New Year resolutions for your kitchen
The National Association of the Remodeling Industry reports that, despite the economy, there are "smart remodeling projects" that add value to your home. As the clock winds down on 2011, begin creating sensible plans to upgrade your kitchen in 2012 while keeping costs down. Here are four tips to begin your planning:
- Think updates, rather than overhauls. For example, fresh light-toned paint can give a small kitchen some breathing room. Refacing tired kitchen cabinets is cheaper than buying new ones. Adding an attractive, inexpensive backsplash can transform the entire room. An experienced contractor can guide you on what may have the most impact.
- Remodel or replace only parts of the kitchen that are broken or worn out. If your floor has had it-–or if you have had it with your floor–consider new tile or a green solution such as cork. If you buy new appliances, shop for energy-efficient ones without all the bells and whistles.
- Buy stock and modify. For example, you don't need to purchase expensive or custom cabinets if you're on a tight budget. Add glass inserts to several of the cabinet doors. Stain them to your liking, or add more attractive pulls, knobs and hinges.
- Call in a contractor. Do all the work you're capable of doing yourself, saving outside help for the complicated tasks. With projects like creating new crown molding, installing new lighting or new countertops, you'll appreciate the services of a pro. Remember: if the economy is tough on you, it's tough on contractors. You may find competitive bids out there.
If Father Time has been hard on your kitchen, this can be the last month you have to face it.
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