dated or dark cabinets is at the top of every homeowner’s list. However, doing so will take up about 60 percent of your remodel budget. So, what are some other inexpensive options? Consider replacing cabinet doors and door handles / knobs. Or painting cabinets and doors. Or having a full-overlay installed at about $2,500 for a new look. Refacing is always an option but will cost between $4,000 and $6,000. However, it is still cheaper than $15,000 to replace the cabinets altogether.

There are many ideas to choose from and plenty of options available. Even small changes can make a big difference!

Marlin Palich is president of Stark Trumbull Area Realtors, which serves Trumbull, Stark and Carroll counties.


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