Time For A
Kitchens and bathrooms still top the list of renovation
projects with the highest potential to add or maintain
value in a home, according to the latest survey conducted
by the Appraisal Institute of Canada.
Renovating a kitchen can also be one of the more expensive
projects a homeowner will undertake. How much you spend
depends on your budget, of course, but also on the length
of time you expect to stay in that house. If, for example,
you are remodeling your kitchen as a face-lift prior to
selling it, it is recommended that you spend no more than
10 -15% of the cost of your house. If you are going to
remain in your house for more than five years, you can
spend 25% or more -and in most cases you will recoup the
cost of the renovation when you sell.
How much will it cost?
Inexpensive kitchen renovations can cost you $2,000
-$3,000 for a cosmetic facelift with no new cabinets,
plumbing or electrical changes. Look to spend about $8,000
to $10,000 if you choose new low-end cabinetry, counters,
appliances, flooring, paint and some minor structural
changes. However, the sky is the limit when it comes to a
new kitchen and you can expect to pay $20,000 and up for
high quality cabinets, custom work and many upgrades.
Keeping costs down
There are ways to cut costs without sacrificing quality
when updating your kitchen. Regardless of what you budget,
do not skimp on design, appliances or labour. These are
the basis for a functional kitchen and you should get the
best you can afford. To keep costs to a minimum, use stock
cabinets instead of custom work, laminates instead of
solids and hang on to your current appliances if you can.
Also try to keep your existing plumbing and electrical and
don't make structural changes to the room.
Planning ahead in detail will also save you money. Any
changes or corrections halfway through the process will
prove to be expensive.
If your budget is tight and small projects are what you
are aiming for, here are a few ideas:
Resurface or repaint old cupboards
Paint is inexpensive and can transform wooden cupboards in
a matter of hours. Try a new painting technique, or a
textured look or a zesty combination of colours. You can
also resurface old cupboards with wood laminates, or one
of the new, non-traditional plastic-based materials that
resist chipping, denting and staining. Formica counter
tops, for example, provide the look and feel of expensive
solid surfacing at about half the cost.
Use more glass
Replace a few cabinets with glass ones. Glass and mirrors
in a room add the illusion of more space as well as
glamour -especially if you add interior lights to your new
Change your hardware
Simply adding new cabinet and drawer handles can change
the look of a kitchen. With the many choices in colour,
size and style of drawer knobs and handles, there is no
limit to what you can achieve. Everything from ceramic to
metal to stone is available in many choices of colour,
size and style so you can give your kitchen a personal
Floor and wall facelifts
Paint, wallpaper and flooring can easily spice up a bland
kitchen. Stencil a border around a window, below a ceiling
or between the cupboards and you can change the mood
Flooring options feature a wide variety of colours and
styles in linoleum, ceramic and wood floor applications.
But be careful; too much contrast in a small kitchen can
make it appear even smaller and more cluttered.
A good kitchen should not only look great, but stand up to
daily wear and tear. If should function well and enable
people to move freely between it and related areas of the
If you plan to completely remodel the kitchen, be honest
about your ability. You may want to leave this important
job in the hands of an expert who can do the work quickly
and professionally. A kitchen designer or contractor can
suggest unique ideas and come up with creative solutions
to particular problems.
Finally, be sure to get at least two quotations on the
work you plan to do and compare them carefully before
making your choice.