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If you're having trouble getting your kitchen dreams to fit your budget, there are things you can do to cut costs. You can scale down your project by doing less construction work and eliminating luxury materials. But by combining hard work and creativity, you can keep more of your wish list intact.
Giving your kitchen a facelift is an option when you're happy with the amount of space you have and the layout of your kitchen, but you want to update the look and durability. This option can involve many projects you may be able to do yourself, saving money in the process.
Consider Walls and Windows
There are unlimited options for paint and wallcoverings to spruce up the walls -- just make sure that whatever you choose can be easily cleaned. There are also many kinds of window treatments, but for ease of installation and cleanup, keep the design uncomplicated.
Refinish Existing Cabinets
For best do-it-yourself results, don't skimp on prep work. Use a high-quality, 100-percent-acrylic finish for the base.
Install new floors
New flooring is definitely a do-it-yourself option, especially if you choose vinyl, linoleum, or laminate flooring. Wood is also a popular and durable choice thanks to improvements in protective coatings.
Mix and Match Materials
Reserve expensive countertops for a small island and use laminate or ceramic tile elsewhere.
Embrace the Furniture Look
Use furniture creatively to achieve an unfitted look on a budget. Create a pantry from an armoire or an island from an old table. Try a kitchen island in a color that contrasts with a sleek countertop.
Splurge on a Focal Point
A pretty sink and faucet or a tile mural above a range can dress up an entire wall.
Think About the Essentials
Consider replacing sinks, faucets, lighting, and appliances as part of a total makeover. If these elements are more than 10 years old, they're probably showing signs of wear and may not have some of the convenience, style, and operating features that today's products offer.
Contractors and plumbers often cover their costs by charging list prices for materials. If you buy direct, your costs will be significantly lower. Let those who bid on your projects know which materials you plan to buy.
Research Before You Purchase
The Internet is a great source for bargains. Most big-box stores will special order just about anything from top manufacturers at below list price.
Consider RTA Cabinets
Many ready-to-assemble kitchen cabinets are less expensive than their semicustom counterparts.
The difference between "good," "better," and "best" appliances is often in the bells and whistles. Determine your minimum requirements and which extras you're willing to pay for.
Mimic a Built-In Fridge
Surround a freestanding refrigerator with wood walls and a deep upper cabinet. Check fridge ventilation needs first.
Do Some of the Work Yourself
By acting as your own general contractor, you can save roughly 10-20 percent overall. Just be absolutely sure that you're qualified and that you have the time to oversee every detail of your remodeling.
Make Smart Compromises
If you have to choose between expensive materials and expensive labor, choose the labor. A good craftsman can make even mundane materials look great.
Pay for Expertise
Hire an architect, kitchen designer, or general contractor for projects beyond your skill set. The pros will do the legwork for you, and the money they save by keeping you from costly mistakes could more than make up for their fees.