Category Archives: DIY

Top 15 Kitchen Remodel Ideas and Costs in 2020 Update

Updating or remodeling your kitchen can be a great investment of your home improvement dollars, especially if you plan to sell your home in the next few years. Remodeling this center-stage space of family gatherings can further enhance its functionality and utility, enabling you to enjoy the heart of your home to the fullest.

Here are some of the top kitchen remodeling ideas for the year, along with their expected costs and pros and cons of each update.

1. Low-budget Remodel – Do It Yourself can be a Viable Approach here

A kitchen remodel can be done on a shoe-string budget. Just update one part at a time as the budget allows. You can do some or all of the work yourself, in some cases, if you are handy and have the necessary time and desire to get your hands dirty. 😉

Otherwise, an investment of $21,000 will buy a minor kitchen remodel completed by a professional remodeling contractor, but doing some of the work yourself can also bring that price down quite a bit. A minor kitchen remodel could include, but doesn’t have to be limited to the following:

  • Refinishing cupboards
  • Replacing outdated appliances with new, more energy-efficient appliances
  • New paint or wallpaper
  • New faucet
  • New countertops
  • New but inexpensive flooring

New countertops don’t necessarily have to be expensive.

Even a new laminate countertop, which is fairly inexpensive, can make a huge difference. Decide what needs to be done, figure out the cost and have that one part done, or do it yourself, when your paycheck can cover it. — This remodeling approach could take a while, but eventually, you’ll have a beautifully updated kitchen and won’t be too broke to buy groceries. 😉

  • A minor kitchen remodel will give you an average ROI or recouped value of investment of about 78%. Thus, a minor $23,452 kitchen remodel should add about $18,206 to the value of your home.

2. Refinish the Cupboards

kitchen-cabinets

Give your kitchen a face-lift by refinishing the cupboards and drawer fronts instead of replacing them. New pulls and knobs will complete the look. This is fairly inexpensive and you will be amazed at the difference it makes. You can save even more money by doing it yourself but, be forewarned, it is not as easy as it seems.

If the cupboards are in good shape and do not have lots of grooves or intricate carving, it is pretty straightforward. The job will take time, elbow grease and paint that costs about $30 to $60 per gallon plus $10 to $25 for new pulls and knobs.

However, the cupboards will almost certainly look better if you have the refinishing done professionally. Plan to pay between $1,000 and $5,500, depending on the number of cabinets and how much repair needs to be done. The average cost is around $3,000.

  • Investing $3,000 in cupboards will add about $2,400 to the value of your home.

3. Reface those Cabinets

Have the cabinets refaced instead of replacing them if the doors and fronts are too damaged to refinish or if you just want a completely new look. This must be done by a professional.

It generally costs between $2,500 and $13,000. When cupboards are refaced, the doors, drawer fronts and the actual veneer or wood finish on the outside of the cupboards is replaced. There are a few up-sides to refacing, as opposed to replacing:

  • Refacing costs less.
  • You regain the use of your kitchen more quickly.
  • You don’t have to deal with the hassle of new cupboards that don’t fit.

Even though this option is more expensive than refinishing, it will be worth it if your cupboards are old and outdated. They will look brand new.

  • The ROI for a $5,000 refacing will be about $4,000 and a big wow factor that you get to enjoy every time you go into the kitchen.

4. Refinish Walls

New paint or wallpaper, along with the refinished cupboards, will leave your kitchen looking fresh and brand new. You can do this yourself, of course, or hire a professional.

If you hire a professional to paint, plan on spending between $400 and $1,000, depending on the size of the room. Having wallpaper installed by a professional will generally cost between $150 and $800. Doing it yourself is much cheaper but painting or hanging wallpaper in between the cupboards can be tricky.

  • This minor investment may not give you much in the way of ROI but it will probably help sell your home more quickly. Think of this as curb appeal for your kitchen.

5. Replace Flooring

Replace your kitchen flooring with cork or vinyl tiles. These materials are inexpensive and easy to put down yourself in most kitchens.

Cork tiles cost around $3 to $6 per square, while vinyl tiles are $1.50 to $4 per square foot. There are some pros and cons to consider here.

Pros:

  • Inexpensive.
  • Easy DIY project in most kitchens.

Cons:

  • Not usually a very long-lasting flooring, although some come with a 25-year warranty.
  • Existing flooring may need to be removed or underlayment might be required.

New flooring makes a big difference. The floor is the largest surface area in your kitchen and the first thing you see before you even enter the room.

  • The ROI on $500 worth of new flooring won’t add to your home value but it will make a big impression on prospective buyers.

6. Mid-Range Kitchen Remodel

modern-upscale-kitchen

Larger, total kitchen remodels generally cost between $20,000 and $40,000 and entail a complete tear-out of the old… well, everything. Consider all possibilities and come up with a plan before the work begins.

Give plenty of thought to what works best for you in addition to what materials you want. Keep in mind that this room must be built for function, not just aesthetics.

Let your intentions guide your remodeling plans. Return on investment for kitchens is generally only 60 to 80 percent, although this varies considerably from area to area. — This means you will likely only recoup a little over half to three-quarters of what you invest in most locations.

It may, however, help your house sell more quickly. If you are remodeling to sell, keep the colors and materials on the neutral side. A prospective buyer may be turned off by too much bright purple.

  • The national average ROI on a minor kitchen remodel is 80.2% but in Chicago it is 102.9%. You should only expect to recoup about 65% of the cost on a major remodel.

7. Small Kitchen Planning

mid-range-minor-kitchen-remodel

Even though a small kitchen may seem like an easier remodel than a large kitchen, you actually may need to get a bit more creative. Small kitchens can be difficult.

Rip out the old cupboards and appliances in your mind and let your creative juices flow.

Imagine the cupboards, sink and appliances in every possible configuration to get the most out of the limited space. Plumbing can be moved. It will cost an additional $1,000 to $1,500 or so but that extra cost may be well worth it in the long run.

Keep the kitchen sink in front of the window, if possible. Use cupboards that extend all the way to the ceiling to get as much storage space as possible.

  • Spending $25,000 will add about $20,675 to the value of your home. Do not invest too much. You could add more value to the home than the area housing market will support. Rule of thumb – do not spend more than 5% to 7% of the home’s value on remodeling.

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Kitchen and Bathroom Cabinets FAQs: Big Box Store vs. Custom Cabinets

Remodeling a kitchen or bathroom can be an exciting adventure. You’re taking that ho-hum, out-of-date space and giving it a complete new look and perhaps even adding some new additions, like a Lazy Susan, or slide-out doors that you’ve been dreaming of for months!

After you make the commitment to move forward with the remodel, some realities can set in quickly, and if you’re on a strict budget, these realities can put a damper on the project in no time.

Before embarking on a remodel project, or any project, it’s a good idea to sit back and consider the end product—the goal—and review the “road map” that’s going to get you there.

In other words, question. Consider questions you have at the start and research solutions BEFORE the project begins.

And here’s the deal…

There’s no dumb question. Bruce Lee once said “A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer.”

So, question, question, question. Then, research, research, research. You’ll be glad you did.

Speaking of questions, here are a few, along with answers, that you may have regarding kitchen remodeling, especially when it comes to the cabinetry.

Question: How do I match kitchen cabinets?

Answer: If you’re moving into a new construction this probably won’t be an issue.

But, such situations arise when, for instance, you purchase an existing home and have plans to remodel, and as part of your remodel project, you expect to expand the kitchen.

You also determine at this point that you also want to place additional cabinetry in the expanded kitchen space.

Here’s the deal…

How do you match the new cabinets to the existing?

The answer in a nutshell: seek a local cabinet maker!

And when we say local cabinet maker, we mean exactly that: you know, the type of cabinet maker where there is actual noise and sawdust on the floors, with table saws shrieking in the background, and the glorious aroma of freshly cut lumber hanging in the air!

Yep! THAT kind of cabinet maker.

But here’s something to consider…

If you do plan on adding on to the kitchen and will be putting new cabinetry in the new addition, beware of those claiming to be cabinet makers, but are actually establishments that sell pre-fabricated cabinets. It simply won’t be the same.

So, why a local cabinet maker?

Because since they are local, they can come to your home, look at the existing cabinetry, determine the materials they are made from, and then proceed to match what you’ve already got.

Going through any other channel might end well, but there’s the chance it’ll end up in disaster.

Takeaway: Go local in this situation. You’ll be glad you did.

The only time where a local cabinet maker might not be needed is in a situation where you decide not to expand your kitchen and you plan on keeping the current cabinetry. You then simply decide to give the cabinets a facelift by replacing the cabinet doors and drawer fronts.

You won’t need a local cabinet maker for a simpler project like that.

Question: I’m in the market for new cabinets for my kitchen. Where’s the best place to get decent cabinets?

Answer: This is like asking people what is the best car to buy: you ask ten different people, you’re going to get ten different answers.

The following are some places to consider if you’re currently, or will be, in the market for new cabinets:

Ikea

Ikea has become the Walmart of home furnishings, specializing in ready-to-assemble (RTA) furniture, as well as appliances and home accessories.

Ikea was started in Sweden in 1943 by a then 17-year-old named Ingvar Kamprad, and is now based in the Netherlands and boasts 411 stores based in 49 countries.

So, when it comes to Ikea furniture, yes it can be convenient to simply assemble the parts and you’re ready to go.

Ikea style is very much European, which means very clean, simple lines, with a very contemporary look and feel.

If that style suites your taste, you might want to check them out.

PROS: Ready-To-Assemble. Excellent hardware. Great versatility of different sizes and add-ons.

CONS: Furniture and cabinets are mostly made from particle board, which can give a cheap look and feel, and probably won’t last as long as custom made. But then, like the saying goes, you get what you pay for! Also, installing RTA cabinetry can be a bit labor intensive. Another con is that you can’t customize the cabinetry much

Big Box Retailers

When you think “big box,” the two names that immediately come to mind, at least here in the United States, are Lowe’s and Home Depot.

When you research kitchen cabinets offered by the big box retailers, you’re going to find a lot of differing opinions. Some like them; others don’t. So, a quick FYI: do your homework!

One issue you’ll see people complain about when it comes to the big-box boys is that they are overpriced, and their “interior designers” tend to be on the young side and therefore inexperienced.

PROS: Cabinets are pre-built and easier to install as compared to those from Ikea. Better quality materials used, as opposed to Ikea.

CONS: Can be somewhat on the pricey side!

Habitat for Humanity ReStore

It’s hard to believe that Habitat for Humanity has its roots back in the 1940s. Clarence Jordan, one of the founders of Koinonia Farm, a community where all were treated equally, along with eventual Habitat founders Millard and Linda Fuller, developed the concept of “partnership housing.”

Later in 1968, the Fund for Humanity was created, and a year later the first partnership house was completed in Sumter County, Georgia.

Habitat for Humanity wasn’t actually formed until 1976.

And now we have Habitat for Humanity ReStores.

What are they?

Habitat for Humanity ReStores are home improvement centers that offer new and slightly used furniture, appliances, accessories for the home, as well as building materials offered to the public at reduced prices.

Since many of their items are donated, it can be hit or miss, and as Forrest Gump described a box of chocolates: “You never know what you’re gonna get.”

But, a ReStore can be worth the look-see.

To find the closest ReStore in your neck of the woods, check out the Habitat for Humanity ReStores site, scroll down to the Find Your Local Habitat ReStore box, then simply enter your zip code and click Search Now.

PROS: Very affordable, slightly used items.

CONS: They may not have what you want or need. Items, including cabinets, are already made and may not fit in your kitchen or bath as you would like.

Question: I’m looking to save money on my kitchen remodel. What is the best method for painting existing cabinets?

Answer: Let’s face some facts: kitchen and bathroom remodeling projects can be very costly! And if you’re already starting out with a strict budget, replacing cabinets, or even having them refinished by a contractor may not be an option.

But here’s the deal…

You can get your existing cabinets looking like new with a fresh coat of paint!

If your cabinets are currently painted, say white, and you want to simply repaint them white, the task at hand will be simpler.

Here are steps to get you started:

Cleaning cabinets by Weekend Craft

  • Remove the cabinet doors and drawer fronts.
  • Place the hinges and any other hardware—and screws—in a place where they will be safe and not get lost.
  • The first step is to determine the current situation of your cabinets. Are they clean? If not do some cleaning before you start. Get rid of any grease, grime, hand prints, etc. (Note: Trisodium Phosphate, more commonly referred to as TSP, works great!)
  • Then, before priming, make sure you do at least a light sanding job.
  • The next step is to apply a quality primer. I won’t go into details of which primer to select. If I suggest Brand X, then people will ask why I didn’t also recommend Brand Y. There are many quality primers out there. Visit a local Lowe’s or Home Depot and speak with someone in the paint department and they can recommend a brand or two.
  • Apply a couple of coats of primer, making sure to sand between each layer.
  • Apply first coat of paint.
  • Let dry.
  • Apply second coat of paint.
  • Let dry

You might want to try the above method in an inconspicuous spot, such as the inside of the door. The reason? Some kitchen cabinet doors and cabinetry are painted with a plastic-type paint that can be very difficult to apply paint on top of it. If this is the case with your cabinets and doors, you may need to purchase a special pre-treatment from a local hardware store and apply it.

If you find that your cabinet door screw holes have become too large and using the same screws will cause the doors to hang loosely, simply pack a little wire wool in each screw hole, then put the original screws back in. Works like a charm to tighten those holes!

To recap, Lowe’s has a helpful video on painting cabinet doors. The video demonstrates how to paint finished cabinets, but this also works for painted cabinetry, doors and drawer fronts as well.

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Amazing DIY Bathtub Design Ideas and Cost

Is this the time you replace that dingy bath tub to give your bathroom a touch of beauty and style it deserves? 😉

amazing-bathtub

Between your budget, personal needs, space limitations, materials and aesthetic design preferences, this guide will help you zero-in on your dream bathtub.

bathtub surrounded by natural stones and design candles

Placement Options

If you are replacing an old tub, or installing one into an existing bathroom space, than you may face certain limitations as to the type of tub you may be able to install.

Your existing tub, especially if it was a built-in one, walled from three-sides, may only allow you to install the same size/type of tub, only a different material.

Similarly, the size of your bathroom and its other fixtures such as a shower, toilets, sink and cabinetry may limit the location and size of your new tub.

You can significantly increase your bathtub options, if you are willing to spend more money on major modifications to your electric wiring, plumbing, possibly rearrange/move other fixtures or do a gut renovation.

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