Kitchens, Baths & More… (Part 1)

(Including 5 steps to improve your kitchen for under 2000.00)

By Ann-Marie Goddard, VP of sales and marketing, Exodus Construction, LLC

If you are a homeowner, no matter your budget you can improve your home. Some homeowners will hire a contractor for the whole project, some will do portions themselves and hire for the rest; still others will do it all themselves. There are all different price points and projects in home remodeling and many homeowners do nothing while assuming they can’t afford their project. That doesn’t have to be the case, here we will discuss all types of budgets, options and projects; from the projects that need a contractor to the projects that you can do yourself whether it is you or a contractor you can remodel your home!

The key thing to remember with any house is whether you have chosen to remain in your current home or you buy a new home, unless it is custom built for your family, it is normal to desire and even need to remodel to suit needs and style as well as comfort or even resale value.

Whether you are remodeling to sell for more or designing the space to suit the needs of your family, unless you are considering a complete new custom build, you will have to choose a project to start. Data in the housing industry reflects the fact that there are projects that give the most return on investment while adding style, comfort and functionality for the whole family (yours or a buyer’s). You can add an addition to the existing space or remodel within existing structural walls: no matter what you chose to do, the highest return on investment come from: kitchen, bath, front entry or decks/outdoor living spaces.

In this article we will discuss each one of these projects from large budgets to small, from DIY to Contractor Built, weekly until we have them all covered.

A great starting place is the kitchen. The kitchen is the hub of the home, no matter the size or layout of the floor plan the family gathers in the kitchen. It is where we cook, kids do homework while mom cooks, families discuss the day, start the day together and congregate as families, a lot happens in the kitchen area. It is easy to change a kitchen with a large budget; you can tear down walls, open up spaces, buy new appliances, have a professional designer draw up a set of plans and or hire a professional contractor. What do you do if you don’t have large budget? Can you still make your kitchen makeover happen? And; so what if you have a large budget, how do you proceed step by step either way?

First step: What do you have to spend on this project? Not what do you want to spend, what do you have to spend? One piece of advice we give and take seriously here at Exodus Construction, LLC is to do your project debt free and if you do chose to work with a line of credit be sure to work with a pro so that your project ends up bringing you a return on your investment. Make sure when you are planning you leave room for unforeseen expenses; for example- rot behind walls, an outdated electrical system, unexpected items that you have to address once you have started. If you have 20,000 you should plan a project for 15,000 and leave yourself the 25% for unforeseen items, you can always save it or use it at the end of the project if you don’t have any of the unexpected expenses. If you don’t budget first and plan then you could run out of funds and have to close up the project after repairing the items you didn’t expect. Most unexpected items are requirements once you find them, they aren’t optional and you can’t or shouldn’t cut corners to get what you want done.

Step Two: Now that you have decided on a maximum amount you can spend, create your wish list. What you would do if you could do everything you wanted to in order to update your kitchen and make it the kitchen of your dreams? GUT IT COMPLETELY TO THE STUDS, NEW LAYOUT DESIGN, NEW WINDOWS, NEW FLOORING, NEW CABINETS, NEW PAINT, NEW BACKSPLASH, NEW COUNTERTOPS, NEW HARDWARE, NEW APPLIANCES, NEW LIGHTING, TRAY CEILING, CENTER ISLAND? In an average size ranch or colonial home if you were to completely remodel including removing a wall between rooms to create open living space for the family to eat, cook and congregate while including everything on the list above you will need anywhere from 40,000 -100,000, maybe less or more depending on your cabinetry and countertop choices. If you have that range to spend in the budget it is best to use a pro for the whole project. Remodeling contractors will provide no charge estimates and designs, so be sure to contact and hire a licensed pro with insurance and good references, watch for our article on how to choose the right contractor for your project! What if you don’t have 40,000 minimum in the budget? Well you can still contact a contractor and you should! Planning is the key no matter the budget. For roughly 20,000 and some sweat equity your kitchen can look like you spent more! Contact a contractor and find out what can be done, get design ideas and formulate a plan. Do what you can do safely to save funds and hire the contractor to do the rest. You can shop at online or local warehouse stores for discontinued or inexpensive items, floor model close outs and items in that vein to save funds. You can plan to do all the work and pay only a design and supervisory fee, different construction firms will offer different services, there is a company out there that suits everyone’s needs. You don’t have to go it alone no matter the size of your budget.

So what happens if you have contacted a contractor formulated a plan and set a budget and you still just can’t afford it? Can you do anything to update your kitchen for less than 2000 and make your space more comfortable while you save for the remodel of your dreams? YES-

The answer is a Resounding YES and the following are some great tips for inexpensive updates that make a world of difference in the kitchen.

  1. Color, change the color- (color consults are often under 300.00 and we can refer you to a great designer)! Even without a designer you know what you like and Paint is the simple most inexpensive thing you can do yourself to update ANY room.
  2. Change the hardware and fixtures- go from dull, old and unattractive to beautiful brushed nickel or antique bronze, black or any of the new finishes in hardware. Hire a plumber or follow directions to change your faucet yourself so it matches the hardware and functions like expensive ones in a new construction home kitchen for under 100.00.
  3. You can remove and install a new countertop, prefab, cut to size not the laminate that was in your grandmas kitchen countertops and they come in all colors, granite and natural stone look alike colors as well as others.
  4. Change your appliances, you can buy a suite of new appliances (get the best deals online or at a super store on one of the holiday sales) for less than 2000 and completely change the style and functionality of your kitchen.
  5. Reface your current wood cabinetry yourself with an orbital sander (buy it or rent it at your local hardware center), wood filler and a dark wood stain – follow directions on products you purchase for best results or contact a contractor for help with even these small and inexpensive steps.

Those are the 5 simplest ways you can quickly and inexpensively change the whole look, style and functionality of your kitchen. You can do them all or any combination of one.  It is the same as with a large contractor run job, set a budget, shop smart and make a plan that you can stick to, and then just go for it! Call us now for a free estimate on your Kitchen remodel of any size and come back next Tuesday for more on bathroom remodels!