Kitchen Remodeling 101 – Budget, Ideas, & Updates

By HomeAdvisor

Updated February 4, 2021

Kitchen Remodeling Budget & Ideas

You know you want to do something to make your kitchen look better you’re just not sure what. You may have even stood in the middle of your kitchen and looked at the paint or wallpaper, the linoleum floor or the kitchen cabinets, and considered your options.

You know kitchen remodels can be big or small, expensive and cheap, involve major appliances and renovations or focus more on decorating. We can’t tell you what’s right for your kitchen or situation, but we can help you start thinking about things that will put you on the right track.

Kitchen Remodeling Budget

Many experts will tell you to create a budget and stick to it. It’s good advice, but how do you know what your budget should be? Just because you have the money to spend doesn’t mean a full-scale kitchen remodel is the best place to put it. On the other hand, even if you don’t have the money to spend, financing a full-scale kitchen remodel can make a lot of sense if you stand to recoup much of the expenses in home equity.

Believe it or not, the first kitchen remodeling idea you should probably have is to get your credit checked and scope out the real estate market to see how much your home is worth. Part of this financial equation is the current condition of your kitchen. If your kitchen is already in decent shape and you’re thinking about remodeling for your own preferences, your increase in home equity isn’t going to be great. If you have a kitchen that has fallen or is about to fall into disrepair and looks faded or out-of-date, a full-scale kitchen remodel can make a lot more sense.

Kitchen Remodeling Ideas

Your primary kitchen remodeling idea is probably staring you in the face. Most people have at least one area of the kitchen that gets on their nerves and would like to see changed. Simple kitchen chores can be a great place to start. If you hate doing the dishes, a new custom kitchen sink and deluxe dishwasher, should make your list. If food prep is your least favorite part of cooking, a new countertop with a built-in board would be nice. If you simply hate your kitchen’s look, kitchen decorating and design should have top priority.

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Easy Kitchen Updates

  • Kitchen Appliances and the Work Triangle: If you notice trouble with your everyday kitchen functioning, simply upgrading some of your kitchen appliances and work stations can work miracles. New energy-efficient refrigerators, a new kitchen sink, and/or a new oven range will improve your kitchen’s workability and may have a larger impact on decorating than you first imagine. Stainless steel appliances, for example, can completely alter a kitchen’s look and feel.
  • Kitchen Floors and Countertops: These tend to be the big ticket items, but often there’s no getting around them. There’s no decorating substitute for the effect of replacing linoleum or vinyl flooring with stone tile, hardwood, or laminate flooring. Countertops, too, are nearly impossible to ignore when assessing the beauty of a kitchen. If you can do so without breaking the bank, at least one of these items may be the center for the rest of your kitchen remodeling ideas to work around.
  • Kitchen Cabinets and Kitchen Hardware: Replacing or resurfacing your kitchen cabinets is almost never a bad kitchen remodeling idea. They can increase kitchen storage and overall convenience, they enhance your kitchen decoration and feel, and cabinet resurfacing is a cheap expenditure next to many other kitchen remodeling ideas.

That said, perhaps the golden rule of kitchen remodeling is to not put all your money into one place in your kitchen. Stretch your money as far as you can into several areas to keep your kitchen design reasonably well matched. It doesn’t matter how good your floors look if they clash with an otherwise outdated kitchen.


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