Category Archives: Kitchens

Top 15 Kitchen Remodel Ideas and Costs 2018 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  • Replacing outdated appliances with new, more energy-efficient appliances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. 😉

  • In 2018, a minor kitchen remodel will give you an average ROI or recouped value of investment of about 81%. Thus, a $21,200 kitchen remodel should add about $17,200 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 $800 and $5,000, depending on the number of cabinets and how much repair needs to be done. The average cost is around $2,500.

  • Investing $2,500 in cupboards will add about $2,000 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 $2,000 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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Top 10 Countertops: Prices, Pros & Cons – Kitchen Countertops Costs

Today we’re exploring countertops and solid surfaces for kitchens, bathrooms, and for all related home improvement and DIY needs!

Selecting a new countertop for your kitchen can not only be exciting, but it can also be a bit overwhelming. After all, there is such a wide variety of materials and countertop surfaces to consider, along with their thickness, benefits and drawbacks, colors, costs, and other options.

It’s not at all surprising that many homeowners are easily dazed and confused by the wide array of choices and options. In fact, many people who have already been through the process of installing a countertop in their kitchen or bathroom will readily attest that it’s not at all an easy choice! 😉

Some of the top questions being asked by many of the “quality and cost” conscious consumers, have to deal with the cost of materials, their pros and cons, and labor or installation costs for most common surfaces including granite, Formica, quartz, marble, and the good ol’ laminate.

If you have not faced any major remodeling decisions before, then you should know that all modern countertops have their inherent strengths and flaws. It’s up to you to decide which particular factors and material characteristics are most important to you.

Yes, it’s all about your wants and needs! 🙂 — Some of the main ones to consider are: durability, luster, heat resistance, maintenance, price and style.

In this guide, will cover the top ten most common materials for countertop surfaces. We’ll give you the necessary information, so you can make an informed decision.

| 1. Granite |
| 2. Quartz |
| 3. Solid Surface |
| 4. Wood |
| 5. Laminate |
| 6. Concrete |
| 7. Nanotech Matte |
| 8. Glass |
| 9. Stainless Steel |
| 10. Soapstone |

1. Granite

For years granite has been one of the most popular surface choices among the US homes, owning to its natural beauty, durability, and ruggedness. It’s a natural stone, so every individual slab is 100% unique in its hue, pattern and shading.

Mediterranean-style-granite-countertop-McCullough Design Development

By McCullough Design Development

Since each piece is different in appearance and size, many consumers will often have go to their local granite warehouse and select the actual pieces of granite that will go into their kitchen or bathroom.

Each slice of granite is approximately 9 to 10 feet long and 5 to 6 feet wide. There are some places carrying granite slabs as large as 12 feet long for those extra long open-space kitchens.

If your countertop is larger than this, the granite will need to be installed in pieces, thus inevitably resulting in some seams.

Pros:

  • Durable
  • Unique – One of a Kind!
  • Scratch-resistant
  • Stain resistant
  • Heat resistant
  • Water resistant (when sealed)
  • Easily cleaned
  • Variety of colors and patterns

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • High maintenance
  • Can break when exposed to excessive stresses during transportation or installation

Price: Granite has an average material cost of $45-$100 per square foot depending on the size, pattern, and thickness of the slab. Although, some select species of granite can be as expensive as $150-$250 per square foot! It will be a grand total of $3,000 to $5,000 for an average 40 square feet granite surface installed.

Tips: Save money by using a thinner slab of granite, or use granite tiles for a fraction of the cost.

2. Quartz

Quartz can give granite a run for its money (especially considering the cost of higher-end granite) surfaces, with the durability and look of natural stone, minus the maintenance. It’s a very hard, impervious to water drops or moisture stone quarried out of the earth, ground into small pieces, mixed together in a sheet layer and held together in a resin as part of its manufacturing process. As with all countertops, it has some advantages and disadvantages.

White Quartz Countertop by Marble of the World

By Marble of the World

Like granite it will have seams, but they will be less noticeable. Its consistent look and pattern allows the seams to blend more easily. Quartz is a nonporous material, so it doesn’t need to be sealed. However, it’s not completely heat resistant. A hot pot can be sat on the counter, but it can’t be left there for very long, as the heat will react with the resin and leave a burn mark!

Pros:

  • Durable
  • More Flexible than granite, which makes it stronger and more tolerant to stress
  • Available in glossy and matte finishes
  • Non-porous
  • Stain and crack resistant
  • No sealing
  • Wide range of colors
  • Easily cleaned
  • Antibacterial

Cons:

  • Not heat resistant
  • Seams

Price: $60-$100 per square foot. It will cost you in the range of $2,500 to $4,500 for an average 40 square feet granite surface installed.

3. Solid Surface

An acrylic manmade product created by DuPont under the brand name, Corian. The seamless material provides a durable, hygienic and nonporous surface.

Orange Corian Countertop Kitchen - Susan Jay Design

By Susan Jay Design

Corian comes in a variety of colors, hues and patterns that can be designed to fit anyone’s style. Choose a stone pattern for a warm, traditional decor, white or black for a minimalist style or brighter colors for a more eclectic look. Custom colors are also available.

Its look is consistent and lends itself to soft curving designs and integrating features like sinks, drain boards and backsplashes.

Pros:

  • Nonporous
  • Stain resistant
  • Easily repaired
  • Seamless
  • Customizable
  • Several colors, patterns and finishes
  • Quick installation
  • Easily cleaned

Cons:

  • Not heat resistant
  • Can be scratched and dented
  • Not a natural material

Price: $40-$90 per square foot

4. Wood

Wood countertops have been used for hundreds of years. They’re unique, natural and add warmth to any space. Various types of wood and finishes can be used to fit different decor and lifestyles.

For a traditional style use cherry, teak, yellow cedar, mahogany or white oak with an oil finish. For a modern or more carefree wood countertop, you can finish the wood surface with a waterproof varnish. For an eco-friendly, rustic style, reclaimed wood can be used.

rustic-wood-kitchen-top

By Hill Farm Furniture

Wood naturally contains enzymes which attack and kill bacteria, making it an excellent choice for the kitchen. Although it’s very durable, it’s not impervious to damage.

While the thought of using a butcher’s block countertop as one long chopping block may sound convenient, it’s not advisable. It would cause scratches, chipping and damage to the surface. Other options are to have a separate chopping block or have one built in.

Pros:

  • Appearance
  • Works with all designs
  • Durable
  • Gentle on glasses and dishes
  • Heat resistant
  • Recyclable

Cons:

  • Maintenance
  • Requires special care
  • Must be kept dry
  • Not scratch and dent resistant

Price: $50-$100 per square foot

5. Laminate

Although it’s often scoffed at by natural material lovers, laminate is still a widely used countertop option. Not only is it budget-friendly, new designs are helping laminate make a huge comeback.

Laminate Countertop Travertine Silver Formica

By Formica

Manufacturers are teaming up with top designers to create amazing on trend designs.

For a fraction of the cost, you can have the look of marble, granite or wood. Or, if your tastes are more modern, you can choose to go with bolder, brighter colors and patterns.

Pros:

  • Budget-friendly
  • Variety of styles
  • Low maintenance
  • Easily cleaned
  • Stain resistant

Cons:

  • Laminate can crack, scratch and scorch over the years
  • More difficult to repair

Price: $8-$20 per square foot

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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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