Kitchen renovation on a budget

I know the word “budget” comes up a lot in my posts but, let’s face it, everyone is on a budget. Whether your budget is huge or the size of a postage stamp, it is still a budget and I recommend you set one at the outset of any project to at least try to keep things in line.

This was a tiny budget because this is a flip home. There is a fine line when flipping a home. You need to put just enough into a project to get the best ROI. Consulting a realtor before setting a budget is key so that you do not price yourself out of the market. No sense in putting a million-dollar kitchen into a home that can’t sell for any more than $100,000.

Find out what the market will bear, then decide what the overall renovation budget should be. Then take that down by a few thousand because the unexpected WILL come up, and you need to have money put aside for that.

With this project, for my part, I had to pick lighting fixtures, carpet, bath fixtures, and give recommendations for how to spruce up the kitchen without going overboard. It sounds easy, but believe me it was not. I didn’t want to recommend putting too much money into the kitchen, but it definitely needed to be updated to appeal to potential buyers.

The kitchen had white cabinets that someone had painted, but they only painted the doors, not the face-frame, so that issue needed to be dealt with. It also had other issues like corner drawers that would not open because it was not laid out properly. Then, the worst part (at least in my mind), there was no dishwasher and, worse yet, no place for a dishwasher. The refrigerator was placed across the room all by itself and looked odd and out of sorts.

I put together a couple different plans but in the end decided to go with the least-expensive choice because a few of those “unforeseen issues” came up and depleted the budget.

We replaced the laminate countertops with a better laminate that was installed correctly. Painted the face-frames and doors a crisp white and re-installed all the base cabinets so they were all level and functioned properly. Lastly, we removed a 24″ cabinet and moved it to the far side of the kitchen to correct two issues: 1, we made room for a dishwasher; and 2, we added this cabinet next to where the refrigerator will go so it does not look so out of place and there is a counter to place groceries on. Oh, and we added updated hardware – the jewelry in any kitchen! It may not look much different in these pictures but the functionality of this space was greatly impacted in a good way.

Function is really important in a kitchen and if you are selling a home, the last thing you want is for a potential buyer to not feel at home in the kitchen. It’s the one room that gets scrutinized more than any other because there is no easy fix if it doesn’t work. Kitchens are involved and can be costly, a potential buyer may not be able to look past shortcomings that you have grown accustomed to. Do not give them anything to complain about: fix the little issues and this will help you sell faster and for a better price.

Nancy Bradley photo

Nancy bradley

I consult, design, and remodel spaces that reflect the homeowner’s lifestyle and budget by getting the cost question out of the way and really listening to what my client wants and how much they have set aside for their project.