Kitchen Remodels on a Budget


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As home remodeling specialists, we receive many phone calls from people who are in need of a kitchen remodel, but are on a limited budget.  A common misconception is that kitchen remodels have to cost a fortune.  However, many kitchens already have good bones and can be updated with a simple face lift instead of being completely redesigned.  From our experiences, we’ve put together some ideas and tips to help you perform a budget friendly kitchen remodel.

There’s Hope For Those Old Kitchen Cabinets

Many older homes have cabinets that were built on-site and are often better constructed than today’s low-to-mid priced modular units.  Consider updating your cabinets by painting them. To do so, you should perform the following steps:

  • Thoroughly clean your cabinets with a degreaser, such as TSP.
  • Patch and sand any dings, gaps, chips and gouges using a wood-filler.
  • Sand all patches until smooth.
  • Apply a coat of primer using a foam roller for smooth surfaces.
  • Paint the cabinets with a high-quality durable paint, again, using a foam roller for smooth surfaces. Two to three coats of paint should be fine.

If your cabinets are solid wood and you like the wood look, you can strip, sand and re-stain them.  And remember, it’s best to remove the hinges before painting or staining, or the paint/stain will only chip off over time and not look all that great.

If you aren’t crazy about the doors, consider replacing them with new doors which come in a variety of styles to choose from.  Consider including a couple of the new doors with glass panels instead of the solid wood panel for a great way to show off some of your finer dishes and memorable items. You can choose from a wide range of glass finishes to suit your own personal taste.

To make your kitchen feel more open, consider removing the upper cabinets over a peninsula area.  Many times these upper cabinets separate the kitchen from the rest of the house creating a closed-in feeling.

Lastly, don’t forget about the hardware!  New knobs, pulls, and hinges will make those freshly painted or stained cabinets really pop!

Moulding That Adds A Touch of Class

Many kitchens we come across are in decent shape but lack character or architectural detail.  Installing crown moulding can give your cabinets and kitchen a custom, high-end look without breaking the bank. Another economical way to add charm and warmth to your kitchen is to install a wainscoting treatment.  Also, consider replacing your baseboards with taller and more decorative baseboards.

Stylish Countertops

Natural stone counter tops such as granite are a favorite in today’s kitchens. While prices have come down in recent years, granite is still an expensive option for many kitchens, unless you can incorporate a pre-fabricated slab into your remodel which can cost less than half of what a custom granite slab would. These pre-fabricated nine-foot slabs are available at many tile stores.

The most affordable option for counter tops is laminate (most common brand name is “Formica”).  Many of today’s laminate counters look like granite or stone.  You can find prefabricated sections of laminate at the big-box stores for a fraction of the price of a custom job.

Floors That Go The Extra Mile

Flooring covers a large portion of our kitchen’s space, so don’t forget your floors when remodeling.  Vinyl flooring is usually the least-expensive flooring option to choose from and with today’s choices in patterns and styles, you should have no problem finding a beautiful solution that fits in your budget.

While tile flooring is more expensive than vinyl, you can always find close-out or discontinued tile at local tile stores.  While you may not always find the style you are looking for, if you are diligent and visit the stores often, you will eventually find a style you will be happy with.

We hope these tips prove helpful when you’re considering updating your kitchen.  If you have any questions regarding this information, please feel free to contact us (Dave or Ron) at Best Choice Home Improvements, Inc.  (530) 276-9261.

Information provided by Best Choice Home Improvements, Inc. of Redding, CA. For questions, please feel free to contact us at (530) 276-9261, email us at, or visit our website at

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2 Responses

  1. Avatar shelly shively says:

    You guys covered the essentials on what could achieve a dramatic, but relatively affordable outcome to a "new" kitchen. The kitchen is a room that brings much $$ return in the investment of remodeling, as well as bathrooms…not to mention the satisfaction from being able to enjoy a room that is more aesthetic and efficient.

    I get so inspired by those DIY shows on HGTV, but really, it's such a good idea to hire qualified licensed professionals like yourself to do the projects you covered in your article: Less headache, looks better, done right, and probably cost less when you calculate the blood, sweat, tears and frustration of weekend warrior home improvement projects. There are other HGTV shows dedicated to showing the trouble of getting in over one's head in overly ambitious remodel jobs.

    I'm passing your name to a neighbor who wants to convert a former workshop to guest quarters she can rent-out for extra income.

    Thanks for such a helpful article!

  2. wooden kitchen cabinets are perfect your your home, they look good and can be cleaned easily :,"