Usually the first room that everyone wants to change when moving into a house that needs a remodel is the kitchen. The problem is that it is usually the most expensive room to upgrade, takes the longest to complete, and is the most difficult to organise in terms of choosing a style, colour, layout, options, accessories etc.
Before you can start to make the magic happen during a kitchen remodel, there’s a plethora of things that can be cooked up – there are oodles of choices and options. However, there’s also a lot that can go wrong.
We discovered by chance that there are major savings to be had by speaking with a contractor that specialises in changing the most important pieces of the kitchen, and keeping the rest; namely, if the carcasses or cabinets are all in good shape, all you need to do is change the kitchen door and drawer on each cabinet, maybe the handles, then possibly the worktops and appliances.
The point here is that by keeping the cabinets you have, you are not redisigning the kitchen, you don’t necessarily need a complete overhaul, which includes tiling, flooring, electrical, gas maybe, water to be moved etc. You are changing the parts that get seen the most and saving a boatload of cash in the process. Interested? Then read on…
Don’t redesign the whole kitchen if you don’t have to
Before you start remodeling your kitchen, consider the market and decide whether a low or even a high-end kitchen remodel makes the most sense. Generally speaking, costs can run the gamut from $1,000 for a simple re-paint and hardware upgrade to $20,000 if you are installing expensive luxury appliances.
Furthermore, don’t try to remodel a 50’s ranch-style kitchen into a contemporary cook space. All homes, no matter the age, are built in a particular architectural style and design. Work with it, not against it.
Replacing the doors
However, if you want to update your kitchen without a dramatic change or you are simply on a tight budget, kitchen redooring may work for you. In one to two days you can get an updated look without the hassle or cost of installing new furniture and appliances.
Kitchen re-dooring simply means that you replace your doors and drawer fronts with the new ones in your choice of style. These doors and drawers should be color-matched to blend with your existing cabinet boxes. If your cabinet boxes are in a good, decent condition and you are happy with the current color of your cabinets, this may be a good option for you. That said, re-dooring is the fastest way to change your style without overhauling the entire look of your kitchen.
If you are on a super tight budget, you can also paint over laminate doors, cabinets, drawer fronts and the like. However, this is not as recommended as this may not be the right long-term solution. If you do decide to paint, remember that the key is the preparation of the surfaces.
Keep in mind that vinyl wrap doors cannot be re-coated, so in this case you would be better off replacing the entire doors. Replacing doors is a simple process as long as your current doors are standard sizes. If your current doors are odd sizes, then you will need to purchase a custom sized doors.
Replacing the drawers
Often, what’s behind your dated kitchen cabinet drawers is perfectly fine and will not need replacing any time soon. If you are not looking for a complete redesign of your kitchen, you can get away with replacing the drawers only. Many companies offer this for standard and sometimes even custom sizes. This process is very affordable. To keep the costs down, you can drill and install the handles yourself.
Additionally, you can buy a new worktop. Always go for worktops made from solid materials, such as engineered stone or granite if you can afford it. Tiled and glass splashbacks are popular as well as stainless steel, and the formica worktops are still very populer, inexpensive and hard wearing.
As drawers and worktops are a huge expense, don’t select them based on name brands. You can get very good drawers for a fraction of the cost of some of the big-name manufacturers. You should look for drawers made of furniture-grade plywood.
Speaking from experience, I found that my local contractor had contacts in the trade for just about every door size, colour and style imaginable, so give them a call the next time that you are looking for a new kitchen at a budget price.
The video below shows you how to replace the doors yourself if you are a handy type of person, but if not, and if you have older unusual style doors, then call in the professionals….