Kitchen Renovation

Is Your Kitchen Stuck in the 1980’s?


Is your kitchen dating itself; in a desperate need of a makeover or complete overhaul?


You should not be surprised to know that a kitchen renovation can be one of the most expensive home improvement projects to undertake.  You may find yourself in the position where your dream kitchen ideas exceed your budget.  Where minor kitchen remodeling projects can be in the $20-$35K range, major remodeling projects can start in the $60-$70K range and go up from there.  According to Remodeling Magazine’s “Cost vs Value” report, you can expect about a 72% return on your investment for a “minor kitchen remodel” and a “major kitchen remodel” would be in the 66% range.


So, to start the thought process, step 1, determine your budget.  Setting a kitchen remodel budget and staying within it, is harder that than you might expect.  Step 2, how long do you plan to stay in your house?  If the answer is 5 years or less, you should plan on a remodel scope that is an improvement on your home and have a budget close to what you think you will get back on the sale of your home.  If you plan to stay longer than 5 years, you should plan a remodel that will result in the culinary and social center for your family for many years to come.


As an alternative approach to your dated kitchen, you may want to consider updating your kitchen with just a “face lift” to help keep the budget low. If this is the path you wish to pursue, you first must choose what absolutely needs to be replaced or upgraded and what you can keep in place and live with. If your cabinets are in fairly good shape, a significant savings can be realized by updating their looks with several coats of good quality paint rather than purchasing new cabinets. Next, remove dated wall paper, resurface the walls and apply new paint, or remove dated paneling, install drywall that is finished and painted.  You can then add some crown molding and paint it to go with the new color scheme. That old Formica or ceramic tile counter top can be removed and replaced with a Corian top with a built in sink.  Then you could finish off the counter area with a tiled backsplash. For appliances, keep in mind that while they are the most important elements of your kitchen, they alone do not make a kitchen.  You do not need to go to the high-end appliances.  There are several manufacturers offering less expensive versions, with similar looks and good quality.  GE Profile, for example, offers a moderately priced, nicely styled line of appliances. Some remaining final touches would be a new sink faucet and new hardware for the refurbished cabinets will help round out the face lift.


Whatever you decide to do, plan ahead, take the time to plan out your vision before you get started. Plan how your family will function without a kitchen for a time, maybe a makeshift kitchenette could be arranged. Consider what parts of the project you can handle yourself with some “sweat equity” and what parts your will need to hire a professional.